Twitter

Periscope - Live Video Streaming Around the World

The New Periscope App Update Is Good, but there is still room to go!

Periscope 3D touch

If you’re a Periscope user on Android or iOS you should now have the latest update which brings a few very welcomed features:

  • Replays on the Global Map
  • Skip ahead in Replays
  • 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
  • Zoom on Android
  • List of Trending scopers

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Periscope - Live Video Streaming Around the World

Live Broadcast from your iPhone with Periscope

  

 

Last week Twitter delivered their competitor to Meerkat and it’s called Periscope. Periscope is an iPhone application that allows you to do LIVE video broadcasts to your followers. You can show your front or rear camera at any time. Doing something cool and want your followers to see it? Just launch Periscope and start a broadcast. It will automatically tweet to your Twitter followers if you like and anyone following you will get an optional push notification that you’re doing a broadcast. If by chance some of your followers couldn’t watch it live you can choose to have the broadcast upload after you’re done for replay. It can also save to your camera roll as a video file to share anywhere else that you like. Best of all your audience can interact with you while you’re broadcasting. They can tap the screen to show you love (hearts) while you’re showing or saying something good and they can enter text messages that display on your screen while you’re broadcasting and if you choose you can address those comments/questions live. 

  

 I used it quite a bit this past weekend while at Professional Imaging in the Netherlands. I was joined by Scott Kelby, Frank Doorhof and Glyn Dewis. You should follow all of us by the way.

You can get Periscope here (it’s a lot of fun): iTunes.

Tweetbot 3 for Twitter. An elegant client for iPhone and iPod touch

Tweetbot 3.0 – My Favorite iPhone Twitter Client Gets Better

tweetbot3_iPhone5

Twitter makes a decent app for free. So the question is why would anyone pay for a Twitter app then? The answer is simple, more features. Tweetbot has been my default Twitter client on iPhone, iPad and Mac for quite a while now. I’ve always like their interface better than other Twitter clients and this new 3.0 version has gotten even better. Tweetbot 3.0 has a complete new makeover to look good on iOS 7. However, the beauty isn’t just skin deep. Tweetbot 3.0 offers:

  • Native Push Notifications
  • Mute filters that allow you to block messages from users without unfollowing them. You can also mute has tags and keywords.
  • The big one for me is the ability to sync timeline position, direct message reads, etc. via iCloud
  • Customizable Navigation
  • Support for services: Bit.ly, Instapaper, Readability, CloudApp, Doplr, and more.
  • Save drafts, add locations and POI’s, attach photos/videos, manage your lists,  and more.

I like the redesign and the app seems faster overall.

The Bottom Line

If you’re a casual Twitter user then you can certainly get by with the Twitter app from Twitter. However, if you’re a power user and do a lot on Twitter, then you definitely want to check out Tweetbot 3.0 for iPhone. It offers the best Twitter integration, but without locking you into Twitter only services for link shortening, image sharing, etc.

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See a demo here:

Instagram

Instagram Adds Video, thumbs nose up at Vine

instagram_video_iphone5

Apparently the folks at Instagram (Facebook) weren’t happy with Vine (Twitter) being so popular and they decided to add Video support to their popular photo sharing app. With the new 4.0 version of Instagram you can now post either pictures or up to 15 seconds of video with sound. Like some users I have mixed feelings about this. I think Instagram was doing pretty good at what it was already doing. Trying to be all things to all people rarely works. I would have almost rather seen them come up with a separate App for video so that people that want to post videos could do so and build a following of their videos. Nonetheless, it’s here and it’s probably here to stay. There are no surprises here in the interface. It works the way you would expect it to (very Vine like). You can switch from Camera to Video. You can hold down the record button to record continuously or do stop motion by tapping the button. I was a little surprised that you couldn’t choose an existing video on your camera roll though. This means you won’t be posting videos that you didn’t capture with your phone. That’s both good and bad. When recording your new Instavideo you can tap to focus. You can delete bad takes and once you have your masterpiece you can apply any one of 15 filters to it before posting. Thankfully since the videos can have sound you can turn OFF the autoplay feature in the preferences. Many will want to do that immediately. Nothing like scrolling through photos only to have a random video start blaring . It would be nice to have a pref to turn off videos period, but turning off autoplay will suffice. That means that I’ll only have to watch video that I actually want to watch by tapping to play them.

I like Instragram because it’s my one stop shop for posting pictures to social media. I simultaneously choose to post to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Email, Tumblr and Foursquare (with check-in). I’ve not seen any other app that does that. I never really got into Vine and I now I will be less inclined to. My friends are on Instagram and now I can see their videos too (If I choose) in the one spot.

Let the booty shaking videos commence (LOL, but it’s true. You know it will happen).

Instagram - Burbn, Inc.

Tweetbot_for_iPad

Tweetbot for iPad Has It All!

 

There are LOTS of Twitter clients out there for iOS and I must admit that I switch up on a regular basis. It's not that I'm that picky, it's just that I usually can't find a single client that does everything I want the way I want it to. So I end up going back and forth between the official Twitter Client, the native iOS Twitter support and Echofon Pro on my iPad. Although I have Tweetbot on my iPhone, I never really saw enough of an advantage in it to make it my default Twitter client and therefore I rarely used it. Lately I've been using Twitter on my iPhone and Echofon Pro on my iPad. That changed yesterday when Tapbots released Tweetbot for iPad. They seemed to have nailed it! I went through it looking for all the features that I like:

  • Auto refresh
  • Retweet with comment
  • Bit.ly Pro support
  • Instapaper Support
  • Images in-line
  • Good "List" support
  • Translate Tweets
  • Easy Conversation Viewing
  • Multiple Twitter Account Support
  • Choose your favorite Video and Pic service
  • and most importantly a GREAT UI that makes it easy to access the features above without too many taps

It's that last bullet point that will probably keep me using Tweetbot on my iPad. Sure the other clients have the above features (with the exception of Twitter now only supporting their own URL shortening!), but it's the UI (user interface) that's going to ultimately decide my favorite Twitter client.  What I really like about Tweetbot is the gestures. For example a Triple tap gives you reply choices. Swipe to the left to see the conversation. A single tap reveals the most common options for a selected tweet. Tap and hold on an Avatar to see options for that Twitter user. Tap and hold on the tweet to Send the Tweet to Instapaper (or the service you choose), Copy it, email it and yes TRANSLATE IT!

They even got the startup experience right! The first time I launched the App it offered to bring in the Twitter accounts that I already had setup in iOS 5. Yeah! Also they show you some helpful tips to get you going on the App.

Granted I've only been using this App for a day, but I can't think of anything they missed. Well I do have to ding them on one thing. It would have been nice to see this as a Universal App instead of charging both iPhone and iPad users separately. Also even though these things aren't important to me, they may be to you: I don't see support for the newly designed Twitter interface that offers "Discover" and "Connect'. You can of course see your Mentions and New Followers, but not in the same window. I could care less about this, but it is something that the official Twitter client offers. Otherwise if you're looking for a new great Twitter client for iPad, this is it.

P.S. Hey Tapbots, will ConvertBot ever see some iPad love? Also I really wish you guys could do what you did for Twitter, for Google+ too!

Follow me on Twitter!

You can get Tweetbot for iPad for $2.99 here from the iTunes

One more thing… Yes the iPhone/iPod touch version got updated to 2.0 with many of the features that kept me away from using it in the past and the ones that make me love the iPad version. It may be a win-win for me here using the same UI on both platforms!

You can get Tweetbot for iPhone/iPod touch for $2.99 here from the iTunes

iStatus

Post Twitter, Facebook & Google+ Status Updates with iStatus+

It's pretty easy to find Twitter and Facebook integration just about everywhere. iOS 5 even has Twitter integration built-in and I don't think there's a social media friendly App out there that can't post to both of these main stream social networks. However, there's a fairly big new kid on the block called Google+. Google+ started out as kind of a private/public beta. You could only get in if someone that was already in invited you. Now it's open to the public and its numbers are rising. I have almost as many Google+ followers (over 13,000) as I have Twitter followers and that's pretty impressive since the site has only been open to the public for a short time. With so many people now on Google+ I want to be able to post status updates to all 3 networks. Sadly there are very few options for going straight to Google+ 

iStatus+ does all three

There is an App that can post status updates to all three social networks at the same time. iStatus+ has a simple interface that allows you to log in to all three networks (and stay logged in). Once you log in you can pick and choose which of the networks to post to or do all three at once. It has native Google+ support in that it even brings up your Circles to choose from before you post. 

This is GREAT, but there is one major thing missing. While it's great to be able to post to all three at the same time, I'd also like to be able to post the same photo to all three at once. iStatus+ currently only does text. There's no photo posting to any of the networks from this App. Granted it would be a little more challenging to post photos to Facebook and Google+ because you'd have to have Album support, but it can't be impossible. The only other thing I'd like to see is the ability to post a status update to a Facebook Page. Currently the App can only post to your Wall.  It would also be great to have a native iPad version.

Other than that it works as advertised and is the first App that I've seen that can do all three networks. 

You can get iStatus+ for $0.99 here from the iTunes

Echofon_Pro

Echofon Pro for Tweeting

I use Twitter, but I wouldn't call myself a Twitter junkie. Therefore the official and Free Twitter App was all I really needed. I liked the user interface and it did what I wanted. However, Twitter started messing with a good thing. The first round of attacks was the NEW Trending Bar. Everyone hated it, but I really didn't care. What I cared about and saw no reason for was dropping support for bit.ly URL shortening in favor of their own. People use bit.ly for statistic tracking. Also I'm a bit.ly pro user and therefore have my own shortening domain name. That was kinda the last straw.

Moving on to Echofon Pro

If I'm going to switch clients I want to switch across the board. Therefore I want the same client for both iPhone and iPad and if it's Universal as opposed to making me pay twice it's going to score points.  Also most of these clients, Echofon included, offer a free version. Although I could probably get by with another free app I'd rather not have any limitations. Echofon has the features I need right off the bat. Multiple account support, location support, bit.ly support as well as a nice layout. It has one feature that I'm quickly falling in love with and that's an "Auto Refresh". As long as you have the App open and you're on a wifi network, new tweets will automatically come in. Very cool! If you use Echofon on the desktop there's even automatic sync of unread tweets.

While Echofon gives me back the things that the Twitter App took away, there is one major thing missing and it's keeping me from giving this app a 5 star rating. There doesn't seem to be a list of recently used hash tags. Nor does there seem to be a fast way of entering them. You have to manually use the # sign buried in the regular keyboard (someone please tell me I'm missing something here). With everything else this app has I'm actually quite shocked that there isn't a native hash tag feature or if there is, it's not obvious to me. Otherwise I'm happy with the move to Echofon Pro on my iPhone and iPad. 

You can follow me on Twitter here.

You can get Echofon Pro for $4.99 here from the iTunes

You can get the free version of Echofon here from the iTunes

RockMelt

RockMelt Social Media Hub For iPhone

 

There are a bunch of Apps available these days to manage your social media experience. Many of them are "one trick ponies" that only manage one particular service such as Facebook or Twitter. There are a few Apps that keep track of all of this content in one place, but many are buggy and not quite as good of a user experience as the company sponsored Apps. That is until RockMelt. RockMelt brings all of your online content to one place for easy viewing, interaction, and use.  Not only does it keep track of your Facebook, and Twitter accounts, but it also lets you keep track of your favorite online content such as websites, blogs, and rss feeds. What makes RockMelt special isn't the content but how it displays and allows you to interact and view this content. With a simple UI (user interface), RockMelt lets you quickly and easily see if there is any new content available for each site or feed that you are following.

 

Desktop Application

RockMelt is a great stand alone content manager. When I first heard about, and downloaded it I didn't even know that there was a desktop counterpart to go along with it. After I logged in and started loading my content however, I realized that without the desktop application you are limited to the "popular" or suggested by RockMelt feeds. They have some of the most popular feeds available for selection right inside of the iPhone App, so some of the things you want to follow are ready to go, but if you want to follow say The Best App site, you have to add it on the desktop Application and it will sync over the cloud to your iPhone RockMelt App. (We are currently working on having The Best App site added to the suggested sites to follow, we'll keep you updated) My suggestion to you is this, download the desktop application first, and then download the iPhone App.

 

It Starts With Facebook

That's right, it starts with Facebook. The very first thing that you are asked to log in to upon launching the App is Facebook.  Doing this pulls your name, and profile picture strait from Facebook and sets them on RockMelt for your profile. It seems Facebook is the pivoting point for RockMelt and if you don't have a Facebook account, you can't sign in to use it. I'm not sure this is going to be a deal breaker for anyone because lets face it, if you don't have a Facebook account, you probably wouldn't want an App like this anyway. Before anyone yells at me, if you're that one person out there that has a Twitter account, has rss feeds that they want to follow, but don't have a Facebook account I'm sorry, you'll have to create one to use RockMelt. 

 

Where We Go From There

Like I said, you have to log in to Facebook to set up RockMelt, but from there the possibilities are vast. Within the iPhone App (not loading anything from the desktop application yet) you have a wide array of content to chose from. For example, I added my Twitter account @JasonLPhoto, CNN, The Oatmeal, Texts From Last Night, Fail Blog, Lifehacker, TechCrunch, Apple Hot News, and more just from the iPhone App! Each item has it's own icon, as well as it's name on what can be best described as a button. On the far right side of each button you will see a number indicating how many unread items you have for that particular site/rss feed. It's a simple yet effective UI.

Other useful features

As it stands Rockmelt is a really good content management App, however it does more. RockMelt has a built in browser of it's own so you never have to leave the App if you want to do a quick search for something on the web. Above the content buttons is a search bar that allows you to either input a search term or type in a web address. The search option launches Google with that search term inputted. Once you have found the web page that you are looking for you can either enter it and read/interact with it or you can use another of RockMelt's built in features, save for later. This will save the current content for viewing at a later time whether on or offline. This is a really handy feature. You can save things to view later when you might not have cell coverage, a really great addition.  The other nice thing about this feature is that it's across the cloud so if you save something on your desktop RockMelt browser to view later it also saves it on your iPhone to view later. Bookmarks too are synced across the cloud to both locations.

Adding Custom Content

Adding custom content to your selection is easy. Go to the desktop application and navigate to the website that you would like to add to your feeds. For example, go to http://www.terrywhite.com/techblog as I have in the image below. Click on the small green plus sign on the right side of the screen to open the Apps and Feeds Panel. From here you have to give it a few seconds to build the icon and pull the content. Once it does a green bar will appear under the Add Feeds heading that says "From Current Site". Click here and it will add that site, it's content and icon to your followed feeds. At this point all you have to do is refresh your feeds on your iPhone by pulling the content down until your see "release to refresh" and the new content will load. It's that simple. Now make sure that you add Best App Site and Terry White Tech Blog as in the example.

 

Room For Improvement

Let's be fair, this is a BRAND NEW App. They just released it this week so there will be updates in the future I'm sure, but there are a few things that I'd like to see. First, the interaction with Twitter and Facebook are basic. While you are able to do quite a bit within the Facebook portion of the App, most of the interaction revolves around your wall and news feed. There isn't near the control that you have with the actual Facebook App for iPhone. I hope that as time goes by RockMelt will add this control. The same goes for Twitter. There isn't near the control or functionality of the full on Twitter App. The basics are there however so tweeting, retweeting, replying, and seeing your @ mentions are all possible. Lastly, (and this is just me talking) I'd really like to see Best App Site as a recommended feed to follow :)

 

Best of It's Kind

This is the best App of it's kind I've seen so far. With the integration of the cloud and the desktop application coupled with the ease of use, I can't recommend this App enough to anyone wanting all of their social media content in one place fore consuming.

Get RockMelt from the iTunes store for your iPhone for free here: iTunes

tweetbot

Tweetbot: A New Twitter Application

TweetbotThere is a new Twitter client on the block. It is called Tweetbot and comes from Tapbots, the makers of apps Convertbot and Weightbot, two apps which have been reviewed here before and gotten high scores. So, why am I taking a look at this new Twitter client at all then?

Well, first and foremost the official Twitter for iOS application is starting to shorten its links using the t.co shortener by default, allowing little control over how to display links at all. I fear this might just be the beginning of a series of bad choices for the app, the second being the #dickbar, making the rounds just a month or so ago. In addition, I do feel that it  doesn’t hurt trying new things once in a while.

The first thing you notice when even looking up Tweetbot in the App Store, is that it has a rather cute icon. When downloading the app, you’ll notice that the entire interface looks very good. Clearly clean and simple have been keywords during the design processes, as with the other Tapbots apps.

You do not get a Tapbots app for the unified iOS experience (that I am known to love) but for the innovative, well-designed user experience that resembles the iOS default, but is just slightly different. This is by far something negative. On the contrary, the app is very easy to use and does explore alternative ways of interacting with tweets in a timeline. To reply, retweet or perform other actions, you just click on a tweet to get access to a little options bar. To check for new tweets, you drag upwards past the top, as debuted in the first version of Tweetie for iPhone.

In terms of features, Tweetbot has what you expect. The entire twitter feature-set is there, including a clever implementation of lists. If you have different lists created in your Twitter account, Tweetbot lets you see a timeline specifically to these people. This way you can still follow a lot of people without having to see them all in your timeline.

One big negative I have with this app is perhaps not as much about the app itself, as with the devices it is available on. While it is available on the iPhone and iPod Touch, it isn’t (at the time of this writing) available for the iPad, which I am not particularly fond of. I must say I prefer having the same user experience on both my iOS devices when it comes to Twitter clients.

Conclusion

To be honest, the only real reason for wanting to switch to Tweetbot is the lists implementation, however this does not have to be a small feature. In fact, if you are following over 300 people and don’t mind creating a few lists (unless you already have them), go ahead and give Tweetbot a go. At $1.99 it isn’t too bad and it offers a nice interface, all the features that you have become used to in other Twitter clients, and a few more!

You can get Tweetbot from the App Store here: iTunes

twitter

Twizzler for iPhone


If ever there were a reason to jailbreak your iPhone, the latest update to the Twitter App is it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t care about trending topics… Lately (and the only reason I know this is because of the Twitter update) all I’ve seen is garbage about Charlie Sheen, which I really don’t care about.

 

The solution I found is for those of us who have their iPhone’s jailbroken. Brought to you by chpwn the same developer that makes another of my favorite jailbroken Apps, infinifolders; Twizzler is a must have App if you are using Twitter for the iPhone. I haven’t talked to anyone yet that likes the new trending bar, so I’m guessing you don’t either. First you have to have a jailbroken iPhone, and if you don’t have one, check out our how to jailbreak article here. Second you navigate to Cydia, and search for Twizzler. It is a free App, so all that is required is to tap install; that’s it you’re done. No more trending bar on your Twitter App. 

 

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