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Posts tagged with "twitterrific"

Twitter Announces New End-of-Life Date for APIs and Pricing That Affects Third-Party Apps

In April, Twitter delayed a transition to a new API that was expected to have a significant impact on third-party Twitter clients like Twitterrific and Tweetbot. The delay came in the wake of an outcry from users of third-party Twitter clients prompted by developers who banded together to encourage users to complain to Twitter about the API changes that were set to take effect on June 19, 2018. Today, Twitter announced that those changes would go forward on August 16, 2018 – about two months later than originally planned.

Yesterday, in an interview with Sarah Perez of TechCruch, Paul Haddad of Tapbots, the maker Tweetbot, said:

“Twitter has a replacement API that – if we’re given access to – we’ll be able to use to replace almost all of the functionality that they are deprecating,” he explains. “On Mac, the worst case scenario is that we won’t be able to show notifications for Likes and Retweets. Notifications for Tweets, Mentions, Quotes, DMs and Follows will be delayed one to two minutes,” Haddad adds.

He also says that Tweets wouldn’t stream in as they get posted, but instead would come in one to two minutes later as the app would automatically poll for them. (This is the same as how the iOS app works now when connected to LTE – it uses the polling API.)

In addition to announcing transition date, Twitter announced pricing for its new API, and it’s expensive. A subscription covering 100-250 users will cost $2899/month, which works out to over $11 per user for 250 users. Anyone with over 250 users, which would include all the major third-party Twitter clients, is advised to contact Twitter for enterprise pricing. However, the pricing on the API's lower tiers doesn’t leave much room for optimism.

Third-party clients that can’t or don’t want to pay those prices will have to make do without timeline streaming and push notifications for likes and retweets. Other notifications will be delayed approximately 1-2 minutes according to statements by Haddad to TechCrunch.

For its part, Twitter has made it clear, that the functionality of the old APIs will not be coming to the new APIs:

“As a few developers have noticed, there’s no streaming connection capability or home timeline data, which are only used by a small amount of developers (roughly 1% of monthly active apps),” writes Twitter Senior Product Manager, Kyle Weiss, in a blog post. “As we retire aging APIs, we have no plans to add these capabilities to Account Activity API or create a new streaming service for related use cases.”

We contacted The Iconfactory, the maker of Twitterrific, and Tapbots,1 the maker of Tweetbot, to ask about the impact of the API changes on third-party clients and Twitter users. According to Iconfactory developer Craig Hockenberry:

A lot of functionality that users of third-party apps took for granted is going away. That was the motivation for the apps-of-a-feather.com website - to soften the blow of this announcement.

Hockenberry elaborated that The Iconfactory has reached out to Twitter regarding enterprise pricing for the new APIs, but says that he doesn’t anticipate the pricing will be affordable absent a significant discount.

On the one hand, this latest blow to third-party Twitter clients may be something that some users, including me, are willing to tolerate. On the other hand, this is yet another example of third-party client hostility demonstrated by Twitter stretching back at least five years that doesn’t bode well for the long-term viability of those apps. I asked Hockenberry what he thinks the changes mean to third-party Twitter apps. His response:

Long term, I don’t think there will be any apps other than the official one. I also don’t think Twitter realizes that many long-time users, who are highly engaged on the service, are also the people who use third-party apps. These folks will look elsewhere for their social media needs.

Given Twitter’s repeated hostility towards third-party clients, that’s a hard sentiment to argue against and one that gets my attention more than Twitter’s announcement. I can live with the latest changes to Twitter’s API, but if third-party developers conclude that their time and resources are better spent elsewhere, I expect the end of the Twitter I know and use today is closer than I thought.


  1. As of publication of this post, Tapbots has not responded to our inquiry. ↩︎

Twitterrific for Mac and iOS Adds New Muting and Muffling Features, Plus Video

Twitterrific, for iOS and the Mac, has a unique, fine-grained approach to what you see in your Twitter timeline using a combination of muffles and mutes. Muffles are rules that partially hide tweets from your timeline, while mutes hide tweets entirely.

With the update to Twitterrific for Mac and iOS today, The Iconfactory has migrated muffles of users that were set up as mutes to Twitter’s mute system. Mutes can be created from the action menu that’s accessible from any tweet or a user’s profile. With the new system, a mute created in Twitterrific will sync cross-platform to all copies of Twitterrific you use and also register as a mute with Twitter, so muted users’ tweets won’t show up on Twitter.com either. Muting prevents push notifications of a muted user's tweets too.

All other muffle rules are unaffected by the change to mutes, but The Iconfactory has also extended the way muffles work. Any muffle can be applied to everyone in your timeline or just a specific person. For example, you can muffle all retweets, all retweets by a specific person, all retweets of a specific person’s tweets, or all retweets by a specific person of another person’s tweets. You can also muffle quoted tweets, quotes of particular tweets, or mentions of someone. There is a knowledge base article on The Iconfactory’s website that covers all the possibilities.

The Twitterrific update also adds support for video attachments to tweets. Videos must be less than 140 seconds long, but that’s the only limitation. On iOS, videos can be added from your photo library, if you long-press the camera icon, from any file provider, or with the app’s share extension.

The rate of updates to Twitterrific for the Mac and iOS continues to impress me and I love the addition of even more granular controls over my timeline that sync across iOS and macOS. If you haven’t tried Twitterrific in a while, it’s worth a look.

Twitterrific is available on the App Store for iOS and on the Mac App Store.


Twitterrific Adds Multi-Account Features, Follower and Following Lists, and More

Hot on the heels of Twitter’s abandonment of its official Mac client last week, The Iconfactory announced new Twitterrific features and a price reduction.

One of the highlights of the update is enhancements to multi-account support. If you have more than one Twitter account set up in Twitterrific, right clicking on the reply, quote, retweet, or like buttons displays a popup window for choosing which account you want to use for each of those functions. Alternatively, if you are in the middle of composing a reply or quote-tweet, click on your avatar in the compose window to switch the account from which it will be sent.

The Iconfactory has added several other nice refinements too:

  • Lists of a person’s followers and who they follow have been added to user profiles.
  • Avatars now include verified and protected status badges, although this can be turned off in Twitterrific’s settings.
  • There is a setting to turn off tweet streaming, so your timeline can only be refreshed manually.
  • Georgia is a new font alternative in the app’s preferences.

Twitterrific for Mac has come a long way since the commencement of its crowdfunding campaign last winter, and many of the shortcomings of version 1.0 that I highlighted in my review last October have been addressed. It’s fantastic to see Twitterrific continue to grow and evolve, especially now that Twitter has walked away from its Mac app.

To celebrate the one year anniversary of Project Phoenix, the crowdsourced Kickstarter project that relaunched Twitterrific on macOS, the price of the app has been reduced from $19.99 to just $7.99. Twitterrific is available on the Mac App Store.


Twitterrific for iOS Adds Black Theme, Dynamic Type, Temporary Muffles, Poll Support, and More

Twitterrific 5 for iOS was updated today with several new and improved features. My favorite addition is a true black theme that looks striking on the iPhone X. Users that pick the black theme are given a choice between a dark theme that has been modified for ‘greater contrast and clarity’ and the true black theme.

The app’s design has undergone other changes too. Users can pick avatars that are rounded rectangles, circles, squares, or squircles, and text sizes can be adjusted with more granularity thanks to the use of Dynamic Type.

Muffles, which are rules that partially hide tweets from your timeline, can be temporarily disabled now. Previously, the only way to deactivate a Muffle was to delete it.

Twitterrific’s experimental support for polls, which debuted on macOS recently, has been added to the iOS app too. To celebrate the holiday season, The Iconfactory has also added a new icon option: ‘Jolly Ollie,’ which features Twitterrific’s mascot in a Santa hat.

Twitterrific is available on the App Store.


Twitterrific for macOS Adds Poll Support and Other Refinements

The Iconfactory is on a tear with Twitterrific for macOS updates. Version 5.0, the crowdfunded rebirth of the app, launched less than a month ago. A couple of weeks later, Twitterrific 5.1 added muffles and mutes, which we discussed on AppStories this week. Then yesterday, Twitterrific 5.2 dropped, with support for polls and and an enhancement of its user search functionality.

Poll support is notable because third-party developers don’t have access to Twitter’s polling APIs. Instead, users of third-party Twitter clients have had to go to the official Twitter client or the web to vote in polls, which I rarely bothered to do. Lack of API support hasn’t stopped The Iconfactory from implementing a workaround to make polls available to its users though. The feature isn’t perfect, but in my preliminary testing, I’ve been impressed with how well it works.

Twitterrific detects tweets that include polls by looking for clues like whether ‘#poll’ or the graph or ballot box emoji are used. The app also looks at the format of the question posed. If a tweet looks like a poll, Twitterrific displays a button below the text of the tweet. When the poll button is clicked, a popover with a mini-browser opens the poll so you can vote and see the results. If you want to monitor a poll, drag the popover away from your timeline to transform it into a standalone window that will stay put and can be refreshed with the latest results.

Poll creation still requires Twitter’s app or website, which cannot be avoided. Nonetheless, I can already tell that being able to open a poll, vote, and view results all from Twitterrific is going to increase my participation in them. For now, the feature is available on macOS only, but it is under consideration for the iOS app depending on how well it is received by users on the Mac.

Use the Cmd+U keyboard shortcut to search for a Twitter user quickly.

Use the Cmd+U keyboard shortcut to search for a Twitter user quickly.

Twitterrific also added fast user searching via the Cmd+U keyboard shortcut and has improved syncing of your timeline position between iOS and macOS. Next up for both versions of the app is support for Twitter’s new 280-character tweet limit, which, unlike polls, is available to third-party developers.

If you’re interested in trying a new Twitter client, Twitterrific is an excellent choice. The handful of gaps in the macOS version’s original feature set are being addressed rapidly and innovative approaches to things like polls set it apart from its competitors.

Twitterrific 5.2 is available on the Mac App Store.


Twitterrific for macOS Review

For years, Twitterrific for iOS and macOS were developed side-by-side, each matching the other feature for feature. But around 2013, development of the macOS version of Twitterrific slowed, while the iOS version continued to push forward with innovative features like Center Stage, the app’s media browser. Sticking with Twitterrific for macOS meant forgoing features supported by competing Twitter clients and Twitterrific’s iOS version.

With the relaunch of Twitterrific for macOS today, The Iconfactory has begun to change that. Funded by Kickstarter and codenamed Project Phoenix, the relaunched app is a solid 1.0 release that brings Twitterrific as close to parity with its iOS sibling as the two apps have been in years. There are still features that the iOS version of Twitterrific has that the macOS version doesn’t and that I’d like to see added, but for many people who move between Mac and iOS devices each day, today’s release makes Twitterrific a viable option for the first time in a while.

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The Iconfactory Launches ‘Project Phoenix’ Kickstarter: A Twitterrific for Mac Reboot

The histories of Twitter and Twitterrific are closely tied. Twitterrific was the first Twitter client on the Mac in 2007 and later on the iPhone, coined the term ‘tweet,’ beat Twitter to a bluebird icon, and more. Until 2013, Twitterrific for the Mac was developed in tandem with the iOS version, but the pace of iOS’ evolution led The Iconfactory to suspend development of the Mac version.

Today, The Iconfactory unveiled a Kickstarter campaign to reboot Twitterrific for the Mac. The campaign, which seeks to raise a minimum of $75,000 or more with stretch goals, aims to rebuild Twitterrific from the ground up for macOS.

According to The Iconfactory, if its minimum goal is met,

The plan is to build a minimal product within 6 or 7 months that includes the following functionality:

  • Unified home timeline
  • Multiple account support
  • Composing, replying, and quoting tweets
  • Muffles and mutes
  • Streaming
  • Themes
  • Delete and edit your own tweets
  • Sync timeline position with iOS
  • VoiceOver Accessibility
  • Keyboard control
  • Attaching images to tweets
  • Timeline search (text filter/find)
  • Open links to other tweets, profiles and media in your browser

The goal is to build a solid, simple foundation on which The Iconfactory can iterate and eventually match the iOS version’s functionality. That means that not every imaginable feature will be included initially, but based on the list above, most of the core Twitterrific experience will be included if the project is funded. Additional features will be added if funding reaches $100,000 and $125,000. My only quibble with the goals as structured is that direct messages feel like something that should be included in the initial goal, not a stretch goal.

I like Twitterrific for iOS a lot, especially Center Stage, its new media browsing feature. However, as someone who uses a Mac and iOS devices daily, the lack of updates to Twitterrific for Mac has played a significant role in preventing me from considering it as my primary Twitter client. Consequently, I was excited to hear the news about Project Phoenix. I would like to have seen mockups of what The Iconfactory has planned, but even without that, I immediately backed Project Phoenix based on the great work The Iconfactory has done on the iOS version and its other apps.

You can watch the video introducing Project Phoenix, read more about The Iconfactory’s plans, and check out the rewards for each backing level on Project Phoenix’s Kickstarter page.


Twitterrific Adds Redesigned Today View, watchOS 2 App, Refined Profile Pages

Solid update to the Twitter client by The Iconfactory: version 5.14 of Twitterrific brings a redesigned and customizable Today screen to view an activity summary for the selected account (with a counter for quoted tweets, too), better support for 3D Touch to peek at events in the timeline, a watchOS 2 app, and the ability to preview recently shared media in profile pages.

I don't use Twitterrific as my main client – I prefer Tweetbot – but choosing between the two is largely a matter of minor preferences at this point (one of mine: Tweetbot lets me see people who retweeted and faved one of my tweets from the tweet detail view). It's great to see that The Iconfactory is getting rid of many of the old annoyances of Twitterrific: DMs are now excluded from the unified timeline (I criticized this here), the tab bar supports 5 buttons on iPad, where you can also choose to show it at the bottom in portrait (previously, the feature was iPhone-only). Great changes.

Twitterrific 5.14 is available on the App Store.

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Twitterrific Update Brings Early iOS 9 Features

San Francisco, Safari View Controller, and Safari Reader in Twitterrific 5.13.

San Francisco, Safari View Controller, and Safari Reader in Twitterrific 5.13.

The latest version of Twitterrific, released today on the App Store, brings a number of nice improvements such as hashtag autocompletion, better support for Handoff, and some welcome fixes for quoted tweets and the media viewer. What's even nicer is that, if you're running the iOS 9 beta, Twitterrific for iOS 8 already supports Safari View Controller and the San Francisco font thanks to some clever coding by The Iconfactory.

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