Ben Chinn

Slightly nerdy ramblings and linkage

They're Too Kind

Regarding the new iPhone app, Vesper, I have to agree with Dr. Drang’s assessment that the app is being treated with kid gloves by the digerati because of its highly respected developers (John Gruber, Dave Wiskus, and Brent Simmons). Here’s an interesting quotation from Shawn Blanc’s take on Vesper:

Whether or not Vesper become my new go-to note-taking app or not is irrelevant. An app doesn’t have to become my most-used app before I can appreciate its design considerations and its delightful details.

Likewise Jason Snell, writing for Macworld, before praising the app’s beauty, simplicity and grace admits, “I certainly can’t guarantee that I’ll stick with Vesper for the long haul”.

Yeah, I guess whether you actually want to continue using an app often isn’t worth talking about when considering its merits.

Vesper seems to me like a honey trap. It’s beautiful, sexy and has a stellar pedigree. Every detail has been painstakingly massaged and optimized. It runs fast and the transitions are like butter. You’re going to love it…for a week or two before its limitations become unmanageable and you want to access your notes on your desktop machine, use your TextExpander snippets, etc.

It could very well be that there is a market for this app and that it deserves to be successful in serving that market. I just cannot believe that the audience for it includes the tech writers who have in every other way shown themselves to be the power users who would normally demand the features Vesper leaves out.

I understand the impulse behind all this gushing. I want to see beautiful apps created by talented people, to encourage that kind of innovation and creativity. I also find myself desiring the latest shiniest example of a [insert common app type here]. Tech blogs exist in part to fuel that desire, to boost the dynamism of the developer community, which is all to the good. In the end though, good judgment is also called for, even if it feels like a wet blanket.