“You know, there’s a whole new version of Tweetie out.”
This news came from a friend during dinner. And no, in fact, I _didn’t_ know.
Sometime during my past two years on Twitter, the service transitioned from Just Another Trendy Social Media Waste Of Time to A Fun Way To Keep Up With Friends to Something Useful to An Important Part Of My Day.
At minimum, I enjoy seeing photos of a friend’s Halloween costume. And on weeks like this one, when I was posting lots of major pieces to the Sun-Times, it’s a big part of my job. I and my editor check things carefully but as always, Twitter is a good copy editor and if any little bugs crept through the firewall (a bad link, an incomplete sentence) I’ll know about it inside of twenty minutes and we can apply a fix.
I also regularly search for references to my name. It’s not an ego thing. After I post a 5,000-word review of a major new product, I check Twitter in the same way that the director, writer and producer of a new musical go to Sardis after opening night and wait for the morning papers to arrive. It’s the only way to find out how the piece “played.” I did a major roundup of iPhone GPS software that I’m mighty proud of. But I got so many comments asking “What about Navigon?” that I’ve downloaded this app and will be posting an update with my opinions.
Tweetie is my favorite iPhone Twitter client. It’s hands-down the most muscular Twitter app for the iPhone. When I need it to be simple, it’s simple. And when I unholster my iPhone with a sense of Destiny, I can stride the Twitter landscape akin to a colossus.
Version 2.0 is a true marvel. It’s become even more of a power tool. Just as nice as its abilities to manage and observe many accounts and goals — check out the feature list at the developer site; it’s a long one — it features the sort of slick and clever interface ideas that I associate with iPhone software.
How do you refresh the list? Pop up a menu? Click a “Refresh” button?
Nope: scroll to the very top of the list. The topmost item is connected to the top of the screen with a rubber band. Pull it down, let it “snap” back up, and the app touches base with Twitter.com and refreshes the list. Brilliant!
How the bloody hell was I unaware of this update? It’s been out for three weeks!
Simple: the creators of Tweetie — heartless capitalists who must be acknowledged as the hated oppressors of the freedom-loving proletariat — felt that it wouldn’t be at all out of line to charge $2.99 for this update.
They’re not wrong. But the iTunes App Store doesn’t have any sort of built-in mechanism for “paid” app upgrades. If Atebits had given it away for free and kept the same “product SKU” so to speak, then your iPhone and iTunes would have told me that there was a new edition available, and it would have invited me to download it for free. The developer could only get their $2.99 out of me by releasing Tweetie 2.0 as a new product.
Hmm. There must be a better way. Desktop apps do a version check at startup. If you’re interested in hearing about the new version, you go to a website and get the sales pitch.
This friend of mine who alerted me to 2.0’s existence is an app developer. He tells me that this sort of behavior isn’t permitted by Apple. I might be misremembering his explanation, but it has to do with a prohibition about products that advertise other products.
I must learn about this. Apple’s App Approvals process is indeed the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. It makes its pronouncements in the form of a huge green floating head. In truth, it’s just some anonymous mousy-looking dude behind a curtain. But it’s hard to argue against a huge green floating head.
In any event> Yay, Tweetie 2.0. I stopped using my iPhone for a whole week while I deep-tested the new Motorola Droid phone and the Android 2.0 mobile OS. Tweetie 2 is a reminder of why I couldn’t be happy with anything less than an iPhone.
Posted via email from ihnatko’s posterous