I know what you’re thinking. Another twitter app? Why would anyone need need another option when the market is already flooded with Twitter apps and when Tweetbot already managed to capture most of it? These thoughts went through my mind too when I first heard about Quip. But once I had the details about the app, I was sold.
Quip is a new Twitter app for iPad from the house of Glasshouse Apps. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because they’ve already been featured twice here on Beautiful Pixels — once for Gift Plan and very recently, for The Early Edition 2. Quip takes a radically different approach for consuming your Twitter feed. I was surprised that no other app developer had thought of this before.
For most of us, reading through our twitter timeline feels like this:
Imagine trying to follow a conversation in real life if the group of people involved all spoke backwards while others nearby kept interrupting with random comments. It sounds crazy but that’s what it can often be like when scanning a normal Twitter timeline.
Quip attempts to overcome this by having its focus on conversations on Twitter. All tweets are displayed with their relevant replies clubbed together — just tap on it and Quip expands and lays those tweets out in a conversation, so you know exactly what’s happening there. Unlike most apps which display the newest tweets first and then take you to the conversation view, Quip shows the oldest tweet in the timeline and tapping on it will display all the replies below it — just how a conversation would go in real life.
This has pretty much changed the way I look at Twitter these days. I still use Tweetbot for most of my work, but Quip is perfect when I want to look at Twitter after a long break or when I’m just lying down somewhere away from my desk.
The app also boasts three very nifty timeline views — Conversations, Retweets and Images. The Conversations view lists all the tweets that have active conversations, the Retweets will shows you all the tweets that have been retweeted multiple times and the Images view shows you a beautiful grid of all the images shared in your timeline. This is a very interesting way to go through all the images you may have missed while you were away. Tapping on individual images in the grid open ‘em up in a lightbox-ish view, while the tweet containing the images slowly slides up from the bottom. Here, you can reply-to, favorite or retweet the original tweet or even pull all the replies to that particular tweet.
You can browse through Quip’s different sections and views using the beautiful glyphs on the left. It uses iOS 5′s Twitter integration to pick up your Twitter accounts, although you have to authenticate manually if you want it to show you your Direct Messages too.
One particularly great feature of the app is its ability to jump through your timeline. Swiping in from the right edge reveals a timeline slider — somewhat like Mac OS X’s Time Machine. You can move the slider to go back to that time and read the tweets that were posted then. Gaps in the timeline are marked, and you can even jumpt to that spot and tap the gap in the center to make Quip load the missing tweets. This itself screams genius execution of a feature.
Quip also includes other typical Twitter app features such as Search, looking up a user profile details and reading his tweets. It doesn’t yet support Twitter lists or streaming (Tweetbot has ruined me), but I’m sure the devs will be working on these in an update.
There’s no doubt that apps by Glasshouse Apps are phenomenally beautiful in design and work exceptionally well in practice. And Quip is no different. It boasts a stunning Retina Display ready gorgeous set of pixels and a radically new approach to consume your Twitter feed. It’s available on the App Store for just $0.99 and if you’re still skeptical, you can view the promo video below — it gives you an excellent idea of all the lovely things in Quip.
Note: The app will be available on the App Store at 00:00 hours on 31st May, 2012, so if it’s not showing up for you on the App Store, kindly wait till it’s 31st where you are.