By now, Tweetie 2 has probably stormed your iPhone. If not, you should check it out; in our opinion, it’s the best Twitter iPhone app out there (and yes, definitely worth the $3 [iTunes link]). But developer Loren Brichter isn’t resting on his laurels. Instead, he’s hard at work on Tweetie 2.1.
So what’s new? Well, there are a ton of small bug fixes, but also some pretty big additions. There are two that you’ll probably care the most about: New-style rewtweets and geolocation support. We got an early alpha build of 2.1 to try out, and it’s looking good.
While Twitter has yet to enable the new-style retweets or geolocation for most accounts, Tweetie 2.1 offers a glimpse of how it will work. Tweets from accounts with the new retweet function show up in Tweetie 2.1′s stream. As promised, these are the tweets from the actual person who originally sent it, rather than the person doing the retweeting.
But Tweetie 2.1 highlights these retweets in a nice way. First of all, you see both the user icon for person who originally tweeted the item and the person retweeting it. The original tweeter’s icon is big, while the retweeter’s icon is small and stuck in the lower right hand corner (see image). These tweets are also tagged with a pinkish-red triangle in the upper right hand corner to let you know this is a retweet. Clicking on these tweets takes you to a page that shows you the tweet from the original source, but also says at the bottom “retweeted by @USERNAME.”
There’s a growing concern that Twitter’s new retweet rules will cause some confusion (it already has) in users’ streams. But the way Tweete 2.1 handles it is solid, both giving recognition to the original tweeter and showing the tweet to be a retweeted item by someone you follow. Other third-parties thinking about how to handle the new retweets should look to Tweetie 2.1 as an example.
Likewise, Tweetie 2.1 also shows off Twitter’s new geolocation support. Again, for accounts that have it turned on, these tweets show up in Tweetie 2.1 with a tiny red location pin in the upper right hand corner. Clicking on these tweets takes you to the tweet’s page which also has a little map preview below it showing what city the tweet was sent from. Clicking on this map loads up a larger Google Map inside of Tweetie 2.1 that pinpoints the actual location with a red push pin.
If you want to geotag your tweets, you hit the 140 character counter at the bottom of the tweet input box. This brings up tweet options including a new “Geotag” button in the upper right. Clicking on this will first load up Twitter to ask you to authorize the app to see your Twitter location. Assuming you allow this (and again, this isn’t yet turned on for most users — though it is live for some), Tweetie will places a small red pin right next to the 140 character counter to indicate your tweet is geotagged.
One thing not currently available in this build of Tweetie 2.1 is Twitter’s new Lists element. “In a perfect world Tweetie 2.1 will have list support, or at least experimental support for it. It should be 100% by 2.2,” Brichter said when I asked him about it.
Twitter fully rolled out Lists to all users at the end of last week (after testing it for a few weeks with a group of users). Reactions to the feature have varied, but generally seem to be good. And third-parties are already popping up that are either built around the Lists API or are supporing it (Seesmic Desktop added it today).
Brichter also confirmed to me that Tweetie for Mac version 2 will support Lists as well. But he says that will be coming after Tweetie 2.1 for the iPhone is available.
Brichter says that if all goes to plan, Tweetie 2.1 could hit its final beta testing stage later this week. If that happens, he’ll presumably submit it to the App Store for approval soon after that. And those who were up in arms over the fact that Tweetie 2 cost money even for people who bought the original Tweetie, put down your pitchforks: Tweetie 2.1 will be a free upgrade for Tweetie 2 owners.
For those interested, here’s a big list of the changes in 2.1 so far: