Saturday, 29 October 2011

Twitterlator Neue for iPhone review

Welcome to my new review. In this case, I will have a look to another twitter app that has been recently relaunched as Twitterlator Neue. I have to say that the app has been rebuild from the scratch with an amazing user interface, that feels so delicate and fluid that you will even touch the screen like if your iPhone is a precious object.


Let's have a look what the Neue brings to the app.



Setup

Starting from the setup screen, Twitterlator has a nice setup wizard where you will add your account and you are even given the option to follow the developers. It can also handle multiple twitter accounts. The only thing I miss here is integration with the iOS5 twitter account handling.







Main view


The main view has something that makes it really special: the way the image previews are shown. As you can see in the screenshots below, there is a horizontal "thumbnail" view that you can tap to expand and get a full screen view. Really ingenious way never seen before in other apps. To refresh your timeline, just pull down. One thing I miss here is autorefresh when the app starts. I have to pull down every time I start the app to load new tweets.

In the lower part of the screen there is a toolbar to change between views: profile, direct messaging, your timeline, mentions and others. The toolbar will show a small blue spot on the mentions or direct message icon whenever you are mentioned/direct messaged. This bar autohides intelligently whenever you scroll and you can bring it back again whenever you need it. You can use the swipe left or right to move between views.



Twitterlator Neue will not load all the tweets at once, but only a certain amount (I cannot really say how many) and it will show a broken paper area where you can tap to load more tweets. Nice user interface again.


From the timeline view you can access the tweet handling menu by tapping and holding your finger on a tweet. A popup menu will appear to reply, retweet, star, clip (sent it for instance to Instapaper) or access other options (copy, email, translate, post to Facebook).



Tweet details

And now, let's have a look at the tweet details. You get in the lower half of the screen a preview of the picture or link that the tweet contains. You can scroll between several links or pictures by swiping to the sides. And if you want to see it the link/picture in full screen just swipe up, and swipe down to go back to the tweet details.

Under the tweet text you have the same bar that you get on the main view by tapping and holding on the tweet. You can access also the user profile details by tapping on the username. Tweet conversations are also shown under the tweet details.




Tweeting

The composing screen is beautiful. It emulates a small paper and it contains everything you would expect. Whenever you type @ you will get an autocomplete list where you get not only the username, but the full name and the joint date. You can also easily attach a picture or your location by using the location and camera icons. If you cancel the writing, you will be asked to save the tweet as draft or discard it.





Answering tweets


When answering tweets you have a button that will hide the keyboard and show the conversation thread. Cool feature.



User detailss

From the user detail view you can access the followers and following lists, the tweets and the favorites for that user. You can also see their lists and of course follow/unfollow. There is also information of whether the user follows you or not on the bottom of the profile.  Really a complete range of options very well integrated.


Access the mentions to that user by pressing the @ icon, and by pressing the bottom right button create a shortcut to it accessible through the More menu that we will see later.



Direct messaging

I really like the distinction for direct message inbox is the air mail envelop theme on the search bar. Very original. You can also access the list of sent and received messages instead of conversation threads by pressing the "All Messages" button.




Mentions

Mentions view behaves exactly the same as the main tweet view.



Own profiles

From Twitterlator itself you can access your accounts, edit name, location, website, description and even your avatar. Again all possible profile actions. You can also add new accounts in case you haven't set them up the first time you run the app.




More


The More menu includes the search and trends option, the draft managements, own list management, retweets (own, your tweets retweeted) and timeline shortcuts previously mentioned.






Settings

Twitterlator Neue includes in app settings. From photo options, general settings, compose and services. There is not much options to configure the user interface, like font size, colors, etc., but I guess the idea is not to destroy the user interface consistency.




Conclusion

So what is my final conclusion about the app? Well, user interface is really nice but I find it weak when it comes to tweet loading. For instance, I have had found sometimes a gap between tweets (for instance 4 hours gap) but the app does not show the option to load the tweets in between. Other times I need to refresh the timeline twice in order to get it recognize mentions and show the blue spot on the toolbar. And something quite annoying: the app will not refresh the time when it is opened, but you have to refresh always manually.

A summary of what I like/dislike

I like

  • User interface in general
  • Image and link previews
  • Fast and smooth interface
  • Attention to details


I don't like

  • Problems with tweet handling
  • No autorefresh when app starts
  • No integration with ios5 twitter account management
  • The round corners

I hope developers polish these small issues soon so this could become my first twitter app option.

If you are already convinced that this app is for you, click here to buy it at the AppStore. It is only 1.59€ (1.99$).

Enjoy!

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