The Tweetbot Roadmap
I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about our plans for Tweetbot over the next few weeks and after. Please note that they can change at any time. I’m also only going to be mentioning large changes, there’s likely to be a number of smaller features and improvements included in the releases below.
This is going to be a bug fix release. We’ve been working on this for a couple weeks now and it should be ready to ship off to Apple sometime this week. There’s over 2 dozen tweaks and fixes in this release, some of the major ones are listed below.
- Greatly improved performance when switching accounts.
- Profile view cleaned up to make it more obvious how to see a user’s timeline as well as including tweet count.
- Fixed performance slow down when app is running for a long time.
- Made it much more obvious that we have support for Read it Later and Instapaper.
- Added “Tiny” font size.
- Readability support.
- Posterous support.
The main focus in this release is going to be Landscape mode. One of the thing that makes our apps special is that our entire UI is custom. This means our apps look like nothing else, it also means that we can’t just add a couple lines of code and get landscape support. We have to redesign a number of elements in our UI so that they work properly in landscape mode. This takes time and it’s the reason it didn’t make it into the 1.0 release. Once this is done we’re going to support landscape mode on the Post, Media and Web screens.
Native Push Notifications
This is a tricky issue. There’s the technical complexity of having to deal with hundreds of thousands of clients and two totally different services (Twitter’s and Apple’s) but that’s just a matter of time and elbow grease. The thing we worry about with this feature is the costs. We’re not a huge company like Twitter that has a server infrastructure already in place. We’re also not a backed by VCs and can’t afford to lose money and make up for it in “volume”. Servers cost money and bandwidth costs money. There are 3rd party services that help dealing with push notifications but they all charge either by messages or by the user. In other words push, specially in high volumes, isn’t free. I would hope even the people complaining about paying the $2 sales price wouldn’t want to see us lose money on each sale of Tweetbot.
All that being said we do plan to figure out what to do with native push notifications. Hopefully we can get the price per user down enough that it can just be a free feature for everyone. If not we may have to resort to a nominal yearly subscription fee for the service. We’re not looking to make money on push notifications but we also don’t want to lose our shirts on it either. In the meantime, Boxcar is a pretty decent alternative.
A Little Bit of Patience
I’m going to be blunt here–we’re slow. There’s only two of us and everything we do is very purposeful and requires a lot of testing to make sure things work right the first time. Add in all the custom UI, pixel-pushing, localization, beta testing and week long Apple review times and even small changes can seem like they take forever. Please be patient. We do hear your requests and will get to many of them.
Thanks for All the Support
So far Tweetbot has been our most successful bot launch by quite a large margin. It’s really gratifying to see all the hard work pay off with thousands of satisfied users. We’ve been inundated with notes of congratulations and features request. We can’t reply to all of them but we do read them all. Thank you.