With an update launching today on the App Store, Tweetbot is adding the ability to filter timelines – any timeline within the app – by specific types of content.
Posts tagged with "tweetbot"
Picture this: it's WWDC keynote day and you're following the event. You want to live tweet as the event unfolds. What do you do?
The answer is that, so far, Twitter the company has mostly failed to provide users with ways to rapidly tweet commentary and have tweets intelligently grouped together once an event is over. Sure, you could append the same hashtag to every tweet, "tagging it" for context, but that wouldn't fix the underlying problem of a bunch of messages related to the same event and yet treated as atomic units with no relationship between them.
Thus Twitter the community came up with the idea of the tweetstorm, a clever workaround based on how Twitter threads work. If you want to post multiple tweets in a row and establish a thread between them from start to finish, reply to your own tweet, removing your username at the beginning of the message, and you'll "fake" a series of topical tweets which Twitter sees as part of a conversation...with yourself. It's not the most elegant solution, and it doesn't work well for rapid fire live tweeting, but it sort of works and a lot of people use it by now.
Tweetbot, the excellent Twitter client developed by Tapbots which relaunched with version 4.0 in October, is introducing an update today that fully embraces the concept of tweetstorms with a feature called "topics".
Topics simplify the process of chaining tweets together with an intuitive interface that makes it look like Twitter rolled out support for topics. Under the hood, Tapbots is still leveraging the aforementioned @reply workaround, but they've been clever enough to completely abstract that from the UI, building what is, quite possibly, one of the most ingenious Tweetbot features to date.
The latest version of Tweetbot for iOS has upgraded its iCloud syncing engine to CloudKit, bringing faster performance for timeline, DM, and mute filter sync. From the release notes:
This update is all about sync. We've switched our syncing engine to use CloudKit which will provide you with faster, more consistent syncing between your iOS devices and Macs. It also sets up a foundation for some cool features we have planned for future releases. We know improved syncing doesn't sound too exciting, but it will provide a better underlying experience.
From a user's perspective, nothing's changed – Tweetbot still uses iCloud and you don't have to change anything in your preferences. However, Tweetbot is now using a better version of iCloud, with near-instant sync of changes between devices.
I've been running this version of Tweetbot with CloudKit sync for a few weeks, and it's a very nice upgrade from the old iCloud sync. I've often left two devices running with Tweetbot in the foreground at the same time, and I've seen the timeline scroll on one device just a second after I stopped scrolling on the primary device. It's impressive.
Well, that was fast.
Thanks to a workaround by Paul Haddad, you can now dismiss Safari View Controller with swipe from anywhere along the left edge of the screen – on both the iPhone and iPad. The gesture works surprisingly well despite its non-standard behavior, and it fixes one major annoyance of Safari View Controller on iOS 9.
I hope that more apps consider this, as it combines the comfort of Tweetbot's old web view with the benefits of Safari View Controller.
Update: Also in this release, you can set Safari View Controller to open in Safari Reader mode automatically for every webpage (if Reader is available). I previously wrote about the feature here, and it works well for Tweetbot if you primarily open articles to read in-app. Very nice.
Released earlier this month, Tweetbot 4 marked an important comeback for Tapbots. After years of stagnation, the iPad app received a fantastic update with a new design and column view, while the iPhone app continued refining the foundation of Tweetbot 3 with power user features and various visual tweaks.
Among changes, however, Tweetbot 4 didn't launch with 3D Touch integration on the iPhone 6s – a choice motivated by developed Paul Haddad with an understandable desire to test the new input method on an actual device first. Today, Tapbots has released Tweetbot 4.0.1, which brings support for 3D Touch in the form of Home screen shortcuts and peek & pop gestures inside the app.
Today, Tweetbot for Mac has been updated to version 2.1, which brings the same Activity page seen in Tweetbot 4 for iOS, better support for quoted tweets, in-app video playback, and several other improvements. Notably, you can now view images shared in Direct Messages (you'll still have to share them from the official Twitter app, though), the search popover for users has been simplified, and you can now select and define words in tweet detail views. A good update for Mac users, with some welcome parity with the iOS version.
As I reminisced last year in my look at the state of Twitter clients, iOS apps for Twitter are no longer the welcoming, crowded design playground they once were. Developing a Twitter client used to be an exercise in taste and restraint – a test for designers and developers who sought to combine the complex networking of Twitter with a minimalist, nimble approach best suited for a smartphone. Twitter reclaimed their keys to the playground when they began offering "guidance" on the "best opportunities" available to third-party developers. Four years into that shift, no major change appears to be in sight.
For this reason, I'd argue that while the iPhone witnessed the rise of dozens of great Twitter clients in their heyday, the iPad's 2010 debut played against its chances to receive an equal number of Twitter apps specifically and tastefully designed for the device. Less than a year after the original iPad's launch (and the Tweetie acquisition), Twitter advised developers to stop building clients that replicated the core Twitter experience; a year later, they started enforcing the 100,000-token limit that drove some developers out of business. Not exactly the best conditions to create a Twitter client for a brand new platform.
Largely because of the economic realities of Twitter clients, few developers ever invested in a Twitter app for iPad that wasn't a cost-effective adaptation of its iPhone counterpart. Many took the easy route, scaling up their iPhone interfaces to fit a larger screen with no meaningful alteration to take advantage of new possibilities. Functionally, that was mostly okay, and to this day some very good Twitter apps for iPad still resemble their iPhone versions. And yet, I've always felt like most companies had ever nailed Twitter clients for a 10-inch multitouch display.
With two exceptions. The original Twitter for iPad, developed by Tweetie creator and pull-to-refresh inventor Loren Brichter, showed a company at the top of their iOS game, with a unique reinterpretation of Twitter for the iPad's canvas. The app employed swipes and taps for material interactions that treated the timeline as a stack of cards, with panels you could open and move around to peek at different sets of information. I was in love with the app, and I still think it goes down in software history as one of the finest examples of iPad app design. Until Twitter ruined it and sucked all the genius out of it, the original Twitter for iPad was a true iPad app.
And then came Tweetbot. While Twitter stalled innovation in their iPad app, Tapbots doubled down and brought everything that power users appreciated in Tweetbot for iPhone and reimagined it for the iPad. The result was a powerful Twitter client that wasn't afraid to experiment with the big screen: Tweetbot for iPad featured a flexible sidebar for different orientations, tabs in profile views, popovers, and other thoughtful touches that showed how an iPhone client could be reshaped in the transition to the tablet. Tapbots could have done more, but Tweetbot for iPad raised the bar for Twitter clients for iPad in early 2012.
Three years later, that bar's still there, a bit dusty and lonely, pondering a sad state of affairs. Tweetbot is no longer the champion of Twitter clients for iPad, having skipped an entire generation of iOS design and new Twitter features. Tweetbot for iPad is, effectively, two years behind other apps on iOS, which, due to how things turned out at Twitter, haven't been able to do much anyway. On the other hand, Twitter for iPad – long ignored by the company – has emerged again with a stretched-up iPhone layout presented in the name of "consistency". It's a grim landscape, devoid of the excitement and curiosity that surrounded Twitter clients five years ago.
Tweetbot 4 wants to bring that excitement back. Long overdue and launching today on the App Store at $4.99 (regular price will be $9.99), Tweetbot 4 is a Universal app that builds upon the foundation of Tweetbot 3 for iPhone with several refinements and welcome additions.
In the process, Tweetbot 4 offers a dramatic overhaul of the iPad app, bringing a new vision for a Twitter client that's unlike anything I've tried on the iPad before.
For at least five years there have been three slots on my iPhone Home screen dedicated to apps for Twitter, RSS, and podcasts. For as long as I can remember, they have been taken up by Tweetbot, Reeder and Castro. Three weeks ago I got rid of all three, and replaced them with Twitteriffic, Unread, and Pocket Casts. I had come to the awkward realisation that although I frequently tried new apps (and occasionally reviewed them), I didn't do the same thing when it came to Twitter, RSS, and podcast apps – at all. I had become too comfortable with the same apps.
So for three weeks I've been solely using those apps, and this "experiment" has lead to a few interesting revelations to me. Perhaps the most obvious one was that I discovered certain features I really liked, but had no idea I liked, until they were missing in the app I switched to (and vice versa). I won't spoil the results, but suffice to say I have resolved to try new apps (whatever their purpose) more frequently, even if I'm really happy with the app I'm currently using.
An update to Tweetbot released last Friday has introduced support for Twitter's new 'quote' feature, which allows to add comments to tweets without wasting text and while still embedding the original message with a nice preview.
The feature, first launched by Twitter in its iPhone app last month, allows Tweetbot users to quote tweets by adding their comments before a twitter.com URL. When a tweet is sent in Quote mode, the comments will be displayed on top of the original tweet, which will be shown as an inline preview that carries the original user's profile name, username, a truncated version of the tweet, and any included Twitter photo. This is closely modeled after Twitter's own quote style, which also embeds tweets with text and images.
Version 3.6 of Tweetbot with the new quote feature is available on the App Store. Twitterrific, iOS' other popular third-party Twitter client by The Iconfactory, hasn't been updated with support for quoted tweets yet, but, considering the addition in Tweetbot, I hope it'll follow soon with its own take on the functionality.