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After a period of radio silence in the development process after the release of version 1.1, Twikini his received two upgrades in about a week. Paul Willen reported about the release of Twikini 1.2 and this article will cover the changes in Twikini version 1.3 compiled in a mini review addressing these latest features.

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New “I’m Here” key-feature

On the Twikini website you can read a description of this new feature in the changelog:

“I’m Here” feature that inserts a Google Maps URL of your current GPS location inside a tweet. You’ll find this under the tweet window’s Menu. With this feature, you can share your exact location on a map.”

Despite I recall the developer’s words that it was quite easy to implement this feature, I can think of different scenario’s in practice where it is really helpful. The screenshots above give an overview of testing the “I’m Here” feature in a nearby still under construction shopping center.

When you compose a tweet, you can select the menu-item “add from gps”, and than select option -1- “I’m Here” Link. The text is automatically inserted together with a Google Maps URL, which you can look-up on your desktop. The result is not 100% accurate, since I was one street away from the proposed “Akerstraat”, but that is probably caused by the accuracy of Google Maps.

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Other features / improvements

The block with screenshots above shows two additional improvements from the changelog f Twikini 1.3. The first one is described as:

“Clicking on a Twitpic link will open it in the Web browser. Clicking on a Twitpic thumbnail will open it inside Twikini. This improves upon the previous version in which Twitpics always opened inside Twikini.”

In the first screenshot you see a tweet from Olya Gachko with a Twitpic-link embedded. When I open this specific tweet from Olya Gachko, shown in the second screenshot, the Twitpic is loaded into this screen and I can scroll up and down to have a look at the complete picture.

I need to place a remark here since my HTC Snap offers a “relative” small screen, in comparison to for instance the HTC Touch Pro2 or the Toshiba TG01. In these cases you probably don’t need to scroll. However when I click on the Twitpic-link it will be opened in Internet Explorer 6 for Mobile.

“You can now cancel GPS initialization if it is taking too long. Click Menu > Cancel inside the Tweet window to cancel a GPS action.”

Another improvement is shown in the last screenshot. It sometimes can take a while before the gps-coordinates are calculated due to various reasons. In the previous versions it wasn’t possible to cancel this action, so you needed to close the program or wait till the coordinates were calculated.

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… and some Twikini 1.2 improvements

“Option to launch all URLs in Skweezer (this optimizes websites for small screens). The option is OFF by default. Enable it under Tools > Options > Data/Download.”

For the people who are not familiar with Skweezer, please have a look at the definition from Wikipedia below:

“Skweezer is a Mobile HTML Transcoder for users of handheld devices such as personal digital assistants and mobile phones. Skweezer reformats and compresses web content in order to reduce a web page’s file size and makes the downloaded content easier to view on a small screen.”

It perfectly makes sense to implement such a feature into a Twitter client for Windows Phones like Twikini. Not every webpage has a version optimized for mobile use, and this is where Skweezer kicks in. In the screenshot above you can see that I enabled the option via the “tools” menu, openend a tweet of Gerard Verbrugge and clicked on the shortened link.

The result is shown in the next screenhot:  a compressed website which I can clearly read on the screen of my HTC Snap. It is perfect for mobile use, and you might not need all the fancy parts which some websites offer. Remark also the example above where I openend the Twitpic link in Olya Gachko’s tweet. Here the Twitpic is opened in the webbrowser, but compressed with Skweezer. Therefore it works for all types of links. :)

Specify which view you want the app to launch in every time (@Replies, DMs, Favorites, Public timeline etc). That way you can quickly get to the Twitter feature you care about most. Find this setting under Tools > Options > Data/Download.”

The next improvement could fit in the category usability. You can select which flow of tweets you want to see, when you open Twikini 1.3. I have set it to the default option “tweets”, since I want to read what my friends are doing first. If you use it mainly for communication on the road it might be helpful to switch to “@replies” or “direct messages”.

Set auto refresh to only check DMs and @Replies. This reduces bandwidth usage and battery life, and avoids disturbing you with tweets you may not care about. Find this setting under Tools > Options > Auto Refresh.”

When I read this correctly it means that by default all the three different “flows” of tweets are auto updated. It could also be helpful to just auto refresh the “tweets” and not the @replies and direct messages. It just depends on what your main focus and use is, but let me be clear I welcome improvements that reduce bandwidth and increase batterylife !!

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Thoughts and wrap-up

Mike Temporale, Windows Mobile MVP and Editor in Chief from MobileJaw has a good concluding summary in his article: “Twikini Updated and Reviewed

“Needless to say, Twikini has been my Windows Mobile twitter client of choice for a while now.  If you haven’t checked it out, I recommend you do. It’s well worth the $5 price tag.”

Personally I fully agree, that Twikini is probably the best Twitter client out there for Windows Phones. Especially I do like the speed and with the latest improvements the application is becoming more mature an optimized for road warrior use !

It sometimes are small implementations that really make it a valuable application. For example to “Send” a tweet -1- “by email”  or -2- “by sms” is a very helpful option I have seen before in Iliumsoft NewsBreak.  The only thing I would like to see improved is the option to move the Twikini cache-folder to your storage card, in order to keep the main memory as clean as possible.

To wrap up, I have coverd the latest improvements of this excellent twitter client. I would like to recommend a complementary review: “Review of Trinket Software’s Twikini on ClintonFitch.com“ written by Clinton Fitch, Windows Mobile MVP and Editor in Chief from  Clinton Fitch (Dot) Com. It shows a lot of screenshots of both Windows Mobile Professional and Windows Mobile Standard devices.

Go to the Trinket Software website and order a great amount of Twitter-functionality with Twikini 1.3 for just $4.95 !!