As reported earlier this week by WP Central the Metweets 2.0 update will be available sometime this week from DreamDevelopment. MeTweets has proven to be well liked on Windows Phone as it has garnered 122 reviews with an average rating of four stars since its release.
As part of the lead in to the upcoming 2.0 release I had an opportunity to exchange a series of emails with MeTweet’s developer, Matthieu De Laere of Belgium, about how he got started in developing for Windows Phone and deciding to build MeTweets.
WindowsObserver: How old are you and how long have you been programming?
Matthieu: I am 18 years old and I have started to learn programming when I was 14. In those four years I have written a couple of small programs, just to train myself. The real challenge began in May 2011 when I decided to start building apps. I wanted a Windows Phone, so I needed some money to be able to buy one. Back then they were all priced over €500, so I thought I could build apps for WP to get myself a device. It didn’t really work that way, as my first big title, Zemote, got refused when I submitted the first version. After convincing my dad to get a Windows Phone that I could use for development when he was at home, I ironed out quite some bugs and three weeks later the app was live. Fast forward from September 2011 to now, and MeTweets is my second big title.
WindowsObserver: Why did you choose the Windows Phone platform instead of iOS or Android?
Matthieu: I chose Windows Phone over iOS and Android because I really, really liked it! I have had an iPod touch, and iOS, though it did the job, was not my thing. I had a Windows Mobile phone, and no, I didn’t like it either. But when I saw Windows Phone 7, I immediately realized that it was completely different. It stands out from the crowd. The Metro UI had simply caught me as being different and unique, and I don’t regret choosing WP. Now I am completely into Modern UI, using a Surface RT, Windows 8 PC and some Windows Phones.
WindowsObserver: With so many Twitter applications vying for attention why did you choose to build MeTweets?
Matthieu: I used to use Twitter’s official app on Windows Phone, but in May 2012, the slowness of the app started to annoy me. As Zemote was a finished project, I was searching for something new. I decided to try to build my own app, with focus on speed and simplicity. Actually, I was so focused on building my own app, that I didn’t immediately check for another app. Development had just started when I knew of rowi’s existence. I installed the app and for a moment I wondered if I would continue the project. Looking at it now, MeTweets is completely different from rowi, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. The official Twitter app was the reason why I started to build MeTweets.
WindowsObserver: What do you think of the official Twitter App that was released a couple of weeks ago on Windows Phone?
Matthieu: I was quite impressed when I saw the new version a couple of weeks ago. But it still lacks a lot of features. Where is save for later on Pocket or Instapaper? Where are the inline images in the timeline? Where is the integrated YouTube player? Another thing is customizability. The app only comes in a light theme, but I have set my phone in Black+dark blue, so I expect apps to follow that scheme. It are those extras, though not essential, that make a premium Twitter app like Gleek and MeTweets stand out from the official one.
WindowsObserver: Are you concerned about the user token limitation that has impacted some other Twitter app developers when it comes to MeTweets?
Matthieu: Currently, I’m not concerned about the token limit, as I estimate my users count at about 15,000. I will decide what to do at the moment I hit the limit. It will depend on how busy my life will be then. In October I start with my first year at University and it could happen that I don’t have very much time to do like Tweetro did. Like I said, it will all depend on the moment, but currently I’m still going for the full 110%.
WindowsObserver: Why should someone pick MeTweets over any other Twitter app that is available on Windows Phone?
Matthieu: That’s an easy and a tough question at the same time. If you like a lightweight app that does not feel cluttered and still has all the features you want, I’d recommend MeTweets. If you like stuff to be integrated in the app, such as image viewing and saving, YouTube watching, Readability and so on, I’d recommend MeTweets. But if you prefer lots of nice animations, a shiny layout and some little extras such as wallpapers and ringtones, I’d recommend Gleek. And at last, and I hate to say it, if you want real instant notifications you have no choice but using the official app. That’s simply because Twitter doesn’t provide access to the stuff third party developers need to provide such functionality. Sad, but true.
Honestly, I am very impressed with Matthieu’s clarity and focus in how he views things. He seems to really have things together considering his young age and has really built himself a nice set of developer credentials with MeTweets. My experience with MeTweets alone would be enough for me to try out any app he might developed in the future.
How about you? Do you already use MeTweets and would that use lead you to try out any new apps by Matthieu and DreamDevelopment?