04 November 2009

Pip.io: A Social Operating System? [Preview] *Updated*


Or so they say. Pip.io is a Social Messaging Network, that also happens to be a Social Webtop and a Social Aggregator/Manager. So maybe since that is a bit confusing and over archiving and overly ambitious, they decided to go with the “Social Operating System” tagline.


The first thing you will note if you visit the login page is the webtop look i am talking about. a very Linux Distro like navbar with a login button that look like a “power on” OS session button and a form not that different from when you need to log into a password protected OS.


Once you enter, you get the feel of a dashboard very much a like the one of a desktop app. That should get you get into mood to follow with the idea of the “Social Operating System” they are pushing for. I am only going to let you see what it looks like now. But don’t think that it will look like this when it launches since it changes quickly here and there. Some features are unfinished, other are broken, etc.

A Universal Dashboard

While in the screenshot it don’t shows, Pip.io does something a little bit strange with the screen state proportions. If you are in a 1024 x 600 or 1024 x 768 resolution you will feel how it don’t really fit and how the elements push to the every direction. Something that you will not feel if you are in a higher resolution or if you got into full screen mode.

Once you do, what you see in the screenshot, you will see all the time. the Dashboard will be persistent at all time and everything in the dashboard is asynchronous and everything that don’t fits into a stream, it loads like a overlay. The notifications of what happens in your streams are Semi Real-Time and so are the replies to a note in a stream.  But this must be the start because Pip.io mentions to be pushing for Real-Time. So later on it should behave like Google Wave or Friendfeed. 

But unlike in those. You actually count with full control here, The immediacy of the system will not force your hand as you can always see the notifications piling up and you can jump into your streams and just go back where you left off, without pip.io pushing you into the problem you have with Google Wave or Friendfeed. It don’t really matter when you see it, it is your call.

Pip.io Social Messaging Network

While you are using Pip.io own S.M.N, you have a mixture of things that they seem to have been taken from  pownce, plurk, rejaw, fire eagle and for some strange reason even tumblelogs. You can share photos from your pc, files and share links like in plurk. You can see photos in a overlay,  You count with a always present location status with a little map so you can update wherever you are while you talk in pip.io. You count with a Online Status setting so your Pip.io contacts know when you are on and if you are available to talk like in a IM app. You count with a very e-mail like contacts book and a activity tracker so you know where you went if you go into other user streams and can get back to there.

It also counts with private conversations, private settings for a note or if you want your whole stream private. You can even create a topic specific stream or channel in order to divide your notes. I am all fine with it since it is well designed and you can jump into it without much of a problem. What i do hated is that while notes got threads. for some reason they also count as marked notes in a stream. Like in Yahoo Meme. That means that if you reply to a note, you are in that note thread and that reply occupies space in the person stream you replied to. This is a nightmare waiting to happen if you have more than 100 contacts and i strongly suggest Pip.io to rethink that and just leave the note having threads and being organized by activity if they want.

Pip.io Applications (Social Aggregation/ Management)


This is where Pip.io suddenly transforms into a mix of Socialthing and Threadsy with a bit of iGoogle (or Netvibes). Pip.io happens to also let you to manage Twitter and Facebook, search YouTube, manage your Netfilx and even will let you read your feeds too.

The integrations are full like in socialthing. you can post, reply and DM from the twitter stream, In the facebook stream you can even look at your friends photo albums and walls with all their notes and stuff directly and comment on them. You can search and watch YouTube videos and even log into netflix or read feeds like in Google Reader. This last thing i don’t really know since it didn’t worked when i tried.

They also hint at a Google-Something integration. So who knows what else they can integrate into this.

Now, don’t get me wrong. They are well integrated and well featured endeavors. The problem is that is a bit too much and there is a serious need of editing and adjusting to go into pip.io before it can launch and not burn. In either way it a EXTREMELY interesting startup. Simply because it does things in a way and to a extend that so far i had not seen in a web app.

Later On…

This post is meant almost as a public draft of my first impressions of Pip.io. I surely will be doing a 1500 words review of it once it launches. This post will serve me as a way to look back and keep track of what i saw in its early stages.

Right now it is all over the place and it is not clear how many things will be trying to let you do at the same time and if it will hold up. At least also unlike Google Wave, it work on all browsers, even Opera.


IF you are interested in seeing it for yourself, then reply to this entry and add your E-mail to the form or let me know where to send you a invite.

Pip.io  <—Homepage


*Update* (22/02/2010): Pip.io is no longer in Private Beta so invites are no longer needed. It has since then evolved. Some info in this post may then be outdated. This post will be revisited in a review of the now open version of Pip.io


Anonymous said...

gwavefans@gmail.com thanks

Avatar X said...


Charnita F. said...

I tried this but I wasn't sure what to do with it......

Avatar X said...

It is a little too much right Chacha?. But if they streamlined it. Got the potential to be actually really good.

Unknown said...

I'd like an invite too!
I love your site, let me know if I can giveaway some invitations too.

Avatar X said...


Sure, but how i will send you the invite?

Avatar X said...


Nevermind, i found your email.

Kaa said...


Anonymous said...




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