Tag Archives: tweets

iPhone introduction felt impossible

John Gruber remembers what it was like watching the iPhone announcement:

Apple had amazing product introductions before the iPhone, and it’s had a few good ones after. But the iPhone was the only product introduction I’ve ever experienced that felt impossible. Apple couldn’t have shrunk Mac OS X — a Unix-based workstation OS, including the Cocoa frameworks — to a point where it could run on a cell phone. Scrolling couldn’t be that smooth and fluid. A touchscreen — especially one in a phone — couldn’t be so responsive.

I felt the same way. Even the day I brought the iPhone home, I wasn’t sure that it was actually going to work. I was ready to be unsurprised if it turned out to be unstable — crashing often or overheating. It was stunning how good it was. It absolutely felt like a phone from the future.

One thing I had forgotten about from 10 years ago was the activation process, which was definitely not from the future. It was rooted in the past, connecting to iTunes like an iPod. Here are some of my tweets from that day, showing the long delay between picking up the iPhone from the store and actually using it, plus my last-minute decision to even wait in line:

6:34am: Good morning iPhone Day! Weather forecast in Austin for today: 40% chance of showers and storms.

10:15am: It’s only 10am but already realized I need to go to Plan B. Bribe friends already in line to use their 2nd iPhone purchase.

11:09am: Change of plans. Heading to the Apple Store now to join in the line-waiting fun. Will it be too late?

12:26pm: I expected rain, but that seems unlikely. It’s hot like a real Austin summer here in the iPhone line.

2:32pm: Hanging out in The Line with Jeremy of Barton Springs Software and @damon. Apple Store is closed. Had some lunch and a Starbucks soy latte.

4:03pm: 2 hours left. We can redeem our free Starbucks coffee coupons now. Excited! (About the iPhone. Not the coffee.)

6:30pm: Got my iPhone.

7:35pm: Activation will have to wait. Ratatouille.

8:18pm: Movies all sold out. Pre-activation dinner at Kerby Lane instead.

9:53pm: Activation took less than a minute. Also, no plan choice. Just $20 added on to what I already pay, I guess.

11:56pm: @danielpunkass Wait, what? You can make calls on it? (But seriously, you’re right. It’s a computer first and a phone second.)

Apparently I waited in line most of the day. I remember it only being a few hours. I also love how trivial these tweets seem. A big reason to have a microblog is because even the most mundane posts today carry extra significant years later.

Nimoy’s last tweet

Over two years ago, I carefully planned my final tweets so that they would serve as a proper closing to that chapter of being active on Twitter. But mine were nothing compared to Leonard Nimoy’s final tweet, posted days before he passed away. It’s been a month now but I’m still reflecting on it:

“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP”

Beautiful. He left behind much to be remembered by.

Twitter or RSS

I use Feed Wrangler as my RSS service, but I like this quote from Feedbin’s Ben Ubois:

“Twitter and Facebook are often cited as the reason for the decline in RSS usage. Where does content originate though? Right where it always has: on blogs and websites that probably have an RSS feed.”

It’s a great point. If you had to choose between only reading Twitter or only reading weblogs, which would you choose? Losing Twitter would be a bummer for a lot people, but losing weblogs would decimate the web. We should do more to strengthen weblogs and RSS because they are the foundation for so much of the most important writing on the web.

Where to archive your tweets

It’s great to see more people get access to their full archive of tweets from Twitter. In addition to just having a copy of your own tweets, it can be useful to go back and browse them by date, or search for something specific. I’d suggest putting the HTML version online as-is (mine’s here), and also checking out other apps that add a variety of different features on top of the basic archive.

Both of my apps — Tweet Library for iOS and Watermark for the web — can now import the .zip file you receive from Twitter. This file contains your full archive of tweets and retweets. Both apps can load the file directly from Dropbox, making it as simple as possible to get the tweets imported. And both apps are smart about only importing tweets that haven’t been stored yet, so you don’t have to worry about duplicates.

To import into Tweet Library, first download the archive from your settings page on twitter.com. Inside Tweet Library click on the blue arrow icon next to “Archives” and walk through the steps to authorize your account with Dropbox. Then copy the .zip file from Twitter to Dropbox → Apps → Tweet Library. It will show up in Tweet Library and can be selected.

Tweet Library import flow

Tweet Library is good if you want easy access to your tweets on the iPhone or iPad. You can search your tweets, create filters for them, and add tweets to special collections to share with others. It also doubles as a full Twitter client, with a timeline, posting, Instapaper support, and plenty more. Check it out in the iOS App Store.

To import into Watermark, also download the archive from Twitter and put it on Dropbox. You can put it anywhere, either in Apps → Watermark if you’ve already authorized Watermark to use Dropbox (for export), or in Documents or anywhere else. Then sign in to Watermark and click Account → “Upload all your tweets” to select the file.

Watermark is good if you want to expand your archive beyond just your own tweets. It indexes tweets from everyone you are following, creating a huge searchable archive over time. My own account in Watermark now has about 400,000 tweets indexed. Sign up or learn more at watermark.io.

iPad 2 (and tweets)

I couldn’t be more excited about the iPad 2. Yes, “most of it was expected”:http://twitter.com/manton/status/42597189645639680, but faster and more memory is exactly what the iPad needs. I’ll be getting it on day 1 and can’t wait to give Tweet Library a try on the new hardware.

During the announcement I collected 70 tweets that I thought captured the event. You can “view them on tweetlibrary.com”:http://tweetlibrary.com/manton/ipad2event.

Speaking of Tweet Library, Apple just approved version 1.2.2. It fixes a handful of bugs and adds a few new things, like block and report spam, for those of you using it as your main Twitter client. Check out the “full release notes”:http://www.riverfold.com/software/tweetlibrary/releasenotes/ or view it “in the App Store”:http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tweet-library/id365768793?mt=8.

EE tweets

I submitted my new iPad app to Apple earlier this week. It hasn’t been reviewed yet, but Ryan Irelan has been using the beta to curate a “collection of ExpressionEngine conference tweets over on the EE Insider blog”:http://eeinsider.com/blog/eeci-tweet-collection/. The app may still only be in the hands of my friends and beta testers, but it’s great to see how it could be used in the real world.

So that’s one feature of the app: grouping tweets together around topics, events, conferences, categories, whatever, and then publishing them with one click so they can be shared with friends and indexed by Google. There’s more of course. I’ll be getting the marketing web site up soon, and a screencast too, hopefully before the app is approved! Although I’m quick to complain about App Store review delays, in this case I’m counting on a week delay so that I can get my act together.