Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
We first got wind of Tweetary a few months back while it was still in development, but a couple of days before today’s launch we managed to get a hands on with the app to see what all the fuss is about.
In its most simple form, Tweetary is a pretty sexy twitter client for iOS devices. But it’s so much more than that…indeed, creator Michael Dube says he’s looking to redefine the Twitter experience, by combining the power of a diary with tweets…and a little bit more thrown in for good measure.
How it works
First up you will, of course, need to connect your Twitter account. Then the fun begins.
You ‘tap’ to open your ‘diary’, a design metaphor used through the app, and you’re presented with the first page of your tweet-based journal. As this is your first time in the app, however, you’ll probably want to head directly to the main Twitter-esque client, which you do so by clicking the little arrow at the bottom of the diary.
Here, you’ll be presented with your familiar timeline, with tweets ordered chronologically, and you can bring up your @mentions, messages, search and Profile options by clicking on the drop-down menu. Also, it’s worth noting that in the image on the left here, I’ve already applied a filter to this, which is why the tweets aren’t showing up in chronological order….
Tweetary lets you apply custom filters, and when you hit the little right-pointing arrow next to the main drop-down menu, you’ll see this list of filters.
These filters allow you to organize your timeline, grouping by Twitter handles and in ascending/descending order. You can also filter out messages with links, @mentions, hashtags, media and even retweets. If you want, you can also opt to display your entire timeline by oldest message first.
Even if you don’t want any of this functionality, you can simply use Tweetary as a fully-fledged Twitter client, sans promoted tweets.
This means you can read your @mentions, or construct a new tweet, though it’s worth noting that Twitter may be keeping a watchful eye on this particular app in the long term, given all the hullabaloo around Twitter’s decision to implement greater restrictions on third-party clients. This should only be a problem if Tweetary sees significant traction though…we’re talking 100,000 users plus here.
Tweetary: Twitter + diary
It’s worth looking at some of the diary-specific features of Tweetary…after all, this is its main raison d’être.
When you click on a tweet, you’ll be presented with further horizontal menu across the bottom. If you want to save a tweet to your diary, you click the button on the far left, illustrated by a bird and a left-pointing arrow.
I would like it, however, if you could simply long-press a tweet in your timeline to get these options, rather than having to click to open the tweet, but this isn’t a deal-breaker.
If you look in your diary, you’ll see all tweets saved by date. But you’ll also see a different drop-down menu when you click on ‘Diary’, one that offers to take you to take you to view Bookmarks, Watchlist, Metrics and Gallery…which we’ll get to in a bit.
The diary metaphor really comes to the fore with annotations – you can add additional content to a tweet, such as a message or image, and this will be stored in your journal for posterity. This is all kept private – and offline – in your Twitter diary.
Going back to the other menu options, Watchlists is a particularly interesting feature. You can create intelligent lists that ‘watch’ your Twitter timeline for specific words, phrases, hashtags or @mentions that interest you. Any matching tweets are automatically saved in your Twitter diary, and this could prove to be a most valuable asset.
Or, you can simply browse your gallery, to see all media files you’ve used in Tweetary, in a single silo.
The final feature worth mentioning relates to Metrics…this taps the power of infographics to display insights on how you, and your Twitter connections, use the microblogging network.
Tweetary’s algorithm gathers tweets and presents you with six separate pictures that tell you when you tweet, what you say, when you are online and more.
Moreover, all your diary entries are synced through iCloud across all your iOS devices, and you’ll be pleased to know it has been designed with Retina in mind.
Tweetary reminds me a little of TweetDig, a Web app which tidies your Twitter stream by sorting tweets into custom folders. The most obvious difference with Tweetary is that it’s specifically aimed at iOS users, but the way Tweetary lets you filter out certain tweets is certainly reminiscent of TweetDig.
The other kicker, perhaps, is the fact that Tweetary isn’t free…it’ll set you back a cool $4.99. You’re probably wondering “Sure, but is it worth it”?
While five bucks is hardly breaking the bank, if you’re only a casual Twitter user then Twitter’s main mobile client will suffice for you. But if you’re a serious user, well, Tweetary could well find itself a bit of a cult following. It’s beautifully designed, and does what it proclaims to do.
Tweetary is the handiwork of Cape Town-based startup Tappnology, founded in 2011 by two brothers, Michael and Frederick Dube. “Our main focus is on empowering users by building high quality touch sensitive applications for android, iOS and Windows mobile devices,” they say. We’ll certainly be interested to see what else they can come up with in the future.
Meanwhile, Tweetary will be landing in your local App Store today, costing $4.99.
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