Friday, July 1, 2011

Fluff Stash iPhone App *Review*

Ladies (and the occasional gentleman that might be reading), I give you my first review. I have two more that I plan on rolling out here in the not-too-far future, but I wanted to begin with something fluffy. After all, I did drop out of Fluff-a-Holics Anonymous. Clearly I'm ok with fluff (which evidently I need to explain the title of my blog at some point because as it turns out, people don't get it).

Anyway, I know everybody and their mother have reviewed this app already, but I wanted to really understand it before I reviewed it. Plus, what's a review without pictures, and I just now learned how do that on Blogger. 

The Review
Fluff Stash is an iPhone app designed by Cloth Diaper Outlet. Well, it was actually designed by her brother. Either way, the purpose of Fluff Stash is to take photos of your stash, share it to Facebook, keep track of ones you still have, traded, etc. and organize. 


After you go to the app store and purchase the app for a mere $0.99, you open it up to find your empty stash.




My, how sad... an empty stash. Selecting the camera icon on the bottom left allows you to take pictures of your stash. The middle icon is a menu where you can delete, import pictures, and share. So, after playing with the icons a bit, I set up my background and started snapping.






This is my Greenchild Creations diaper. See how vibrant and clear the colors are? I chose to take all of my pictures on black backgrounds because I found that it made the colors appear less washed out. Definitely not because I have some strange affinity to black backgrounds (or maybe I do... my blog background anyone?). What I did to set up my background was take a black t-shirt (fancy, huh?) and laid it out over my lap desk. I set that up in front of a window that had adjustable blinds to decide how much light I wanted for each photo. 


After the picture is snapped, you can pull up the information slots by clicking the magnifying glass icon that appears on the bottom right of a photo. You can see that in this Oh Katy picture below.




Once there, you can input all of the information about the diaper. The really neat thing is that if you don't see a color you have a lot of, or if you want to add names of prints, you can! 




You can change the name by selecting the slot that says color on the diaper information menu (labeled Properties), tapping the edit button on the top right hand side of the screen (where it currently says done in the picture above), and writing in your own! As you can see, the first entry for the color chart above is Twilight so I can accurately name my Oh Katy diaper. I also added an unbleached category for my flat diapers that have a natural color. 


Other properties of the diaper that you can input, other than color, are size, brand, type, status, and a caption. Status means you can select whether or not you currently have that particular diaper in your stash, gave it away, if you traded, or if it ended up no longer being in your stash. Guess what? All of the choices in the categories are customizable as well. So if you won a diaper and you wanted to make a status that said won, you could. 


One of my first issues that I ran into with this app was how to deal with sticky color name situations. As an example, consider the twilight Oh Katy above. Twilight is a blue color, as you can see in the picture. The problem with brands that use creative naming (like bumGenius with their clementine and grasshopper, Oh Katy with their twilight, AppleCheeks with their mojito swim diaper, etc.) is that if you do what I did initially and create a whole new color slot for it (again, see color choice screen shot above), if you have more than, say, ten diapers in your stash, you're going to accumulate a whole lot of color choices quickly. Some of those colors might even apply to only one or two diapers. 


I handled this by changing the name of the Oh Katy diaper back to blue, but then simply adding a caption to the picture with the color the brand came up with. Again, as you can see, the Oh Katy diaper has a caption that has twilight listed. 


What about prints? Well for prints, I just put the background color then put the brand's print title as a caption as well. Look at the picture below. See the Lil' Zoo print on the top row, second diaper from the left? I have that listed as white. If it's a popular print title like safari or something, you could add a slot under the color category that names the print. 




That's better! A non-empty stash! I personally really love the way the black background came out on the pictures. I think I will be doing this method with each of them that I get. 


As you can see, when you scroll all the way up, a search bar appears along the top. So for fun, I wanted to see if you could somehow better organize the diapers by color, size, etc. So I typed green into the search bar. Sure enough, all the diapers with the color green popped up.  




How cool is that? And by renaming my Oh Katy diaper blue, it comes up when you search for blue diapers. Wanna know what's even better? You can do this for all kinds of things. It works if you search by brand, by size, etc. I love this aspect because it makes the app that much more organized. 


Suggestions
1. The only thing that might make the search feature better is if it recognized keywords somehow. For example, when I made color choices that were light green and dark green, those didn't come up in my search for a green diaper. So I went back through and changed all the colors back to just being green, and they came up without a problem. Now, this isn't a big deal at all. But it would be awesome if I typed in green, and all variations came up that I customized in my color list in properties. Don't get me wrong, I am very okay with this method, but I think it's something to keep in mind for an update. 


2. It would really nice if we had drag and drop features for the photo thumbnails. For example, when I hold down an app on my iPhone home screen, I can move the app icons around on my phone. I would absolutely love to see a similar feature on the Fluff Stash App. 


3. What would also be neat is if you could move the thumbnails into folders. While it's nice to be able to search for Oh Katy, it would be even better if I could also have the option to create a folder and label it Oh Katy, or one-size diapers, or flats, or accessories, etc. On the iPhone home screen, you can move one icon and place it on top of another. When you do, an option to create a folder pops up. I think this would really add to the app. Still keep the search function though too because that is helpful.


4. Lastly, I do think this app is missing closure options under the diaper properties menu. With so many options now, the listing under the properties could simply say closure options. Then you could select front snaps, aplix, touchtape, hook-and-loop (if you didn't know what kind), side snaps, pins, if it's Snappi-able, etc. 


*Just a quick note, I would add making this able to run on the Droid a suggestion, but they have addressed this. They are trying to find a developer for it.


Where Do I Find This?
You can purchase the app for $0.99 at the iPhone app store. It's not free because the developer made this out of the kindness of his heart for his sister and her fellow cloth diaper addicts, so we do owe the poor man something. 


You can also find more information about the app from their Facebook page.  


Overall, I think this is a great app. It's a great addition to the phone of any cloth diapering mom or dad because you can take your stash with you, so if you run into somebody interested in cloth, you can just whip out your phone. 


With this app, I can help my husband navigate the sea of cloth diaper options as it pertains to our stash. If I told my husband to please change the baby and put him/her in the green bumGenius with aplix closure, he can look up the bumGenius and see which one that is on this phone so the baby doesn't end up in the wrong diaper. Hey, you never know when it'll be important for the baby to be in a specific diaper ;o)


For those of you on the Android, fret not... the app is coming soon! 


*Disclaimer: I was not paid or otherwise compensated in any way for this review. These opinions are my very own.*










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