30 Jul 2011

Snaptu's Twitter Client

Guess I'm the only one that doesn't like the Snaptu Twiiter client anyway judging from the response to my tweet about it. So I've decided to explain myself in more than 140 characters.

First things first, Snaptu is a great app. Really. I love the implementation of the facebook app but I don't like how the twitter app is implemented. I'd also say here that I run Snaptu on a Nokia E5 and this is from a personal experience and so may not be the same with other users/phone. One more thing. I'm a J2ME developer (see Cue and moCloud on Ovi) and this may affect my judgement as well.

The twitter app WORKS. My argument isn't against what functunalities were missing or should be implemented. It is the UX (user experience) I have an issue with. Sorry I won't be able to post screenshots (this is a hurried one from mail) but I will try all best to explain properly.

In simple words, the twitter app loads unnecessarily. There are different actions that the app loads at which are not required of. I will however make just one example. The home page of the app lists recent tweets. Scrolling takes you through each tweet, one at a time. To access any of the tweet entity (username, hash or link) or act on the tweet (reply, retweet and co), the app first loads before the menu comes up. The twitter API (which I've worked with quite a lot of times) returns all the necessary details of a tweet and I see no reason for this. In fact, sometimes I see the API as an overkill because even little details like all the included usernames, hash, links and their respective index (position in the tweet) are included. And that's the argument. Why the unnecessary loading?

A better implementation should be like @dabr on mobile. Scrolling should not only take you through the tweets but the entities as well. That means through the usernames, hash and links such that clicking on this will redirect to the user profile, tweets with same hash and open link in browser respectively.

And that concludes my own two cents. Now that facebook has decided to scrap the twitter app out of Snaptu, guess it is time for users to start looking for a mobile alternative. As mentioned m.dabr.uk is a nice one. Simple, easy and works.

My name is Opeyemi Obembe. I build things for web and mobile. You should follow me on Twitter (@kehers).