Again, another rocky start to using the app. I suspect this is going to be a continuing theme over the next few weeks. This time there was no lovely web interface so it was a case of sitting down in front of my PC and manually adding my twitter accounts into the app. All of my passwords are over 20 characters in length with case changes and special characters. What fun that is to do on a phone keypad that hides the characters moments after you typed it into the password screen.
I have a protected account. I mentioned it in the HootSuite review. It just did not work properly for HootSuite but connecting to it was not a problem. On Plume it took me a few goes before I realised I needed to generator an app specific password in Twitter as switching back and forth between the official Twitter app and Plume app was not working.
I love the fact that the default interface is just what I want from my columns “Timeline”, “Mentions” and “Direct Messages” that is just perfect. I can thumb swipe between the three with one hand just perfectly fine. None of this “activity” or “discovery” nonsense or tiny little buttons that Twitter insist on giving me in their app.
YES! The picture uploads worked perfectly with the correct orientation and back to my @Twitter picture store rather than a third party one. There were also options for image quality and unlike the official Twitter app I had no issues uploading pictures. They were done fast and cleanly - very nice!
With that said there was the “odd case of Peter Jones” where for some reason the picture I had uploaded was not shown in my tweet preview. Instead we got a picture of Peter Jones. For the record Peter Jones was not the founder, builder or even the former manager of the Henry Moseley Laboratory. Rather an odd choice for an image swap. Especially since the person who was all of the above is called Chris Martin so you would have expected some sort of Cold Play reference instead? The full image was fine just the thumbnail/preview?
Worked as I expected. The first mention I received I got a nice squeaky chirping sound and looked at my phone to find a mention “Ronseal” as they say. Even better Plume has the single “notifications” column feature so I could keep my updates all in a lovely single column.
Many of the features I liked in Hootsuite such as quick account or multiple account tweeting just work brilliantly in Plume and it remembers the feed source so I did not find myself replying as the wrong person to tweets. The combined stream - basically all of the accounts tweet feeds going into a single timeline completely messed with my head for about 24 hours and I was constantly moving to the individual account views. Moving between timeline views or adding new columns was very easy in Plume. However I must admit after about 24 hours I stopped jumping from account to account and just enjoyed the single feed of data.
All was looking good and I was able to cope with the small annoyance of the advertisements appearing at the bottom of the app as I read my timeline or tweeted. The relative real-estate being used I felt was slightly too much and the quality of adverts was very low. It felt like an after thought and a poorly executed one at that. I even got completely blank adverts appearing?
But that was nothing until the day I suddenly got an image of a pen drawing a circle. Hmmm I thought is this a feature of the app, should I be able to do this with my finger? No this was a whole screen advert and not the only one. Over the seven days of the trial they became much more common and with each one increasingly more annoying. To the point when they appeared I would just leave the app. Full screen adverts are in my opinion a step too far in advertisement venue from Android apps. An advert which in effect completely locks you out of the use of your phone or that app is just wrong. I now hate Land Rover and Samsung Note III and will NOT be buying those items as they were by far the worse culprits for the fullscreen adverts.
I guess the best way to conclude is to answer some questions:
Did I tweet more than using Twitters’ own app?
Yes I did. It is hard to quantify as I tweet across many accounts but not having the stupid HootSuite team limitation on one of my accounts meant I could tweet from my phone for it which was useful.
Would I pay to get the added features?
I would have paid for Plume until the full screen adverts appeared they really pissed me off quite a lot. They took the shine off an app which was up until that point making all the right noises. It is not cheap mind you at £3.73 it really needs to do more than just tweet to justify its costs.
By Sunday had you had enough?
Yes and no. It was a good effort and by far the best tested so far. The fullscreen adverts are killing me and I hope they make them go away and clean up the whole advertising part of the app. It is just clunky and bad. Everything else worked reasonably well and things were where I wanted them when I needed them. Over the week I got no errors unlike a lot of the reviews I see in the Google Play store and there was also an update to the app on the last day of the test. So I do not know if my experience was extraordinary or the norm.
Next app please!
Pictures taken from screenshots of app on phone. No copyright is intended for trademarked logos which belong the property of the originator.