Posts tagged api

iTweet: Statistics, Appearance, Follow

Some fun new stuff I've been cooking up...

I've made a couple additions and modifications to iTweet this week, they are lots of fun and add some great functionality!


In the Web interface I've added Statistics to your profile in the top right - so you can see at a glance your number of updates, favorites, following and followers. This updates itself as you tweet, fave and follow.  There is also an "Appearance" preference in the Settings menu - you can keep the default iTweet look OR import your Twitter profile's appearance - background image, font colors, sidebar color and everything!


If you are wondering "where did the nifty follow/notifications/block buttons go?", I have moved them all to the Profile pages to make better use of the API and make these methods more intuitive.  The old method assumed whether you were following a person or not based on the timeline they were found in; this was a little confusing and inconvenient, so I've moved it to the Profile page.  Here the page can tell (via the Twitter API call) whether you are following that person or not, and present the correct options depending on that status.


There's also an "is so-and-so following me?" button so you can see if that person is following you, and a "Twittering Since" date that shows when that person joined Twitter.  That part has been interesting to me as it's neat to see how long someone has been part of the Twitter community.  That data is made available via the Twitter API, although for some reason you can't find that info about a user on twitter.com - another reason to use iTweet!



The Following and Profile methods are the same for both the Web interface and the iPhone interface.  I love hearing feedback from users; that's been an important part of the development process for me and interacting with the community of iTweet fans is really half the fun for me.  So please use the contact section of iTweet or this website to email me your thoughts, feature requests, etc.  And keep on tweeting!


Leave comments on this blog, or let's talk on Twitter or Facebook.

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Following Twitter Trends

There's a great new way to follow hot topics using iTweet.net!

Twitter just made a great addition to their Search API: Twitter Trends!

This method allows you to see the hot topics of discussion across the entire Twitterverse.  This is a neat way to keep up on breaking news, technology trends, political sentiments, or the latest Internet meme that everyone's tweeting about.

When I hear about some fresh news or tech rumor, I do a quick Twitter search before I go to any news website; it's a great way to find a wealth of links to pertinent content across the Web.

I've added the Twitter Trends method to both the iPhone and the Web version of iTweet.net.  I think it will become a fun way to keep up on current events, and to entertain myself when I'm stuck in line at the bank.  ;)   Enjoy!

Leave comments on this blog, or let's talk on Twitter or Facebook.

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iTweet 2 Is Here

A major upgrade to the iPhone version, and an all new app for the Web!

Today I'm releasing a major upgrade to iTweet, an interface for Twitter that is one of my pet projects.  This is a double release: a hugely improved iPhone Web app, and an all-new interface for any Web browser.

Click here to give the new iTweet a try!

Beginning with the iPhone app, there are some key features to note:
  • Tap user pictures to toggle bio information. This section allows you to see a user's location, bio, and URL.  There are quick links to send a DM, view extended profile, turn notifications on/off, block, and follow/unfollow.
  • "In reply to" links allow you to see the tweet a person was replying to, without loading a new page.
  • Built-in search and hashtags via the Twitter Search API.
  • Monitor your remaining API requests using the number in the "refresh" button.
  • Update (and check) your location from the Settings menu.
  • Change your notifications device, get more detailed API usage info, set hashtags preferences, and more from the Settings menu.
  • Vastly improved speed in loading all timelines.


As before, a basic rule of thumb with iTweet goes: tap the avatar to see a person's profile, tap the username to see a person's tweets.

There is also a contact form on the About page, please use this for feature requests and bug reports!  (It sends messages directly to my email so you will get a quick response, especially if you're following me and I can DM you.)   <3


The Web interface has all the same features as the above, but adds some more information that doesn't fit on a tiny iPhone screen:

  • Detailed user info and API limit info available at top right.
  • Speed Tweet mode! Hitting the "Return" key from the text-entry field will send your tweet, more like an IM client than the Twitter website. Give it a try! I love it... if you don't you can turn that feature off using the Settings menu.
  • Really simple method for sending DM's, I use this one all the time too.


Known issues and limitations:
  • Character counter on the iPhone version still slows down typing. This is the biggest problem with the app, by my own reckoning and others' as well. I've tried many, many different methods of doing this. We're talking HOURS of experimentation! Basically I find that inspecting a textarea just kills MobileSafari's performance, especially in a Web page that has a lot of other elements in it.  I'm open to suggestions, as always. I've pared it down to 3 simple lines of Javascript and I don't think it can be any lighter than that.
  • User profile pages are missing information for most users. Also profile information such as "last update" are running behind something like 5-18 hours.  This is due to a bug in the Twitter API which I have reported here. I will post an update when this is fixed. This will allow some very cool functions to be brought back to the Web version especially!
Happy iTweeting! I'm always interested in your feedback, you can contact me here.
Leave comments on this blog, or let's talk on Twitter or Facebook.

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About the Twitter Downgrades

And our tumultuous relationship with the Bluebird of Happiness/Crappiness...

Twitter API Limit Downgrade Twitter has decided to remove a certain call from their API that the iTweet 2 private beta relied on to create the "ticker" effect that kept it updating at nearly real-time speeds.  The rate limit for API calls also remains handicapped, cut to 30 per hour from the usual 70.  This makes using Twitter API tools extremely inconvenient, and developing them is also quite frustrating. For now I have removed the "ticker" feature and the friends timeline will refresh every 140 seconds, though this number may be adjusted slightly as I attempt to keep the page open and in use today.  (Big thanks to all my helpful beta testers for your excellent feedback on the last iTweet 2 development cycle!)  Further development on the beta will continue when the API rate limit returns to normal.  Until then, Twitter API development is a waste of time as most people seem to be ditching API apps for the non-limited Web site. This is actually a good thing for me, as I am working hard on developing some other tools for The Illusion Factory that I will be posting more about soon.  Apologies for the lack of updates recently, I've been in "workshop mode" for quite some time but I will be posting details about the new ideas, tools and projects I've been working with in the coming weeks.  (I call this "pimp" mode as I will be hawking the bejeezus out of my work.)  I'm building some really neat ways of connecting with people, and I am very excited to share them as soon as possible! Twitter has been very cool about keeping the community updated on its current status, present challenges and plans for future improvement, despite some really nasty attacks and and the lively scrutiny of about a million people speculating on who is to blame, or how a business model could be developed, or how they can fix Twitter's problems in a single blog post/comment/tweet.  They were also kind enough to post a poll in the dev group about removing the friends_timeline/username API call.  This is not something they HAVE to do, so I thought it was nice of them to bother. And — even though I was getting great use out of this feature — I voted that if removing it meant a tangible improvement to Twitter's stability, I would take it out back and shoot it myself. Here's why I would vote to remove a feature that made iTweet's beta the most bitchin' Twitter interface for the Web: The problems Twitter is suffering from are going to take a while to solve, and more downgrades may happen. The Twitter team is working on it, and I am willing to be patient during the downtimes and downgrades while they get their app sorted out. I enjoy using Twitter and making fun stuff with their API.  But I have lots of other things that I like, and plenty of projects in the works.  I know they are doing their best to improve and/or rebuild their service, so when they've gotten through the current setbacks, I'll be back for more.  Rather than getting cranky about it, obsessing over it, or otherwise wasting my mental energy on it, I'll just go play with some other toys until this one gets glued back together again. And of course, in the meantime a shinier toy may come along and Twitter may end up collecting dust.  That is the risk they are running every day that their service is downgraded... and I am sure no one is more aware of this than the Twitter team themselves. Leave comments on this blog, or let's talk on Twitter or Facebook.

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iTweet.net In Your Browser

Bringing the iTweet UI to your desktop.

Enough people have expressed interest in a desktop browser version of iTweet (examples: one, two, three) that I started putting one together tonight. Twitter's recent dropping of the hyperlinks in @replies is fixed by just a few lines of code in iTweet... so if you like using @replies, here you go. A lot of iTweet's functions are built around convenience for the iPhone, so expect this version to change a lot as I modify it for the desktop browser. Eliminating the constraints of bandwidth and Mobile Safari's funkiness, lots more is possible. On the other hand, without Safari's wonderful CSS3 support, this version doesn't have all the lovely rounded corners of the iPhone version. Anyways, it's a work in progress, but seeing how everyone misses the linked @replies I thought I'd just publish this early so people can use it. Enjoy. Click here to give it a try. So far I have only clicked around this version a bit in Firefox and Safari on the Mac before I blew through the API limit on both my accounts. I will test and debug it for other browsers soon. I welcome your opinions and feature requests for the desktop browser version; please leave notes for me in the comments. Or maybe even better, follow my updates on Twitter and join the conversation there.

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