Digg's belated iPhone app brings native goodness

Digg's coming out with an iPhone application of its news site, which adds a handful of useful features its mobile Web version never had.

Digg

Digg's new iPhone app, which arrives Wednesday, does not bring any of the new, or exciting features announced by the company at the SXSW festival last week. It will, however bring a better and more complete Digg experience to iPhone users than what they've had with the company's mobile Web app.

The software, scheduled to appear in the U.S. App Store in the next few hours, was pre-announced by Digg founder Kevin Rose during an FOWA London conference interview back in early October.

Digg has long had a mobile Web browser-friendly version of its site (m.digg.com), which has undergone several iterations. Though what it's always been unable to do is take advantage of the iPhone's hardware to offer things like gesture-based navigation, and generous local caching. The new app does both these things, as well as changing up the interface to include things the mobile version does not, like offering image and video previews, related stories, and an embedded browser with quick links back to the Digg story pages.

Another big change is that the Digg app lets users search the site with a mobile-friendly results page that can use the same search operators as its big brother. Mobile users have been able to use this with the normal Digg site, although it required quite a bit of scrolling to get around.

Other small but nice features include being able to hop around categories more quickly (as well as bookmarking them for later use), along with sharing Digg story pages or the source content through e-mail and social networks like Twitter and Facebook. In all three of those cases, you can do all that sharing without leaving the app, or the page you're looking at, which is a welcomed addition.

Lucky residents in the U.K. got access to the free app late Tuesday night. What's worth watching out for is how this app evolves as the main Digg site transfers to being a more open, and real-time site, as well as how its features vary on other mobile platforms.

See also: competitor Reddit, which has had both a free and paid version of its iReddit app since February of last year.

Update: The app's now up and live on the U.S. store. You can grab it here.

 

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