Twitter App for the Zune HD: It works, but it's buggy and censors tweets (not any more)

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Update: The app no longer censors tweets. Good, because that was the most ridiculous thing ever.

Oh now this is exciting. Microsoft released a Twitter application for the Zune HD a few moments ago, and I’ve been tasked with testing it out for your edification. Spoiler: it works, it’s buggy, and I can’t see the sense in using it.

Installation was not easy. Oh, sure, loading up the Zune software and navigating to the appropriate section was simple enough, and syncing the application was as expected, but my Zune HD wouldn’t connect to the Internet for whatever reason. An error message popped up saying “Disconnect your Zune HD from the computer before trying to connect to a wireless network.” To that effect, at least. (Strike one.)

Well, Mr. Zune software, I’m holding the device in one hand and the USB cable in another. The Zune, in fact, is disconnected from my PC. This is not how to get on my good side, especially as I was interrupted watching Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk I to test you out.

Moving on.

Once the Zune HD stopped freaking out, I was greeted by a simple username and password screen. You log in there.

Up top there’s four icons: a little man which gives you your timeline; an @ symbol that threw up the error “Oops, something went wrong. We can’t load this data due to an external error. Please try again shortly.” (Strike two.) It loads all the tweets that mention your name; a heart icon that I don’t know what it does because it says “Unfortunately, there is nothing to display here.” (Strike three.); and then a mail icon for all your DMs.

Along the bottom there’s icons for writing a tweet, searching tweets, and for fiddling with the application’s settings.

Let’s see what happens when I try to send a tweet.

Well, the tweet went out, but once again I ran into the “external error” happened. (Strike four.) (External to what, by the way?)

On twitter.com, all my tweets read “from Zune HD,” which links to zune.net.

Usability: limited. I can’t type for beans using the Zune HD’s onscreen display, but that could well be a function of me exclusively using the device as a music player and I’m not used to it. T9 tries to help you out but it can only help so much.

I don’t understand the point of the app either, other than to say, “See, we have a Twitter app!” But since the Zune HD only connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi, how is it any more useful to use the clearly glitch Zune app to tweet when you can, I don’t know, use a real computer or one of those iPhone or BlackBerry or Android apps? It doesn’t make any sense to me.

Oh, and it censors tweets. (The tweet in the main photo up there is supposed to read: Bret Hart is coming back to WWE according to dave meltzer fuck yes!) No bad words to be found on the app, and there’s no setting to uncensor tweets. Why? How many little kids use Twitter (on a Zune HD, no less) that Microsoft had to go out of its way to censor tweets? Dumb.

In conclusion: it’s buggy and there are far more practical ways of accessing Twitter.

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