I got to hear about chatter off Twitter a couple of weeks ago. Someone had tweeted that I should check it out and I did, for a few days, then I reached out back to get in contact with the developer and get some back story about the app and why I like most didn’t know about its existence.
In his words:
I’m a news junkie I have a lot of news apps. I used Vigo on the old Windows mobile OS and then on Blackberry but mostly for foreign news. Then Nigeria caught up. So many blogs and sites sprang up and so much was happening. I wanted a simple way to keep track of everything noteworthy and Nigerian in one place and I wanted it available offline. I kept waiting for someone to do it and some options came up but none with the amount of choice and flexibility I wanted, so I decided to do one myself. I wrote the code back in 2011 for iOS but didn’t release it. Then my brother decided to do one in android version and convinced me to release it so we released the first version in October last year. I had to tweak the code to modernize it in-line with iOS and App Store guidelines and then did some updates to add more features mostly content sources. That’s basically it.
The idea behind Chatter is really simple – curate personal feeds out of a pool of preselected sources. On installing the app, you are presented with a catalogue of Nigerian content sources divided into eight categories (lifestyle, music, entrepreneurs, technology, blogs, business, News, and sports) from where they can choose what sources they would like to receive content from. The preferences are remembered, so you are presented with a feed of your current selection and a menu from which you can switch to any of the sites you are following. The app pulls content via RSS at intervals and stores them for offline reading whenever you open the app.
I have used the android version of the app for quite a bit now and while it is one of the better content aggregating apps focused on Nigerian content, it is not without its issues. First, the app is a bit sparse with regards to options, for instance I prefer my feeds to be lists and not tiles, but I don’t get the choice to change the tiled approach. Also the ability tailor notifications for particular sites and mute for some others would be nice too. Then the app is a bit wonky when it comes to images. Images in posts come across as stretched and this impacts on the reading experience. Lastly, the app has also randomly crashed on me a few times without warning.
Bugs aside, it’s still in one of the best Nigeria-centric content aggregators I have used in a while and in the time I have used it, I have already gotten two updates, which tells me that the app is still in active development and will keep getting updated.
If you indulge in Nigerian content and you’re looking for a decent app to further your indulgence and probably discover some new content sources, you should definitely check chatter out. It is available for iOS on App Store and Android on Google Play.