If you’ve used Tweetbot, you already know how to use Netbot. It looks almost identical to its precursor, and behaves almost identically too.
Many of Tweetbot’s much-loved features are there. Swipe on an update (I nearly wrote “tweet” there – that’s a habit I’m going to have to get out of) to see the conversation surrounding it. That’s a feature I use all the time in Tweetbot. Swipe the other way to see update details.
The profile view is particularly nice: drag it down, and the user’s banner image expands slightly, closing in on whatever’s central. Nice.
One of the most useful features is the Twitter friend finder. You’ll find it in the Search tab, and it’s a good idea to go here right after installing and setting up the app. It does a quick and efficient job of checking out your Twitter account (after you’ve granted it access rights, of course), and matching up people you know there with people on app.net.
Now you can run through that list and decide who you want to follow in both places.
That’s when you run into app.net’s only disadvantage: parallel worlds. You may have encountered this on Facebook before too. It’s not a problem with the app, it’s all about human behavior. App.net makes it easy to cross-post your updates back to Twitter, which means that if you keep checking both, you’re going to start seeing lots of doubled-up posts. Euw.
Of course there are lots of ways of dealing with this. You could just not check both, and decide to make the jump to app.net and be done with Twitter. Or you could unfollow people on Twitter once you’ve followed them on app.net. Or you could simply decide to follow two completely different sets of people. So many choices.
App.net is still very young, but it feels like it’s gaining momentum. Within hours of signing up for it, I was seeing lots of familiar names and faces there, which makes it feel much more welcoming.
Netbot is not a universal app, and will cost you five dollars apiece for the iPhone and iPad versions. Some people might say that’s expensive, but each is still only the price of one of those fancy coffees. If you’re already interested enough in app.net to pay up front to use it, I don’t think a coffee’s worth of cash is too much to ask to have it in your pocket. And if money’s really tight, there’s always the web version, which works very nicely in Mobile Safari.