iPhone’s not as tasty as I’d like: Delicious Bookmarks App

I’m a huge fan of Yahoo!’s Delicious social bookmarking service. There are copycats but it was the first (it was originally called del.icio.us and used that as a domain name), and it’s still the largest. Yahoo! bought it because it was so popular, and they took a very long time to release their version 2.0 of the service not too long ago. What is it? Instead of (or in addition to, if you like) of using your web brower’s built-in Bookmarks (or Favorites) feature, you can instead save the page to your Delicious account. Instead of putting links in folders, you can assign freeform tags to the entry (kind of like multiple separate folders), and enter a description of up to 1,000 characters in length. ¬†Unless you mark the item as Private, anyone else can see your links, and they aggregate into a large tagged database of links useful at multiple levels. But you probably just want to get your links back out when you need them, and it’s pretty good at that, too.

The desktop side is great, and I have close to 2,000 links right now saved in my Delicious account. But what about when I want to visit one of those sites from my iPhone? Well, there’s the Delicious website, which I could use from Safari. But I’d like a native app. I was very happy when I saw the App called “Bookmarks” and saw the description!

My excitement was misplaced. The extent of the App is a Settings dialog box, where you enter your Delicious username and password and press Login. For a week or two, I’d tried this a few times and it didn’t do anything. No response, the Login button just didn’t “do” anything visible. Maybe it was a Delicious backend problem, maybe it was the number of tags I have (remember, about 2,000 bookmarks, and those are tagged with 2,300 different tags!). Regardless, no feedback. Then, almost as if by magic, I had a list of keywords. The entire actual program consist of an “All Tags” screen you can scroll through (but not search) like Contacts, only it’s a list of every tag you’ve ever used, alphabetically.

No offence, but scrolling through 2,300 tags is not my idea of the way to find something quickly! Definitely need some search. Supposing I do find the tag I want, tapping it shows a list of the links tagged with that tag, intuitively. But each entry is on one line, and it runs of the end of the screen giving merely an elipsis to indicate it was too long to fit. How about tapping a link for a description? Nope, that closes the app alogether and opens Safari, the iPhone’s web browser, taking me directly to the link without passing Go and without collecing $200! That would be OK if there were a smaller “details” button or some way to view additional details if I wanted to, including the full title. I would be even better if I could edit or delete links so I could fix erorrs as they pop up. But no, I’m stuck with a long list of hard-to-find tags that get me to a list of short, unreadable (in their entirety) link names with no URL, description, or other information. And I can’t browse sites tagged a particular tag by other people, one of the good ways to find meta-information that others have so graciously saved for you about websites! No way to even view links people who “subscribe” to your links save back for you!

So what does this app do for me? Nothing. I never use it. It’s small, and it sits on my iPhone for now, as I keep hoping an update will show up on the App Store that will make my dreams come true. For now, I’m snoring. Really, I will be in a few minutes. (Although it’s only due in small part to this App.) Give it a miss for now, unless you have very few tabs and meager bookmark access needs!


2 Responses to “iPhone’s not as tasty as I’d like: Delicious Bookmarks App”

  1. Delan on September 16th, 2008 18:22

    I agree with you, I am trying to create an app that will nicely organize by tag and other criteria. Will let u know when its ready

  2. Tobias Tom on February 12th, 2009 15:25

    Hello David,

    I just found your blog post about a native delicious client. We really felt the same way some time ago, so we created Tasty (http://tastymobile.com). Today we released it, and it is available inside the AppStore.

    Currently we do not offer a search function. We just couldn’t find any way on how to do it right, so we moved it to the next version, which will of course be a free update.

    Hope you like it. If you have questions, feel free to contact me directly.

    Best Regards

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