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PockeTwit - Twitter client with GPS support (Updated 8-24)

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Dromio

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2008
87
0
MainList.png

MainListSmartPhone.png


See it in action here.

I admit it, I'm a bit of a twitter addict. And like my MPD client, I just couldn't find a twitter client that I liked. So I had some spare time today and whipped up my own. So far it does the basics -- shows the timelines, lets you set your status, and let's you reply to tweets. Of course there's a lot more to be done like showing user info (besides their icon), direct messages, and dealing with URLs in tweets.

It uses the same kinetic list code that I used in the MPD client, so it's kind of fun to scroll up and down and view the menus on the sides.

If you're a twitter user, you can try get my client from the google code site. Let me know if you have anything to say about it.

Current Version: v.52
 
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Dromio

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2008
87
0
I use tinyTwitter which works really well on my diamond

Umm, yeah. . . that's great you already have one you like. Keep right on using it :). But like I mentioned, I never did find one I liked. Even more importantly, I never found an open source one that I could contribute to. So I made my own.

This version probably won't work out too well on a VGA screen. I took some shortcuts with sizing some info. VGA-pretty will have to wait for a bit.
 

chuque

Member
Aug 24, 2006
34
0
This client has some real potential! I have been using ceTwit, but its slow load time, (seemingly) heavy battery drain, and lack of kinetic scrolling were all shortcomings. I am looking forward to further development especially direct msgs and twitpic support.

The UI took a bit to figure out but is slick and fun once you get it.

Thank you for putting this out.
 

Dromio

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2008
87
0
Updated with some new features:

Direct messages
URL shortening with http://is.gd
Clickable @names and URLs in tweets
Bigger user images.

If you had a previous version installed, you may want to delete the cached profile pics so it'll get the bigger ones. Just delete Program Files\PockeTwit\ArtCache and run again. It'll re-fetch all the bigger images automatically.
 

Dromio

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2008
87
0
Looks good. I have been trying every twitter client under the sun and cannot find one I am happy with. In particular I have been looking for one that supports GPS for location based messages.

I've been trying to think of something to do with GPS. I think twinkle is doing something with their own webservice to find users located near you -- I don't have those kinds of resources. But I could do something more basic, like posting your current location. I've got a great idea for a location-aware component, just no apps that need to know my location :)

There's a crash bug that pops up occasionally in my last release--that's still my first priority. And I think the code I wrote to parse out the clickable words is slowing things down a bit too much. But despite both of those, I'm proud of how well it's going so far.

I'm definitely looking for suggestions on what features to implement next, so I can surpass the other apps that are out there.
 

chuque

Member
Aug 24, 2006
34
0
my UI suggestion is to right justify the timeline links on the left side of the UI, so that way you don't have to side scroll all the way across to click on one (Like on the right side ...but backwards) Also this may just be a user training issue, but I have a hard time side scrolling far enough that it doesn't auto reset back before I can make a selection.

Also maybe a tap and hold menu on the user picture for @ and D replies? Finally the clickable text is a bit, umm, sensitive? I don't know if it is just me, but my feed is littered with @replies so that makes scrolling down a landmine trying not to flick across a link.

Does it have, or is there plans for an auto-update of the friends timeline?

just got a crash while attempting an update, I think the URL link was tapped by accident. still not quite sure how that works yet.

I know people like features and not everyone wants the same features, but keep in mind that light and fast is a feature in itself, I like the fact it loads quickly and has a smooth interface. Great work!
 

chuque

Member
Aug 24, 2006
34
0
Looks good. I have been trying every twitter client under the sun and cannot find one I am happy with. In particular I have been looking for one that supports GPS for location based messages.

SO this would inbed your GPS coordinates into twits? is that a desired feature? I just can't imagine that would be more effective than just saying "corner of 6th and Red River" ... unless the coordinates were clickable to say google maps, but then that is still an extra step. hmmm ... my phone doesn't have GPS so I never think what it's advantages are for these types of apps.
 

Dromio

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2008
87
0
Thanks for the thoughtfull reply chuque. You made some great points.

The auto-update is probably what made it crash! I forgot and made a UI call from another thread. I'll try to fix that up in the next build.

I think I have a way to make the clickable text less sensitive too. I'll just make them react if you aren't scrolling. That should help.

I like the idea of right-justifying the left menu, but I'm not sure how easy that will be. I'll try it out though.

What advantage would a tap+hold menu have over the right menu?

Thanks again for the feedback, I really appreciate it.
 

chuque

Member
Aug 24, 2006
34
0
What advantage would a tap+hold menu have over the right menu?

Thanks again for the feedback, I really appreciate it.

None really, just another path to the same result. Right now, (and I am still in the learning curve) it feels like more work to have to highlight a twit, side scroll, click D, while thinking wouldn't it be easier if I could just click on the icon and go from there? ... I guess one is just more intuitive to me over the other. Given another few days I am sure it'll be second nature, so by no means consider it a highly desired request.


Also updates say "from web" instead of listing the client, I hope that changes as well, this is a good WM client already and could use the free advertisement.
 

mikebphoto

Member
Feb 9, 2007
26
0
Chicago
www.iammikeb.com
SO this would inbed your GPS coordinates into twits? is that a desired feature? I just can't imagine that would be more effective than just saying "corner of 6th and Red River" ... unless the coordinates were clickable to say google maps, but then that is still an extra step. hmmm ... my phone doesn't have GPS so I never think what it's advantages are for these types of apps.

I agree I would not want to see lat. and long. coordinates. I think something more like what you said, "corner of 6th and Red River". I have looked at apps that do something similar to this (where.com & loopt.com) but they do not support Windows Mobile. My current device is my first with GPS and I must say it is a lot of fun. Like you I had no desire for it ... until I had it. Now that I have had it I will not buy another device without it.

Dromio, one of the things that bugs me the most about other Twitter clients is the UI. They are stereotypical Windows Mobile looking. Why should iPhone have all of the cool looking apps? The only other Twitter client that I used that had an almost good looking UI was quakk. It is simple and easy to look at and I think has some potential, but progress seems halted. How interested are you in the UI of TinyTwit? I would not mind lending a hand myself, but I do not want to intrude either.
 

Dromio

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2008
87
0
Another update this morning. Nothing major, just some bug-fixes and cleanups.

No more crash on auto-update.
Lots of fixes dealing with clickable text.
Some UI cleanups.

mikebphoto: Yeah, my main problem with the other clients was the "feel" too. Just so utilitarian. I'll admit I'm a bit jealous of all the fun the iphone folks seem to be having and I want to give us WM folks some of that same feel. I know my UI takes some getting used to, but the fun I get out of it makes it seem worth it to me. I hope others feel the same way.

Quakk looked nice, but scrolling did a wierd refresh thing every time. If you haven't seen Twitula, it's UI was pretty smooth too, but I had other problems with it. I know there are a bunch of clients out there (and the mobile web site is plenty useable too), but I was able to whip something up in a few hours using existing components and decided it was worth sharing.

And unlike the others I've seen, it's open source. Anyone can see how it all works and anyone is welcome to submit code to help out. I know my code is messy and can be tough to read, but I'm not too embarrassed to share.
 

chuque

Member
Aug 24, 2006
34
0
I know I must sound like a total fanboy by this point, but I think this app is almost easier to use, and certainly more fun that the website itself.

Both the right justification and the linked text changes work well.

Next suggestion (I am almost starting to feel you are building this just for me) maybe add a setting for how far back it pulls twits? say 20/50/75 newest twits? or something like that. I am not a high traffic user but as I get more and more into this app I can see me relying on the sms forwards less. and it seems most my friends are west coast and ***** twit on their way home. So I get a lot of twits in a short period.

Thank you again for all the hard work.
 

Dromio

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2008
87
0
The twitter library I used is already starting to hold me back. It doesn't support:

1. Follow/unfollow/block
2. Fetch more than one page of tweets
3. Set favorite on/off
4. Probably a bunch more I haven't looked at.

It's very very bare bones, but it was the only one I could find the source for and convert to fit the compact framework.

Looks like the fun development has to slow down while I work on adding features to the library itself :(
 

chuque

Member
Aug 24, 2006
34
0
yet another (hopefully easy) suggestion from the peanut gallery. In mid twit today I wanted to flip over to opera to look something up, and realized there was no minimize option anywhere, and as it is a full screen app, didn't have access to the top bar, and had to get creative to do it. So maybe changing the right (or left) exit to a minimize button?
 

Dromio

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2008
87
0
yet another (hopefully easy) suggestion from the peanut gallery. In mid twit today I wanted to flip over to opera to look something up, and realized there was no minimize option anywhere, and as it is a full screen app, didn't have access to the top bar, and had to get creative to do it. So maybe changing the right (or left) exit to a minimize button?

Another good idea, but I'm embarrassed to admit I don't know how! I've just spent 10 minutes trying to figure out how to make the application go to the background and come back the next time it is run in CF.NET and I've gotten nowhere!

To contrast, I was able to add a feature to automatically check for upgrades in 30 minutes (to be in the next build).

I feel silly :(
 

Dromio

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2008
87
0
Ok, finishing up "fun development" on the weekend and have to start "pay my bills development" again on monday. I squeezed in a few more features though:

1. Can make a tweet "favorite". I use this to go back and follow URLs once I'm on a PC
2. Can Follow/Unfollow users
3. All timeline updates happen in the background so the UI doesn't pause while updating
4. Automatically check for new versions and upgrade

I think the next step will be storing tweets locally and only fetching new tweets since the latest stored one, to make it more friendly to the servers and able to display a longer list. But for now, I have to do my real job :(
 

Dromio

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2008
87
0
I'm watching the download count grow on the homepage, and my excitement is tempered by the fear that the auto-update has gone out of whack and is re-downloading the application for someone over and over again.

Is the auto-update working ok? Should be up to v.09 now.
 

chuque

Member
Aug 24, 2006
34
0
Shouldn't you be coding for food right now? ;)

It updated just fine for me from .08 to .09 yesterday. closed itself launched IE D/L the .cab etc ... however nowhere does it say .09 (ie: no about or version in the remove program area)

also still listing as "from web" I guess the twitter folks are slow to trun around the client request form.

Had a random crash, and then when I reloaded it the top bar was still visible (cutting off the top line of txt in the time line) ... rebooted phone all is well. is there any type of log or anything I can send (assuming it would be helpful; and not jsut a random glitch as I was running a couple other apps at the time. I am running on a sprint ppc-6700 running one of the cooked up 6.1 upgrades)