Andrew Chang (RedBanHammer), developer of Notifications for Reddit, has teamed up with designer Ciaran (cobbyco) to make Comet, a new Reddit client that aims to be the best. In his words he wants it to be a “Reddit experience driven by the community and not the company.”
Right when Comet landed in my hands, I felt exhilarated by the prospect of a better Reddit client. When I got the notification for my email from TestFlight, it was almost like Christmas, except I knew exactly what I was getting.
Even though I knew what was in store for me, I was pleasantly surprised with how well it works. For being a pre-alpha build, it’s very solid. The user interface is responsive with absolutely zero lag. Animations are unobtrusive and simple, adding to the user experience rather than subtracting from it.
There are a lot of things purposefully left out of this build, however, what is included works very well and I look forward to the coming updates. While I do have a lot of small suggestions for improving it, everything works in practice.
Subreddits are easy to navigate though, using the familiar iOS list with the alphabet slider to the right for quickly scabbing up and down. Search, while being disabled for this build, will make it easy enough to simply type in the sub you’re looking for and tap and go. You can also filter through Favorites, Multireddits, Defaults, and Discover. It is yet to be seen if he will add in /r/all, if users want it I’m sure it would be easy enough for him to add in.
The Letterbox looks really good. It’s also disabled for this build but from what I can see it looks very straightforward. You should be able to switch between your Inbox, Comments, and Personal Messages from the drop down menu when it’s up and running. Hopefully he will add in a decent Modmail system as well.
The account tab is pretty decent, showing you a bunch of information about your account. It even averages how much Karma you’ve accumulated per day since you joined. Most of the fields are disabled for now but it looks like he plans on building a lot of functionality before the GM release.
Viewing a thread in Comet is beautiful to say the least, there is a large preview image pulled from the site that quickly hides when you start scrolling down. The User, Subreddit, and Website are displayed minimally under the link title along with some stats about the post. He has also included some nifty gestures for hiding comments and bringing up the option menu to upvote, downvote, and the likes.
When it’s ready for the masses it will be a free universal app with no ads. He did mention something about in-app purchases, but there won’t be features locked behind the paywall. It will be interesting to see how he implements it.
Also, be sure to check out the little site they put together for some awesome images and subscribe to the newsletter so you can get notified when it comes out. You can also donate to the development if that’s your thing, every little bit helps.
It’s still a little while away from release, but those of us who were lucky enough to make the shuttle are rewarded by it’s intriguing landscape and features. Comet is on course for the App Store, so brace yourselves for impact.