App.net on OS X: Wedge vs. Kiwi

Wedge Kiwi timeline

The two best ADN clients I’ve used on OS X are Wedge and Kiwi. Both are fully functional apps that perform the tasks you need them to. They have their own looks though. Wedge looks a bit like Tweetie for Mac and Kiwi looks more like Hibari (kind of). You can see Wedge (left) and Kiwi (right) above. Kiwi is slightly slimmer but I prefer Wedge’s sidebar of icons. You can even lose the sidebar by hitting ⇧⌘L and using just the keyboard shortcuts.

Wedge Kiwi new post

Both apps offer Twitter crossposting, but Wedge adds Facebook to the equation as well. You can choose which accounts to post to from the compose window. I like that Wedge responds to ⌘N even when the timeline is not visible. Kiwi requires you to have a timeline open to show the compose window.

App.net Is Doomed

I really want(ed) App.net to succeed. Twitter went to a weird place where the nerdy users that helped build the network up in the early days are being shunned and told that we’re wrong for wanting beautiful and flexible apps and interfaces, not wanting ads and not wanting to see hashtags for everything. I know, we’re not the average user. The average user has never wanted an archive of their tweets. And the idea of App.net was exciting, if not a little suspicious. It seemed a little too ambitious and a little too good to be true.

I joined App.net back in October 2012 when Netbot was released and the price dropped to $36 a year. A lot of nerds joined then. It was an interesting time because there was a flurry of activities and the first fully-featured iOS App.net (ADN) was out there. That flurry of excitement didn’t last all that long though. There still weren’t that many people posting to ADN and most of what was being posted to ADN was the same content being posted to Twitter. ADN became a secondary Twitter. ADN is a place where people keep a second copy of their murmurings and where the people who don’t feel cool enough for Twitter anymore have taken refuge to bitch and moan about pretty much everything.

It all started going wrong when Netbot went free. The ADN “community” had a collective fit and condemned Paul Haddad (who had been really into the idea of ADN) for possibly trying to “steal” all the developer incentive program money by having a popular client be free. Truth is, ADN doesn’t have many users and that limits the potential sales of any ADN client. Tapbots wasn’t making their money back (I suppose) and tried to get as many users using their app (and then potentially voting for Netbot for developer incentive program points). I don’t blame them (even if the whiners on ADN do).

The neck beards said Tapbots should update the app more and keep up with new ADN features. Tapbots made a lot of people happy when Netbot came out because there weren’t any fully featured iPhone clients available in October 2012. People said they wanted Tweetbot for ADN. They got it, and they were happy about it. Now, they’re made because it’s “just Tweetbot for iPhone”. That’s pretty fucking great, actually. There have been a few decent clients to come out over the past couple of months, but on the whole, Netbot is still among the best three.

MystreamFull 2x

When developer of Riposte started complaining about Tapbots being anti-competitive, the “ADN community” got their panties in big bunches and lashed out as one loud fat kid camp voice. I sided with Tapbots then because I know ADN isn’t going anywhere (fast, at least) and they’ve gotta make money. Also, take a look at Riposte. There’s not a lot special about it. It lacks native cross-posting to Twitter and ADN search. And this week (2013-02-18), Riposte went free. I guess their app wasn’t worth the $4.99 they were asking for it compared to Netbot. Bill Kunz’s Felix is still around and still $4.99. It’s a fine app that I use from time to time and it’s definitely got a certain style to it.

I figure that App.net is either not going to exist long or it’s going to radically change its pricing model because it’s hard to get people to join a new social network when pretty much the same thing already existed and you’re charging $36 a year for it. If App.net dies, this nonsense about app pricing will look even dumber than it already does.

On Joining App.Net

Screen Shot 2012 10 09 at 9 17 06 PM

Resistance…

I had no intention of signing up for App Dot Net (ADN), I really didn’t. I knew it was going to fail. It seemed shady with that whole last minute surge of reported cash and I guess I didn’t trust the network or the people behind it. Handing over $50 to a mostly unknown entity, at least to me, seemed a little crazy. It wasn’t like it was $50 for a tangible product. It felt like a Kickstarter project where there was no Kickstarter backing it up. These guys were just going to get my money, and who knows what was going to happen with it. I almost signed up back in August during the initial rush when I saw a lot of the Apple pundintry and developers I respected signing up for it. I suppose if money wasn’t an issue, I would’ve signed up right away too. I loved the promise of ADN.

…is futile

Then comes last week. A price drop from $50 to $36 (kudos to ADN for giving early adopters an extension on their membership) and what really sealed the deal for me signing up, Netbot. If Tapbots was getting behind ADN, I knew it was a worthwhile endeavour. Now, Netbot isn’t a wholly new piece of software. It’s pretty much Tweetbot wrapped in black and missing a lot of features from Twitter that ADN doesn’t yet support.

Those include:

  • push notifications
  • direct messages
  • searching
  • trends

While We Have You…

So what’s happening over on ADN? Well, pretty much the same shit as Twitter, albeit with fewer people. During off-peak hours, ADN gets about only ten new posts a minute. The flow is so sparse that you can actually read the Global stream and keep up with ease. There are a handful of users that keep popping up. There are a few good looking women that I think are getting lots of followers because of their attractive avatars and a few tech pundits with lots of followers. Much like Google+ when it first started, a great deal of the conversations on ADN are about ADN.

Is it a place you wanna be?

If you’re looking for the possibly next best thing? Sure, ADN is worth trying. They have a $5 a month plan if you wanna give it a one month whirl before diving in for a full year’s $36. You’re probably gonna wanna plunk down $4.99 for Netbot if you have an iPhone or iPad. Also, if you want to have push notifications, the best you can do is buy Pushover for $3.99 and set up ADN -> Pushover notification through IFTTT. Signing up for ADN has so far cost me $45 bucks.