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Monday, 19 April 2010

Super, not duper. Its Twitter, but shitter?

Twitter for Blackberry. Is it 'officially' great?

If you are like me, you expected some amazing super-duper-appy-thingy that was gonna blow the mind. Since it was an official app, it would have some kick-ass unique features that put the third-party competition to bed. Maybe my expectation level was heightened by Mike Laziridis' announcement of the Super App during Mobile World Congress (MWC).

The basics of it are that Super Apps will have:
  • The Always-on Experience – the app runs in the background.
  • Tight Integration with the Native Apps – integrates with the calendar, messages, contacts etc.
  • Proactive and Notification-driven – takes advantage of Push APIs.
  • Highly Contextualized – make it continuously relevant with GPS, menu and app integration.
  • Social and Connected – invoke SMS, social networks, email etc.
  • Designed for Efficiency – doesn’t drain on the battery or memory.

Sounds great. So what apps are considered Super? Well, the two they mentioned were Facebook and Myspace. I'm not a Myspace user but lets just say the Facebook app could do with a major overhaul.

Quickly after MWC, came Twitter for Blackberry in Beta release. Excited about seeing what a Super App would look like, I joined the horde of Beta testers only to find a clunky and laggy app that didn't deliver much that any of the unofficial apps like UberTwitter or Seesmic don't do already.

That's not to say there aren't any differences. There's integration with Blackberry Inbox and push notifications. There's the integration with native applications mentioned above too, so its pretty simple to post a picture via Twitpic.

But for me, that's about it. The timeline doesn't seem to refresh particularly well (although it defaults to every 5 minutes), so when I switch back to the app it lags terribly. Whenever I do something and return to my timeline, it loses my place so I have to trawl through loads of tweets out of sequence to get back to where I was. Its also pretty slow in general and I have now returned to my preferred unofficial app (UberTwitter). In the words of Roy Walker of Catchphrase fame - "Its good, but its not the right answer".

I can't help but feel the whole Super App business was dreamt up on the back of a cigarette packet. Its some sales speak to make you think something different is happening with Blackberry that somehow makes up for the fact that iPhone OS and Android totally own their ass in app-land. If anyone can point me in the direction of some properly super-duper apps that don't cost a bomb, let me know.


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