Tweetie 2: a better mousetrap?

Posted: October 16, 2009 in Mac OSX, social networking, software
Tags: , , , ,

I tweet.

Thats no surprise to most I imagine. Check my website, you’ll see a few ways to follow me, or retweet blog entries etc, and as such, i am always on the lookout for the proverbial better mousetrap. Tweetie 2 may just be that elusive device.  Maybe.

I’ve been using a few different Twitter apps over the past year or so, both on the Windows desktop pc, Mac laptop, my Blackberry and most recently my iPhone.  While the jury is still out about which app i like most for the laptop (i switch back and forth between Tweetie and Echofon daily) i had been using Echofon (and Twitterfon before that) on my iPhone since shortly after its release.  That was until i tried Tweetie 2.  There are a large number of apps out there that will get you on Twitter easier than just using the website interface, and most offer good functionality and ease of use, Tweetie does this, and does it in what i like to refer to as the Mac way.  It just works.  Mostly.  But i’ll get to that in a minute.

Tweetie 2 is the latest offering from the people over at atebits, whom i’ve blogged about before, i’m always impressed with their programs and Tweetie continues that.  The way it looks and feels is smooth and polished and seems very much a native Apple app, almost making me forget its a third party program.  So many features have been added into this little inexpensive beauty that i almost don’t know where to begin, so i’ll touch on just a couple of my faves.


Simply go into the search feature (the magnifying glass at the bottom of the screen) and you are presented with the screen below.


Clicking on Nearby, get you a map of where you are and starts to show you little badges for all the people in your vicinity that are tweeting.  (see below) The map is constantly updating so as you zoom in or out and pan around you will see more and more badges appear. clicking on them shows you that persons latest tweet and gives you the option to see their twitter page.  it feels a bit like spying or cyberstalking but you don’t have to allow your location to be used in the app, so anyone shown has already agreed to have their location broadcast.


You can also click on the “list” button on the bottom and it will just show you the latest tweets of the people nearby without the fancy map.

New Tweet:

Every app has this ability, thats no surprise, but the way Tweetie 2 does it takes it one step further than the others, in a way that wasn’t obvious at first, but after you use it you will probably have the same “why doesn’t everyone do this?” moment as i did.  When you are composing your message, there is a countdown of characters left in the lower right corner, aside from being handy to know how verbose you are being, if you click on the number you get a slide up that takes over part of your display where the keyboard was shown.  in this you get the ability to add pictures, grab usernames, shrink your urls, etc. to name a few.  They appear almost as if by magic and are right there where you need them as you type. no need to go looking through menus or option pages etc.  gotta love it.


Now the not so great part…

You may have noticed the app works in landscape and portrait mode, and as much as i like it i find the switch back and forth a bit slow.  i hate to wait. for anything.  How much of this is an app issue and how much is an Apple iPhone issue i’m not sure, but the delay to get back into one mode from the other seems a tad long for my liking.

I’m not one to read manuals, i prefer to try an app and just use it.  With most apps this works, and i figure if its too tough then the developer has a bit more work to do to make it user friendly.  I’m not saying it should be childs play, but an average tech savvy person should be able to figure out 75% of the app without reading a manual first.  To this end it wasn’t obvious to me where all the little items like images and geotags and url shrinking was. I had to resort to reading through the developers website and looking at screenshots.

The app icon.  its grey.  i’m not trying to be picky here, but a grey icon typically makes me think something is wrong or not loaded yet.  Honestly, i expected it to be Twitter cyan in colour, but thats just me.

Uploading a photo.  It seems easy and convienient, but on three attempts all within about 1/2 an hour, i got the same error as shown below.  its nice that Tweetie puts the tweet into your Drafts folder, but as i tweeted earlier, i’d like it to just post properly instead.  I rewrote the tweet, added the photo again.  same problem.  i opened the draft folder and tried to resend it, again, no such luck.  in the end i composed the same message with photo attachment on my MacBook and it posted no problem. (i used Echofon btw)


All in all, i am impressed and glad i bought the app, especially for only $2.99 , and will continue to use it as my iPhone Twitter app of choice.  For now, it IS a better mousetrap, and hopefully remains that way in future versions, but with so many apps out there trying to grab their piece of the Twitter pie, there is bound to be someone else working on the next better mousetrap.  Hopefully Tweetie 2 stays ahead of them.


BLOG POST UPDATE:  I sent a link to the developer to let them know what was being said and allow any feedback, comments etc. and got the reply below…

“Really appreciate it!  And yep, the delay on autorotation is controlled by Apple.  It’s a tradeoff between being too sensitive and rotating when you don’t want it to… and hitting the problem you are seeing.

So it looks like its an Apple Feature and no fault of Tweetie.



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