Twitter For BlackBerry Version 1.1 In Beta Zone…Seems To Me A Couple Days Too Late?
This weekend I posted about Twitter suspending access for the popular BlackBerry Twitter app UberTwitter and urging people to go download the Official Twitter app in UberTwitter’s absence. Now, with UberTwitter back with the name UberSocial I find it funny that just today, RIM decided to release to the BlackBerry Beta Zone a new version of the Official Twitter for BlackBerry app – version 1.1. I read about this on BerryReview and Engadget Mobile and have downloaded the new app but and I will see if it compares to UberSocial.
The feature set of this new version sure looks impressive – from BerryReview:
The new version brings some nice features including geotagging your tweets, cleaner interfaces, and new notifications along with other updates.
Features in v1.1 of Twitter for BlackBerry include:
- @mention Push Notifications – Users are now alerted with push notifications to the ribbon when they have @mentions, helping users quickly reply to @mentions. (Sounds AWESOME.)
- Direct Messages – Renamed “Messages,” direct messages are now threaded in the style of BBM conversations. Related messages are grouped together, making the direct message area less cluttered. (Great idea!)
- #Topic Autocomplete – When users include a hashtag in their tweet, a dropdown list of key words will be presented based on previously used #topics. (Personally, this one is huge for me as it is one of the things I LOVE about UberSocial.)
- Social Feeds Integration – Deeper integration with Social Feeds allows users to perform Twitter actions right from Social Feeds, without launching the app. (Meh)
- Retweet Updates – Retweets now appear in the Home timeline with a tag of “retweeted by you,” quickly alerting users that a retweet has been sent. (Sounds cool)
- New Gesture Support – BlackBerry smartphone users with a touch screen device can now refresh page content by simply dragging a finger down the device screen and releasing it. (Sounds cool)
My question about the timing of this whole thing is – isn’t it a bit late? Over the course of this weekend when UberTwitter was suspended from having access to the Twitter API I tried the Official Twitter for BlackBerry app as well as Hootsuite for BlackBerry Beta, Social Scope, and Seesmic for BlackBerry and not one of them gave me the same experience as UberTwitter/UberSocial. Granted, they each DID have their good points but not enough to make me want to stay with them once UberSocial was allowed access to the Twitter API again. I was not alone on this either – as soon as the word spread that UberSocial was back the strain on the UberSocial servers was too much and they started crashing as most people who had used UberTwitter until that weekend were quick to hop back to the new incarnation UberSocial.
Now, however, it seems that Twitter and RIM/BlackBerry are coming out, guns blazing, with a comparable app to UberSocial. This app looks like it will present some serious competition for UberSocial so why didn’t BlackBerry/Twitter wait a couple weeks/days until this new version was ready? Wouldn’t that be the more intelligent move? Get everyone to switch to your app because UberTwiter got suspended and then when they get there they realize, “Hey, this app is actually a good replacement for the one I lost” or maybe, “Hey, this app is actually a better app for my Twitter usage than UberTwitter/UberSocial ever was”, and then they decide to stick with your official app. Instead, you have a bunch of people downloading the Official Twitter for BlackBerry app and then uninstalling it as soon as UberSocial is allowed back. Then when you release your full version of this new iteration of Twitter for Blackberry in a couple of weeks from now is the average user going to want to give it a try? I don’t think so.
What do you think? Are you willing to give this new iteration of the Official Twitter for BlackBerry app a try when it comes out of the Blackberry Beta Zone (or even now)? Was it a silly move on the part of Twitter to not wait until this app was ready before banning UberTwitter? Granted, I did download this new app but that’s just because I’m a geek who loves to be an early adopter and play with new apps and gadgets. We will see if this new beta Twitter for BlackBerry lasts the night…I haven’t uninstalled UberSocial yet!
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