Tapbots, the creators of the extremely popular Twitter app Tweetbot, have released Netbot, an iPhone and iPad client for the Twitter-like social network App.net. If you're a fan of Tweetbot, you'll immediately feel at home with Netbot with its identical interface, familiar sounds, and simply outstanding design.
There are three main tabs in Netbot: Timeline, Mentions, and your profile. If you tap on a post, a toolbar will slide out from under it that gives you options to reply, repost (re-tweet), star (favorite), share, and more. You can also double-tap on a post to see its details or triple-tap it to reply (triple-tap can be changed to repost, star, or translate in Settings). Swiping a post to the right will open the conversation view and swiping to the left will open the post Detail view. If you use Tweetbot, you should already be familiar with all these gestures.
App.net profile pages allow for a "cover photo". In Netbot, profiles pages show the user's cover image at the top of the screen and, if you swipe down, the image will grow and zoom with the interface. If the user does not have a cover image, the default dark, charcoal background will be in its place. On any given profile, you can look up the user's posts, followers, following, mentions, and stars. You can also mute or follow users from their profiles.
The last two tabs in Netbot are customizable by holding your finger down on them. Your choices are stars, search, or mute filters.
Netbot includes many different options in its settings including your preferences for sounds, font size, quote format, and the ability to choose services for URL shortening, image and video upload, read later, sync, and mobilizer.
We've been testing it for a while now and it's worked every bit as well as you'd expect from Tapbots. The only limitations we've found are the ones involving features and API (application program interfaces) that App.net simply hasn't rolled out yet. Most notably, Netbot is missing the option for push notifications.
Tweetbot has the best push notification implementation of any Twitter client we've ever tested, and from speaking with Tapbots, they absolutely plan to add it to Netbot as soon as possible While some other clients have included them, Tapbots is waiting for App.net to make the appropriate, official API available (which should be soon).
- Beautifully designed
- Intuitive gestures
- Support for stars
- Support for Instapaper, Pocket, Readability, bitly pro, and Pinboard
- Crosspost to multiple accounts, including Twitter, by tapping the header in post creation
- iCloud sync
- Tweetbot users will feel at home wit Netbot
- No push notifications
The bottom line
If you're not a fan of the Tapbots aesthetic, nothing in Netbot will win you over. If you're a Tweetbot fan, however, you'll love Netbot. It's an excellent client for the new App.net social network. When it gets push notifications, it'll be near-perfect.
Do you use App.net? If so, make sure you follow the iMore and Mobile Nations crew (I'm @llofte) and include a link to your @name in the comments below!
UPDATE: Netbot 1.1 has been released with both push notifications and search.