LandscapeTweeting: Twitter iPhone app with a difference (or two)
Will it never stop? There is a veritable avalanche of Twitter clients hitting the app store, and all the apps current there are due for an upgrade to take advantage of Push, if not all the other features of OS 3.0. It is hard to stand out in what is becoming much more than a pack…a herd maybe.
So what is a developer to do if he or she wants a piece of the Twitter iPhone pie?
LandscapeTweeting (formerly TwitterLandscape until the Twitter lawyers spoke) manages to be different on several fronts. And no…it is not one of the handful of clients so far with Push. LandscapeTweeting is idiosyncratic in other, perhaps less useful, but still interesting ways.
Let’s hit what for me is highlight first. LspTw (for short), is the first real Twitter client to use the actual Facebook API to enable simultaneous posts to both Twitter and Facebook. Once you enable the app through the standard Facebook connect interface, you have your choice of send buttons in the Compose screen. One posts just to Twitter. One posts to both Twitter and Facebook. So simple. IMHO every Twitter client should have this functionality. But that is just me. (I say the first real Twitter Client because Pingle uses ping.fm to do the same trick, and Duo uses the Twitter and Facebook APIs just as LspTw does. However both are just composition and send apps, with no actual Twitter features beyond updating.)
Of course LspTw’s reason for being is the whole landscape thing. Twitter is presented in full in Landscpe mode. Many other clients let you use the Landscape keyboard…but in LspTw your timeline is in landscape, tweets are displayed in landscape, profiles are in landscape…the inline browser is in landscape…you get the picture…and unlike iTwitter, which will rotate into landscape and back out for any of these views, LspTw is only (and always) a landscape app.
Strange does not stop there. A look at the screen shots will tell you that you will not be mistaking this for any other Twitter app. Because of the Landscape view there is lots of room for icons across the bottom of the timeline view, and the author has even added a pop-up in the middle to expand the options. Even the design of the icons is unique, though not so bizarre as to leave you in much doubt as to what does what. The timeline view scrolls to the last read when you open the app, but there is no indication of the number of unread updates, or of any pending @ or DMs. That little Fg in the bottom left stands for Focus Group, and works in conjunction with the + in the upper right corner of the displayed tweets to add the friend to your Focus Group, which is a saved group, similar to those offered in other clients. The difference here is that you can only have one.
And you can only have one other account as well: LspTw handles two accounts and two only, but both are loaded on start and switching between them is instantaneous when you tap the T2 icon (which I presume is Timeline 2). Certain functions are only available for timeline one.
You can see the options that pop-up. Note that you can save tweets for later reference.
So far, so strange, but there is more. Double tapping any tweet opens in on its own page. Once the tweet is open you have a similar set of icons along the right side of the page, and icons to open any links in the tweet (one per link in order). If there is a @user in the tweet, there is a button at the bottom left of the screen that opens that user’s profile and tweets, in a page that looks remarkably like the m.twitter.com profile page. There is also a mail icon in this view, which mails the tweet from an inline mail interface.
The strangest thing here, or maybe the more interesting, is that with a tweet open in its own page, flicking left or right moves you to the previous or next tweet. You can flick through your whole timeline. In this view there is also a tweet count. In the upper right it says 32 /160 or similar.
It is all kind of slick, relatively intuitive, and clever. But it is different.
This is yet another app that seems to want growing up. It has a lot of potential, but the feature set is not up to the best of the competition yet. It may get there, if enough people are attracted to its idiosyncratic design and functionality, its unique logic, and its different approach to Tweeting.
Landscape may be prominent in its name, and in its philosophy, but it is only the beginning of the strange. Question is, is a a strange that you can embrace? Personally, I can see how it might grow on you.
I will be watching this one to see how it develops.