Now that the official Twitter for BlackBerry® app has been officially released to the public it’s worth revisiting this topic to tackle some of the features that need improvement. In February I reviewed the first Twitter for BlackBerry® beta and shared my thoughts about some of the nice features it possessed as well as some of the features that needed improvement. When the second beta was released in early April it was apparent that Twitter and RIM put their heads together to develop an amazing app. The app included new features, improvements to existing features, and the overall speed of the app was superb. However, while the latest beta was very impressive, there were still existing features that were untouched such as the retweet (RT) feature and photo service options.
Will these two features see any improvement?
Last week I wrote an article about Qik rolling out a beta app for BlackBerry users running OS 5.0. Well, last night I received an email from Qik Product Marketing Manager, Jiuyu Zhou, with instructions for downloading the Qik beta app as well as a request to test the BlackBerry Tour’s network. After waiting nearly 8 months I was psyched to finally get my hands on the app and start messing around with it. However, I decided to take a couple minutes first to test the Tour’s network since the results will help the Qik mobile development team find a fix to the streaming live video issue on CDMA devices.
Nonetheless, once the network test was complete I went ahead and downloaded Qik beta version 0.1.17.2 OTA. The installation was smooth and there was no need to reboot the OS to get started, therefore I launched the app, entered my login credentials, and connected successfully to Qik. I’ve been playing with the app for a while and with the exception of streaming live video, everything is working fine and the video upload feature is flawless. As I mentioned in my previous article, streaming live video was a known issue for CDMA devices so I did not expect this feature to be available in this beta version. However, BlackBerry users running OS 5.0 on a GSM device have the ability to stream live video from their BlackBerry to their Qik page as well as the ability to upload recorded videos that already exist on their device.
I’ve been using TweetDeck as my desktop client for quite a while now, and in my opinion, it is by far the best social media client on the market. The ability to manage multiple social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more all within one desktop client makes the social media experience a dream.
Although I’m not an iPhone user, I had the luxury of playing around with TweetDeck for iPhone and I believe it trumps any other social media app available for iPhone. Unfortunately, BlackBerry users have not had the luxury of enjoying the TweetDeck experience, but hopefully that will change shortly.
A couple months ago I took you inside the first Twitter for BlackBerry® beta app and shared my likes and dislikes. While I was impressed with the app’s GUI, color scheme, and features, I was disappointed with the basic features it lacked and its sluggish performance. Nonetheless, today I got my hands on the new Twitter for BlackBerry® beta v126.96.36.199 and all I can say is “amazing” – simply amazing. This new version of Twitter for BlackBerry® is a pleasure to use now that RIM added several features, made improvements to existing features, and now uses data cache to speed up performance.
The features in this new version of Twitter for BlackBerry® include:
If you are not familiar with the sequence of events that led up to the development of the Qik beta app for the BlackBerry Tour, continue reading so you have a better understanding how we got to this point.
Last year when I joined the video-sharing site, Qik, I was excited to download their app to my new BlackBerry Tour so I could start streaming live video and upload previously recorded videos. However, after visiting their smartphone support page, I noticed that the Tour was not supported. At that time the Tour was on the market for only a few days so I understood that there might be a short waiting period before I got my hands on the Qik app. Since there was already support for approximately 125 smartphones, the BlackBerry Curve, Pearl, and Bold being among those supported, I figured it was only a matter of time before Qik developed an app for the Tour.
Last year at the BlackBerry Developer Conference in San Francisco, Adam Nash, Vice President of Search & Platform Products at LinkedIn, announced that LinkedIn for BlackBerry was in the works and even provided a few screenshots. Since most business professionals use BlackBerry as their mobile platform, this announcement was highly anticipated by BlackBerry users. Tonight, the business social network finally launched the official LinkedIn for BlackBerry app and it is now available for download online and at the BlackBerry App World store. According to the LinkedIn blog, the app supports only the BlackBerry Tour, Curve, and Bold devices that are running BlackBerry OS v4.3 or later.
As a BlackBerry user and a LinkedIn member, I was excited to get my hands on this app and I’m sure this will be a very popular app in the professional arena. Although the LinkedIn for BlackBerry app is not as feature-rich as the iPhone app, it does just about everything you need it to do and a little extra. The app features six key modules: Network Updates, Search, Connections, Invitations, Messages, and Reconnect.
Recently Foursquare pushed out app updates to both iPhone and Android users just in time for SXSW so it was only a matter of time before BlackBerry users got their hands on an update. Well, as expected, Foursquare pushed out a new update to BlackBerry users this morning. If you are running the Foursquare app and don’t already have the v1.7 update, simply launch your Foursquare app and it should automatically update to the newest version. You can also download the app from the BlackBerry App World store or visit the Foursquare Web site to download.
There is not a whole lot going on under the hood in this update other than changes to the UI. After firing up the app you will notice four icons in the top navigation menu: Friends (F), Places (P), Tips, and More. While some of these icons might look familiar to you from the previous version, the “Tips” icon is a new addition to the navigation menu. Let’s take a quick look at the new navigation menu and what changes took place.
Research In Motion (RIM) introduced the first version of Twitter for BlackBerry® on Thursday and allowed users with an invite code to take the app for a test drive. I managed to get my hands on the Twitter for BlackBerry® app and at first glance I really liked what I saw. The GUI was clean, the color scheme was attractive, and the app was loaded with features. It appeared to be far more advanced than any of the other BlackBerry Twitter apps that I have seen, but as I started messing around with it there were a few features that I felt could have used some improvement and the overall performance was quite sluggish. I’ll explain that in greater detail a bit later, but first let me give a quick preview of the app.
According to the Inside BlackBerry blog, Twitter for BlackBerry® was designed to integrate seamlessly with the Blackberry platform so it would create a familiar experience for both BlackBerry and Twitter users. Upon launching Twitter for BlackBerry® you are presented with a stylish home screen which contains seven navigation icons: Home, Mentions, My Profile, Direct Messages, Find People, Search, and Popular Topics. Just below the home navigation bar is the status update field where you can type your tweets and the remaining portion of the screen is your Twitter timeline. I have used just about every BlackBerry Twitter app from TwitterBerry to UberTwitter to SocialScope and while SocialScope has always been my preferred app, Twitter for BlackBerry® crushes the competition when it comes to its GUI and with a little work and some additional features it should set the new standard for BlackBerry Twitter apps.
WordPress announced today that beta testing for the WordPress for BlackBerry app is complete and version 1.0 is now available in BlackBerry App World. WordPress for BlackBerry 1.0 has been in beta for more than six months, but version 1.0 adds support for VideoPress, improved commentening, and a spot in BlackBerry App World. What can you do with the WordPress for BlackBerry app? WordPress for BlackBerry is pretty awesome if you want to blog while you are on the move. The app allows you to write posts, edit pages, manage comments, and upload photos and videos.
Although I don’t have a lot of time to blog, I really like the idea of having an app on my BlackBerry that will allow me to blog whenever I have the urge. I went ahead and installed WordPress for Blackberry on my Tour and it works like a charm. I’m not sure how often I will use the app to create a new blog post or edit existing pages, but it’s nice to know that there is a feature that will allow me to do it. I really like the fact, however, that I can approve, delete, or put a hold on new comments because that is always an annoying task.
Foursquare, the location-based social networking service, rolled out their BlackBerry beta app on Christmas Eve and I was thrilled to receive one of the invites. The company sent out an email to about one thousand people who made the VIP list of beta testers so they could download the app to their BlackBerry and take it for a test drive.
Unlike iPhone and Android users, who were already familiar with a Foursquare app, BlackBerry users were forced to visit the Foursquare mobile site (m.foursquare.com) to “Check-in” to venues so I was stoked when Foursquare released the BlackBerry app. I was ready to download the app, fire it up, and give it a go.