Tag Archive for ‘Twitterrific’

Twitter Needs Third-Party Clients ➝

Craig Hockenberry, referencing Ryan Christoffel’s recent piece on Twitterrific’s introduction of multi-window support and Twitter adding keyboard navigation to their app:

This review that covers a both a third-party and first-party Twitter app shows how important the former is.

Third parties are always first with platform features like multi-window on iPad. And we’ve had keyboard support for several years.

Third-party clients are the reason we have retweets, replies, mentions, blocking/muting, and more. Almost all of Twitter’s best features were first introduced and supported by developers outside of Twitter. The service would really benefit from a reintroduction of the APIs that allowed those apps to stand on equal footing with Twitter’s own client.

As a bit of an aside, I’m going to be giving Twitterrific another shot.

(Via Michael Tsai.)

➝ Source: macstories.net

Twitterrific Ad Network ➝

Ged Maheux, writing on Iconfactory’s weblog:

Now you can advertise your app, website, product or service directly on Twitterrific’s expansive network of tech-savvy users for just $100 a month. For that price we guarantee 1,000 tap-throughs – not impressions but actual visits – to your App Store page or website. What’s more, we take care of creating the ad for you ourselves and even provide App Analytics for iOS or Google Analytics for websites.

This is pretty rad news. And at $100 a month, I’m tempted to buy an ad for Initial Charge just for the hell of it.

As an aside, I kind of wish the folks at Iconfactory or a similarly respectable indie developer shop would build out an ad network like this and make it available by invitation to other developers. Sort of like The Deck, but for iOS apps.

Push Nope-Ifications ➝

Ged Maheux, writing on Iconfactory’s weblog:

Today we’re rolling out an update for Twitterrific on iOS and macOS that addresses upcoming changes with how apps interact with Twitter. Unfortunately, these changes hinder the ability of third-party apps like Twitterrific to do push notifications and live-stream events. […]

We sincerely wish Twitter would have offered third party developers a better way forward for our customers. Apps like Twitterrific helped build Twitter’s brand and expand its user base. We even contributed to its lexicon and feature sets (Tweet tweet!) Twitter’s priorities over the last several years, however, have shifted away from end users and toward brands and big companies. We have no choice but to adapt as best we can.

How many of Twitter’s most active users will leave when they’re eventually forced to use the service’s first-party client?

Tweetbot Over Twitterrific

I’m a longtime, diehard Tweetbot user and it’s been one of my favorite apps on the platform since it’s debut nearly seven years ago. But Nick Heer recently pointed out a nifty feature that’s exclusive to Twitterrific — “Delete and Edit Tweet”. Many Twitter users have been clamoring for the ability to edit tweets and the folks at Iconfactory have developed a clever workaround.

When you choose the option, through the ellipses menu on one of your tweets, Twitterrific will delete the selected message and open a compose view with the contents of that tweet filled in. This gives you the ability to quickly fix typos or grammatical errors without having to go through multiple steps to accomplish it.

Twitterrific and Tweetbot

This feature alone piqued my interest in the app. I haven’t revisited Twitterrific since the last major release and thought this was a great opportunity to give it another try. I’ve spent the past week with Twitterrific as my primary Twitter client and the following is an unordered list of thoughts and observations regarding the app:

  • I wish that I could hide display names in the timeline. I tend to prefer minimal user interfaces and would rather my Twitter app only show usernames within the timeline. If I want to see a user’s display name, I’m more than willing to tap their avatar to see it in their profile view. Display names aren’t used within tweets for mentions or replies, so why should they be emphasized in the timeline?
  • I find myself searching Twitter several times each day and wish I could set the search view as a tab, but there’s no option to do so. The only way to access it is through the sidebar, which adds another interaction to the process — tap or swipe to open the sidebar and then tap again to open the search view.
  • I’m not happy with the font options in the app. I’ve used Avenir in Tweetbot for a couple of years and it looks like trash in Twitterrific. The weight is too heavy for my taste and it looks sort-of blurry — it’s not crisp and clean like it is in Tweetbot. I’ve settled on using Helvetica Neue with a slightly increased line height. I’m not in love with it, but it’s better than all of the other options.
  • I don’t like how replies are displayed. I wish usernames were included within the tweet rather than being displayed on their own line above the tweet’s content.
  • The unified timeline is Twitterrific’s best feature. Displaying all of your mentions and replies within your primary timeline, whether you follow the person or not, is absolutely brilliant. If Tweetbot was to steal one feature from Twitterrific, I hope it would be the unified timeline.
  • The Project Phoenix icon is gorgeous — one of the best app icons on my device.
  • In Tweetbot, when you setup a mute filter, you can choose an expiration date. This is perfect for hiding tweets about a specific event during its duration to prevent spoilers and keeps your mute filters tidy by automatically removing them after their specified timeframe. Twitterrific doesn’t have that ability. Muffles, as they call them, are either on or off — there’s no way to set an expiration date and that’s pretty lame.
  • I keep my iPad in landscape mode the vast majority of the time, but Twitterrific gives you no way to hide the tab bar in this view, even if you have the sidebar displayed. And the sidebar is necessary to keep line length reasonable. You’re forced to choose between good line length and redundant user interface elements or terrible line length. Both of those options lead to a bad user experience.
  • I understand what they’re trying to do, but I don’t like the use of emoji in notifications. It doesn’t do enough to help me distinguish between mentions, likes, and so on. It only feels like it’s adding to the noise.
  • I’m not fond of how tweets are dated. I don’t need relative and absolute dates on each tweet. And displaying this information below the contents of the tweet — instead of right-aligned next to the username as Tweetbot does — adds unnecessary height to each tweet giving you less content on the screen at once.
  • I enjoy the use of color within the timeline to differentiate between your own tweets, mentions, and everything else. It’s a nice touch.

Twitterrific is a well-made application with some bright spots, but after spending a week with it as my primary Twitter client, I’m going back to Tweetbot. I’ll miss the Project Phoenix icon in my dock and the utility of the unified timeline, but those two features aren’t enough for me to make the switch. Tweetbot features beautiful type, a perfectly minimal user interface, and it makes better use of screen real estate on the iPad with the multicolumn view. Overall, Tweetbot is still the best Twitter client on the platform.

RIP Twitter

Twitter was overflowing with alarmist complaints on Friday after BuzzFeed reported that the company was planning on introducing an algorithm-based timeline.

Alex Kantrowitz, from the original BuzzFeed News article:

Say hello to a brand new Twitter. The company is planning to introduce an algorithmic timeline as soon as next week, BuzzFeed News has learned.

The timeline will reorder tweets based on what Twitter’s algorithm thinks people most want to see, a departure from the current feed’s reverse chronological order.

Of course, in the aftermath of this shitstorm, Jack Dorsey attempted to calm everyone’s fears by reassuring them that Twitter wasn’t going to pivot away from its realtime nature. But it was definitely not a denial of the rumor.

Since then it’s come to light that users will be able to opt-out of the feature and that it should feel more like an expanded version of the “while you were away” block that’s appeared in timelines for the past year — something that I didn’t even know existed until today.

I was a bit worried about this rumor when it first cropped up on Friday, but the feeling didn’t last long. Changes like this often have no impact on me at all, and if they do, typically not until months after their release. You see, I use Tweetbot — as believe everyone should — and Twitter has a habit of leaving third-party clients without APIs for their newest features. Which I’m fine with.

For the most part, I think the majority of features that have been added to Twitter over the last few years have only detracted from what made the service so great in the first place. I preferred their earlier, more simplistic approach which left a little bit more of the burden on the user to find what’s interesting and kept everyone’s focus on what people were actually saying. This is why I’ll continue to use third-party clients for as long as I’m able to.

But I’m fully aware that I’m in the minority with this sentiment. I get that most new users have a hard time finding people to follow and that helping them along the way is better for user retention. And I also understand that most users don’t check their timeline 15-20 times a day like I do. Those users would benefit from having an algorithm-ordered timeline which surfaces the most interesting tweets for them.

If you preferred Twitter the way it was 1-2 years ago and are still using Twitter’s official app, I encourage you to give Tweetbot, Twitterrific, or some other third-party client a try. They might cost a few bucks, but are well worth it for — what I’d consider to be — a superior user experience. But if you’d rather go along for the ride to see what this new feature — and what many more in the future — have to offer, more power to you. There’s no reason why we can’t both enjoy Twitter the way we want to.

We can all put our pitchforks away and get back to talking about the latest sportsball game and discussing the viability of iOS as your primary computing platform. Because that’s what Twitter was made for.

Twitterrific’s New Facial Recognition Feature ➝

Preshit Deorukhkar shows how an image is displayed in Twitterrific — with its new facial recognition feature — compared to Twitter’s official app. I wouldn’t mind seeing this feature in Tweetbot.

Twitterrific for Apple Watch ➝

From the IconFactory weblog:

Today we are pleased to announce that Twitterrific 5.11 with Apple Watch support is available in the App Store. Ever since we first saw Apple’s new wearable in action, we knew Twitterrific would be a great fit. There are a myriad of compelling features in this update so we wanted to take some time to share a few of them with you.

Twitterrific’s approach to interactions on Apple Watch closely mirrors those of Apple’s built-in apps. The app consists of three parts: the Glance, Recent Activity, and Notifications.

Although Twitterrific isn’t my Twitter client of choice — that honor goes to Tweetbot — I tend to redownload and launch the app from time to time. I like keeping track of where other clients are headed and adding Apple Watch supports seems like the next logical progression for all of them.

Tweet Marker

I first learned about Tweet Marker early last month — I wish I could find the original article that I read about it — but at the time there wasn’t a decent Twitter client that supported it. Tweet Marker is a wonderful little services that developers can make use of that will sync the scroll position of your Twitter timeline on multiple devices and/or applications.

On August 9 Twitterrific added support for Tweet Marker and I decided to give it a shot. I was willing to switch Twitter clients because I had reached the point where I was only interacting with Twitter on my iPhone and the frequency of my interaction had fallen off a cliff. I couldn’t get over the fact that when I opened a client on another device my timeline’s scroll position would often be days behind Tweetbot on my iPhone. I was still checking Twitter several times a day but was rarely tweeting or commenting on other Twitter user’s tweets. But, Tweet Marker was going to change all that.

So, I installed Twitterrific on my iPhone and decided to use it as my main client for a while. After just a few hours, I gave up. I had grown accustomed to how Tweetbot worked and having to change my way of thinking to navigate the application was just too much for me. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to enjoy timeline synchronization but I figured it was only a matter of time before Tweetbot added Tweet Marker support.

A couple of weeks ago Tweetbot finally added support for Tweet Marker. I truly believe Tweetbot is the best Twitter client available. And now it’s even better. There’s just a single switch to flip in Tweetbot’s settings and Tweet Marker will keep track of your timeline’s position. So, now when I open up Tweetbot, or Twitterrific on my Mac or iPad my timeline automatically scrolls to the position I left it at on any of my other devices.

Tweet Marker has nearly saved Twitter for me. I understand that I shouldn’t be concerned about missing anything on Twitter, if my timeline gets out of hand and I’m too behind I should be able to scroll to the top and ignore everything I’ve missed, but I can’t. I’ve never been able to, and might not ever be able to. I’m always worried that I’ll miss an important tweet from a friend or family member that might include some news or a cute photograph of my niece or nephew. I’m checking Twitter more often because of Tweet Marker and interacting with other Twitter users more as well.

I don’t think Twitter plans on implementing a Tweet Marker-like feature anytime soon — they seem to have the attitude of “if you’re too behind, just scroll to the top” — which gives me all the more reason to encourage other people to use Tweet Marker and if you’re able to, donate to the service as well. They’re not charing anyone money and the service is free, but if you enjoy it as much as I do and want to continue using it, donating is the best way to ensure that the service will live a long life.