Crowd-funding is all the rage nowadays, as evidenced by our new monthly series of Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects. However, staying on top of all the cool projects can get a bit tedious, especially with the hundreds of new ideas being launched every day. Miss a cool project’s start and all the discounted early backer packs could be gone in a few days, miss a late-blooming project’s end date and you might forget pledging for a successful campaign that you had your eye on.
And since not everyone can sit in front of their computer and hit Refresh on their browser frantically, we all resort to mobile apps. Given that Indiegogo is normally easier to navigate, with less projects and more chance of finding popular or new ongoing campaigns, the absence of a mobile app isn’t very taxing. However, Kickstarter’s lack of an official Android client is a missed opportunity if you ask me, and we have to resort to using third-party clients to discover and follow projects on our beloved platform. Here are 3 apps that help me stay on top of Kickstarter.
K1ckstarter was the first application I tried, and it managed to impress me in one aspect: it let me see projects by category and sorted according to the most recently launched. Even Kickstarter’s own page doesn’t offer a way to see the most recent projects by category, opting instead for a “Popular This Week” page in each category, or a side-wide “Recently Launched” section. That’s why I could never uninstall K1ckstarter. It allows me to catch launches immediately, and that’s how I was able to pledge for early-backer packages on several projects.
Aside from that, K1ckstarter is very basic in functionality. You can “follow” projects to come back to them later, search for projects — with hit-and-miss results — and see their funding level, number of backers, start and end dates. An in-app browser is used to display the campaign’s Kickstarter page, which is neither practical nor elegant. K1ckstarter isn’t a full client as much as it is a feed of project titles, organized by launch date, and if that’s what you need from a mobile app, then it should do the trick.
Kickstarter Mobile ($0.94)
If you’re only interested in following some projects progress, then Kickstarter Mobile will fit the bill. The app lets you add projects by browsing through categories, searching for keywords, or importing your own profile’s backed projects. Then, the list is neatly displayed with each project’s funding level. Tap on one, and you have the option to remove it, view its statistics, or view the webpage — which, thankfully, launches in your Android’s browser and not in-app. There are also homescreen widgets to help you track your favorite projects.
The statistics aspect of the app was a bit misleading since mine seemed empty at first. Turns out that Kickstarter Mobile doesn’t pull old data, but starts tracking from the moment you add the project to your list, so the stats are only useful after a few days. However, once the stats appear, they’re very neat with daily tracking for backers and pledges and overall progress, as well as the amount left to achieve funding, the overall trending total of the project, the daily average and the average individual pledge.
Given that Kickstarter doesn’t offer an open API, the KickMobile app is quite impressive. It’s the closest thing to a full Kickstarter client, with the usual Kickstarter browsing pages: Discover, Staff Picks, Popular, Recently Launched, Most Funded and Categories. There’s also a Starred section for projects you want to keep an eye on, and a search option to manually look for projects.
However, KickMobile’s tour de force shows up when you open any project, with the app parsing the original webpage to find content and display it. This means that KickMobile emulates everything on the site, with the full project description, video and photos, all the pledge tiers, the updates sent by the project creators, the list of backers, and all the comments.
Which App Should I Use?
Thankfully, each of the 3 clients offers a unique functionality that caters to a specific type of Kickstarter user.
- If you want to be the first to know about new projects then nothing beats K1ckstarter, not even Kickstarter’s full website.
- If you like a project and want to keep an eye on it, or if you’re interested in a project but want to get a better opinion about its progress before pledging for it, then Kickstarter Mobile should be your weapon.
- And if you’re a laid back user, looking to browse projects in a way that replicates the Kickstarter website experience but in a more mobile-friendly manner, then KickMobile is there for you.
Are you interested in crowd-funding sites? If so, do you keep an eye on Kickstarter from your Android device?