Hot! Beacon – An Android App for Basecamp

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Beacon – An Android App for Basecamp

Beacon Basecamp AndroidAre you a user of 37signal’s popular collaborative project management tool? Are you on the move often without always having access to your laptop or desktop computer? If the answer is yes to both, Beacon is a Basecamp android app that lets you take your project information with you.

Beacon, from Binary Duo, brings Basecamp to mobile devices, giving you the flexibility you need to manage your projects on-the-go. So what does the Beacon android app offer Basecamp users?

  • Beacon Android BasecampThe ability to view individual projects, along with messages, activities and milestones is an integral part of Beacon functionality and a dashboard shows the most recent activities within the project. Projects are sorted according to when they were last viewed, with the most recently used ones being made available at the top of the list.
  • Users can post and read messages.
  • Existing milestones can be viewed and new milestones created.
  • Simple browsing helps users to find their project contacts. Beacon then allows the user to call, text or instant message a contact directly from within the app, which is a really useful feature. Contacts can also be added to the phone’s contact list or merged with existing phone contacts.
  • Users can synchronise just the current project view rather than the entire information set. Most other mobile Basecamp apps insist on the entire database of project information being synchronized which can often be time-consuming when large amounts of project information is stored.
  • Users can navigate quickly and easily to comments and message directly from links within Basecamp notification emails.

Although Beacon offers some really useful features for taking Basecamp users mobile, there are some restrictive aspects, too. So what could be improved?

  • The interface looks very good and the synchronisation works well but the dates set for the to-do items aren’t displayed and this is quite a limiting factor.
  • There’s not a facility to re-order how projects are displayed.  Making the most recently accessed projects available first in the list may, in many cases, be useful, but if you have a multitude of projects for a variety of clients, it can be tedious scrolling through trying to find the one you’re interested in.  It would be useful to re-order the list of projects by different criteria, maybe, alphabetically or by client.
  • Unlike Basecamp, Beacon doesn’t support the addition of attachments.

A free demo version of the Beacon app allows you to try the product with one project only.  The Basecamp android app itself isn’t expensive, though, at £4.99, and is available for download from the Binary Duo website:

Beacon 2 is in development at the moment and is looking to update the user interface. Beacon 2 plans to introduce an activity view that will take the place of the current dashboard with the aim of presenting the user with a view more akin to what they would normally see in Basecamp.  Keep an eye out for this.


Zach Katkin

Zach is the owner of a number of small businesses including Atilus. He has used many of the small business tools and tips featured on this site in order to help his company. Zach – who general doesn’t like speaking about himself in 3rd person – wants to help you – that’s right, now I’m talking to you – make your small business the best it can be using the Interweb.


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