Could become an excellent tool in the future, but this first release is patchy.
Tweet Library Review
by on July 8, 2011
It’s easy to think of tweets as something purely of the moment, to be blasted through your eyes, bounce off your brain, and never really be thought of again. As time goes on, though, more and more of us need to hang onto the important ones. What are people saying about your company? What happened during that earthquake?
While you can use Tweet Library just as a straight-up Twitter client, its real job is to help you track down, store and publish the more remarkable moments. It downloads over 3,000 tweets at a time (a limit enforced by Twitter rather than the app), building an archive of everything your account has seen, filtering it to make it easy to search and giving you the ability to create collections to refer back to later. That’s not much for six quid, but it is something other clients don’t do.
For the most part, it works fine, and most of the obvious problems with the idea have been taken into account. For instance, collections are local to your iPad, but you can export them as CSV files, email plain text versions to someone, or publish them to the Tweet Library website (which also provides an RSS feed for people to subscribe to, but annoyingly doesn’t enable you to mark your collections as private or stop the website highlighting them to others).
Exploring the archive is also relatively easy, thanks to searches and filters with ‘and/or’ style logic. Unfortunately, the searches are nothing compared to the dedicated alternative on the Twitter website, which doesn’t just look for keywords, but date ranges, languages, locations, attitudes and more, which are what you want when properly digging into the public archives.
The main problem, though, is the interface, which frequently gets in its own way.
Adding individual tweets to collections is a tedious process: instead of just dragging them into the right box, you have to tap them, then on Copy To in the pop-up menu, then the collection you want them in. It sounds small, but it’s one of many areas where – at the risk of being burned for heresy – Tweet Library feels it would have been more comfortable as a desktop app, rather than restricted by the iPad’s predominantly single-user world of flicks, swipes, long-winded exporting and touchscreen editing.
None of the issues kill Tweet Library however, and they’re primarily first-version stumbles rather than core problems with the idea. Even so, they’re frustrating enough in use that we’d wait to see how the next version of the tool evolves. At heart, it either needs to drop the price and be a consumer tool, or take a more professional turn towards business, with the ease of use and specific features each side demands.
Download this app: Tweet Library for iPad
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Review courtest of Tap!