This article was published on November 22, 2008

iPhone Apps for Managing Your Basecamp, Highrise and Backpack Accounts

iPhone Apps for Managing Your Basecamp, Highrise and Backpack Accounts
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Former CEO of The Next Web. A fan of startups, entrepreneurship, getting things done faster, penning the occasional blog post, taking photos Former CEO of The Next Web. A fan of startups, entrepreneurship, getting things done faster, penning the occasional blog post, taking photos, designing, listening to good music and making lurrrve.

Note: We will update the apps in the list frequently. (updated last on 16/02/08)

Like many of you i’m sure, I am an avid 37 signals fan, and until recently I used their whole suite of services. One of the many things which I have grown to miss is the mobility of the app which was addressed recently by Bernard Lunn at ReadWriteWeb.

In the comments of the post Jason Fried, founder of the company, addressed the points and mentioned that there were now iPhone apps available for Basecamp. This nugget of knowledge inspired me to dig a little deeper and discover that in fact their are iPhone apps available for all three of 37 Signals featured products; Basecamp, Backpack and Highrise.

Basecamp iPhone Apps

Groundwork (appstore link) $3.99

Made by the developer of one of my favorite mac apps, quickshareit, my first impressions of Groundwork are superb, fast, easy to use and simple to set up. You can access your projects, as well as create, reply and edit todos and messages. The app definitely needs to an overview page plus a way to view recent messages/updates. Also, we definitely need a way to view todo responsibilities, but I’m certain all of these will arrive soon.

Outpost (appstore link) $12.99

Outpost is the application which has received the most fanfare leading up to its release. The company behind it, Morfunk, did take their time releasing this but with boy was it worth waiting for. The app’s killer features is that it’s the only Basecamp iPhone application which runs locally without an internet connection. This means you can make changes wherever you are and they will automatically sync once you are online again. Outpost is probably also the best looking of the lot, gorgeously clean and wonderfully elegant…Can’t recommend this app enough. There is a catch however – the app costs a whopping $12.99, three times the price of other similar applications.

Minivan (appstore link) $6.99

Priding themselves on being the first Basecamp iPhone app, Minivan is supposedly very good. I say supposedly because I haven’t had the opportunity to download it as they have taken it offline at the time of writing this. You can read some discussion on the app in the Basecamp forum where responses have been generally positive bar a few requests. These updates are apparently why the app is currently offline. I’ll update this once it has been released…

Projects (appstore link) $9.99

Being the shallow person I am, I  must admit to not liking the app icon which did have an impact on a subconscious level. I ,of course, carried on with launching the app and the first thing I see is a request to see my location which I don’t understand. After that little suprise I entered my login details and a few seconds later i’m in and greeted with probably the best UI of the lot.

The app is clean, easy on the eye and intuitive. I tested virtually every feature and was highly impressed with the features made available considering this is the first version of the app. It genuinely replicates the online features to a T with a few little fixes remaining. I love the navigation, adding todos/milestones etc.. was a piece of cake, dragging todo’s up and down was a nice touch and syncing online was FAST. The only downsides so far was that I wasn’t able to click through to the actual events listed in the app dashboard, i’m not sure why I was being asked my location and the app crashed once on me during the 20 minutes of testing. Other than that, great job Appremix.


Encamp (appstore link) $9.99

main_milestones-1New to the block is Encamp, a Basecamp app which I think you may just decide to stick with. Designed elegantly well suited to the the overall iPhone UI, the app feels like it belongs on your phone without being too visually distracting – helping you focus on your actual content. The app is also one of the fastest basecamp apps I have tried which will immediately put it above the competition for many users. 

Being new however, the app is far from perfect and you should expect a few bugs and a number of forthcoming improvements as the navigation is slightly counter intuitive. However, I assure you  – if you find the iPhone syncing of Outpost too slow then Encamp is a fantastic alternative.


Backpack iPhone Apps

FrontPocket (appstore link) $9.99

Recently reviewed by the team at TUAW, FrontPocket immediately brought a smile to my face when I spotted it as I’m avid Backpack user. I downloaded it and all seemed fine & dandy until some issues with syncing changes from the iPhone through to Backpack online occurred. I emailed the developer and minutes later received a reply to let me know that fixes had been made and it was just a matter of time before the App store approved the latest release. Whether you want to wait or not, I highly recommend buying the app as it feels reliable, it’s fast, full featured and support seems second to none.

Highrise iPhone Apps

MobRise (appstore link) $9.99

Currently, the one and only Highrise iPhone app and unfortunately, as slick as it looks, the app is not worth purchasing just yet. You can currently only login if you disable SSL, it won’t seem to display all my contacts/companies, it’s slow to load and crashes are frequent.

It is still very much a beta app however the fact that the developer TapTap Mobile feel they can charge for it, is pretty awful in my opinion. Let’s hope Mobrise see’s some improvements and fast.

Note: We will update the apps in the list frequently. Also, if you ‘re an app know of any other apps missed from this post – please leave a link in the comments. Thank you.

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