It’s been just a day since Kichibichiya was released. Here are some thoughts on the new app.
For those who heard the name for the first time, Kichibichiya is a Twitter client for Android written by the Sri Lankan developer Pahan. Kichi-bichi is Sinhala for the chirping of birds; hence the name. It has extracted all the goodness of the open-source client Twidere and added loads of useful features into it. The chief motivation for the app has been coming up with a Twiiter client with seamless Sinhala unicode support.
I was skeptic at first. Pahan was posting screenshots of his not-yet-released prototype since a few weeks and they mostly included tweets with Sinhala rendered beautifully. But would you use a Twitter app if all it did right was rendering a language properly? Well, I wouldn’t.
The first impression I got after installing Kichibichiya was, “Oh man, this is slick”. And it indeed is. Smooth scrolling between timelines, holo theme and less messy interface. Most common actions a regular tweep would need are easily accessible. Username auto-completion can improve, though. The customizability is impressive. Custom tabs, day and night themes, custom notifications, multiple accounts, ability to set DNS servers, host mapping, hardware acceleration are only a few of them. You can even set your own retweet format.
My favorite feature is the content filter. Kichibichiya lets you mute users (eg: @NisansaDdS), keywords (eg: changumee) and sources (eg: foursqure) hassle-free. Not every good client out there supports tweet filtering well, but Kichibichiya does it like a boss. It feels good when the timeline is not cluttered with foursquare and getglue tweets anymore.
Apparently there’s support for extensions as well. Not quite sure if it would allow third-party extensions or not, but it’s good to know that the app is extensible.
Some of the settings
Kichibichiya is awesome. I say awesome and I mean it. Not saying that it’s the best Twitter client out there. It’s hard to beat powerful clients like Falcon Pro, but then, Kichibichiya boasts of several features the former doesn’t offer. Of course, it was just launched. You’d find an obscure bug now and then. Some setting might not work perfectly. But let’s hope the developer keeps up with the good work and continue to come up with updates. And more cool features. This is one app with great potential.
So I joined app.net today. An year’s subscription costs $36 and there’s a monthly option for $5. I chose the latter for a start.
The global feed, similar to Twitter’s public timeline
It’s pretty much a Twitter-like service with a slightly different vocabulary. You create posts with a maximum length of 256 characters, as opposed to Twitter’s 140 limit on tweets. You can @ reply to other people’s posts and repost the good ones (just like retweeting). Or quote them (old-school retweet) and star them (favorite). There’s no counterpart to Twitter’s DMs as yet, but it’s coming soon. You can follow and unfollow other users.
How does it differ from Twitter?
For one thing, app.net will never advertise or sell their users’ data, as promised by the developers. It will be funded by the subscription fees. This also means only the people who are really interested will join app.net.
Secondly, app.net _is_ an open-source API. It focuses on users and third-party developers. Compare this with Twitter which now shuns third-party apps. Everyone had big hopes on Twitter a few years back, but not anymore. I tweeted a good post on this by Terence Eden some time back. Everyone should read that.
App.net may still be in its early stages, but developers have gathered around the platform and are building apps actively. There are quite a few apps already in the app.net directory. Other than the Alpha webapp by app.net itself, I tried out Dash for Android, NoodleApp for the web, and Texapp, a text-based client written in Perl just like Ttytter by the same developer. Best of all, you can use app.net with IFTTT as well.
appnetstats gives a realtime overview of the current app.net stats. Currently, majority of the users are developers and geeks, which is perhaps a good thing. Lots of constructive conversations going on.
Is app.net going to kill Twitter?
I don’t think so. Not being free will make most users stay out of it for the foreseeable future and stay with Twitter. But app.net will grow into a good community without any of Twitter’s stinking aspects. I really hope this will be the case. It’s been just a few hours, and if the going gets good I may subscribe for a full year. One may argue that no one should pay for a service that you can get for free, but in reality you cannot get what app.net offers from Twitter. You just can’t. They have explicitly defined their core values in their home page and Terms of Service in github.
Follow me on app.net if you’re there; I go by @thameera.
Update : Twitter’s bullshit policy changes has made IFTTT to remove all its Twitter triggers. So the following works no more. 🙁
IFTTT‘s one of the most powerful tools in the interwebs and it keeps getting better by the day. (Take a look here if you’ve no idea what ifttt is). A few days back the site got a complete overhaul in the interface.
Two new channels to automate WeMo devices have been added. It’s a set of magic tools that lets you control home electronic devices. This opens a world of ridiculously awesome possibilities. We can only hope these stuff will be available soon in this part of the world. Kudos to drac for pointing out. 😛
Yes, this is really possible.
Some really cool ingredients have been added as well. For example, now you can _append_ stuff to a note in Evernote or a text file in Dropbox. I was considering backing up all my tweets in Evernote earlier but what kept me away was the fact that ifttt would create 1000 notes for 1000 tweets. But not anymore.
Here’s a recipe to backup all the stupid stuff you tweet. It will create a note titled ‘Tweet Log’ and append all your tweets to that note. This includes all your replies and retweets, but you can opt them out. Feel free to re-use it or create your own.
The resulting note will look like the following:
- This will log only the tweets you post after activating this recipe.
- If you’re tweet in high frequency and the note gets bulky after some time, just edit the recipe and give a new name, like ‘Tweet log #2’.
If you don’t use Evernote, you can do the same with a text file in Dropbox. Use the same trigger and choose ‘Append to a text file’ action under Dropbox.
And if you’ve created or come across any cool recipes, please do share! 🙂
P.S. The same method can be used to log your facebook posts, etc.
P.P.S. Yes, you can log the tweets of your twitter-crush as well. 😛
Just wanted to test Twitter’s new tweet embedding feature, y’know.
Hmm. Not as good as I imagined. :/
It works! Madhawa pointed me to the short codes which enables embedding tweets in wordpress.com sites. Woot!
The way short codes work is explained here. Now even the previous code is working.
We’ve seen hundreds of twitter clients come and go. Only the fittest survive in this frenzy. And Streamie is going to be one of them.
Streamie is a browser-based twitter client, so it’s cross-platform from the outset. It’s timeline is real time, as in Tweetdeck. But these are not what make it stand among the rest.
Streamie strives to remove the unwanted bloat from the timeline. As seen in the screenshot below, only the the text of the tweet and user’s dp are displayed. Furthermore, it filters out long conversations (longer than 3). These filtered out tweets are shown as slim lines without text in the screenshot. If you want to see the hidden conversations, just click on those lines and they will appear. The result is a minimal timeline with less distractions and bloat.
Streamie is still in its beta, so expect some minor glitches and sluggishness. There’s still no support for twitter lists, etc. However, the app is still good for a beta. Hope the developers will continue improving the web app and if properly developed Streamie has the potential to become one of the best web-based twitter clients out there.
Streamie in Chrome Web Store
IMHO Seesmic Web is the coolest twitter web client out there. One of its coolest features is deciphering the meanings of weird trending topics for us.
For example Zack Snyder was the top trend today. Being the ignorant boy, I was elated when Seesmic Web told me who Zack Snyder really was.
Sometimes it can make your day.
I had a chat with the Jack Dorsey of Twitter today and he said that the New Twitter that’s already out is only the public release and the VIP release would take some time.
Those who have already got New Twitter won’t be able to enjoy the VIP one. Feeling sorry about them. Life’s unfair, mates.