37signals Campfire Productivity App Review (iOS, Free)


Languages: English

Seller: Basecamp, LLC

Updated support email

Customer Ratings

All Versions:
139 Ratings


This official Campfire app lets you use Campfire - the group chat tool from 37signals - right on your iPhone.

NOTE: This app requires a 37signals Campfire account.

What is Campfire?:
Campfire is a group chat tool that lets you set up password-protected chat rooms in just seconds. Invite a client, colleague, or vendor to chat, collaborate, and make decisions.

Campfire is better than IM:
Instant messaging is great for one-on-one chats, but it’s not ideal for groups of three or more. Further, if you are on AIM and your co-worker is on MSN you can’t chat. Campfire is network-agnostic and optimized for teams and groups.

• Multiple Accounts
• Unlimited chat rooms: access to all your Campfire rooms
• Live image previews right within the chat room
• Inline viewing of popular file formats, Excel, Word, Powerpoint...
• Transcripts
• Ability to quickly toggle between chat rooms
• Works with Free and Paid Campfire accounts
• Landscape support
• Upload photos
• See the participants in the room
• See and set the room topic
• Individual room preferences for message notifications
• SSL accounts are fully supported

Campfire™ is a trademark of 37signals, LLC.

(Note: This app was formerly called "Ember")

Customer Reviews

  • Please bring this up to date!

    by Balcora

    Please take a weekend and add proper notifications & iOS7 support! This is a much-needed and badly-neglected app.

  • Adequate

    by James Valero

    Gets the job done but the notifications feature is completely unusable.

  • The only campfire app that works

    by myobie

    It has been really solid for the last few months. I go between 50 rooms and it keeps up now. Sometimes there is HTML in the timeline and sometimes it is a bit slow, but it does work. Every other client I've tried does not. Does not have push notifications, which is a huge use case for me.

  • Need iPad

    by swimInLightning

    Good app, but it needs native iPad support. Also why don't the notifications work?

  • Adequate

    by namtastic

    App feels like it's designed around a minimum feature checklist. Like the service itself, it's rarely improved upon. There's 100s of thing that could make this app better (like adding a Mail-like iPad layout so we can have file uploads on the tablet) but they have zero interest in adding.* *I sent this exact request to 37signals and they said the iPhone app works very well on the iPad. So there you go.

  • Needs improvements

    by DellaO

    The app works as expected but could really use an update and some additions. Would be great to be able to swipe down the keyboard like the Messages app after you've started typing. The "return to most recent" button is nice but it leaves you with only a few lines readable.

  • solid & useful

    by hidcaz

    Good job guys. It would be 5 stars if I could put in my username and it could alert me when someone says it.

  • Useable, but not quite finished

    by CausticMango

    Really needs push notifications (app has a "notifications" switch, but it doesn't appear to do anything). Add that and iPad support and it would be awesome.

  • Great app for me.

    by Mjhyman

    iPhone 4 Verizon. Works well for me and my team members. I especially like going home each day and scrolling over the day's convos on my phone. File support is pretty solid too. I'm happy.

  • Fair review

    by MexiDogs

    I know that most people expect more from 37 signals. In all fairness they have created affordable and efficient productivity apps. They have met my expectations with this app with the exception of push notifications. I am positive their great team will correct this before the end of the year. Thanks a lot team 37!

  • This is not 37Signals quality.

    by ATSiem

    *** I'm bumping this review from 2 to 4 stars because you guys reacted within 5 days to my critique, and delivered a fix for the main issues. Awesome work! I love 37Signals suite... But this is a very poor, buggy release. I can muster through a conversation... But... - The notifications do not function. - Images attached to the chat room crash the app. - Links opened in the embedded browser won't load. Even for the advertisements! (Sorry sponsors!) - Rooms hidden from the 37Signals Launchpad wrongfully display in this app. Also... Trying the web-based version via Safari on iOS4.3 is even worse... - You can't scroll up or see any transcripts. - The display fills half the screen, even when the keyboard is hidden. 37Signals, please get this fixed or off the store!

  • Serves the purpose well..

    by superacidjax

    I love the 37signals suite of products and pretty much use them for every administrative function for our online counseling startup iCouch.me. This app is great because I can be in my chat "office" anywhere. It's just like all of 37's products: essential features without bloat and easy enough to use that I can train a new user in literally five minutes. This app works just like the full web application-- nothing more nothing less.

  • Pretty neat

    by Mccrackend

    Except I can't logout without a reinstall..

  • Works perfectly

    by Brooke Howard

    Just tried it tonight when our creative team was snowed out from meeting in person-- worked perfectly!! I especially liked being able to upload videos right into the browser.

  • Almost there.

    by Marty Elmer

    I had to reinstall when it stalled trying to login, but then it all worked good enough. Only one problem though: it logs out every time you go home, and logs back in only when you go to the app again. Not only did this spam everyone else in the chat with my entrance/leaving messages as I checked back in on the chat, but it meant no notifications got sent to me.

  • Ok app

    by Ilovecomix

    The app is ok, works well but need to be updated to work with the iPad, the version for the iPhone works well but is very annoying when used with the iPad. Hope to see an iPad version in the future.

  • Needs some simple impovements

    by philfreo

    I'd make this a 4 star review if they simply did 3 things: - keep my session active forever so I don't always have to relogin - make notifications way better, e.g. notify me if someone says my name even if the app is backgrounded - ability to hide messages about entering/leaving the room

  • Echoing other reviews here...

    by HeartlessUnicorn

    Incompatible with iOS 7. Rooms do not populate in the lobby after logging in, no way to use the app. Basically, if you're running a device with iOS 7, you're out of luck.

  • Doesn't work

    by Peasywease

    Can't see my campfire rooms after I log in.

  • No push notifications, logs out frequently

    by thomasst2011

    The app doesn't have any push notifications so it's not possible to easily see if there are new messages. Also it prompts for email and password every 1-2 weeks, which is highly annoying.


    by Scott Gonyea

    Holy poop-fellatin' christ, this is maddening.

  • Totally broken

    by Wadewilliams

    This app does not work in any way on my ipad mini. Please fix immediately!!!

  • Notifications are useless!

    by HurrikanePDX

    The app works well but the notifications don't work most of the time. You really need to get this integrated into the iOS notifcation center then the product value will go up considerably.

  • It works, but not much more

    by ecmanaut

    Specifically, you can't have it remember what email address and password you signed up with — so you have to recall and ostensively type those in. Often. :-(

  • At least it's not cluttered

    by noblegesture

    Cons * Loses login on update sometimes * For the longest time basic anchor links posted were corrupted, you could see part of the HTML * No push or local notification support * No search * No iPad version * Their web view is half-baked. Regular http App Store links lead to white screen Pros * Uncluttered UI that follows basic iPhone UI idioms * Works, other than losing login info once and a while and certain link presses resulting in a white screen (iTunes store links et al) * Free * Maintained by 37 so it'll likely be valid as long as your account is

  • Works, barely

    by LoneIgadzra

    Chatting basically works, but notifications do not so you have to keep checking manually. Tends to vibrate only when you switch back to an active room, not when a message was just posted, which is useless and annoying. No iPad version.

  • Not good anymore

    by John in DC

    Beware: The typical marketing types have taken over at 37 Signals. How can you tell? Easy: When the app shows up in the update list but then won't update cause you're on an older version of iOS. Get a grip. Goodbye 37 Marketeers !

  • Really bad

    by syrnick

    Doesn't load the room list 80% of the time. Worse than nothing.

  • iPad support

    by MikeDVB

    There is no good iPad app. Would love to have one for notifications and freeing up a browser tab.

  • Horrid

    by Jey Balachandran

    37signals made this just so they can say they have an app.

  • notifications do not work.

    by supersoulfighter

    what's the point of a mobile communication app without notifications actually working? OPEN SOURCE this app so the community can fix and improve this app.

  • Ugh. Campfire is bad and the iPhone app is worse.

    by CaliforniaGroupie

    I hate that we use campfire at my company. This mobile app is so poor I feel compelled to get us off of campfire entirely much faster.

  • Minimally useful

    by ChristopherAshworth

    I use this app because I need it, not because I love it. Messages you enter at a computer do not show up in the mobile app, and vice-versa. The time from opening the app to when you actually see new messages is glacially slow. This app isn't up to the standards of 37signals. EDITED TO ADD: the most recent update has gotten even worse; now new messages don't show up in the room until I go out to the lobby and re-enter the room.

  • rarely works

    by jr195

    just spins. worthless, on both the 4/AT&T and 4S/Verizon

  • Perpetually "loading…"

    by burnblue

    App hangs on "loading". Did a year ago on my 3G, still does now on my 4s. Hands down my least favorite app to open, always disappoints.

  • No Guests Allowed?

    by Ferra6

    I use Campfire chat for a website I work for, but most of us with access only use guest accounts to keep past transcripts private. I'd like to be able to chat on-the-go, but I cannot use this app because there is no way for me sign in.

  • Usually fails to load

    by Spec16

    Can't depend on it. Not 37Signals quality, not even close.

  • No push

    by Prokaoup

    No push notifications makes it basically useless. I set up prowl + growl + propane just to get notifications, way too much work.

  • Not Bad

    by fivekan

    The rooms usually fail to load when the app opens. I have to go back to the lobby and select the room again for it load. There are also some important features that are missing: 1. Proper push notifications for rooms and posts. 2. Ability to remove or hide those stupid and useless status messages ("dave signed on," "ashley signed off," etc) 3. More reliability. It is a good start, but needs some work.

  • Great when it works...

    by Zahnarzt

    ... but often simply won't load. Even with reboots, the app will hang while loading a room. Very frustrating for a paid solution. Luckily, the popular 3rd party app works with far more consistency.

  • Goo when it works...

    by J. Venator

    Not expecting too many features for such a simple use case, and the app does a good job. However, it also gets hung up when navigating back to the lobby. Had to delete and reinstall twice. When this gets fixed I will give it a higher rating!

  • No push? What's the point

    by JagJames

    Without the ability of the chat to refresh and run in the background and the lack of push notifications, this app is borderline worthless. It's fine if you need to jump in a room on the go, but the fact that you need to 1) leave the phone unlocked 2) leave the app open for it to work is kind of nonsensical.

  • Mostly useless

    by jaacob

    If you're considering utilizing Campfire in your business, you should not consider this app part of the equation.

  • Works well sometimes

    by Cleetus Hickory

    When chat rooms actually load it works well. But too often it just sits there trying to load and never does. Very annoying.

  • Garbage

    by Zamous

    They are good at Ruby and should probably stick to that. Complaints More often than not, messages fail to send. No easy way to change credentials.

  • The only thing that 37signals has made which has truly disappointed me

    by mnorth

    I'm not one to complain about minor software bugs. I understand that sometimes things take a while to fix, especially with a second tier product like a free iPhone app, but I can't help but speak out when things truly don't serve their purpose. Here are a few of the glaring problems with this app: * No support for multiple Campfire deployments (i.e., if I have 3 LLCs, each with a different campfire) * Inability to start a conference call from the phone * When someone else starts a conference call, the message that pops up when a conference call starts does not appear at all * Attempting to play a recorded conference call results in an error "Missing plugin" * Lack of push notifications or any use of background processes -- when the app is not open you have no way of knowing that you received a message. I hate to say this, as I'm a huge fan of Basecamp, Backpack, Highrise and the Campfire web applications, but this app is so lackluster that I can't help but wonder if they just want to be able to say they have a campfire iPhone app. It's been five months since version 1.0.2 was pushed, and there's been no word of improvements on the way, so I guess they don't care about this particular product.

  • Needs push notifications

    by Skeyelab

    Add push notifications and it's getting close to hipchat.

  • Doesn't Background

    by ckizer

    Anytime you switch to another app you are disconnected from the chat room. It's absolutely frustrating to try copy text from another app to paste because of no background process. The entire point of chat is immediate communication which you can't do if you have to use your phone for anything else.

  • Broken

    by Adamalicious

    Chat-rooms never load. Good thing it's free.

  • Four words: Code review, Beta test

    by giromide

    This app fails to send a message to a room then crashes when I try a second time. This has happened three times in a row. If I wrote this app, I'd be embarrassed.

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