Pinterest is a great tool, used for many different purposes. Whether you use Pinterest for image curation, education, saving recipes, planning weddings or any of the hundreds of uses, sometimes using the web application just isn’t really ideal. For those of you that prefer a desktop application or simply a supplement to the web application, PinBar Pro is definitely a tool worth checking out.
PinBar Pro is a menubar app for Pinterest, offering you the ability to view your feed, re-pin/comment/like pins, add new pins, and more. The application also has pop-up notifications, a rarity in the world of Pinterest applications. You can utilize the application directly in the menubar or you can choose to try out the desktop mode, which offers a larger screen and further options for utilizing Pinterest. Read on to learn more about PinBar Pro and whether you should try it out.
Basic Pinning Features
The basic menubar app offers a number of features that are essential to any Pinterest user. First, when you log in, you are presented with the basic feed of all users that you follow. It is easy and convenient to peruse Pinterest in this way, and PinBar Pro provides a great looking interface to give you the best
Pinterest experience possible.
While viewing your feed or any other part of Pinterest, you are also able to use all of your favorite Pinterest features. It is a piece of cake to comment on, like, and repin images from your feed.
From within the menubar app there are a number of ways to browse. The default viewing mode is your feed, but you can also easily view your profile and boards. You can choose to browse by category or simply search and view those images. However, you cannot edit anything from the menubar app, so you won’t be able to tweak your boards or change something on your profile.
Another important, basic feature to note is the ability to switch between viewing modes. The application, by default, appears in the menu-bar mode. This is definitely my mode of choice whenever possible – it provides a streamlined view with all of the basics and not much else. You can easily switch to the desktop mode at any time, which provides the full feature set of the website. This is where you can take advantage of the more advanced features that Pinterest has to offer that are not yet present in the menubar view.
Lastly, uploading images to pin is a necessary function of Pinterest. This functionality is available only from the desktop viewer, which means that the only way to upload an image to pin is via the Pinterest site. This is definitely a lacking feature.
PinBar Pro definitely takes the time to include accessibility to all basic Pinterest functions, so I was intrigued to see what new and unique features they would add to the application. I was definitely pleased with some of the offerings found within the app. First to discuss is the inclusion of pop-up notifications. The app page in the Mac App Store claims that they are the only Pinterest application with pop-up notifications, and this is true at least for the applications I’ve tried up to this point. Having pop-up notifications is nice at times, although I do wish there was an option to turn off the notifications without having to quit the application completely.
Another great feature found in the menubar application is the “zoom” capability. With this feature, you can easily click the magnifying glass when looking at any image to switch to a full-screen view of the image. Full-screen, of course, refers to the size of the menubar app screen at that time (which is easily resized at any time with a simple click and drag).
Lastly, what is probably my favorite feature is actually found within the desktop view rather than the menubar view. The “sweep” feature entails you clicking the little broom icon in order to remove all distractions. You are presented with just a page full of images, with all text and icons removed until you hover over the image. This is definitely my favorite way to browse Pinterest, so it makes sense that this is my favorite feature.
All in all, I think that the application is pretty well done. I love the viewing modes, whether I’m viewing my feed in the menubar application or using the excellent distraction free viewing mode in the desktop viewer. It’s convenient, and I like that I’m able to use the application to focus solely on curating my Pinterest account.
While the application definitely has a lot of great things going for it, there are a few things about it that make me scratch my head. First, I wish that the viewing options were all as sleek and smooth within the menubar application as the page where you simply view your feed. It appears that the app designers did a fantastic, well-thought out job on that first page, but then neglected some of the other viewing modes. Viewing your profile, for example, is pretty rough and the options are extremely limited.
I wish that there were more options to configure the application. I’d love to have the ability to turn off the pop-up notifications, or to set them to only appear during certain times. I wish that the application always opened on the menubar viewer, even if you used the desktop viewer last, or for that to at least be an option. Lastly, I think that because the application is made for the computer rather than the web, that there should be a better way to upload your own images to pin. Right now, the only way to do so is through the Pinterest site in the desktop viewer. I think that’s definitely a feature to include within the menubar viewer.
All in all, however, I think it’s a pretty decent app. It’s inexpensive, well-designed and easy to use. Criticisms aside, I’m definitely keeping this app installed, although I don’t know if I will launch at log-in until a few more features are added.
As always, I want to know what you think. Have you tried the application? Did you love it or hate it? What’s your favorite Pinterest app for the Mac? Share your thoughts in the comments below.