Adobe Apollo LogoI don’t remember who, but in my recent feed reading someone said that Adobe’s Apollo was going to be a great thing. So I installed it last night only to be left confused on what I was doing.

Apollo is basically an invisible application that you can run mini applications on. Much like Yahoo Widget Engine or Apple’s Dashboard. Only instead of small widgets, Apollo’s idea is to make full blown applications like an RSS reader. Once created for Apollo, they’ll work on Mac and PC without any extra coding. It really sounds like a cool idea, as long as users adopt it.

My issue is the whole installation process. You first must have an Adobe account to download Apollo. Then, once it installs successfully, there is no application in the Applications folder. No system preference and no clue that you actually installed it or what to do next. I re-installed it four times thinking I did something wrong. Nope, it was there, I just couldn’t see it.

In order to activate Apollo, I needed to download and run an Apollo app/widget. Apps run from little Apollo packages that, as far as I can tell, you must keep or else you’ll never get that app back again. Apollo doesn’t seem to organize them, doesn’t remember what you had open and seems to be lacking any kind of organization for the apps.

Once I did get it up and running, the Apollo app I was using (yourMinis) just kept throwing errors so I lost interest. Research into other Apollo apps didn’t bring up anything great.

Since this is still in development, there are going to be bugs. Here are my thoughts to make it better.

First, after the Apollo is installed, it should open a welcome app. Something that says “Apollo was installed and is running great. Here is what you do next and where you can find applications to run in Apollo.” That’d help greatly.

Second, it needs to organize the apps that run in Apolo. Much like Dashboard or Yahoo Widget Engine does by moving them into a specific folder for organizational purposes.

Overall, I think Adobe’s Apollo could be a cool thing. What it needs is a bit of usability work and then for developers to get on board with creating apps to run under Apollo.

Have you used Adobe’s Apollo?  What did you think?