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First week of a whale-hunting mobile twitter app!

242

Posted October 23rd 2009 under Uncategorized

— by Jon

We released the first public beta of j1ck.tweet, the twitter client built on our J1CK platform, last week (see here). Our intention was just to reach a few dozen users to test compatibility and the stability of the server. We decided to announce it only on the blog and still not add a product page to the main j1ck.com web site. After announcing the release on the blog and tweeting it, a few people started checking it out, and retweeting about it. All was smooth saling. But on Sunday night, we were surprised to find out that @taike_hk had already posted a review on his posterous blog:

1st-review

http://taikenobu.posterous.com/new-twitter-client-java-called-j1ck-beta-1-tw

A very positive review. Well, except the Japanese part, for which we don’t get all the subtleties! Of course, we were flattered.

After this, NokiaMobileTalk.com picked the news and also published a very positive review:

2nd-review

http://www.nokiamobiletalk.com/2009/11/twitter-j1cktweet/

From here on, things started going a bit crazy very quickly. The viral nature of Twitter in action is certainly impressive. Hundreds of people started downloading it, tweeting and retweeting about it, sending in suggestions, reviewing it on their blogs and sites, etc… it seems our design approach of keeping things clear, simple and readable has resonated with many people. Here are some of the reviews and reactions out there:

[KuApp, English] http://kuapp.com/2009/10/21/j1ck-tweet-free-java-twitter-application-support-5800.html
[FAQ4Mobiles, German] http://www.faq4mobiles.de/forum/neuvorstellungen-und-updates/63840-j1ck-tweet-ein-toller-twitter-client-fuer-java-handys.html
[ShiftDelete.net, Turkish] http://shiftdelete.net/cepten-twitter-kullandiran-uygulama-15363.html
[MobileBlog.it, Italian] http://www.mobileblog.it/post/9759/j1ckun-nuovo-ed-ottimo-client-twitter-per-tutti-i-cellulari-java
[MobileFone.in, English - India] http://mobilefone.in/mobile-software/j1ck-twitter-client-for-java-enabled-devices/
[HiAPK, Chinese] http://www.hiapk.com/bbs/thread-36577-1-1.html
[MyNokiaMobileBlog, English] http://mynokiamobile.org/2009/10/20/j1cktweet-free-tweete-application-for-nokia/
[Gogo409, Japanese] http://gogo409.blogspot.com/2009/10/1twitterj1ck-tweet.html
[Symbian SmashPop, English] http://symbian.smashpop.net/j1cktweet-a-twitter-app-for-all-phones
[BlogDoDan, Brazilian Portuguese] http://www.danielvieirads.com/2009/10/j1cktweet.html

Not bad for zero press releases or marketing effort. But what we like even more is the kinds of things some enthusiastic people are tweeting about j1ck.tweet:

tweet1tweet2tweet3tweet4

We’re very happy that so many people are already using and enjoying j1ck.tweet, and we’re happy that we’ve only found minor issues in the beta process. Both compatibility and stability are already quite good. We’re now tying a few loose ends, and we’ll be able to officially launch 1.0 very soon, probably in a matter of days. The official launch will include proper product and support pages, sending in notices to popular mobile app bloggers, etc… But right now, we’re fixing a few things and implementing the last functionality for 1.0:

  • Proper rotation support for phones that support that
  • Fixing some problems with text input in the login screen
  • Fixing display of non-Latin text in some cases (Twitter options when configured in Japanese, retweeting tweets in far east writing systems…)
  • And better problem reporting.

For this last point, we’ve been in the unlikely situation of trying to stumble into a fail-whale, to check that the code to display it in all its glory worked fine. Javier, the dev responsible for this part, joked that he was hunting whales! Putting the whale into a tiny phone was definitely a big effort: we’ve measured the twitter whale to weigh exactly 87 tons, 3 more than the largest blue whale ever. But in less time than it took to find Moby Dick, we were able to get this:

sgh-f480-whale

A proper Twitter client wouldn’t be complete without it!

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