Balllin ~ Dribbble for iPhone ($0.99) by Kangaroo Bandit Software is a beautiful little Dribbble client for your iPhone.
For those unaware of what Dribbble is, exactly, it’s essentially a place where the “players” (designers, developers, and other creatives) can showcase projects and original work (called “shots”). Anyone can view these posts as a “spectator,” however, only players are able to post work and critique others by comments. Players are able to draft (invite) other players, but anyone is free to create a spectator account.
Now that we have formalities out of the way, let’s get down to Balllin‘. The thing that caught my attention with this app is the beautiful icon. Developers, this is one of the most important things when putting your app in the Store – if your icon doesn’t look amazing, people may pass it up (unless they are kind). The icon for Balllin’ is pixel perfect, and showcases what Dribbble is known for – great designs from talented people.
Since the icon caught my attention immediately, I decided to take a look, only to be blown away by the gorgeous interface of the app itself. Everything about it is just beautiful, and the overall package flows very well together. The color scheme and appearance of the buttons are just perfect (to me anyway).
On the main screen, you’ll be able to view Popular, Everyone, and Debuts via the bottom navigation bar. If you are logged in (do this with the button represented by a person on it; current Dribbble API only allows Players to log in, not spectators), you can also view shots from the people you’re following as well. You can view what tags are available on Dribbble and view shots with these specific tags too, if you’re looking for something specific.
From whichever view you choose, you will be able to view an infinite amount (auto loads when you get to the bottom) of shot thumbnails, as well as see how many views, likes, and comments each has.
If you turn your device into landscape mode, then you are able to view larger versions of all the shots, and you can navigate between them via swiping gestures (think Cover Flow). Amount of views, likes, and comments will be shown to the left of the shot. Swiping on a shot with two fingers will reveal the shot name, the player that posted it, and when it was uploaded. There are options to copy the URL, image, or even save the image to your Camera Roll in the landscape view.
When you select a shot to view, Balllin’ will show if a shot is a rebound of another shot. If you are curious to what the shot was a rebound of, simply tap on it and you’ll be able to see the original and the rebound. Tapping on a comment will also allow you to view that individual comment, and open up access to any links that may have been posted.
Profiles can be viewed by tapping on names. In the profile view, you can view information such as how long they have been on Dribbble, total shots, draftees, following, followers, and likes. There are also links to their location, Twitter handle, and website.
Due to Dribbble’s own limiting API, even players cannot leave comments or posts from the app itself. So don’t expect this type of functionality from Balllin’ (or any other third party Dribbble client, actually).
Despite this, I really enjoy using Balllin’. It’s just so well designed and executed that I think I will use it as my daily dose of Dribbble on my iPhone. I am always looking for inspiration and beautiful work from talented people, and Dribbble is one of the best places to find that (even though I’m no designer myself).
If there is one thing I could suggest to make the app better, it would be to implement a way to view larger images of shots in portrait mode. I expected to be able to view an image in higher resolution by tapping on it, but this does nothing. If you like to see details in shots, you’ll find yourself constantly rotating your device to view shots and comments. I hope the developers can take this into consideration for a future update.
All-in-all, this is one beautiful Dribbble app that is worthy of your dollar.