As seems to be the trend with Smule’s iPhone applications, their point may not be immediately clear. With many App Store offerings, “enjoyable time waster” could be the point, but that’s not always enough for some people. There were those who didn’t see the point of Twitter when it was in its infancy (myself included), yet now it is a legitimate vehicle for information dispersion, adopted by all sorts of businesses and personal users alike. But I digress. Suffice it to say, I would almost describe the concept of Zephyr as Twitter, only created with doodles rather than text.
While Ocarina left Smule fans who owned an iPod touch out in the cold (due to the requisite microphone for input), Zephyr comes along with its wispy snowflake drawings that are strictly touch-based and available for either device. The ‘ink’, you see, is actually made up of snowflakes of varying size and shape. As you draw on the screen of your device with your finger, a tune akin to wind chimes accompanies the resulting picture.
Those among you with classical music training may have detected harmonic progressions of classical music from the likes of Bach and Schumann for example. Don’t feel bad if you missed it (my ridiculously untrained ear surely would never have caught this) as it was pointed out to me by the developer — those Smule folks are pretty musical, if you hadn’t already figured that out.
Once your doodle is complete, let it take flight on the wind, to be whisked anonymously to someone else in the world (with Zephyr on their iPhone or iPod touch). Should they enjoy it, they can forward it on for someone else to see. Likewise, you can watch as Zephyr-based notes bounce around the globe before landing on your device for review. Zephyr puts the power in your hands to favorite notes that land on your touchscreen, forward them on for others to enjoy, or flag as inappropriate.
The beauty of Smule’s iPhone applications is the simplicity of interacting with them, and the whimsy they bring out in the user. Zephyr is yet another perfect embodiment of this. The snowflake graphics are crisp and the audio clear. Zephyr (App Store link) may not have a point, but its concept is an interesting one, and the experience of using it is quite enjoyable. Whether it’s worth $0.99 to you is not for me to say, but if you’ve enjoyed Smule’s other offerings, you’re likely to be satisfied with Zephyr as well.