twitter

Twitter has announced some sweeping changes to their all-important application programming interface or just API. This API is essential plumbing to allow application developers access to the “fire hose” of data from twitter. It has been no secret that Twitter wish to tighten their grip ever more over whom can access their system. With their latest set of guidelines, they show they mean business.

As Windows Phone users, we are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to third party twitter apps, with the likes of Rowi, Carbon, glƏƏk!, Mehdoh and Birdsong (to name drop a few). The new API could mean real headaches for those trying to differentiate with their Twitter client...

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The evolution of Twitter on your Windows Phone continues with the most recent change being how the 'via' appears. We started with tweets from our Windows Phones as being referenced as "via Windows Live". Then Twitter become more tightly integrated with our People Hub.

About that same time the "via Windows Live" was changed to "via Microsoft". Now today, if you'll notice, the via has changed yet again.

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Birdsong, a Windows Phone Twitter app, experienced a little technical difficulties with Live Tile and push notifications. The developers have worked diligently over the past few weeks and the new push notification service went online just a little while ago.

Birdsong is a nicely laid out Twitter app for your Windows Phone that supports multiple accounts, threaded conversations, geo-tagged tweets, off line viewing and much more.

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The offiical Twitter app's new Toast push-notification in action

If there was one nagging issue with the official Twitter app for Windows Phone, it was the inability to get Toast notifications for new mentions or re-Tweets. Even after receiving a new update just 3 weeks ago, there was still no sign of any of these advanced features.

So we were a tiny bit flabbergasted to actually see a new notification section in the latest update, version 1.2.4555.39631 (or just v1.5 in the Marketplace) which just went live tonight. The updated Notification area has the following options

  • Mentions - Off, From people you follow, From anyone
  • Favorited Off, From people you follow, From anyone
  • retweetsOff, From people you follow, From anyone
  • Direct messages
  • New followers

That's actually a fairly robust selection of possible notifications for Twitter these days and yes, they are the Push type i.e. nearly instant. What's more, while there is seemingly no Live Tile counter, the Tiles does flip to show you new mentions or notifications in addition to the Toast alerts (which work quite fast from our experience).

While there is no counter, the Live Tile flips to show mentions

While it may have taken nearly two years to get this feature on Twitter, we are just going to sit in awe now and enjoy what we have.

Pick up the official Twitter app (v1.5) for Windows Phone now in the Marketplace. Thanks, Osvaldo C., for the tip

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Twabbit for Windows Phone is a Twitter client that is nicely laid out, has plenty of features and overall is a really nice Windows Phone app.

Twabbit's main pages cover your Twitter home page with all your tweets, interactions with other tweets and your direct message inbox. Other key features include:

  • Persistently present tweet button that enables you to compose tweets from anywhere in the app
  • Quick reply bar, Support for multiple Twitter accounts
  • Ability to mute users, hastags and apps
  • Support for Twitter, TwitPic and yFrog photo upload services
  • Live Tile Support

Tweets load fast and there are a ton of settings to let you customize Twabbit to suit your needs and tastes. There's even gesture settings for customizable single and multi-touches.

There is a free trail available for Twabbit and the full version is currently running $.99. Today's the last day to pick Twabbit up for $.99 and then the price jumps to $1.49. If you're looking for a nice Twitter client for your Windows Phone, Twabbit is worth checking out.

You can find Twabbit here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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The official Twitter app has been updated to version 1.4, but we're not entirely sure what's changed or if anything has been added. From what we can gather, Live Tiles and notifications are still a no-no, there's no sight of the new Twitter logo, but we've received reports of backend adjustments as speed and reliability have been improved.

The versions have appeared to increase from 1.2.4331.15424 to 1.2.4525.19177, so your guess is as good as ours when it comes to what exactly if going on. Do let us know in the comments should you notice anything in the new version.

You can download the official Twitter app from the Marketplace for free.

Thanks to everyone for tipping us!

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Red Badger has finally released update 1.7 for Birdsong, the Twitter client for Windows Phone that has been left collecting dust on the shelf for a fair few months. We previously looked at version 1.7 when it was announced on the Red Badger blog that the update would be pushed out soon. 

Without repeating ourselves too much, this version fixes the login issue that users were experiencing, as well as the setting save 'fail' that prevented live tile functionality being enabled. The search has been revamped, which now sports saved searches pulled down from the micro-blogging website. If saved searches weren't enough, the team have also thrown in trending topics functionality.

You can download Birdsong from the Marketplace - we'd recommend a fresh install if you've been experiencing problems with previous versions.

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The premium version of Rowi has been updated today, which introduces features implemented in the recent Rowi "Lite" release. Without repeating ourselves too much, this update to both versions of the Windows Phone Twitter client makes use of the Aviary SDK (see our earlier exclusive first look) for photo manipulation and editing. 

As well as catering for the die-hard amateur photographers, version 2.1 also brings support for TweetMarker (website), a service that synchronises accounts across multiple clients and platforms. The update is rolling out for the paid version of Rowi as we speak, so fear not if you haven't received the notification just yet.

If you haven't got Rowi, you can download the app from the Marketplace.

Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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What? "Birdsong is still alive" you say? It seems the team at Red Badger have been busy pumping life into the old girl, who has been dormant since she was updated to Mango. We last spoke of Birdsong, the then-popular Windows Phone Twitter client, when the team announced that intern Joe Stanton would be tasked with bringing the app back up to speed with the competition. So what's new in upcoming 1.7?

The team has introduced a new trends feature, which is now accessible from the main app bar and provides convenient access to Twitter trending data for users. The feature calculates your location and displays nearest trending topics with the option to view what's trending in a specific city, nationwide, or on a global scale. 

Search functionality has been revamped and is now more intuitive with the main search view retrieving saved searches automatically. Upon executing a search via Birdsong, the app now searches both tweets and accounts simultaneously. The app makes use of the Twitter API for searching, so any saved searches created / manipulated on the app will be reflected on the website and other apps that make use of the same functionality.

As well as a search revamp and trending topics, Birdsong now supports both photos tweeted using Twitter's in-house hosting service and gzip. Previously, any image hosted with Twitter would show it as a link which could not be selected, but now all photos are loaded correctly depending on user settings. For gzip support, this solves the login issue many experience when attempting to connect their Twitter account to the app on first launch.

There are two bug fixes in 1.7, the first being the above implemented gzip support. Twitter altered their authentication API to always return a gzip response, which resulted in Birdsong not being able to process authenticated responses. The second bug fix is for errors with user profiles where the app was making unauthenticated requests, causing the user to hit brick walls with limits being applied by the social network. 

Unfortunately, we couldn't see any mention of the live tile / push service functionality in the change log. Many have been reporting issues with manipulating the settings for said features in Birdsong, where the app would throw a failure message when one attempted to simply enable the service. We hope these known issues will be fixed in a future update, which wont take as long to publish.

Source: Red Badger; Thanks, Kyle, for the tip!

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New Twitter integration with Live and the People Hub. Left (New) and Right (Old).

Microsoft has evidently updated how Twitter interacts with Live services on Windows Phone by automatically pulling down a contact's Twitter profile an merging it into "Notes".

We're not sure when the change occurred but reader Kaush noticed the difference today which evidently happened when Windows Phone auto-syncs back to the server for contact updates. We managed to break out our international Titan (which we last used a few months ago) to quickly compare for a "before and after".

As an example, under Jay Bennett you can now see his Twitter profile integrated into Notes whereas the device on the right does not have that information.

While this is a small and subtle change, it is certainly good use of the Notes area which often goes unused.  So to our readers: is this something really new or have we just missed it?

Thanks, Kaush, for the tip!

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We haven't covered the popular Twitter app Tweet It! in quite some time so now feels about right. Tweet It! won our praise months ago for breaking the tradition of super-Metro Twitter apps that are out in force on the Marketplace. Featuring a unique UI, "Street mode" for walking, orientation lock, shake-to-refresh and more, the app is full of interesting surprises and stands apart from the crowd.

Because it's the developers birthday, the app has gone from its normal $1.99 to free for the next 48 hours. Call us crazy, but that's a pretty good deal even if not sure if you'll like it (but we think you will).

Since our coverage, the app has had a major revision in version 3.0.The changes are welcomed including excellent scrolling capability and fast loading (try the "Post Tweet" tile). But don't take our word for it. Go download it now, take it for a spin and let us know your thoughts.

Pick up Tweet it! for free here in the Windows Phone Marketplace, you won't regret it. And happy birthday, Khamidov Timur!

Check out our video review of v2.0 and QR tag after the break...

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To celebrate the 500,000 download milestone being reached for all published apps, the glƏƏk! developers have decided to unleash a number of special codes that can be used to unlock the full version of their Twitter client. This move is targeting those who are unable to pay for apps, which may be due to age requirements, carrier restrictions, or other factors preventing Windows Phone owners enjoying the full experience of glƏƏk!.

The team have decided to make it easy for users to own glƏƏk! for free, using special unlock codes (hashtags) that unlock the full version leaving the users able to purchase the app in the future (much like a donation) should they choose to do so when a different circumstance occurs. Today's unlock hashtag is "#wpcentralrocks", with future codes being posted on the @gleekthis Twitter account.

How does one enter the published codes?

  • Go to 'Support' in the app (make sure it reads "version 1.8")
  • Double-tap on the main glƏƏk! logo
  • Enter today’s “magic hashtag”

You can download glƏƏk! from the Marketplace as a trial and then use the special day codes to unlock the full version for free.

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Microsoft has altered the text displayed when tweeting from Windows Phones. Instead of displaying "via Windows Live", which is what we've become accustomed to with integration on the mobile platform running through the Live ID (soon to be 'Microsoft Account'), any tweets published from a Windows Phone will now display "via Microsoft".

This is another step in the withdrawal of the Live branding in favour of Microsoft and Windows. We've previously looked at how the software giant is rebranding products with the upcoming launch of Windows 8. While information has come to light surrounding previous Windows Live essential services, little has come to light about the new music service as-of-yet. 

via: Metro Powered

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The popular (and rather unique) Twitter client for Windows Phone glƏƏk! (see our review) has been recently updated to version 1.5, which introduces a number of new features. The functionality that's included in this update includes user colour coding, which will please those who are arriving from other platforms and are heavy Twitter users. When browsing through tweets, users can now add colours to specific accounts they're following.  

That's not all as the developer has bundled a number of extras into the app, including custom ringtones. Ringtones for Carbon, glƏƏk!, Meadow and Rowi can be found in the extras section. Adjusting the font size is now available, and finally a number of performance improvements have been applied. Not a bad update, right?

As well as the above features, there is a public service announcement the developer asked us to publish. An issue has been located and subsequently fixed, but the update containing this solution is not going to be live for another handful of days. Should you encounter this issue, we ask that you simply ignore it for now until the patch is rolled out. The problem is when users attempt to save their accounts / settings while their Windows Phone is configured for a region that uses commas (",") for numerical separation / decimal marks.

Should you be using commas, instead of periods (".") in your region, you may wish to hold off on updating to version 1.5 until the patch is available. If you've already updated then it's only a number of days before the fix will be heading for your Windows Phone - as a temporary fix, you can change your regional settings to work around the issue (though we've not encountered the problem ourselves).

You can download glƏƏk! from the Marketplace.

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Ben Rudolph has taken a break from the Smoked by Windows Phone marketing campaign and kicked off a humorous Twitter competition that had users sending in entries to win a Lumia 900. To be in with a chance of winning, an ingenious caption had to be created for the above photo. Should the entry be original and witty then Rudolph would take it into account. Today, the winner was announced on the official team blog.

So what was the winning tweet / caption? See below:

"It took a heck of a lot of scrubbing, but I finally got all the cyan out."

Yep. We approve. That is a pretty good caption. Congratulations to @dnanian for the submission and winning a Lumia 900. Check out the #captionthalumia hashtag for more caption entries. Some good news that followed this contest is Rudolph stated that he'd like to do something similar in the future. Perhaps we'll see some more spontaneous marketing from the team to compliment the smoked campaign?

Source: Windows Phone Team Blog

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Windows Phone App Review: glƏƏk!

glƏƏk! for Windows Phone

glƏƏk! is a Twitter client for your Windows Phone that has plenty of features and a bit of flair. The app brings all the Twitter goodness to your Windows Phones plus glƏƏk!s and pƏƏks.

When you first launch the app, you'll need to set up an account (sign in and authorize glƏƏk! to access your Twitter Account) and from there you can update your status, view the timeline, search for people, and enjoy live tile notifications for mentions and new tweets.

And that's only scratching the surface with glƏƏk!. If you're looking for a Twitter app for your Windows Phone, glƏƏk! should be on everyone's short list.

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Microsoft has made some pretty significant upgrades to SkyDrive, among them, one that adds capability to Windows Phone. The big announcement that Redmond is touting is that SkyDrive will now support Open Document format. While this is cool and all, what piques our interest more is the newly-added ability to post to Twitter using your Windows Phone and have the URL automatically shortened using the SDRV.MS suffix. This nifty little feature makes it easy to snap a quick pic and share with friends. It illustrates Microsoft's drive to deeply integrate Windows Phone with social media.

In addition to Open Document and Twitter support, the SkyDrive update also allows users to upload files up to 300MB using their web browser. The SkyDrive Team also reports that they "have some really big things coming soon." Hopefully that means some more stuff for Windows Phone!

Source: Microsoft

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Kinect Star Wars for your Xbox 360 was released just a short while ago and yesterday the Kinect Star Wars app for your Windows Phone hit the Windows Phone Marketplace. And it's not what you think.

You may be thinking that the Kinect Star Wars app turns your Windows Phone into a light saber or monitors your progress in the Xbox 360 game. Nope.

The Kinect Star Wars app is a social network app that will pull feeds from your Facebook and Twitter accounts, giving your social networking a Star Wars feel. You also have a Kinect feed full of posts from your favorite Star Wars characters.

On each of the Twitter and Facebook pages, you have button controls to post, view your profile, search and view the Kinect Star Wars Xbox 360 website. The profile pages breaks down your Twitter account rather nicely with pages for your account details, your tweets, mentions, messages, favorites and following/followers lists. You do have live tile support to pin your profile to your Windows Phone Start Screen.

When viewing your Twitter or Facebook pages, the Kinect Star Wars app supports horizontal view but in its own special way. We won't spoil the surprise but if you're in the mood for Star Wars, the landscape view won't disappoint.

The Kinect Star Wars app is a free app that you can grab here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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The team behind Carbon for Windows Phone, the popular Twitter client which was born on webOS, has just released version 1.3 and the update has gone live on the Marketplace. This latest version is quite the update for those who were seeking landscape tweet composition, something our own Daniel Rubino also requested.

As well as the above feature, and numerous bug fixes and enhancements, the following is included in v1.3:

  • Timeline Filters/Mute for Users, Hashtags, and Services such as Foursquare, Getglue, etc…
  • Further Timeline scrolling & general performance enhancements
  • Read Later Enhancements: tap+hold on URLs in Tweet screen to save for reading later
  • Mark all Messages as Read by tap+hold on “.messages” pivot.
  • Saving to Instapaper & Read It Later now adds tweet details to saved URLs
  • Detect Images from URLs ending with .jpg .png .gif
  • Enhanced error handling with error messages along with option to Report Errors back to us
  • Added retweets to Lists timeline
  • Support for Japanese & Korean typefaces

You can download Carbon from the Marketplace for $1.99 with a free trial available.

Source: CarbonWP; thanks HD7guy for the tip!

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