Twitter is something I enjoy quite a bit. I am a heavy lurker and frequently retweet items of interest. I originally found twitter a great place to share my love of cycling and hockey. Watching a race or a hockey game on your own is no longer boring or lonely when you are the only one in the house watching. There is a constant comment stream on twitter as the action happens on the TV screen. So it’s important to me to have a solid application with easy navigation and a simple interface.
As a Mac user I have found Tweetie to be my application of choice both on the iPhone, laptop and desktop. I follow nearly 1,400 people and have over a 1,000 followers so I need to be able to ‘parse’ a lot of tweets to get to the good stuff. When I bought my iPad several months ago I was bummed to learn that @atebits had recently been acquired by Twitter and had yet to release an iPad version of now is was called Twitter for iPhone. So I searched for good alternatives.
After trying the free and paid versions of Twitterific and a couple of other free apps including TweetDeck and multi-use apps like AIM and IM+ Lite, I stumbled upon Osfoora by Said Marouf. It is a beautiful application and, for the most part, works very well. I love the way it handles and displays message threading and how it opens only the photo and not the web page for the photo giving you a much better view of the picture.
Osfoora is a paid app and you can get it in the app store for $3.99 ($2.99 for iPhone). Osfoora can handle multiple accounts and gives you a nice display of account stats on the account page. Clicking the “+” give you the sign in for adding new accounts.
The settings give a lot of great flexibility including an auto rotate toggle separate from the switch on the iPad itself. Set the number of tweets to load at startup to 50, 100 or 200. The refresh rate, unread badges as well as sound and split view are here. In the view section, in settings, you can choose a light or dark theme (dark for me thanks), font size (18pt for this old man) and whether you want to see twitter handles or the tweeter’s name.
Then comes a veritable cornucopia of services. You can choose from the main image services, URL shorteners, read later options such as Instapaper (my choice) or Read It Later. I am a TextExpander user and the option is included as well as toggling the popup for read later when you click a link within a tweet. Also there is watch video later service for Wacchen.
One of my favorite features in Osfoora is the Follow Friday tool. Here you can set a prefix such as #FF or #FollowFriday and when this is done with the contact area open while writing a tweet, it will autofill with random tweeps from your contact list. You can automatically add anywhere from 0 to 10 twitter handles. Love this feature, although It it would be cool if you could choose from a subset of people instead of just the complete contact list.
Finally the setting to give you the option to install the Safari bookmarklet, then About Osfoora such as the fact that Osfoora means little or female bird and the ability to clear the thumbnail image cache.
The last icon on the left side of the screen is the profile. In here you can see all your profile info including following, followers, total tweets, etc. Also links to your lists, your RTs, tweets of your others have RT’d and more.
On the right you have a double chevron that jumps your stream to the top a check mark that marks all as read, a button for drafts and snippets saved. And finally a conversation bubble to click to open the new tweet window, tweet options and the keyboard.
Along the bottom are all the standard tools, timeline, mentions, DMs, search, lists, favorites and a map with all the tweets from nearby tweeps displayed on clickable pins. I really enjoyed this feature when I had caught up with folks I am following.
One of my favorite features is the fun bird chirping each time the stream is refreshed. It was seriously fun watching my dogs trying to figure out where it was coming from.
In vertical view you can touch the tweet and you get a nice, expanded view of the tweet and the tweep’s profile. Along the bottom are the tools to reweet, quote the tweet, DM, reply, translate and clicking on the quote bubble, when it’s highlighted, will display the conversation thread. Sadly these don’t work when you are viewing in horizontal.
Overall Osfoora is a very solid Twitter application with solid support. The couple of times I did have issues Said was very quick with a solution or fix and all was well. While I can’t quite give this app 5 stars it is a solid 4.
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