By: Hillel Fuld
With the 200,000 plus apps in the App Store, many people ask me how I decide which apps to review. The answer is that there is no one answer. If I come across an app that catches my attention and keeps it after I have tried the app, that is an app worth reviewing. If someone reaches out to me on Twitter in a non spammy way, and tells me they have a new app, I will try it out. If I like it and feel there is a need for such an app, I will review it. There have been many other scenarios in which I reviewed apps, but with Tweetlist, the situation was different.
The developer of Tweetlist reached out on Twitter (follow Tweetlist here) and caught my attention with the fact that their Twitter app was based on Twitter lists. They did not just make another Twitter app, which is probably the most common type of app on the App Store. They did something different. Not only that, but Twitter lists have been the most helpful feature Twitter has added all year in my opinion. I use them constantly, and one of the main issues I had with the official Twitter for iPhone was the lack of good Twitter list integration.
So, the developer of Tweetlist reached out with a personal and non spammy tweet, caught my attention with their product, and thereby passed the first step of getting their app reviewed on Appboy. Then, they sent me an email with a promo code to download the app, and included just enough information in the email to make me really like these guys, but not to bore and annoy me with long and unnecessary details.
Alexandra told me they were a husband and wife team in San Francisco who started developing as a team when they decided they did not like the way other apps handled lists. They do this on the side with the husband working a full time job and Alexandra preparing for the arrival of their first child. Now, some people might think this information is irrelevant, but I think it shows that she spent the time sending a personal and authentic email, as opposed to many other developers who just send email templates to a million bloggers at a time. I liked it.
She also told me that Tweetlist was recently featured by Apple in the App Store, yet another thing that caught my attention. At this point, I was decided, I was going to spend the time to get to know Tweetlist.
Before I get into this app and why I think it can become some serious competition for apps like Echofon, Twitter, and even Seesmic, let me just say one thing. Developers looking for blog coverage should learn a lesson from the way Alexandra did this. Bloggers or any other writers for that matter do not like getting unpersonalized email templates. To sum it up in one sentence, if you cannot spend the time writing them an email, why should they spend the time reviewing your product and writing a review? Now on to Tweetlist.
The addition of Twitter lists to the Twitter platform has completely changed the way people use Twitter. It enables you to find people you would have never encountered otherwise, it provides you with the ability to easily follow key people on whatever topic interests you, and most importantly, it has become the most efficient way of following hundreds or thousands of people.
I stopped following my All Friends column in Tweetdeck the day Twitter lists were released. I have a list of my favorite people and that is what I follow. The problem is, what do I do when I am on my iPhone? Well, almost all new Twitter apps have the ability to view your lists, but almost none of them have as easy access to the lists as Tweetlist does.
In fact, not only is the access easier, but the way Tweetlist handles your Twitter lists is pure brilliance. With the other apps I have tried, you can read a list, and reply to people on that list, but if you want to move on to a different list, you need to perform at least three steps. Generally speaking, you need to go out of the current list, find the list you want to access, then go into it. With Tweetlist, you have immediate access to your lists, and you can swipe left and right to transition between all your lists.
In addition to the integration of Twitter lists, Tweetlist is a full fledged and very advanced Twitter app. The app has all of the standard features found in other apps, but it also has some unique features I have not seen anywhere else. One such feature is full conversation threading. One of my main issues with Twitter as a service is the lack of clear threads when replying to someone. In Tweetlist, when you reply, the app also shows the question to which you are replying.
In addition, Tweetlist has some nice advancements in its searching abilities. You can search Twitter, find users, view local trends, and save searches. The app supports an unlimited number of accounts, and has the ability to fully cache tweets with a pull mechanism or an auto refresh. It also has the one thing I found to be missing from my favorite iPhone Twitter app, Seesmic. With Tweetlist, there are badges for unread replies and DMs, but when you view them, they are not marked as read automatically, something I like a lot with Echofon.
The list goes on and on, but I will just summarize and say that this is one of the best Twitter apps out there, but I am assuming that as a small husband and wife team, they do not have a huge budget for marketing, and so most of us have never heard of this app. I think they deserve recognition for Tweetlist, not to mention the way they try to promote it using social media the “right” way.
The app is great, the developers seem great, and I think both of them deserve the $1.99 this app costs.
Would love to hear your thoughts on Tweetlist in the comments.