Deja Blues – New Social Video App for iPad Not Ready for Prime Time

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The sceenshot above is of my home screen. The reason for using it is that it’s the screen I see the most of when attempting to use the new Deja iPad app, as it crashes continually.

Here’s what Deja is supposed to be all about, according to its App Store description:

Combine the simplicity of TV with the power of social media.
Deja is the new iPad app for sharing and discovering video in a beautiful lean-back experience.
Deja offers a ton of fresh content every day for a personalized viewing experience, curated by your friends.
Connect to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google Reader and even any RSS out there.

I won’t call this a review, because the app doesn’t work well enough, or stay up long enough, to be properly reviewed. Once I saw how terribly unstable it is I tried the two most common remedies – rebooting my iPad 2 and deleting and reinstalling the app. This made no difference at all.

Here’s roughly how my experience with Deja has gone:

— On first launch the app opens to pretty much nothing. A largely black and ugly screen with no content on it.

Deja for iPad

There’s a search bar and a + button to add sources with. No suggested sources are pre-added to add a little life or interest to the opening screen. Poor effort – I’d far rather see some content, even if I end up removing it later as I personalize and add more streams suiting my own tastes.

— When I tried to add a first source (a Twitter account) it took four tries to complete it due to crashes in the midst of entering account login details.

— When I tried to add my Google Reader account it also took several tries due to continual crashing while typing account details.

— I gave up on trying to add my Facebook account.

— When trying to play video the app also crashed back to the home screen very frequently. I have not managed to make it through viewing even a single video due to the constant crashing.

My experience seems to be the typical one with the app. It currently has less than a two-star rating in the App Store with 45 ratings having been added for it thus far.

What’s worrying, or damning even, is that there is not even a statement from the developers on the App Store page for the app, saying that they are aware of the obvious huge problems the app has and that they’re working on an update.

Bottom line of course is that this app should not have been released in its current state. It is below alpha quality, and is essentially unusable as it crashes continually. Here’s an App Store link for Deja, just so you know what to avoid until and unless it is updated and made to work properly.

UPDATE: The developers of Deja have emailed me following this post on the app. They have made it clear they’re aware of the app’s problems. Here’s more straight from their email:

The app, at it’s current state, is not ready for ‘prime time’ – we are aware of the annoying bugs and crashes that exist. These issues cause us much grief, especially given the amount of time and energy that we put into the application. …

We plan to release a bug-fix update (version 1.1) within the week that will address the stability issues and introduce curated channels of content.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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2 thoughts on “Deja Blues – New Social Video App for iPad Not Ready for Prime Time”

  1. Why and how does The Apple store allow apps that keep crashing to be sold? Why aren’t they rejected? That would be a good story to write!

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