Welcome to the first in our series of Deep App Dives, where we will get into the nitty-gritty details of an app. Sometimes we’ll feature our own, RapDevPro apps; sometimes we’ll feature other apps.
Apple and Google Android give developers a limited set of opportunities and tools for showcasing an app. With this series, we’ll go deep into an app and show you its features and benefits, as well as offering previews of updates to come (for our apps), and suggested features and improvements (for other apps).
First up – iTwitSports, Super Bowl Edition.
iTwitSports, developed and produced by RapDevPro, is a Twitter client specifically designed for tweeting about sports. It comes in both a free version that contains ads, and a 99 cent version (in the U.S., prices vary in other countries) with no ads.
What does it mean when we say, “… specifically designed for tweeting about sports?” It means that we offer three unique features that make it faster for you to tweet about sports: (1) Sports Hashtags – access right from the app to a definitive list of sports hashtags; (2) Hashtag Auto-Inclusion – the ability to define hashtags for automatic-inclusion in every tweet you make (great for tweeting about an event like the Super Bowl); and (3) Quick Words – a convenient way to store, access, and tweet commonly used sports words, hashtags, and phrases without having to key in every letter, probably one of the coolest features you’ll find in any Twitter client. Let’s show examples of each of these unique features as they might apply to this weekend’s upcoming Super Bowl.
So, Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, February 6, 2011, pitting the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Green Bay Packers. Should be a fantastic game. Let’s fire up iTwitSports and find the right hashtags to use when we tweet about the game.
If you don’t know what a hashtag is, THIS WIKIPEDIA ENTRY gives a good description. Technically, a hashtag is metadata (“data about data”) that describes information, making that information easier to catalog and find. By convention, hashtags start with a pound symbol (“#”) and then have a word or words describing the information. For the upcoming Super Bowl, the hashtags #NFL, #SuperBowl, #Steelers, and #Packers will all get a lot of play across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other websites and social-media outlets.
But how do you know what the commonly-accepted hashtag is for a given topic? How do you know if the best hashtag for the Green Bay Packers is #GreenBay, #GreenBayPackers, #Packers, #TheNFLGreenBayPackers, or something else altogether? Well, you really don’t. You really don’t, that is, unless you either (a) jump onto Tweeter and do trial-and-error searches before finding the right hashtag; or (b) just use the free, iTwitSports Twitter client.
With iTwitSports, you can find the definitive hashtag for many popular sports and teams. Just pick a category/league, and then select up to two different teams. We did so in the above picture and have found that the definitive hashtags for the upcoming game are “#NFL #Steelers #Packers”.
In addition to setting league and team hashtags, I can also set a custom hashtag, which I set to “#Superbowl #Steelers #Packers”. I arguably should have included #NFL in this, but I want to preserve characters, so I left it out thinking that it’s redundant with #Superbowl. Now, with iTwitSports, when you go to send a tweet, your custom tag is automatically inserted at the end of your tweet! No need to type in the hashtags for every tweet; they are already there, waiting for you.
Additionally, iTwitSports lets you include pictures you take or that are grabbed from your photo album, and include those in your tweets. We’ll save a shortened link to your photo and include it in your tweet so others can see the glory of your photos.
Probably the coolest and most useful feature of iTwitSports is Quick Words. With this feature, you can predefine 15 different sports words, hashtags, and phrases that you use a lot, and quickly access and insert them into your tweets. (The 99 cent version of iTwitSports, in addition to having no ads, offers 3 more quick words for a total of 18.)
When you first get the app, we seed it with 15 commonly used sports words, tags, and phrases. But you can change these to whatever you like from the Quick Words button on our Settings screen. As can be seen in the screen capture to the left, I preset all of the Quick Words for tweeting about the upcoming Super Bowl. I customized my auto-included hashtag to simply “#Superbowl #NFL”, but then seeded my Quick Words with #Steelers and #Packers. I then created words and phrases like, “Bad call!”, “1st and 10!”, “Ref, you’re missing a great game!”, and “We are the champions!”
When you send a tweet, just pick the button “Words” right above the keyboard and you can access your Quick Words (hit “Keys” to go back to the keyboard). This means that when I’m composing a tweet, I’m only two taps away from inserting one of my Quick Words into my tweet. For example, in just two taps, I can insert the famous Chick Hearn saying, “The eggs are cooling, the butter’s getting hard, and the Jell-O’s jiggling!”
So there you go – our first Deep App Dive, beginning with iTwitSports, and how to utilize it for the upcoming Super Bowl. We invite you to give it a try and please give us all your feedback. Our future plans for the app include versions for Android and iPad, as well as scheduled tweet and Facebook integration.
Have a wonderful Super Bowl Sunday and we look forward to reading your iTwitSports delivered tweets!