I recently switched from the official Twitter app for iPhone to, the highly recommended by several of my friends, Tweetbot. I have to say I am very happy with it apart from a couple of things that I would love them to fix. They are fairly minor in my mind but I know app development is never straight forward.
I spend quite a lot of time on trains. These high speed (?) rail bound metal tubes are not renowned for their high quality 3G signal in the UK. Trying to catch up on tweets is quite complex when you have patchy signal. I grab 200 tweets from the API at every signal opportunity to give me something to read. I use the favourite option to mark things to read later. While on a train trying to open a web page (even in the excellent readability mode on Tweetbot) is next to pointless and wastes a squirt of precious 3G connectivity. Tweetbot will not let you mark a favourite in Twitter while you have no signal. For the screenshots in this post I have set the phone to aeroplane mode to demo no signal before any smart asses say anything.
This is a better situation than the official iPhone app which tells you it has favourited them but when you go to your favourites when you are back in a high signal area you find this was a lie (on of the main reasons I switched to Tweetbot.
Why can’t I mark a favourite while I am offline?
I see it working like this. Mark the tweet as favourite as normal. Get a message saying the tweet has been favourited in offline mode and will be updated when a data signal is available. The app could either attempt when a signal does become available or perhaps move the requests to a folder in a similar fashion to the drafts folder. I can then see what I have attempted to favourite and reattempt to save them.
Surely capturing the favourite is as simple as storing a draft unsent tweet? Just store the Tweet URL (Is this allowed in an app/from the API?) and then resubmit the favourite call. Or maybe the app could even offer other options for what to do with the interesting URL within the tweet but the main thing for me is the ability to store interesting links when I am offline…but I digress. The only solution I have today is cut and paste into something else or take a screenshot. Not great.
Why is there no visible notifications that I have unsent draft tweets?
Another downside of train travel is sending tweets when you have little or no signal. If it is unable to post Tweetbot will display an error then give you the chance to save or discard the draft. The problem being that someone forgetful like me will do something else and forget to send the tweet which was probably a reply to someone. Even if I go back later to tweet something there is no indication that drafts exist. The next time I find out I have drafts unsent is usually next time I am on a train and I have sent some tweets to the drafts folder and I do remember to resend and I find a bunch of replies from another time / day. Mildly annoying.
All I think is need is some sort of visual indicator on the compose tweet screen. Maybe a very simple red circle with a number in it, like the iphone notification number display, on the Tweet settings button. A simple reminder for the forgetful idiot, signal poor tweeter.
If you could fix these things Tweetbot I will love you more. Thanks in advance.