Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Looking for iPhone Twitter app reviews?

Twittellator Pro 2.0
Twittelator 2.1
Tweetie 1.3

5 Reasons to use Twittelator Pro 2.1

I have been a longtime Twittelator user, the bought the Pro version 1.0, then moved to Tweetie, then TwitterFon and since the release of Twittelator Pro 2.0 I've removed the other apps from my iPod touch. I twitter a lot and I use lots of links and retweets. I'm a power user so I need certain features only TP can offer.

Now with the release of TP 2.1 there are more reasons to make this my only Twitter iPhone/touch client.

At left you can see my home page. I've replaced Safari with a better browser VanillaSurf. Safari is still the iPhone default browser and this cant be changed.

1. Most Frequent @Friends List

If like me you find yourself sending tweets to the same people, TP 2.1 stores the last 10 names you have tweeted with for quick access. Just scroll to the name, tap the +

2. Most Frequent # list

I also use # hashtags often and its a lot easier to just tap the # icon in the bottom right of the compose screen. Up pops a list of my 10 last used # tags. Just tap + to add one or many. This saves a lot of keystrokes in a day.

3. Working with people

Tap on the tweet avatar on the main screen and open the person's profile, list of friends and followers and at the bottom of the screen you can stop following or add the person as a BOOKMARK. As far as I know this is a unique feature in any Twitter client.

With the BOOKMARK feature you read all the tweets from your favorite people.

Like browser bookmarks, they are readily accessible without having to do a search.

4. Working off line
From the MORE tab at the screen bottom you can access a list of power functions including SAVED. Tap and this gets you to all the tweets you've saved. So before heading out where you wont have wifi or 3G connection or if you simply want to store a list of search results just hold ANY tweet for 2 seconds and up pops a screen asking if you want to SAVE all the tweets in the current display. And you can store many lists.

5. Link shortening

I know, you'll tell me every app has this BUT there are times when you DON'T want to shorten a URL, like then it's your web site and you want your URL name to appear. You have that choice with TP. Tap the SEND button and if a link is present in the tweet you have a choice to send without shortening or shorten and continue editing. TP also lets you choose from 5 different url shortening services (below for a list)

And since you can send URL's from Safari to TP with a one-click bookmarklet in Safari, you'll end up transferring some very long url's

I've only scrathed the surface. TP 2.0 added so may features they are covered in this review.

Twittelator Pro 2.1 has many more features but I wanted to show you the 5 I use the most. Here is a list of the new 2.1 features.

V 2.1 Features:

Save any set of tweets for later viewing offline

- Shrink Tweet and URLs while composing
- Added MobyPicture as another Photo service (also twitpic, pikchur, yfrog)
- You are notified when photo uploads & given choice of alternate if it fails
- Ability to copy link to any tweet (shorter than retweet!)
- Automatically learns the hashtags you use for later reuse by tapping '#' button in compose window
- Automatically adds the last replied-to people to the top of the Friends' picker & Sub Group picker
- Added fifth URL shortenener: tinyarro.ws (also piurl, tinyurl, href.in & is.gd)
- Instapaper adds link to the tweet link came from
- Choose from 3 retweet styles including via

- shortcut: Tap time field to reply (or dm if dm) to tweeter
- Option: display just screennames in tweets
- Option: large font size
- Option: autorefresh interval can be set
- Raven and Dove themes much better
- See any user's recent replies
- Incomplete links beginning with www are now hot too
- Scroll region to right of name without bringing up choices

- Option: Turn off warning dialogs when something goes wrong

- Stuck badge counts fixed
- You can insert @friends from picker anywhere
- Subgroups can be loaded through the Server (although use on small groups only)
- Nearby searches load as many tweets as you desire
- Tap to page up and double-tap to go to top working smoothly now
- Configuring new items on the tab bar won't cause anomalies
- Placenames use your city, state and zip now if available
- Adding image updates character count (about 25 chars for image url)
- if too many users in tweet, inspect user dialog cancel didn't work
- Drafts restored in reply and private as well as new tweet
- #hash tags followed by " didn't work
- inserting Dingbats in middle of tweet retains position of cursor
- Misc on main bar: Search is reloaded on launch & refresh all

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tweetie 1.3c reviewed

If you linked here for the Twittelator 2 review click here

Just prior to the release of Twittelator Pro v2, Tweetie, perhaps the most popular iPhone twitter app, released v1.3 and here I review whats new in the release. For my Twittelator v2 review click here and for a photo overview click here.

Tweetie is a great Twitter client and at $2.99 is a bargain. I think it still lacks many of the advanced features of Twittelator Pro 2.0 but none the less its an easy to use, nice GUI and very useable app.

Lets look at the new features and some not so new but powerful.

This is the same view of an opened tweet. You can tap on the user name to open their profile (later), tap on the link or at the bottom tap on several action buttons.

When you tap the arrow bottom left of the screen you open this action window. what Tweetie does nicely is add a "Post Link" feature. So you can compose full 140 character tweet and provide a link to this tweet. Rather than Retweet this can be useful if you want to add comments but in a RT might not have room.

When you repost someone else's link Tweetie is gracious enough to add that person's @name in the new tweet.

When you tap on a link in an opened tweet you open this action screen. You can post a link to this URL in a new post or add the URL to your Instapaper account for later reading. Tweeite was the first to incorporate InstaPaper. Its a great product and its free on the App Store.

When you tap the user name in the open tweet you come to one of Tweetie's strengths. The user profile makes it easy to follow this user, view who he/she follows, direct a message to them, view their recent tweets and a new feature the ability to BLOCK the user. Other apps require you go to twitter.com to block and unblock users.

To change settings for Tweetie unlike Twittelator, you have to exit Tweetie, go to iPhone Settings and iun the Applications list find Tweetie.

Up to now Tweetie came with two themes- the useless bubble chat unless you are a teenager or simple white screen. They now offer a dark background.

You can modify the theme font. Also like Twittelator you can display the tweeter's tweet name or the name they use in their profile, often their real name.

Under Settings Advanced you can choose to add additional accounts, sound effects and landscape compose as well as the initial number of tweets to load. All these settings are in the main Twittelator app avoiding havving to exit to make there changes. I find Twittelator more convenient for customization.

Under Experimental you find this screen. I'm not sure what they do but if you shouldn't abuse tem its not something I'm likely to need. I also dont belive is anonymous tweeting if thats the attemp here.

Bottom line Tweetie 1.3 is a nice product, affordably priced at $2.99, easy to use, nice looking, had added some minor enhancement in 1.3 which will be welcomed by Tweetie users.

I still rank Twittelator Pro v2 as the best product despite it's $4.99 price if you are a power user.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Twittelator Pro 2.0- the Swiss Army knife for serious tweeters

I have been a tweeter for 4 months now and on the iPhone have used all the tweeter apps available. I tweet lot. Over 7,000 so far.

My first paid app was upgrading from Twittelator Free to the Pro version. I was a Tweetie junkie for a while then switched to TwitterFon and now have switched back to Twittelator Pro with the release of a very impressive 2.0.

I have just finished 2 weeks of beta testing on Andrew Stone's Twittelator Pro v2.0. We piled through over 15 beta releases until he had a very solid product chock full of amazing features you wont find anywhere else. (Disclaimer: I don't have any part in Twittelator, I paid full price and receive no compensation).

Here's my top 22! To see screen shots click here

Remember Twittelator Pro 2.0 has many more features but these are the power features that make it better than competition and worth the price of $4.99

1. Copy and paste
Save key strokes. Copy a tweet, compose a new message and paste it into the compose area. You can also just copy a URL from one tweet and paste it into a new tweet. That can save you dozens of key stokes.

2. $stocks search
Are you a stock junkie or @stocktwits follower. You can create a list of favorite $Stock symbols and save them. You can have multiple stock symbols like $AAPL OR $MSFT

3. Subgroups
Follow a 1,000 people but sometimes only want to see tweets from 10-30? Create a subgroup of most important friends or a subgroup of people who share a similar interest

4. Advanced Search
Not just a simple word search. You can refine your search using EXACT, ALL words, NONE or ANY. You can search for tweeters in the TO FROM line or search on #tags. You can narrow your serch by date range, location(Nearby or miles from you) and search for numbers, positive, negative. you can search for terms in a URL.

5. See twit pics in line
When the tweet has a tweetpic attached you can see a mini version of it right in the tweet just like an avatar display

6. Instapaper
Tweetie had InstaPaper support first and TP 2.0 adds this incredible feature. I use Twitter to find news. When I find something of interest I tap the tweet, tap Add to InstaPaper and I can read it later from my iPhone InstaPaper application

7. recent used # list and @Friends replied to list
How many times to you send tweets to the same person or add a # to many tweets. The last 20 twitters you have composed tweets to and the last 20 #tags you have used are remembered in 2.0. Just tap, pick from the list and it saves you those keystrokes. (Note this is a 2.01 feature)

7. Bookmarks and Recents friends lists
Sometimes there are just too many tweets to read, so to quickly see what my favorite twitters are posting I add them to a bookmark list. Then I can see full screen all there recent tweets.

8. Customizable toolbar
You can add the icons you want to the toolbar. I have FRIENDS REPLIES STOCKS and MISC. More on the latter two later.

9. MISC tab remember last search
I keep the MISC icon on the toolbar so that I can swap between my FRIENDS tweets and my last search which might be my favorite STOCKS

10. Landscape message compose
For those who can tap with two fingers there is a landscape compose mode

11. Dingbats
I like to add dingbats to my tweets from time to time and there is a whole pile of them in 2.0. Its been a standard feature of TP all along.

12. Email link
Not all my friends are on Twitter so I can email then any tweet. Tweetie also offers this feature.

13. Copy link from web page view
If I am viewing a web page in 2.0 with one tap I can copy the URL and its available to paste into a new tweet.

14. Three (3) themes
I can change the look of TP 2.0 in one of three ways- White, Black or Grey background for day time or night viewing.

15. Choice of link shortening services (4)
TP 2.0 offers a choice of 4 different services to shorten URLs

16. Choice of photo service (3)
An a choice of 3 different solutions to upload photos to, not only TwitPic which can be unavailable from time to time

17. HELP and LOG

18. Full screen avatar
When you can't quite make out the features in the tiny avatar TP 2.0 will let you see it full screen with a double tap.

19. Easy to follow conversations
If the tweet is part of a conversation thread tap the bubble on the tweet time to load the full convo. And the tweet time is in minutes old which is preferable to the Tweetie standard time. (e.g. 16 minutes as opposed to Wed 3/11 8:05AM)

20. Play Song.ly MP3's
A feature I have not used yet but one that sounds good

21. INSTANT retweet
Do you RT a lot. Tap the tweeters name, tap Retweet. Done!

22. Multiple Language Support
If you need to use any of the other language keyboards supported by Apple you can change keyboards from within TP 2.0.

Other features you'd expect (or might not)

Multiple Accounts
Fast retrieval
Very stable
Unread Message count adjusts as you scroll through them
Remembers last tweet read when you reload
Displays tweeter name that is listed in tweeter profile- not screen name
Scroll to top by double tap top bar
Scroll page down by double tap last tweet visible
Autorefresh (selectable in Settings)
Ability to instantly delete your own sent tweet
Shorten URLS but only if you want to. Its not forced on you
Upload Hi-Rez photos to pic services (optional setting)
Follow and Unfollow people from their profile page
Send DM from profile page
Twittelator Pro knows if person is following you in case of attempting DM
Location- user selectable if you want tweeters to know where you are

Best of all Andrew never stands still and is adding features to 2.0 as we speak. Expect the @ and # lists in 2.01 very soon.

V2.0 has built in help and if something goes wrong there is a LOG file to help diagnose issues.

In summary: This is a full featured Twitter app for serious twitter users. While anyone can use it because of the intuitive GUI power users will fall in love with the workflow possibilities. That's why its $4.99 and not $1.99. To see screen shots click here

Here are some Twittelator Pro 2.0 screen shots

The main screen, shown here with the Raven, Dove and Gradient themes is clean and crisp. At the bottom you see the toolbar which you can customize. Unread tweets are clearly counted

Composing a new tweet in the new landscape mode (tilt iPhone). You can add your location (pin), a pic, or paste previously copied information into the tweet. Other icons like # and the dingbats explained below. See the @friends button top right? This will open a list of your friends that you can click to add to a new tweet.

Here is the Friends list opened. Scroll to the name then click to add.

Want to add a few # hashtags to your tweet. Tap the # in the bottom right of the compose window to open a list of the last 20 #tags you have used. Tap them to add.

Tap on any tweet title you receive and this screen opens with multiple choices on how to treat the tweet. This screen shows what you'd see if you tapped on on of your own tweets. Here you have a DELETE button to kill one of your own tweets.

If you have an Instapaper account you'll see an Instapaper button.

If the tweet contains links tap the paperclip icon on the tweet and you have multiple choices for how to treat the link.

If more than one @name is mentioned in a tweet tap the avatar to open this screen to go to the profile of anyone named in the tweet.

When you tap on an @name you get a complete profile of the tweeter. You can view their tweets, add this person to your favorite list of tweeters (star), bookmark the person to add to your bookmarked list of tweeters, reply to or DM the person. From this screen you can follow and unfollow someone or fiew their followers profiles.

Double tap on the avatar and you will see a ful screen of the avatar.

That paperclip icon on top of your tweet can be tapped to open the list of links or #tags allowing you to search or list them.

See the bubble on top of the time stamp for the tweet? Tap it and follow the conversation. This is an example conversation thread.

Are you an @stocktwits fan? Enter stock symbols in STOCKS and have a quick search list of your stocks.

Want to see a twit pic in line instead of having to click on the twitpic URL? Here it is.

Spruce up your tweets with dingbats.

I love the BOOKMARKS tab. I can bookmark and track all the tweets from my favorite friends

And if you want to find tweets the Advanced SEARCH function cant be touched by other programs

To get the most out of TP 2.0 there is extensive HELP available from the SETTINGS tab.

And finally multiple language support. If you have other keyboards selected in the iPhone General settings you will see a small globe next to the space key. Tap it to cycle through languages. Here I have French.

And here is Kanji in landscape mode

Disclaimer: I have no idea what I've typed there so apologies if it offends.