There's no denying that Netbot by Tapbots is the most popular iOS client for App.net (ADN), but it was a little surprising and disappointing that the client launched without support for push notifications. Tapbots did release a statement saying that notifications will be coming as soon as ADN releases the appropriate protocols to do so, but other clients, like Felix and Rivr, have found their own ways to offer push notifications. Another such client is Adian which has recently been updated to include support to redirect push notification to open Netbot. Yes, you read that right, a competing app is improving Netbot.
Since Netbot does not have push notifications, Adian has added a setting which will redirect its push notifications to open Netbot to the specified post instead. You can set it from the Accounts page by tapping on the blue arrow next to your username.
Wow. On one hand, you have the competition making the most popular ADN client even more successful, which many would argue is a bad choice. On the other hand, you have a small time app grabbing the attention of all the users of the most popular ADN client thus increasing their potential user base -- a potentially brilliant move.
Regarding the use of Adian, push notification redirects work exactly as advertised. Each notification will be from Adian, but when you open it, Adian will temporarily open for a split second, then switch to Netbot. It's fast, simple, and gets the job done. Unfortunately for Adian, the app as an ADN client isn't anything to brag about. The layout and interface is extremely basic and doesn't grab your attention. This is what, I believe, will ultimately cause their choice to offer push notifications for Netbot to ultimately not matter. Sure, they'll get a temporary boost of sales, but once Netbot starts offering push notifications, they likely won't have many more sales since all Netbot users will stay as Netbot users and not refer Adian to their friends.
If Adian was a really good ADN client that rivaled Netbot in terms of features and usability, then it'd be a completely different story. Ideally, for Adian, Netbot users would purchase Adian for the sole purpose of gaining push on Netbot, but then after spending some time with Adian, fall in love with it and start using Adian as their primary ADN client. This would drive future sales even after Netbot gained push notifications. But in Adian's current state, I doubt a single Netbot user will switch to Adian. Instead, they'll delete Adian once Netbot gains push and never see a future update from Adian again -- even it the update is awesome.
All is not lost for Adian, however, as Netbot doesn't yet have push notifications. We do not know when Netbot will update with native push, but if the folks at Phrygian Labs work hard and release an incredible update that makes Adian a true competitor to Netbot before Netbot gains push, this could have a great impact on Adian's success.
So what do you think about Adian's business choice? Smart move? Or just a temporary boost in sales that won't have a lasting longterm effect? Are you picking up Adian just to have push for Netbot until Netbot is able to offer it themselves?
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