By this point you know App.net, the platform for apps conceived by Dalton Caldwell who came up with a Twitter-like prototype to bring some developers to expand the service in unlimited ways. Although they still haven’t cut the umbilical cord and App.net remains a Twitter clone, App.net differs from its muse by not selling its users, not removing essential features like blocking and muting, and gathering an enthusiastic community.
I truly recommend you to join App.net and jump into a conversation — I heard the folks there love to chat — but you want a real client, not their web demo Alpha, and among so many apps to pick, which was the objective after all, it turns out to be a hard task. Then what if I say you can get the best App.net experience in your iPhone for free? You just can’t beat that, so follow up as we cover everything you need to know about Riposte, the first App.net you should get.
It goes without saying that you need an App.net account to use Riposte. You can easily create one using the Passport app offered by the App.net team or their website. If you already have one, put your credentials and you’re ready to go.
Riposte was thought out to be a one-thumb experience, so you can navigate with taps and swipes through the whole application while you dust the cat fur from the carpet or drive — don’t do this one. Riposte is easy and intuitive – the drawer menu will give you quick access to the most important sections of App.net’s social environment.
Your stream is probably where you’ll spend most of your time after you follow a few folks. Swipe a post to get into its details and open the whole conversation, tap to access multiple options such as reply, repost, share and others. Easy, right? Tap on someone’s avatar to open their profile, you can check their posts or follow them. Keep in mind free accounts have a limit of 40 accounts to follow, so if you get too excited you may want to consider a subscription for $5/month or $36/year.
Lots of Cool Tricks
Possibly the best feature of Riposte is how simple it makes App.net, however, it doesn’t mean that under the hood it doesn’t pack a punch. For example, Riposte supports App.net native stream marker, so you get your timeline synced across all your apps with that feature – no more worrying about Tweet Marker or locking your feed on iCloud as most Twitter clients do out there. You can also customize your notifications, set a dark theme or include inline images attached to the posts in your stream.
Riposte also integrates with several other services as you can authorize third-party apps such as Droplr to handle your image uploads and Instapaper or Pocket for links you want to read later. You can even connect to Buffer to send your posts to other social networks. If you’re enjoying Riposte and App.net so far, you should consider purchasing the Pro features — you gotta be used to in-app purchases by this point — to unleash the true power of Riposte’s customization and integration.
Worthwhile Pro Features
Purchasing the Pro package is not obligatory and the default features of Riposte are solid enough to keep you updated on your stream, but if you want to tweak your experience, there are bits and pieces to make App.net even more pleasant to you.
There’s one Pro feature I find indispensable, which is the QuickView for Messages. Riposte supports private messaging already, but this feature adds a tiny button to your stream to swiftly access your messages. If you have Whisper installed, you can check your messages there instead. In terms of integration, with Riposte Pro you can send posts to Omnifocus or Things as tasks and a few other options.
When it comes to customization, Riposte Pro gets you 9 additional typefaces to choose from, including Avenir and Helvetica Neue Light. Among the fancy features, you can hide the status bar, change theme according to your location and adjust the brightness of your screen with a gesture. Riposte Pro won’t increase the amount of characters per post — I think 256 more than enough anyway, but will improve your posting workflow by saving unsent posts as drafts, allowing landscape composing and in-post links using Markdown.
Jump Into a Conversation
If you’re looking for a change or just a social network that won’t treat you as a pawn, App.net is worth checking out and when you get there, make Riposte your first client before coming up with conclusions. There are a few features missing such as a way to discover recommended users to follow and an effective way to avoid conversations as its main rival, Felix, does by collapsing them.
Overall, Riposte is your entry point to a brand-new world of conversations where socializing regains its true meaning. So what are you waiting for? Join App.net, get Riposte for free and jump into a conversation. If you get entangled by the experience, you’ll always have the Pro features to go for.