Hmmm, things did not get off to a good start with this app. It is Sunday morning, I am coffee loaded and working on pretty much all cylinders. I installed the app on my phone and tablet and then using the phone app interface registered for a Hootsuite account. Then I stopped. I’ve got such complicated passwords that I needed to boot my PC to login to my Twitter accounts to add Hootsuite access rites. So I tried to login to my new Hootsuite account only to find that on the website there is now an option to use OpenID something not available in the app, never mind. Ok I logged in verified the email - again something not triggered by signing up using the app.
Another nice feature was - Google authenticator - even though my love for all things Google has completely gone and my continued annoyance at them opting me into their new products rather than default opt out is killing me I still love Google authenticator. In fact I wish Twitter had adopted it from the start. So imagine my smile when I found that Hootsuite does use it. So first job add that to my authenticator.
With that done I started adding twitter accounts to my Hootsuite account. Using the web interface things feel very Tweetdeck like which is nice. I managed to add two accounts but again ran into problems with Hootsuite. I had created two tabs one for each account but then discovered that I could just as easily add two streams in a single tab. So changed the tabs to become work and personal and continued importing accounts.
The initial thought that in appearance Hootsuite and Tweetdeck looked the same quickly melted as I found Hootsuite web client does not have a “notifications” ability so I needed to setup several different streams to get the same information that I could get into a single column on Tweetdeck. Even more annoying was the ability to autocomplete twitter handles which appeared to only work for @Hootsuite when using the web interface. This was not the case in the app where autocomplete work very well for most of my accounts.
To be fair this is more about the app than the webclient. So I switched to the app which had no information in it at all. In fact none of the accounts I had added via the website appeared. I ended up logging out then back in to get the app to correctly display my accounts. I must admit at this point looking at the interface I was seriously wondering if I could actually survive a week with this app at all. The way all the accounts were organised and worse still it also meant I need to have more streams/columns which are now rows in the app to get the same level of interacting I was used to in Tweetdeck or the Twitter app. One good thing no more discover or activity tabs - thank goodness for that.
For the sake of some kind of uniformity to these reviews I am going to break the rest of this blog post up into sections.
Try as I might every picture I took and posted for @HootSuite to share was in the wrong orientation (pictures). Unlike other picture services such as @Yfrog or even @Twitter’s own service the image EXIF information was not processed so if I had my phone in landscape or ,erm, portrait mode my picture would be on the side. This was very frustrating as I could never remember which was the “correct” orientation and so during my 7 days I tweeted approximately 95% of my pictures in the wrong orientation.
What can I say here other than they did not work for most of the test period and when they did they were often sporadic and late.
In general the tweeting interface was ok. Why the app did not remember the relationship between twitter account and reply tweet I do not know. Quicker than the official app for switching account IDs and nice to be able to tweet the same thing from multiple accounts at once.
I guess the best way to conclude is to answer some questions:
Did I tweet more than using Twitters’ own app?
Yes I did. I found myself trying to engage with people again via twitter. Which is good. Although I must admit I found the overall interface clunky and sluggish in places the fact I could control the columns (or rows as they are) in the app was great. The lack of a single “notifications” column able to pick up all your interactions in a single list was very annoying and something I’ve grown very used to in Tweetdeck and Twitter. My constant battle with pictures and the fact that my protected twitter account just did not work in the app were real surprises to me.
Would I pay to get the added features?
No. To be honest I do not think I would go back to Hootsuite again. I really did not click with the app. It had too many features I did not want or need and those I did required payment for. The notifications service was rather unpredicable and the fact I had to log out or clear the apps settings and log back in to fix these issues was just rubbish. Worse still any customisation made were lost.
By Sunday had you had enough?
In short - NOT for me. NEXT app please!
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