Shovel is Digg for the iPhone


shovel iphone app

Shovel is an app that lists the top stories from the Digg news service on your iPhone. It is run by a seperate company (not Digg itself), which makes it somewhat likely Digg will shut it down somewhere in the near future. After all, why should shovel earn a dollar per download for what is essentially the Digg experience on your iPhone?

As far as the app goes, the experience is well designed -- in fact, it feels exactly as if it was designed by Digg itself -- with the caveat that there is no way to digg or bury stories from your phone. The reason for this is that Shovel uses the digg api, and there is no way to digg a story from the api.

I'm somewhat upset that the app is paid. I would give it higher marks if it were free, but payiung $0.99 just to access Digg without the added interactivity of being able to vote on stories strikes me as wrong.


*Editor's Note: Since this review was written, the price for Shovel has been changed to free.

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  • TEFJR in NYC

    #Shovel, the free native Digg App for iPhone Has it stopped working for anyone else?

  • David Fitzhugh

    The shovel app is currently being rewritten and is very close to release. The original bugginess had a lot to do with memory management and has been reworked completely to correct these problems. In addition, the new Shovel app (3.0-ish) includes much more intelligent story loading and is much faster in browsing between multiple stories and accessing the stories themselves (through an in app browser window).

    The current build features access to Instapaper and Facebook and has features in place to allow digging up/down as well as leaving comments which will be made available as soon as Digg releases these features through their API. Overall the rewritten app feels much more streamlined and quick, and I expect current users of Shovel to experience a massive boost in speed and usability when they upgrade to Shovel 3.0

    Key Notes:
    -The 3.0 release will have a free (ad supported) and paid version.
    -Overall memory management has been vastly improved
    -A more extensive debugging process has been undertaken with this release
    -Digg has NOT released digg up/down features to their API as of yet
    -These features have been written into the new Shovel app already, all that remains is the API functionality to interact with the Digg website