When Google Buzz launched, I promptly disabled it. I rarely access Gmail through the Web, so I don’t see Buzz anyway. Not to mention that I don’t have a single contact who has posted something to Buzz. However, even with Buzz’s controversy over its privacy settings, clearly some users are finding it useful. Those people will be happy to hear that there is now a native iPhone app for Google Buzz called Buzzie ($1.99) available for iPhone.
Buzzie is an iPhone app with a Tweetie-esque interface that lets users keep up with Buzz from the people they follow, as well as from people nearby. When Buzzie launches, you’ll see a list of nearby Buzzers and their recent buzz. These threads don’t seem to be displayed chronologically or by distance, so I’m not sure that there is a system of order in place. What frightens me -- and I believe this is a setting option in Google Buzz, not the fault of Buzzie -- is that often nearby users will have an actual address displayed -- as in their home. To see additional information about a nearby user you do have to be logged in to Buzz with your Gmail account, but otherwise, your most recent buzz is out there for any Joe Schmo to see. Not exactly safe if you are Buzzing publicly and have your location enabled. Buzzie offers you the option to set your privacy settings, including location information, but you have to set this for each post.
Buzzie is faster than using Google Buzz’s mobile interface through Safari, but it does lack the ability to upload photos, mute threats, track posts and un-follow users. Within an existing thread, however, you can see comments, view all posts from that user, comment on the thread, view links, save photos to your camera roll or find the location of the post on a map.
If Google Buzz is your new favorite means of social networking, by all means give Buzzie a try, especially before its price goes up.