What do you think when you think of your Apple Watch? Want to follow fitness? Respond to texts? There are many things that Apple Watch is good for, but social media doesn't seem to be one based on the App Store. If that is your perception, however, it is time for a check on reality, because you can immediately browse Twitter and Reddit on your Apple Watch.
Let's make a backup. Previously, the Apple Watch was never devoid of official apps for social media. The platform supported apps from Twitter and Instagram, both of which offered almost fully working versions to their iPhone counterparts. Since then, however, these companies have decided that their apps are no longer worth investing in smartwatch platforms, so only notifications are possible.
Forget those incompetent official apps. Your Apple Watch is perfectly capable of browsing social media, especially thanks to one app developer. Will Bishop one of the only serious Apple Watch-only app developers in the game, has no huge backlog of apps. In fact, he only has three. However, two of those three apps are killer social media clients for Twitter and Reddit.
: Chirp for Twitter
Chirp is, simply put, an excellent Twitter client. Although there is a paid "Pro" version of the app available with an in-app purchase, you will find the free option to offer many features.
It's clear that an essential Twitter feature is browsing your timeline. Although you could assume that wiping Tweets on a small screen would not make for an enjoyable experience, Chirp just works. Scrolling goes smoothly and entire tweets fit into the screen, at least on my 44 mm series 5.
If you tap one of those tweets, everything gets better. You can zoom in on attached images and open links in an in-app web browser. You can of course retweet a tweet and like it, but answering tweets is a feature that is only for Pro. You can also read the accompanying comments, although I try to avoid this as much as possible for my own common sense. If you see a comment that you like, you can easily tap that user account to browse their Twitter.
If you are not sure why you do not post a button & # 39; Post new tweet & # 39; it is because it is hidden. Although it seems that only Pro users can post messages from the main menu screen, free users can post messages from the "Home" timeline. Just press the screen to find the option.
You can even choose to use the FlickType keyboard, a favorite among Apple Watch enthusiasts for its full keyboard functionality. Usually you have to type the FlickType app yourself and then paste your text into another app, but Chirp has FlickType built in.
But Chirp is not just about replicating the Twitter experience – it's also about improving it. Chirp is highly customizable. You can change the order of the menu screen in any way you want; hide your own tweets for your timeline; and display retweets and images, as well as the retweets counter, such as counter, retweet and like buttons, and timestamp. You can also choose to open the app to your timeline by default.
If you are interested in Chirp Pro, it will not break the bank. Bishop offers the Pro version for $ 2.99, $ 3.99 or $ 5.99. The different prices all have the same functions, so the $ 1 or $ 3 helps in the further development of the app. If you want to chip a little more, you can pay the $ 3.99 or $ 5.99 price tag. If not, no problem, stay at $ 2.99.
Here is a complete list of Chirp Pro features:
- Posting tweets: I seem to be able to post tweets without a Pro upgrade, but only from my timeline. Pro also unlocks the tweet composer on the main menu screen.
- Answers to Tweets: Chirp Pro is required to respond to Tweets.
- Direct messages: If you want to chat with your fellow Twitter users on your Apple Watch, you have to go Pro.
- Search: No Pro, no search.
- Trending: You can really view trends for free, but only the top five sentences and hashtags. If you want to see them all … $$$.
- Complications: You have to pay if you want to have Chirp on your Apple Watch face.
Beyond Chirp Pro, Bishop has included "Color Pro" as an option. This allows you to add colors to your username, which Twitter itself does not allow. People who use the official Twitter app or site will not see your color choice, but those on Chirp will. Color Pro costs $ 1.99, but you can bundle Color Pro with Chirp Pro for Chirp Pro & $ 39.99 price tag if you both purchase through the & # 39; Username Color & # 39; In the settings.
Browsing tweets on an Apple Watch is one thing. On the other hand, Reddit appears to be a very different animal on a small screen. Somehow Bishop manages to create not only an acceptable experience, but also an enjoyable one. If you don't have access to your iPhone at work, at school or anywhere, your Apple Watch becomes a Reddit machine. Let's take a look.
To begin with, Nano is very fond of Chirp. That makes sense because the same developer created both apps. But a simple user interface is all you need to browse messages on Reddit comfortably.
Under each message you can vote up and down, save the message or post your own comment, complete with FlickType if you want. You can view the various comments under these options. A tap opens the same upvote, downvote and storage options (with an added "Reply" button), as well as all the answers to that comment in particular. Note: only Pro users can respond or respond.
Like Chirp, Nano benefits from Force Touch, so you can change the sorting order (Top, Best, New, etc.) or create a message in your inbox while browsing. Speaking of which, you can browse the five most recent messages in your inbox. It would be nice to see more than that, but, at least in my own experience, I don't do a lot of DMing on Reddit.
Nano also borrows Chirp & # 39; s flair for customization. Here you can choose to load 25–100 responses at a time; a standard subreddit to load when starting the app; whether or not you have an orange complication on your dial; whether or not to show stuck messages; haptic; and whether the Speak button is displayed or not.
You can also choose to use the Compact mode (which hides all images) and hide NSFW messages. There is also a fun, mysterious "???" option. Bishop claims that he knows only two people who know what it does, so happy hunting!
Things seem too good to be true, right? What is the disadvantage? Well, there is only one big one: GIF & # 39; s and video & # 39; s don't work properly (YouTube doesn't work at all). As Bishop puts it:
OK, so here is how GIFs work in Nano:
Currently, only Imgur is supported. There are a number of reasons for this. First of all, I can't just add a play button to media, it's not reliable enough. Sites such as Gyfcat host their video & # 39; s of a stupid size, way too large to download to the watch.
But here's the kicker: WatchKit (the underlying framework of every Apple Watch app) is not very good. I cannot control the GIF player, I can only say "Play this GIF at this URL" and let the watch handle the rest. Unfortunately, it usually shows no download progress, so people seem to think that it doesn't load at all (honest observation). Other times it just doesn't load and I can't help it.
If your favorite subreddits are heavily dependent on GIFs & videos & # 39; s (except Imgur GIFs & # 39; s), Nano may not be that pleasant. But if you understand the limitations, you can easily browse images, websites and text messages.
Like Chirp Pro, Nano Pro has three optional price levels: $ 1.99, $ 2.99, or $ 3.99. No level offers more or less than the others, so you can safely pay what you want. Pro functions include:
- Support for unlimited subscriptions: With the free version of Nano you can only save five subscriptions.
- Handoff support: Use Apple's handoff function and do not continue browsing your Apple. Look directly at your iPhone.
- Respond to Posts: Although the Respond and Respond buttons remain free, you cannot do this unless you pay.
- Favorites: Only Pro users can save subreddits in the "Favorites" section.
- Multireddits: Only Pro users can create multireddits.
Interestingly enough, I think you get more out of the free version of Nano than you Chirp (if you do that) can justify the lack of comment options). But again, it only costs $ 1.99 to access that and four other cool features.
Bishop & # 39; s apps are not the only social media options in the App Store for Apple Watch. If you're willing to pay, apps like Simple T for Twitter and Jay are well-rated Twitter clients, and Slide for Reddit has an Apple Watch bonus, although some key features are missing.
What makes Bishop & # 39; s apps interesting is that he makes them himself, they are free to download and they work well. It is encouraging to see a developer who is as committed to a platform as watchOS when most Apple Watch apps are really only iPhone apps with a Watch option. We are delighted to follow Bishop's work in this space and watch as Chirp and Nano evolve over time.
This article was produced during Gadget Hacks special news coverage to become an expert on social media on your phone. View the entire Social Media series.
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