A cloud app is a program that can access Internet information without needing to open a web browser. It is like a browser itself. It uses a piece of technology called an API (application programming interface) that directly connects to any type of web-based information by communicating directly with the server that hosts that information. Critically cool, the webapp has its own way of displaying that information. Sometimes it is better viewing that information on the app than it is viewing it through a browser.
I was looking for a twitter webapp on my Xubuntu 13.10 desktop system that allows me to interact with my twitter account right from my desktop without opening up a web browser. Although, I have heard of tweetdeck, I wanted to find something within the Ubuntu Software Center program. I found Hotot.
Hotot is a twitter webapp that accesses your twitter and identi.ca accounts.
Hotot was very easy to setup. All you do is select which social account you want to access, and supply your username associated with those accounts. For me, I wanted to access twitter.
This was how the procedure went.
First I opened up Ubuntu-software-Center. In the search box, I typed “twitter”. The ubuntu software-center program acts like a browser in most cases. You type in a keyword and the app looks for programs that have close matches to it.
When I typed the word “twitter” into the search bar, the first option that I got was, “Hotot”.
A good thumb of practice it to read the “info” of every program you attempt to install so you know what you are installing. You can also view the user ratings for an idea of how useful the app is. User ratings are vital for program evaluations.
Lets open it and see what we got.
This is the main setup screen. As you can see, you have two account types to setup, twitter or identi.ca. I have a twitter account so I am going to select twitter. Once I select that, it will ask to input my username that is associated with my account.
After you input your username, it will then tell you that it needs a token to access your twitter account. This token is a key that twitter will give to Hotot authenticating it with permissions to read and pull account information. The token is a generated series of numbers that twitter gives to insert into Hotot.
Once you hit the arrow button, another screen will pop-up with outlined directions telling you what to do to grant Hotot access to your twitter account. Follow those instructions to the “T”.
Once it is all done, Hotot displays your twitter account. There are cool things that you want to take notice. Though Hotot is not a replacement for tweetdeck or twitter, it has some cools features. It interestingly fans out the most common sections of your account, which are, timeline, mentions, and direct messages.
Each section has a view pane of its own. Rather then clicking each section tab to view the associated streams, all three are displayed. The little white arrow underneath the tab icon tells you what pane you’re interacting with. You can add more view panes if you want to view more streams just by pressing the “+” button.
The only pane I did not see, was the “followers” pane. I want to see a list of my followers or if I have any new ones. There is a work around. Select your username, and another view pane opens that displays most your recent activities. You can also, from that view pane, unfollow people.
If you want to see your tweets that were retweeted, press the “+” button and select “retweets view”.
Unfortunately, you can not view retweets by you or by others in the “retweet” list. I also noticed that I cannot see some of the people that retweeted my tweets. I can tell they were retweeted. Another thing, you can’t see your tweets favorited.
I modified the view panes to only show, “timeline”, “mentions”, my “profile” and “retweets”. From these panes, I can see most of all my activities and interact with the live “timestream”.
The timeline pane works just like the timeline section on twitter. You can “reply”, “retweet”, “favorite” all from it. Links associated with tweets are opened in your default browser. Hotot displays photos just like twitter. Other web sources like videos, full articles, are displayed in a browser.
A lot of twitter users search for people to follow. You can do the same on Hotot by adding a “search” pane by clicking the “+” sign above the program. On the people tab, just type in the name of the person or company that you want to search. The “tweet” search tab, does not work properly.
You can also make changes to your profile information. You can change the Bio, your website address, or photo.
Hotot has some interesting bells and whistles. It is not the best webapp for twitter. Missing some important functions. It is fun to play it though. If this app has more work done to it, it could be formidable.
Would love to hear your thoughts about Hotot.