Popular crowdfunding service Kickstarter has launched an official iOS app to support the Web-based component of its service. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store, and is currently featured in the New and Noteworthy section of the App Store front page.
The Kickstarter app is split into three main components. Firstly, the “Discover” tab allows users to browse currently-running projects, watch their pitch videos and tap through to view further information. Users may either browse a feed of “staff picks” or popular content, view any content that they have “starred” on the site, search for a specific project or browse by category. The user may also see at a glance how many projects are currently running in each category, which is an interesting means of seeing how people are using Kickstarter. The user may also use their device’s location services to find projects near them.
Secondly, the “Activity” tab shows a feed of updates from projects that the user is backing or following. These are presented like short “chat” messages within the app, and require a tap through to read the full update if it’s a long one. Users may post comments using the app or share the update via Mail, SMS/iMessage, Twitter or Facebook. They may also copy the URL to the update or view it in Safari.
The third tab in the app displays a simplified form of the user’s profile, with their name, quick access to their private messages and their account settings. At the bottom of their profile page is a graphical summary of all the projects they have backed. Pulling this down brings up a pie chart showing how many of the respective different categories on Kickstarter they have backed in the past.
Users may back projects directly from within the Kickstarter app. When doing so, the app brings up a list of all the available pledge levels and available rewards, which may be selected using radio buttons. As on the Kickstarter website, the user is able to pick a lower reward tier and pledge a higher amount if they so desire — or even forgo a reward altogether if all they want to do is throw their financial support behind the project. Once the user has selected their pledge amount and reward, they are taken to a summary page and then invited to check out using Amazon Payments.
The Kickstarter app is beautifully presented, with smooth user interface animations rather than simple transitions. Little touches like the the pitch videos expanding when pulled down from the top of the page mean that the app has a lot of unnecessary but attractive visual feedback from the user’s input, and the interface is both clearly designed and easy to navigate. It’s an excellent companion to the Kickstarter website — for those interested in backing projects, anyway. At present there does not appear to be a means for project owners to create or manage their funding drives through the Kickstarter app, but since this is a much more involved process than simply browsing and backing projects, this isn’t altogether surprising.
This issue aside — along with the fact it is only available for iOS, not Android — the Kickstarter app is a great addition to the service and a good means of staying up to date on projects on the go. It will, without a doubt, help Kickstarter solidify its position as the go-to solution for crowdfunding a wide variety of creative projects — and for consumers to find exciting new projects to publicly show their support for.
You can follow the Kickstarter app’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.