If you’re a frequent visitor to Australia’s most popular internet and technology discussion forum Whirlpool then you would know the mobile interface can be unreliable at times. Aussie developer and Whirlpool enthusiast Greg Smith has created a free app ‘Whirldroid‘ which makes viewing the Whirlpool forums on your Android phone or tablet a breeze. The app is still relatively new and being updated quite frequently with new features added and bugs squashed every few days, we reviewed version 1.3 of the app on a Galaxy Nexus and a Nexus 7.
To begin you need to log into your Whirlpool profile via a browser, access your Account Settings and copy your API key. By using the API key rather than requesting your username and password the app does not store any of your Whirlpool account information. Once you’ve entered your API key the following sections are available from the main menu:
News – Industry news from the front page. Clicking on the titles will open the full article in your browser
Whims – Read your Whirlpool private messages, with an option to mark them as ‘read’ and to reply in the browser
Watched Threads – Access a list of the threads you are watching. By default this will only display watched threads with unread posts, but you can change this in the settings to display a full list of watched threads. From version 1.3 onward there is an option to automatically mark the thread as read after viewing it which saves that extra click and streamlines the process, this is where the app offers a major advantage over the web interface. Long pressing a thread allows you to mark it as read, unwatch or open it in the browser. Once you’ve opened the thread you can long press on a post to open it in the browser and reply.
Recent Threads – Displays a list of the threads you have recently posted in
Popular Threads – Displays Whirlpool’s Currently Popular Threads, long press to add it to your Watched Threads
Forum – A list of all the Whirlpool forum categories. Note that posts from ‘privileged’ lounges such as The Pool Room or Rep Lounge cannot be viewed from the app and will instead be opened in the browser
The app retains the same theme and clean interface that makes the Whirlpool forums so popular. I found the app to be quick, easy to use, mostly intuitive, and a far better experience for viewing Whirlpool threads than via the browser. The app does not currently support search but there are plans to add it in the future, this will be a welcome addition as Whirlpool is generally my first stop for research when planning a new tech purchase. The app has come a long way in just a few months and I will continue using it on a daily basis. Greg is very receptive to feedback and suggestions, and implemented one of my mine within a day! You can discuss the app with Greg and other users in the Whirlpool thread and you can see some stats of the app’s current users here. Whirldroid is free and not currently ad supported, available from the Play Store.