Plex Gets iOS 7 Update
My Must-Have iPad Apps, 2013 Edition
Reeder 2.1 Released with Themes, Reading List Support, Fixes
Tweetbot 3.2 Brings Night Theme, Account Reordering and Quick Switching
Tweetbot for iPhone may have grown up, but it hasn’t forgotten about the features and design decisions that made it a powerful and popular Twitter client among iOS users for the past two years. Tweetbot 3.1, available today on the App Store, improves upon last month’s major release by bringing back some old features of Tweetbot 2.x and introducing new ones, always taking advantage of iOS 7’s design and structure in interesting ways. (more…)
In Tweetbot 3, Tapbots removed the ability to post tweets longer than 140 characters using built-in services for text upload. While I understand that it wasn’t one of Tweetbot’s most used features, its removal got me thinking: would it be possible to replicate the feature using Dropbox and plain text files in an automated iOS workflow? I came up with a solution that requires Launch Center Pro and Drafts, and I’m quite happy with it.
Tweetbot is, by far, the iPhone app that I use the most on a daily basis. It’s not just that I keep Twitter open essentially all day to check for news, talk to friends, or post GIFs: since I got the first beta of the original Tweetbot three years ago, the app has become so ingrained in my workflow that I wouldn’t be able to switch back to any other client that doesn’t have the same capabilities. What started as a moderately advanced take on Twitter clients by Tapbots has evolved with time into a powerful app that spans three platforms and that comes with dozens of unique features and a solid engine that, for me, has no equal. I don’t say it lightly: because of Tweetbot’s feature set, I have been able to reliably communicate with other people (via DM or Mentions), reference tweets for articles, or build complex workflows that have allowed me to be more efficient, faster, and generally happier with Twitter.
That’s why I take major changes to Tweetbot’s overall structure and design, such as Tweetbot 3 for iOS 7, very seriously. Tweetbot 3, released today as a new app sold at $2.99 on the App Store (launch sale), is many things at once: it’s Tapbots’ first foray into the iOS 7 design aesthetic, which marks a radical departure from the small studio’s former visual style; it’s a profound reimagination of Tweetbot’s looks, animations, and sounds, which had gone largely unchanged since 2011; and it’s a confirmation of Tweetbot’s existing feature set with changes aimed at further enhancing the app’s functionality and making room for future additions. It’s iPhone-only, with a new version for iPad coming next.
I have been using Tweetbot 3 every day on my iPhone 5 for the past couple of months. I think that I have a good understanding of the decisions behind the app’s redesign, feature changes, and complete embrace of iOS 7’s visual and hierarchical approach to building interfaces. With version 3.0, Tweetbot, the robotic toy for your Twitter stream, eschews its mechanical roots and graduates to a modern, fluid, and fun assistant that, in the process, is still Tweetbot. I wouldn’t be able to go back to the old Tweetbot now, but I also think that getting used to the new app will take some time. (more…)
Following the 2.8 update released on iOS in April, Tapbots today updated Tweetbot for Mac to version 1.3, which adds various tweaks to the interface as well as the media timeline that debuted on the iPhone and iPad.
To access the new media timeline, which provides an inline media view of all timelines in Tweetbot, you can hit ⌘F and click on the icon next to the search bar, or, alternatively, choose View > Media Timeline (⌥⌘M with the keyboard). The media timeline retains the same functionality and design that Tapbots first brought to the iPhone; to switch back to the default timeline, you can click another icon next to the search bar or go to View > Default Timeline (⌥⌘T).
Complying with Twitter’s new display guidelines, the tweet detail view now comes with retweet and favorite counters — again, implemented just like in Tweetbot for iOS. And alongside a series of bug fixes and improvements, Tweetbot 1.3 brings a welcome enhancement to profile views: besides Cover Image support, you can now double-click the titlebar on a profile to scroll back to the top. Double-clicking again will scroll a profile’s timeline to the top as well.
Tweetbot for Mac 1.3 is available now on the Mac App Store.
Sean Korzdorfer shares a Tweetbot tip that I didn’t know about: you can construct complex searches with boolean operators and filters and launch them with a URL scheme, both on OS X and iOS. And not just regular searches — you can apply a query to look for specific keywords inside a Tweetbot search.
Basically, Sean is using Tweetbot searches to replace RSS feeds. By saving searches that filter out RTs, mentions, and tweets in foreign languages, he receives a stream of tweets containing links from a specific set of users. Sean has turned his searches into Alfred workflows for Tweetbot on the Mac, and I thought I could do the same on iOS.
Sure enough, here’s a Launch Center Pro action to launch a Tweetbot search for links (no RTs, no mentions) from users I care about:
And here it is decoded for reading purposes:
tweetbot:///search?query=from:macrumors OR from:verge OR from:daringfireball OR from:polygonall OR from:kotaku OR from:macdrifter_feed OR from:reneritchie OR from:mattalexand OR from:nateboateng OR from:dujkan OR from:markgurman OR from:panzer filter:links -filter:mentions -filter:retweets lang:en [prompt]
The URL action ends with a
[prompt] for Launch Center Pro, but that can also be a
[[draft]] for Drafts. You’re not forced to launch the search URL with a keyword — if you don’t enter anything in the prompt, Tweetbot will display all links from the search (which is why you probably don’t want to use Drafts for this, as it can’t launch an action from an empty draft). Also, you can see that the first portion of the URL isn’t percent-encoded, but the one after the
query parameter is. For this, Launch Center Pro’s encode/decode actions can come in handy.
I am subscribed to a series of Twitter lists to discover interesting links on a daily basis, but these complex searches have the advantage of filtering out RTs and mentions, providing a cleaner, links-only experience.
Ever since its original release two years ago, I’ve always wished Tweetbot could provide filters to separate the standard timeline from a “media” one containing pictures and videos. After the launch of Twitter’s own photo service and rise in popularity of services like Instagram, usage of pictures – either photos or screenshots – among the people I follow has skyrocketed. Apps like TweetGlass (nèe Quip) succesfully explored the concept of letting users browse “media updates” in a dedicated feed, so why not Tweetbot?
The latest version of Tapbots’ client, available today, does just that: it adds a media timeline to show only supported images and video tweets (the ones that you’d normally see displayed inline as thumbnails). (more…)
Last night, Tweetbot for iOS was updated with support for the Twitter 1.1 API, which, among various requirements, includes the need of linking a tweet’s timestamp – the date and time when it was sent – to its unique URL on twitter.com. In Tweetbot, you can now open the tweet detail view and tap on the timestamp to automatically open the Twitter website in your default browser; in terms of interaction, I like this change because it lets me open tweets in Google Chrome with just one tap.
In thinking about the update last night, I realized that:
- My team and I use iMessage for daily communication;
- The majority of URLs we share are Twitter URLs;
- We all use Tweetbot on iOS and OS X;
- Easier browser access means easier bookmarklet triggering;
- Drafts can access iMessage.
And I concluded that:
- I could chain every piece of the puzzle together;
- Hopefully somebody else will find it useful and adapt the workflow to other similar scenarios.
Therefore, I created a browser bookmarklet, a Python script, and a Drafts action to automate the entire process and demonstrate how you can convert Twitter URLs to
tweetbot:// URLs and send text from Pythonista to Drafts.
As usual, I am posting the following workflow as a proof of concept that you can modify and adapt to your needs. For instance, you can change the action that is triggered in Drafts, the x-success parameter that will be triggered, or the way Twitter links are converted to Tweetbot-specific URLs.
Tweetbot for Mac, Tapbots’ Twitter client that I first reviewed in October 2012, has been updated today to version 1.2, which is available on the Mac App Store. Among the notable features of this new version, Tapbots is introducing notifications for specific users, support for inline Flickr and Vine previews, and compliance with the Twitter 1.1 API. (more…)