Rivr by OmniTyke icon

Rivr (Free) by OmniTyke is an App.net (ADN) app like no other that have been released so far. Sure, we’ve had great ones like Adian and Felix, but these have made ADN feel like nothing more than a Twitter clone, but without the ads, promoted tweets, and spam. However, Rivr is a brand new experience, and shows off what ADN can do quite well, thanks to annotations.

Once you log in and authorize your account, you will find yourself at your stream. The top will feature your cover image, and you can pull-to-refresh at any time. I love the bouncy little animation that the app features when you do this gesture, as it shows that details matter to the developer. If there is a gap in your timeline, just tap on it to load up more.

Rivr by OmniTyke screenshot

To view your Mentions, Favorites, or Global, just swipe left-to-right or tap on the menu button in the top left corner. It will reveal a side panel for navigation, where you can view those sections, as well as your profile and even search. You can access Rivr’s settings too, and even view current upgrades.

Tapping on a post will reveal a slide-out panel on the right, with several actions represented by large icons: reply, quote, favorite, view conversation, and native repost.

To add a new post, just tap on the + button. This will bring up another slide-out panel, but with different icons representing a different set of actions. You are able to add a new text post, image upload, music post, location, or mood.

Text is basic, and you won’t get any fancy features, such as the # and @ shortcut buttons. You are able to see how many characters you have remaining of your 256 though.

The image upload allows you to capture a new photo or import from your Photo Library, and you can even apply one of the 20 available filters. Images uploaded from Rivr will appear as inline images in your streams, though it will show up as an i.appimg.net link in all other ADN clients.

For music, Rivr will detect what is currently playing from your Music.app, though you can also search manually for a song as well. Location will allow you to “check-in”to a location, and a map will be attached and appear inline in streams. Finally, the mood allows you to choose between six different emotions, and these will appear as images to other Rivr users. However, if the other person is not using Rivr, it will just be text, which can seem a bit spammy.

Thanks to the annotations feature of ADN, Rivr feels like a mix between Twitter and Path. It’s definitely a refreshing new take on the service, and show off what annotations can do when developers utilize it properly. Even though Rivr is currently the only app at the moment to fully take advantage of it, I look forward to what it has in store in updates, as well as all other ADN apps. If you want to view other Rivr posts from users, make sure to check out the #rivr section in the menu, where you can view Photos, Music, and Places by others.

The Search function in Rivr is pretty comprehensive, as you can search through hashtags, users, or just posts. At the moment it does not look like it delivers results in real-time, so you’ll have to actually hit the “search” button to get what you are looking for. Profiles are basic and show the user’s avatar and cover image, total posts, who follows them and who they follow, and all of their posts.

Rivr by OmniTyke screenshot

Settings for Rivr include toggles for using the hashtag keyboard, showing @directed posts, saving images to your camera roll, and remembering the last filter you used. There is also Pocket support for saving links for viewing later.

Currently, if you want Rivr to notify you whenever you’re mentioned, you will have to cough up $1.99 as an in-app purchase for one year’s worth of mention notifications. Whether this is worth it is up to you.

So far, I like Rivr, because it features a beautifully designed interface, and offers a unique take on the service, showing a lot of potential. I would like to see more moods offered, or even allow users to create their own custom moods, because I’m sure that most people experience more than six. There should also be Instapaper and Readability support, since Pocket is already integrated.

I’m not sure if Rivr will be my main ADN client, since I feel that Felix is still the most mature one available, but I will keep Rivr around to see what else it brings. But if you are looking for a great free app for ADN, then I highly recommend trying this one over the other free alternatives, which are AppNet Rhino and Appeio.

For those who are unfamiliar with ADN, I recommend checking out this link to learn more.