Kickstarter enters mobile space, launches iOS app

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US-based crowd funding platform Kickstarter has launched a brand new iOS app compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch. The app allows users to find, follow, fund or create projects on the go and is now available for free in the App Store.

Announcing via a blog post, the site's founders wrote, "The app is a whole new way to experience Kickstarter. We took things we've learned from the past three years of building the site, and applied them to a total redesign for the iPhone. We redesigned the project page, browse pages, and others. And we focused on making three things really useful and fun: finding new projects, keeping up to date with projects you've backed, and offering great tools for creators."

For starters, the app inspires colour hues of white, green and black from the website when it comes to the look and feel. The interface is pretty simple to navigate and a polished and reined one at that.

Users can browse projects by various filters like category, popularity, star picks or simply search for a specific project. They can also watch project videos from within the app and use their location to see projects in their neighbourhood.

The app also keeps backers up-to-date on the projects they've backed. Users can opt to receive push notifications for project updates and when friends create or fund a project. The app also features Facebook connectivity to pull in a list of friends.

The bottom has three tabs: Discover, Activity and Profile. The Discover tab shows the list of projects currently being funded with details such as a video, amount pledged, number of backers and time remaining. The Activity tab shares updates from projects you're backing, with new updates getting added the instant the creator posts them.

For creators, the Kickstarter app will notify you of pledges as they happen and allow you to view stats on a project dashboard. Users can also take photos and videos from their phone's camera to use as project updates.

Kickstarter's popularity has picked up quite fast in recent times and if you're aware, the Pebble, a slick e-paper smart watch that connects to iOS and Android devices, was perhaps one of the most valued projects that became a reality, courtesy Kickstarter. It served as a benchmark breaking all kinds of funding records with about 70,000 backers, crossing over $10m in pledges in May 2012. All watches were sold, which made the platform even more attractive for other creators.

Another popular project on Kickstarter was the Ouya video game console that has pledged $8,596,474 with 63,416 backers. The console is expected to hit major retailer like Amazon, Target, Best Buy and GameStop. Ouya consoles are priced at $100, while controllers featuring touchpad technology along with toggles were priced at $50 each.

Following suit is PlayJam's GameStick, a new Android game console that fits in your pocket. It has accumulated $647,658 in pledges with 5,691 backers.

GameStick is a 2-inch console not bigger than your USB flash drive that supports up to four controllers connected at once and can connect to gamepads, mouse and keyboard. This makes it much more compact than the OUYA, which was compared to being as big or small as the Rubik's Cube in terms of design.  With this product, PlayJam seeks to combine the open source mobile platform with a closed console and bring that experience to your TV sets. The aim is to have no clunky hardware or entangling wires. 

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