Last month I gave a talk about microblogging at Peers Conference in Austin. In it I covered Twitter’s changing attitude toward developers, from the early days when everyone wanted to build a Twitter app — as John Gruber wrote in 2009, Twitter apps were a playground for new UIs — to when Twitter started actively discouraging traditional third-party Twitter clients.
For Micro.blog, I always want to encourage third-party apps. We support existing blogging apps like MarsEdit, and we have an API for more Micro.blog-focused apps to be built. I’m excited to say that a big one just shipped in the App Store: Icro.
Icro is well-designed, fast, and takes a different approach to some features compared to the official Micro.blog app. In a few ways, it’s better than the app I built. This is exactly what I hoped for. We wanted an official app so that there’s a default to get started, but there should be other great options for Micro.blog users to choose from.
Here are a few screenshots from Icro:
Thanks to developer Martin Hartl for building Icro and being part of the Micro.blog community. You can download it for free from the App Store here.
Jared Sinclair writes about iOS 7 as a squandered year for third-party developers:
“Fast-forwarding a year, the effect that iOS 7 has had on third party development is disheartening — which sounds like a fatuous thing to say, since there have been so many well-liked redesigns over the past year. But that’s the rub: the vast majority of third-party developers’ time has been spent redesigning and reimplementing apps to dress the part for iOS 7.”
I agree with Jared that it was a sort of lost year for app features, but Brent also has a point:
“Jared argues that iOS 7 wasn’t urgent, that evolution rather than revolution would have been fine, since customer satisfaction was extremely high with iOS 6. In retrospect I agree, but were I at Apple I would have argued that the situation is like tech debt — UI debt — and it’s best to deal with it quickly, completely, and early.”
They had to deal with it all at once because UIKit’s look and feel didn’t really evolve the same way Mac OS X usually does, a little each year. Even Aqua, the most dramatic change ever to the Mac’s UI, was fairly straightforward for developers to adopt; if you stuck with consistent Mac controls, you got a lot for free. There was very little of that kind of consistency on iOS because developers frequently built their own custom UIs which had to be thrown out when iOS 7 happened.