Been getting a lot of feedback from Tech N’ Marketing readers lately, and among the positive replies, there is an underlying theme that seems to bother a lot of readers. The fact that when I write a review about a product, I am generally very positive about it. I have rarely given a negative review. To these readers I say, you are right. I usually review products that excite me, I come across tens of bad applications or services every day, but those are not the things I am going to blog about.
But, today is different. A friend of mine tweeted about a new Twitter app for the iPhone called Lounge. I, of course wanted to review it, like I do with any other iPhone app that spikes my interest. Spoke to the developers and got myself a copy for review.
Lounge is a Twitter app for Mac and iPhone. I installed it on my Mac, and used it for approximately 5 minutes before uninstalling. Then I tried it on the iPod Touch hoping it would be a different story, but it wasn’t. The app is too complicated and not user-friendly enough to make me even want to try and get used to it.
Clearly, the developers packed a lot in the app, including a very blessed feature of multiple Twitter accounts, viewing the number of followers you or one of your friends has, seeing reply threads, landscape mode, and more. However. there are just too many interface quirks for me to like this app, and it is so slow, I am talking painfully slow compared to other apps like Twitterfon and Tweetie. Just to put a nail in this coffin, for me and any serious Twitter user, the lack of a retweet function should make this app unusable. To be fair, the developers made it clear that they are working on the next version, which will include a lot of enhancements. But, no retweet? Really? C’mon!
I am sure if I studied the app carefully, I would probably understand it better, but the interface is just not attractive enough for me to do that. I like being able to see options on a UI and understand what the feature means and what it does. I do not like seeing tabs on a Twitter app called Vanity, and My 2 Cents. Huh? What does that mean and what are these options?
I have to be honest, I did not give this app a very long trial period before making up my mind, and like I said, I am sure if I had, it would grow on me a little. However, I strongly believe that a good product does not have to be forced on you. I did not force myself to use Twitterfon, iPods, or my Mac for two weeks before I grew to like it. I liked it enough in the beginning to continue using it and learning about it.
Bottom line is, this app is not for me, and I do not think such a simple concept like Twitter deserves such a complex app. I will just conclude with a thought I once heard from a comedian. People say beer and whisky are an “Acquired taste”. The reason you need to acquire the taste for them is because they do not taste good. If they tasted good, you would just like it the first time. Then the comedian concluded his act by saying “Did you ever hear anyone say about potato chips that they are an acquired taste? No, because they are just good”. Same thing here, if this was just a good app and had a decent UI, I would not need to force myself to use it. So for all you complainers out there that think I am generally too positive, here is one for you.
By the way, for the record I do not agree with the comedian’s opinion about beer and whisky, I just thought it was a funny observation.