IRC on the iPhone: Rooms (99 cents)

The Rooms app came out a few weeks after the iPhone was released. Someone in the #citrt IRC chat channel mentioned it to me, as I don’t generally keep up with apps that aren’t free, and Rooms is $0.99. But it’s well worth the price! It’s still in beta but it’s very usable, and as far as I know it’s the only native IRC option on the iPhone (although if you have a Mac there’s a way to connect through a program there in some cases, which I’m unfamiliar with).

The biggest issues with the Rooms app are that IRC commands, like “/me” to show an action, aren’t supported yet, and that the app drains the battery very quickly. The battery issue is not going to go away since using the internet costs battery (you can set the app to stay connected while the screen is off, which is great, or not go to sleep at all, which is nice but eats a lot more battery due to keeping the screen on). However, additional features including the “/me” command are planned for a future release according to the developer on his blog. Also coming is SSL and IRC server password support, as well as support for identifying your nickname with nickserv.

I have had Rooms crash occasionally, which is not surprising given that it’s a beta. One day I had it reboot my phone twice in a row (before I could use it), twice. It didn’t otherwise cause problems and since I’ve upgraded my iPhone to 2.0.2 firmware I don’t think I’ve had an issue (and in fact, my iPhone issues have mostly gone away entirely, which I may post about at some point). It’s hard to tell in many cases whether bugs are the fault of Apple or an App developer, since the platform and the apps are both so new and Apple is still rather close-mouthed (and limits what developers can talk about in some cases, too). But that’s a story for another day, and maybe another blog (there’s plenty of discussion out there!).

(Normally I’d link to the apps I’m mentioning online, but the only official place to link that I know of is a direct link to the Apple Store in iTunes. Rather than find and link those URLs for these quick posts, I will probably just give the name of the app, since it’s so easy to find with a search in the iTunes Store or even from the App Store on the iPhone itself, and you can purchase from either place! If I have the URL handy I may make some exceptions. You can probably find an iTunes link for most Apps with a simple Google search, but again, just search the iTunes Store, unless you’re searching for additional reviews!)


Leave a Reply