Pre-Release Review of Twittelator 2.0 for IPA

Whether or not you’re a user (yet), it’s nearly impossible these days to be unaware of Twitter — growing at stratospheric speeds as it becomes an ever-more ubiquitous part of the lives & businesses of countless people across the planet, the social network is rapidly becoming as important to the average net-savvy person as names like Google, Facebook, and yes, even Apple.

If you have an iDevice and want to make the most of Twitter, we think you’ll want to check out Twittelator from our old friends at Stone Design.

Available in both free and $5 “Pro” (worth every penny, if you ask us!) versions, Twittelator 2.0 has been one of the most interesting and exciting beta tests we’ve ever participated in. That’s particularly notable because collectively and even individually, Rumors’ staff are some of the most prolific beta testers anywhere….

Since the New Year, MOSR has embraced the socialnets in a big way, Twitter being without a doubt foremost among them. Facebook has considerably more users and the many other social networks each have their place — Xerces (@XercesDotCom) participates in nearly all of them to some degree with the exception of MySpace — but for many reasons, which we won’t delve into here for the purposes of this relatively short “sneak peek” review, Twitter has emerged as the “big new thing” and has a number of advantages over its competitors. One of the foremost being its unique 140-character limit for micro-blog “tweets;” overall, Twitter keeps itself very simple and lets third party sites/apps add the fine grained features while the service/site themselves adhere to a laser-like focus on their core functionality.

Some more advanced third-party Twitter API sites can make a huge difference in a power-tweeter’s efficiency as well as their enjoyment/value in using the service….and more than any other application, whether on phones/hand-helds or on the Mac, Twittelator has always been incredibly feature-dense. It saves time, it helps you get a lot more out of the proverbial firehose of tweets, links, hashtags et cetera, that are available to you….and it does things that quite simply, no other Twitter IPA can do, and certainly not all in one fast, stable package.

Screenshot

As beta testers, we had the opportunity to add significant input into new features and user interface styling as well as the more mundane chasing down of bugs & crashes. And without a doubt, 2.0 is a huge step forward across the board for an IPA that was already our favorite Twitter app before this top-to-bottom overhaul.

The previous release, v1.6.2, was extremely feature-rich — more than any other Twitter app we’ve found, though some such as Tweetie were solid competitors and Twitteriffic, our current preference on the Mac, is certainly streamlined, fast, easy to use — but when readers would test-drive the free version after reading our raves about its remarkable features, we often heard the same reasons for choosing one of the other leading Twitter IPAs instead: too many crashes, a little too “colorful,” and perceived performance that lagged behind Tweetie or Twitteriffic.

We were still passionate users of Twittelator Pro v1.6.2, but when our old friend Andrew Stone of Stone Design offered us the opportunity to participate in the beta testing of a completely overhauled 2.0 version….we jumped at the chance. Perks like having input into new features & UI styling aside, we were enthralled by the new app — immediately throwing ourselves passionately into the work of tracking down bugs, making suggestions and simply enjoying the huge raft of new functionality that saves us astronomical amounts of time/effort in our social networking endeavors every single day.

We couldn’t possibly begin to detail all of the features (new or old alike!) of Twittelator Pro 2 — they are listed here on Stone.com for those interested — but a few of our favorite highlights include:

  • Landscape Mode/full four-position rotation support through 360 degrees for writing tweets
  • Two-tap support for automatic Re-Tweeting, Cut/Paste, Email Tweet, Email URL, and Instapaper (saves links in tweets for later viewing)
  • Built-in Webkit browser avoids having to close Twittelator in favor of Safari, then re-open it again; Twittelator Pro 2.0 also works around some Apple bugs to make its built-in browser significantly faster (at certain things, notably re-opening a page for a second time) and more stable than most other implementations.
  • Extensive “dingbats” facility — 8 pages of emoticons/emoji, unique characters, objects and so forth save tweet space and help convey complex ideas in a simple way. Twittelator’s implementation of dingbats is both unique and very streamlined to make adding non-text characters to your tweets dead easy as well as very fast.
  • Options for multiple URL-shortening (very important on Twitter with the 140-char limits!) and image-posting services. Our favorites are is.gd and Yfrog due to the fact that they both save 1-6+ characters versus popular choices like TinyURL and TwitPic.
  • Features no other Twitter IPA has (certainly not all in one package!): Load via Server Access makes for faster network connections to Twitter although it can use up hourly connection credits in as little as 15 minutes under normal use; High Resolution photo posting support;
  • Completely customizable interface/appearance with three visually appealing themes, the ability to swap out the four main “button bar” items at the bottom of the screen for any one of nearly two dozen other possibilities, and many other tweaks in the extensive Settings options.
  • Extensive, well-written online Help makes it easy to navigate/understand and make the most of Twittelator’s insanely long feature list. Even most IPAs which are far simpler & have far fewer features to familiarize oneself with don’t have Help of anywhere near this caliber….several Twitter IPAs we’ve tried didn’t have any significant form of Help (or even a simple start-up tutorial like T2′s) at all!
  • Confirm before Tweeting: few other IPAs have this! It may seem like a hassle at first — and it can be easily disabled, if so — but it only takes one tweet you didn’t mean to send to be very clear indeed on why this feature is such a life-saver!

    The bottom line is, Twittelator 2.0 is fast, insanely feature-rich, rock-solid stable, and has an interface that’s easy on the eyes as well as steadfastly refuses to get in the way of ultra-efficient work flow. Granted, not everyone immediately thinks that “Twitter” and “efficient” belong in the same sentence….but that too is indicative of the mad skills Andrew Stone brings to bear on his applications. Some might point out that as old friends, and given the fact that if Stone Design makes it, Xerces Partners uses it….that we’re biased. And we are — with good reason!

    Andrew is one of the original handful of third party developers for the original NeXTStep operating system that eventually became OS X, and in our opinion, is one of the most talented Cocoa/ObjectiveC programmers on the planet — second perhaps only to Avie Tevanian (creator of OS X and its Mach microkernel) himself! When Apple first acquired NeXT circa 1997, we became familiar and downright friendly with many of the NeXT developer community; Stone Design has always been a respected stand-out, even among such an elite group.

    We’ll be posting more reviews of Twittelator (a pre-release peek at 2.0.1 is coming up) here on MOSR as well as elsewhere on the Xerces Media Network in the days ahead, but what this all boils down to is quite simple regardless of how you frame it:

    Five stars, Two Thumbs Up, 10 out of 10….format it however you like! For some, an the best descriptors might be “awesomesauce” and “the hotness.” ;-)

    For additional feature details, screen shots and related news, be sure to drop by Stone.com.

    All in all, clearly we have love for Twittelator Pro 2.0 and Stone Design….but at the end of the day, what really attracts us to Twittelator isn’t loyalty to old friends or a respected brand; it’s the huge difference that it makes in our day to day work. Social networking isn’t true “work” for some, but even those will benefit in countless ways from laying out the $5 for T2 Pro. Twittelator’s unique and seemingly never-ending features increase one’s enjoyment of Twitter, and make it much easier to create tweets that are enjoyable for others.

    Regardless of what you use Twitter for — or if you even use Twitter yet! — we can’t say enough good things about Twittelator and hope you’ll take the time to give it a proper test-drive, even if you’ve already tried v1.x in the past….

    Either way, if you haven’t already done so, consider taking a moment to follow us; we continue to post ever more exclusive content and info to Twitter and enjoy interacting with our readers:

    http://twitter.com/MacOSRumors
    http://twitter.com/dalaixerces
    http://twitter.com/mrsteveman1
    http://twitter.com/XercesDotCom


  • Share this post: Share this article on Facebook Share this Article on Twitter Add this Article to Stumbleupon Add this Article to Del.icio.us Add this Article to Digg Add this Article to Reddit Add this Article to Newsvine
    This entry was posted in 3rd Party Software, App Store and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.