PockeTwit – Updated Review

I’ve been trying to get into microblogging a lot more lately as I find the concept fascinating. My microblog platform of choice is Twitter. Not so much because it’s a great platform but rather because it’s the one used the most and it has some interesting attached sevices like TwitPics. The cool thing about Twitter is that I’ve met at least one person that we share some things in common like BSG and our interest in HTC devices. She goes by the id of digital_jen these days. Anyway, I’ve used different Twitter apps like Twitterfox, PockeTwit,  Digsby, Yoono, Flock and Twitterberry comes to mind but I always seem to come back to PockeTwit as one of my two favourite Twitter tools.

PockeTwit is a Windows Mobile client for both the full and smartphone devices. At first pass, PockeTwit seems quite unintuitive to use. It screens is looks like it’s laid out poorly and it doesn’t use the soft keys that is now common to Windows Mobile devices. It took me a while to figure out that the developer uses a different paradigm for PockeTwit. Once I figured it out, it was very simple to use and very intuitive.

The way I think about the User Interface for PockeTwit is that there are 3 screens or levels. The first screen is the system screen. Over here you can have the following options:

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Errors
This is a new feature that alerts you when you run into network issues. From what I can see, it appears only when it occurs.

Friends Timelines

This is the most common feature used for me as it displays all your friends’ tweets.

Messages
This filters out your @replies and direct messages. I believe that the convention here seems to only filter out if @[your username] is the first thing of a tweet. I noticed that when my username was used in the middle of a sentence, it did not show up. Not sure if this is a problem with the Twiter API call or a PockeTwit problem.

Search/Local
I thought this was neat. This was the only client that allowed a search function. I don’t use this as much but it’s nice when I want to try to find out if something I’m interested in is being talked about.

Set Status
This is used to publish your status to your Microblogging site.

Settings
You can set up your various identities such as ping.fm or identi.ca. Also allows you to set up whether or not you want GPS to be turned on automatically or not.

About/Feedback
Gives you the version you’ve installed and the ability to check for new updates.

Exit
Not too exciting. Exit the application.

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The middle screen is the messaging screen where it’s filtered by the first screen. I didn’t notice this before but there’s a really tiny indicator on the right hand of the screen that indicates how far down in your messags you are. Typically pick either Friends Timeline or Messages. Press Enter or the Action key on your device. This will update the middle screen and you can use your right arrow key to bring your middle screen into full view.

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The last screen interacts with the person associated with the message on the middle screen. So let’s say that the message was sent by @someperson. If you scroll right from the middle screen you could see @someperson’s time line, reply using regular twitter, direct message @someone, make that message a favourite message, go to @someone’s profile page on the web, stop following a person and minimize the application.

There are a few quirks with PockeTwit. For one, the errors page is very much an anomaly. When you click on it, it takes you to a page that looks very different from the rest of the application. Now that I’m used to the UI, it makes absolute sense albeit a bit inconsistent. While I was writing about how I use the app, it was definitely quite apparent that I couldn’t write consistent rule of thumbs to a new user. However, once you start using it, it’s quite intuitive. A nice feature that I would like to have is the ability to do a manual update on top of the scheduled update.

The shortcomings of the application are for the most part cosmetic. It is even made even better by the fact that you know the developer uses his application constantly. He is responsive to both questions and suggestions. A prime example is that someone suggested that ping.fm would be a great addition to the app and within days, it was added to the app. Caveat though, not all suggestions make it into the app but at least the developer will consider it and test it before deciding whether or not it gets added to the final product. One other major benefit is that the application is open source. Overall, I really like the application. It works well, the developer is quite interactive and responsive on Twitter,

Sent from my Windows Mobile® phone.

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