Tweetsville

by Ed on October 11, 2008

Well, it’s been about two months since I left Yahoo! and I’ve been spending pretty much literally all my time working on an iPhone application. It’s nothing super flashy, mind you, but I feel it is the best app of its kind. I had been really disappointed with all the Twitter apps for the iPhone. Either they were too slow, or scrolling was poor, or it just didn’t work the way I did. So I set out to write the version I’d want to use. I ended up with an application called Tweetsville. I’ve been putting together a small site for it here, so you can check out the features there. I also have set up a Twitter user you can follow if you care.

I had three goals in mind, in this order:

  • Totally responsive, with glassy scrolling.
  • Embrace the natural aesthetics of the iPhone user experience.
  • Use the full power of the Twitter API.

It’s definitely fast and smooth (though admittedly it could be tweaked a bit more), and it looks like a real honest-to-goodness iPhone application. For whatever reason, I thought it would be ideal to do this app using as many standard (or standard-looking) controls as I could. The less custom stuff the better.

But the real beauty is the fact that I cache as much of your Twitter stream as I can get from the API, coupled with the depth of what you can do with this application. You can see your timeline, do direct messaging, see your favorites, history, and replies. You can also see the latest trends and do searches, including advanced searches. It is without a doubt the most powerful Twitter iPhone application I’ve seen to date. Of course, I’ve had my head in the sand for the past 8 weeks!

Will this application change the world? Hell, no. But I think it will definitely make a dent in the Twitter space. And it was fun, which was really my whole main point of writing it. It’s been a long while since coding was fun.

Even with all it does, there is still other things I’d like to do to it to improve the functionality and ease of use beyond what’s there, but there are only so many hours in the day, and I’m burnt out from coding so much. I need a vacation from my vacation!

The real question is: should I even charge for it? I’m currently thinking no, but man, it might really take off, and then I’ll be missing out. If I don’t charge for it, I will likely make the source publicly available. I’ve already got a subversion repository set up and ready for some sources if I do. Or there’s always code.google.com.

I’m hoping this will get submitted very very soon. My last build seems to be pretty stable, and I’m too paranoid to make any real changes now.

Wow, this would be the first thing I’ve ever written and released like this since… Aaron (if anyone remembers that). Again, wow.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

John October 12, 2008 at 10:06 am

From the screenshots this app looks great and having search integrated is a great feature to have and will make it stand out from the current croud, looking forward to testing it when it’s released.

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John Muir October 13, 2008 at 11:18 am

That’s more like it! Twitterrific is nice and all, but damned if I know how to make it do what I really want! Plus: native iPhone look and feel? Thank you!

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Dan Wollin October 13, 2008 at 12:24 pm

I would charge, it is better than most with all it’s features. At .99 I think you would get a pile of money.

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Jasmeet October 21, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Amazing!

And yes, you should charge it. Your effort is worth being paid for, and it might motivate you to keep building upon it.

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btn October 22, 2008 at 11:37 am

You can charge 99¢ and at least recoup your iPhone dev program cost. You’ll probably end up making a whole lot more.

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Aulia October 22, 2008 at 12:02 pm

I would pay $0.99, maybe $2 for it but it wold be great if it can be free. I don’t mind ad-supported as long as it’s not intrusive, like what twitterrific does.

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Alessandro Vernet October 22, 2008 at 2:27 pm

The question, when are thinking of pushing it to the App Store? I can’t wait to try it out!

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Ed October 22, 2008 at 2:31 pm

I’m just waiting at this point for something else to happen. Can’t go into it quite yet. If it doesn’t happen in the next 24-48 hours, I’m going to say the heck with it and upload it to the store.

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Cameron Moon October 26, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Care to give us a status report about the “Next 24-48 hours” thing :p

Also, is this going to be free, or paid? (I will get it either way though)

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Ed October 26, 2008 at 6:26 pm

It should be uploaded on Monday unless something goes horribly wrong. At present, the plan is that the first version in the store will sell for 3.99, but there will be an ad-supported version for free hopefully within a few weeks. I’ll be posting a more detailed post here with the full details of what’s going on.

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bobroth October 28, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Let me know when it’s ready for testing or use, http://twitter.com/zamees

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