Pinbrowser for Pinboard

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There’s been a rise in popularity for Pinboard clients lately, and I very much like this trend. I use Pinboard on a daily basis to save and discover links of interest, and I really appreciate the business model of the service. On iOS, I use Pinbook to save links (primarily thanks to a bookmarklet) and Pushpin to browse Popular and Network bookmarks on my iPhone. Pinbrowser is a new Pinboard app focused on letting you browse the Popular feed, users, and tags.

Developed by Mikael Konutgan, Pinbrowser comes with a very peculiar orange UI chrome and, thankfully, no tinted status bar on iOS 6. By default, the app opens Pinboard’s Popular feed showing a list of the service’s most saved links alongside a search bar to filter by title, URL, or tags. Tapping on a link opens an embedded web view to check out the webpage and share it somewhere else.

The sharing options are interesting: the app has a sharing menu with standard Mail/Message/Twitter integration and a Copy button to store a URL in your clipboard; there is an “Open in Safari” button but, alas, no Chrome version. You can save links on Pinboard and Instapaper: on my iPhone, the app didn’t bring up a built-in login window but instead forwarded a link directly to the Pinbook and Instapaper apps. While I like this kind of native communication between apps thanks to URL schemes, I also wished the developer had taken advantage of x-callback-url to go back to Pinbrowser;

The app’s Settings have two separate fields for Tag and Username: filling these will let you display public bookmarks for a specific tag, a user’s entire list of all public bookmarks, or a user’s bookmarks that have been assigned that tag. There’s also a “Log out of Pinboard” button that’s confusing, because I didn’t log into Pinboard in the first place (in fact, the button does nothing for me).

The possibility to load bookmarks for a user or a tag plays nicely with the app’s URL scheme. Using the following URL:

pinbrowser://?username=USER&tag=TAG

I can create a shortcut in Launch Center Pro to quickly view new bookmarks from people that I follow on Pinboard.

Pinbrowser is a good app, but a bit too limited in this first version. The sharing menu could include more options, you can’t browse by multiple tags at once, and switching views from the Settings menu can be cumbersome. Notably, the app doesn’t come with an iPad version.

However, Pinbrowser is also a nice companion to Pushpin, which lets you browse Popular and Network bookmarks but doesn’t have a functionality to load specific tags or users. For users who, like me, browse Pinboard on a daily basis, Pinbrowser is well worth $0.99 on the App Store.