Developer: Glasshouse Apps
App Reviewed on: iPad 2
iOS Integration Rating:
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There are almost as many different kind of Twitter users as there are third party apps and clients. The latest for iPad, Quip, focuses on conversations. It won’t replace Tweetbot for hard-core and power users, but in just a few days of testing the app has revealed a new side of twitter to me, and the beautiful UI has made my discovery process very enjoyable.
I use twitter mostly for business, and confess that while I know engagement with my followers is ideally done in the form of conversations, I frankly am the type to just tweet and run. I’ve always looked to Facebook for conversation, in part because of the character limitation on Twitter, but mostly because trying to follow a good debate gives me a headache.
Quip’s strength is that conversations are like threads with related tweets grouped together. In other words, if someone I follow starts a conversation I just see the their tweet. But below it are little avatars, each representing a reply. A tap brings up the entire discourse. If users want to see discussions only there is a tab on the left that will filter your timeline down to tweets by people you follow that received replies.
Quip performs regular twitter functions in a familiar manner. Tweets are seen in bubbles with the option to reply, retweet, favortie, copy link, and email. Tapping on an avatar displays the users bio, tweets, and from there one can follow, block or report a tweet. There is no muting, however, something I like in other twitter clients. Quip has the expected search function and otherwise works like a standard twitter app.
Well, that’s not entirely true. While conversations are the showpiece feature, the way Quip handles photos is unusual and visually pleasing. All tweets with photos are displayed in a grid. If there are multiple images, they are stacked and easy to simply swipe through.
The big downside to Quip is load/refresh times. The app uses pull-to-refresh, but compared to Tweetbot, the wait is on the long side. Quip displays a lovely bird while the extra seconds pass, but for those who like to quickly scroll through a timeline, the extra seconds add up quickly.
I don’t think Tweetbot, Twiiterrific, or even Tweetings has much to worry about, but that doesn’t mean I’m uninstalling Quip. While testing I discovered that some folks had replied to my tweets with questions or comments. I ignored them because I didn’t catch them; with other apps I would have had to be paying attention. But with Quip the replies were impossible to miss.
And, for the casual Twitter user, who either socializes or wants to follow along with heated debates or trending topics, Quip offers a an engaging and attractive user experience.