View Full Version : iPhone App Reviews - iTweetReply, Truckers Delight

25th May 2010, 08:46 PM
<h3>This week we look at iTweetReply, a push notifications manager for Twitter replies, and Truckers Delight, a retro 16-bit-style racing game.</h3>
<a href="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/iTweetReply-1.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-7028 alignnone" title="iTweetReply 1" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/iTweetReply-1.png" alt="" width="269" height="403" /></a>

It's been an eventful week for Twitter and the iPhone, with the release of Twitter's first official client on the App Store after their acquisition of Loren Brichter's Apple Design Award winning Tweetie app. It added some excellent new features to an already excellent Twitter client, but one of the most requested features was left unnoticed - push notifications. Ever since the introduction of push notifications almost one year ago, Twitter enthusiasts have longed for an easy way to get new tweets, replies and messages without first opening an app. For a long time, <em>iTweetReply</em> has offered a solution to this, and recently it saw its first major update.

Setting up <em>iTweetReply</em> is easy, but buggy. I filled out my Twitter login details several times before they were sent - each time <em>iTweetReply</em> failed to recognise that a password had been entered because I used the 'Next' button on the on-screen keyboard. Eventually, I figured out that it would only accept my credentials if I tapped on each row in the form before I sent it. Once they were set up, however, <em>iTweetReply</em> started working flawlessly. It takes a few minutes for previous @replies to come through from Twitter, but when they did they were conveniently placed on a list accessible just by tapping on the account name in the main menu of the app (unfortunately, replies displayed in that list don't appear to be in any chronological order, making it somewhat difficult to find the latest replies).


<a href="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/iTweetReply-2.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-7029" title="iTweetReply 2" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/iTweetReply-2.png" alt="" width="269" height="403" /></a>

Tapping on the arrow next to the account name shows configuration options, such as the ability to push Direct Messages and an entire Twitter timeline if so desired. Similarly, search terms can be set up beneath the account list to send push notifications for each tweet relating to a #hashtag or topic.

<em>iTweetReply's</em> user interface is logical and very polished - a huge step up from 1.x releases of the app. Outdated UI elements such as the horribly overused menu bar have been replaced with a design that makes navigation a pleasure. Being nothing more than a push notification manager, Syncode (who are also behind previously reviewed <a href="http://www.mactalk.com.au/2010/01/06/iphone-app-reviews-syncopy-safety-light/">Syncopy</a> and <a href="http://www.mactalk.com.au/2010/02/09/iphone-app-reviews-synotes-bills/">Synotes</a>) were wise to create a simple app that performs one task quite well. Next to having push notifications built into a Twitter client itself, <em>iTweetReply</em> is clearly the next best solution for quick reply notifications, but as mentioned above, <em>iTweetReply</em> would benefit from a small update to iron out the login and chronological reply order issues that only slightly lessen the user experience.

<strong>Version reviewed:</strong> 2.0
<strong>Price:</strong> $2.49
<strong>Developer:</strong> Syncode
<strong>Designed for:</strong> iPhone, iPod touch &amp; iPad
<strong>Compatibility:</strong> iPhone OS running 3.1.3 or later
<strong>Size:</strong> 0.6MB
<strong>Category:</strong> Social Networking
<strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/itweetreply-twitter-push/id319495392?mt=8">App Store</a></strong>
<h4>Truckers Delight</h4>
<a href="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Truckers-Delight-1.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-7030" title="Truckers Delight 1" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Truckers-Delight-1.png" alt="" width="374" height="250" /></a>

The iPhone becomes a stronger and stronger games platform every day, with dozens of new releases from some of the world's largest and most respected developers. With tens of thousands of games on the store, it's easy to come to the conclusion that Apple's devices will ultimately conquer mobile gaming. Some games sport more than one hundred levels, insanely detailed graphics and exhilarating multiplayer gameplay. <em>Truckers Delight</em> is not one of those games.

Based on the music video that first appeared on MTV2 before gaining millions of views online on <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egcXvqiho4w">YouTube</a> and <a href="http://vimeo.com/7670880">Vimeo</a> (warning: not safe for work!), <em>Truckers Delight</em> is the story of a lone truck driver travelling through the American desert. In Episode One of the game, "the highway puts you in pursuit of Alpha Chick, a blonde bombshell in a red Corvette". Using the accelerometer, the truck driver is guided through the road with a variety of obstacles in his way, including a rather persistent biker and police cars content on pushing the truckie out of the way later in the game. When he catches up to the lady of his dreams, points are awarded for bumping into her car, with the stakes increasing at every hit. The most challenging part of this odd game is getting through each thirty second checkpoint in time.

<a href="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Truckers-Delight-2.png"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-7031" title="Truckers Delight 2" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Truckers-Delight-2.png" alt="" width="374" height="250" /></a>

<em>Truckers Delight</em> is surprisingly well done for a game of its nature. It is apparent from the start of the game that it's designed for a few chuckles and casual fun (the useless, <em>there-just-for-the-hell-of-it</em> lever that can be pulled down to honk the horn exemplifies this), but it has the ability to become quite addictive once the first few checkpoints are cleared and challenging gameplay kicks in. Given that this is only the first "episode" with more to come in subsequent updates, there's just enough depth, notably through the use of several 'power ups' and other on screen distractors, to keep gamers happy for a while. All the usual social networking suspects are there too for sharing scores including Facebook and Twitter integration.

For what first appeared to be just another terribly executed novelty iPhone game, <em>Truckers Delight</em> is far better than I expected. For the reasonable price of $4, <em>Truckers Delight</em> is an unexpectedly enjoyable retro racer.

<strong>Version reviewed:</strong> 1.0
<strong>Price:</strong> $3.99
<strong>Developer:</strong> Mobigame
<strong>Designed for:</strong> iPhone &amp; iPod touch
<strong>Compatibility:</strong> iPhone OS running 2.2 or later
<strong>Size:</strong> 9.7MB
<strong>Category:</strong> Games
<strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/truckers-delight-episode-1/id370795788?mt=8">App Store</a></strong>