Felix Is The App.net App You've Been Looking For
I actually managed to get in on the first few betas of Felix since I joined App.net many weeks ago, and it has continued to be my top choice for an iOS ADN app. And now that it’s finally released in the App Store, I can tell you all about it.
Once you are logged in to your ADN account, you’re greeted with a beautifully simplistic interface. Two gray bars sandwich the main view, which can be your Timeline, Mentions, Global, or Profile. The middle button in the bottom toolbar is for composing a new post.
Viewing posts in Felix is a joy, thanks to the light colored background and font. Your own posts will be differentiated by being a light blue cell, and mentions will be shown in a fairly pale green tint (it looks greenish to me). If a post is part of a conversation, tap on the speech bubble icon to bring up the entire thread. You can also “star” single posts or even entire conversation threads, which is handy. Reply directly to a post, or delete your own.
Back when ADN was beginning to take off, there was several different ways of doing a “repost,” which is ADN’s version of a “retweet.” At first, we had “RP,” “>>,” and even recycle emoji and symbols. While the first two are still accepted, the emoji and unicode symbols were harder to use across all platforms. However, Felix throws all of these manual methods out the door with the new native repost feature, which is just like what Twitter offers. This way, you are able to see the original poster while still seeing who reposted it.
Links can be tapped on directly from the timeline, or you can view the post detail for additional information, like a timestamp and what client it came from. Tap and hold a link and it will bring up several options: Send to the read-it-later service of your choice, copy or mail the URL, or open in Safari. Otherwise, a tap will open it in the in-app browser.
The compose post screen takes up most of your iPhone’s screen, and has full drafts support as well as image uploading. You are able to see how much of your 256 character limit you have remaining at the top. Refreshing any timeline view is done by pulling the screen up or down, and then you will see a very thin, blue bar pop up that notifies you that the app is loading more posts, and tells you how many more it just fetched. It’s a delicate touch that looks and feels great when you see it in action.
Your profile view will also be your “Dashboard.” From here, you can search for a specific user or hashtag, which brings up a gorgeous fade-in and out animation for the search bar. Starred conversations will only be viewable in Felix, but you’ll also have access to these from the Dashboard.
When you view your profile or another user’s, you see the avatar and cover image, posts, mentions, starred posts, followers, following, and who they’ve muted. One of my favorite things about the profile view though, is how the avatar and cover image “shrink” as you scroll down. It’s a fluid animation that I just find delightful.
Felix also supports push notifications whenever you are mentioned, which is fantastic, and the sound used for them is pretty amazing too (you have to hear it to know what I’m talking about).
There are plenty of other settings as well, which are found in the Dashboard. You can enable the show @ mentions in your stream only from people you follow option, choose between repost or repost with comment, and more. My favorite thing is the ability to use Droplr or CloudApp for media uploads, and you can choose between Instapaper, Pocket, or Readability for saving content for later.
Felix has been my go-to app for ADN from the get-go, and I’m absolutely thrilled that it’s now widely available for all ADN users. It’s just a superb app that makes the entire ADN experience so much better. And it’s already optimized for you fancy iPhone 5 users out there.
If you're an ADN user searching for an iOS app, then I highly recommend Felix. It's so good that it has even ended up on my iPhone 5's home screen. And the developer, @billkunz, communicates with users and their feedback on improving the app. Currently, I think multiple accounts should be supported, as well as a way to see reposts in a future update.
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