I like Gumbo, Trimeego’snew app, but not as much as I like the spicy Cajun stew.
Gumbo (the app) cleverly puts bite-sized chunks of info, or snippets, into a buffet where you can pick and choose whatever feeds your head. It could be headline news, weather reports, horoscopes or your daily Dilbert fix. In reality, snippets are feeds and links to Web pages.
Gumbo comes pre-loaded with snippets that you put into a dashboard or front page. To get your snippets, tap the More button at the bottom of the menu bar and go through the list. The snippets are sorted by categories such as browse, featured, most popular and so on.
For the moment, the pickings in Gumbo are a bit slim. There are about 25 snippets, ranging from CCN Top News to Earthquake Watch.
Select an item, let’s say it’s NOAA Weather, and add it to your Front Page. Gumbo is location aware, so you’ll get your local forecast.
Adding snippets to your Front Page actually takes more time to explain than to do it. The concept is the same as setting up a personal home page on MSN, Yahoo! and similar Web places. Pick the items that interest you the most and arrange them in the order you would like them to appear. If you change your mind, tap the Edit button and dump it.
If you can’t figure out Gumbo on your own, there’s a fancy help video that will show you how to use it.
I like the concept that underlies Gumbo, which is putting the news and other information that you often need in one place.
Unfortunately, Gumbo has some serious bugs. When I first launched Gumbo, it repeatedly asked for permission to use my location. I had to tap the OK button at least four times.
After selecting snippets and adding them to my Front Page, some would be there one time and mysteriously disappear the next.
That NOAA Weather snippet I mentioned earlier, showed up twice. Gumbo crashed a couple of times too, right after I selected a snippet.
To sum up, Gumbo needs more spice and better preparation to be palatable. It’s a free lunch, although ad-supported.