Monday, June 17, 2019

Twitterrific 6 for iOS

Ged Maheux:

Today we are proud to release Twitterrific 6.0 for iOS! This is one of the biggest updates of Twitterrific ever, representing over 50 bug fixes and improvements as well as a ton of new features.


For those of you who want to customize things even more, we’ve added a total of five new colorful themes (two light, three dark) plus three more app icons. There’s also a brand new font available that will totally refresh your timelines: San Francisco Compact Rounded. If you’re feeling especially brave and adventurous, you might find even more customization options by poking around in iCloud Drive – but you didn’t hear it from us! 😉

Jason Snell:

The new version adds a bunch of clever features, some of which I use a lot, some of which will appeal to people who are not me. Videos and GIFs can now play (silently) in timelines, a feature that I immediately turned off. In general, Twitterrific displays images and videos better inline, showing them at their native aspect ratios and including both media and quoted tweets together for the first time.

At last I can select the proper GIF from within the compose window. This version adds support for Giphy, the search engine for animated GIFs, which makes Twitterrific a much better meme-propagation tool.

Dr. Drang:

The main reason I haven’t used Twitterrific in the past is that I was put off by its color schemes. I could never identify exactly what I didn’t like about them, but they just didn’t seem right. Now the default light theme, which is what I use almost all the time, is just about perfect, and I’ve settled on a dark theme that works well, too.

Some people are unhappy because version 6 replaces the version 5 app in the store. If you paid for version 5 more than 5 years ago, your purchase was “taken away” and now you see ads unless you pay more. However, given the way the App Store works, the alternative would have caused even worse problems:

Releasing it as a separate app wouldn’t have allowed us to give special considerations to people who purchased v5 which we do. It also would have meant reduced discovery and a host of other problems.

We tried it this way when we went from v 4 to v5. Created it’s own sets of huge problem including lots of unhappy users who were unable to get a “discount” on the new version. Doing it this way many of them still don’t see ads. There’s no best way forward unfortunately.

Sean Heber:

So perhaps you can understand why we are also upset by all this. We tried to give and be lenient for as long as we possibly could and it. did. not. work. In return for years of generosity to the point of self-harm, we are rewarded with attacks, threats, and accusations.

86 free updates over 6-7 years was quite generous, and the original purchase was only $3. The main problem is that people had the expectation that they were paying once forever. This was technically met because you can decline to update the app beyond version 5, and still retain the benefits of the IAP, but many people have auto-updates enabled or would update without understanding the consequences, and the App Store doesn’t let you go back. (At some point, Twitter will probably make a breaking change, and there would be no point to going back, anyway.)

One could also argue that there was an implied understanding—probably shared by both customers and the developer at the time—that version 6 would be a separate app, since that’s what had been done before. Breaking that is not great, but I don’t think it outweighs all the other considerations here.

In any case, forever is just not realistic in a world of changing iOS and service APIs, and a store that doesn’t support offering multiple versions of the same app. No one should promise it or expect it. Going forward, the Iconfactory is setting clearer expectations:

With Twitterrific 6, we opted to display a banner ad and periodically present a reminder to purchase the app but otherwise not restrict access to any features or impose a free trial time period. This means that the app is fully functional without any purchase, but at the cost of interruptions and advertisements - just like some old-school shareware titles from the days of yore.

Buying Twitterrific 6 eliminates the interruptions and the banner ads.

There are monthly ($1) and yearly ($10) subscriptions, or a “one-time” purchase ($30) for those who don’t like subscriptions.


Forever in this case is the entire life of version 6.

Craig Hockenberry:

There has never been a good way to do upgrades on the App Store: all scenarios suck in one way or another.

After a decade you have to realize that it will never come, so you do the best you can.

Sean Heber:

The vast (really vast) majority of Twitterrific users have been using the free version which has had banner ads at the top for years - since 2013. They love Twitterrific 6. A lot of them have never paid us anything directly and probably never will since the ads don’t bother them.

Update (2019-06-18): Matthias Tretter:

While I sympathize with @Twitterrific and shipping a separate App has tons of downsides, it’s technically not correct that you can’t offer discounts that way. For MindNode 4 -> 5 we stored the receipt in a shared app group and offered different IAPs based on the purchase date

It looks like they would have needed to first issue an update to version 5 that saved the receipt into a shared folder, then wait a sufficient amount of time that most users had launched the new version, then ship the version 6 update. It would need to implement a free in-app purchase to convert the old receipt into something that would become part of the new receipt—or else find a way to preserve the old receipt when the user reinstalls or gets a new device. If the user somehow uninstalled version 5 before purchasing the free IAP in version 6, they would be out of luck. So I think it is technically possible, though kind of a kludge.

5 Comments RSS · Twitter

/> In return for years of generosity to the point of self-harm, we are rewarded with attacks, threats, and accusations./

"So fuck you."

I cannot believe the hate and sense of entitlement people are sending towards Twitterrific. They did the best they could with the restrictions of the App Store. People need to take a step back and realize they are asking for a decade's of development for $5. That's crazy. I think they'd be happy with no development then.

As a LONG time supporter of Twitterrific (including the tip jar!) I have no problem with how they handled it. In fact, I much prefer it over the v4 move.

I purchased both Tweetbot and Twitteriffic. And occasionally tip. Again, here we are with an attitude of developers not pushing back against Apple and then adopting passive-aggressive attitudes because “nothing can be done”.

No, sorry, I’m going to buy the best, lowest cost to me in time and money tools for the job. Now that “drama” is added as a “cost” the choice becomes even easier, just drop that app and say nothing.

Expect more of this: end users will take these tantrums from IBM... sorry Apple because they’re over invested in the platform. They won’t from “mere developers” (note quotes) because equivalent alternatives exist.

The best developers, like 1password understand this. Other developers don’t. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

And of course behind all this needless drama is Apple, taking their 30% cut, seemingly “picking winners and losers” with capricious “review rules” that driver both developers and power users nuts.

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