I know it has been ages since I posted, but what can you do? Anyway, this made me laugh from John Martz on Flickr.
Tweetie and Twitterfon are both iPhone Twitter clients with a large following. A mac version of Tweetie has recently been released, and it was this which prompted me to try out the iPhone version. I had previously been using Twitterfon, but decided to give Tweetie a bash. The following is a collection of my thoughts on both apps.
Twitterfon is a free application which includes a number of nice features. It allows the user to update their location when they post a tweet using the iPhone’s built in location service. It also allows for photos to be uploaded via Twitpic, and has a built in web browser allowing links to be followed from within the app.
Other nice features include the ability to search for tweets near to your current location, automatic URL shortening and the ability to browse current hot trends.
All in all, Twitterfon is an application with a good set of features, but for me at least it is let down by its performance. It has only crashed a few times, but more frustrating is the process of following a link from a tweet. It usually takes a number of taps before it responds, and I sometimes find myself repeatedly hammering at the link button for what seems like ages. This is deeply frustrating, and really sours the whole experience for me.
Tweetie costs £1.79 – this is clearly £1.79 more than Twitterfon, but it does add a few features which make it worth the money. First is the ability to manage multiple Twitter accounts. Useful if you have (for example) a business account and a personal account. It includes all of the functionality of Twitterfon – you can search for nearby tweets, update your location, post to Twitpic (as well as yFrog of Mobypicture) and post shortened links.
The two big wins for Tweetie are integration with Instapaper ((Instapaper is an awesome little utility which allows you to save web pages for later veiwing. Perfect for a long article which you want to read later.)), and general stability. Taps are all registered correctly, and a small visual cue is given to show that it has happened – something which I feel is lacking in Twitterfon. In addition Tweetie has a few extras which make it easier to use Twitter – you can search for a user and view their profile, and you can view your own profile. This may not seem important, but in Twitterfon you need to search for a tweet which includes your username, and then follow a link from there (which can get annoying when the links aren’t responding to your taps).
I guess you might have worked out by this point that I prefer Tweetie. It offers all of the features which I have come to expect from using Twitterfon and adds a few more. It seems more stable and responsive, and as a bonus I much prefer the ‘simple’ Tweetie skin (which can also be changed to ‘dark’ or ‘chat bubbles’) to the Twitterfon interface. In addition, Instapaper integration is an excellent feature.
All in all I would say that Tweetie is money well spent, and the value it adds over Twitterfon is worth the £1.79 cost.
The third incarnation of the MacHeist bundle has reached its final unlock level, meaning that all applications are now available.
MacHeist has caused much discussion on the web, sparked mainly by the controversy surrounding the first version (in late 2006). The issue many indie developers ((For example Gus Mueller of Flying Meat Software)) had at the time was the flat payment model (developers were paid a flat rate regardless of the number of licenses sold). This was addressed in version 2, and devs were paid per license. In addition, MacHeist has been donating 25% of each sale to charity. You might say that they could be giving away more, but I think that it is pretty generous (there is no obligation for them to be giving any of their revenue away).
Smoking apples has a good rundown of “Why it’s okay to buy the MacHeist bundle”, the key point for me being that developers are getting an awful lot of licenses sold (in difficult economic times) and a lot of publicity. M Cubed software participated in the Mac Bundle Box promotion a short while ago, and they point out that a large amount of revenue was generated for only a small increase in support load. This is a decision that each developer has taken freely, they are not stupid, they were not tricked into it and they knew what they were getting – a sentiment echoed by John Gruber.
All of this aside, I have put down the $39 for the bundle this morning, prompted mainly by the inclusion of Espresso and Acorn. I suspect that few people buying a bundle like MacHeist will use every app, rather they will purchase it to get a reasonable discount on a few applications. This is certainly the reason I have bought it, and the following are the apps which really swung it for me.
I had been using the trial of Coda for a few weeks, and really liked it. I fully appreciate that $99 is a reasonable price for what is an exceptional piece of software, and if I made a living from web design, I would buy it in a heartbeat. That said, is is a bit pricey for what is essentially a pass-time for me (especially at the current dollar to sterling exchange rate).
I tried Espresso out a few weeks ago, and have found it to be a very good substitute. Like Coda it has a built in FTP client, and adds code folding – which I find very helpful.
GIMP is my favourite Windows image editor, but the mac port is just so ugly and difficult to use. I can appreciate that it is an open source project into which people put a lot of time and effort, but it is just a bit clunky on OS X to be a useful day to day application. Acorn by contrast is simple, easy to pick up and has a lovely clean interface which really helps to make features easy to find and use.
My only gripe is the lack of alternative format support – it would be nice to be able to open and edit Photoshop (.psd) or GIMP (.xcf) files ((Acorn does feature a plug-in architecture, and I have already found one to export to .psd – just need to be able to open them as well.))
This is a different take on a feed reader. Designed to resemble a newspaper layout, Times takes a number of feeds and shows headlines in a print style layout. It makes for a good way to get the day’s news during a break, is beautifully designed and extremely easy to use.
Apps I may Use
In addition to the apps above, I can see myself having some use for Sous Chef, Delicious Library, The Hit List and Phone View although I guess time will tell on these.