Review: Riposte 1.2

Riposte is an iPhone app for (ADN). It first launched in January this year and quickly became my personal favorite ADN app. In March, Riposte got even better when it brought support for private messages (individual and group) as well as granular control over push notifications (meaning you can select what you want to get a push notification for).

Today, Riposte 1.2 is available and brings a handful of new features and improvements, as well as a host of new “Pro” features.

The Pro features include customizing the app using one of several new typefaces, including Avenir; an auto-saving of drafts; a Private Messages quickview button; auto dark and light mode depending on time of day; a 3-finger gesture to control brightness; option to hide the Status Bar; and more. These features become available after a $5 in-app purchase.

Riposte is now a free app, but it hasn’t always been. When it first launched it was a $5 app, and about 2 months later it went free. If, like me, you were one of the users who bought Riposte when it first launched, to get the new pro features you’re now looking at a $10 app. But Riposte is one of the premier iPhone apps for ADN — it is fast, feature rich, packed to the rafters with clever and helpful details, and is on an active development cycle. Even if you paid full price when it first came out and now chose also to upgrade the Pro features, I consider $10 to be a fair price for Riposte.

Riposte doesn’t need the Pro features to be a great app — it already handles the core functionality of ADN with aplomb.

When Riposte first shipped, the two things which most stuck out to me were its inclusion of a 1Password shortcut button on the login screen, and its use of the hamburger / basement menu design. Though some advocate against this sort of navigational design, I think it’s great when used in a good setting. And for an app such as Riposte it especially makes sense because the primary view is just the unified timeline.

A few months after its initial release, Riposte 1.1 came with support for Private Messages and granular settings for push notifications. The granular push notification setting means you can enable or disable push notifications for many different types of interactions — I like this because it means I can choose to only get a notification when someone sends me a Private Message.

Private Messaging in Riposte is great. The app supports individual chats or group chats, and since ADN doesn’t require following for PMs, anyone can send and be a part of a private message. It’s more like a private reply versus a public reply. I’m thinking that ADN group messaging will be the new Glassboard for me this year at WWDC.

One of Riposte’s new Pro features is the option to enable a quickview button for private messages. This button hovers at the bottom-left of the screen and offers one-tap access to the messages pane from just about anywhere in the app (as opposed to having to drill down to the Menu screen to switch to the Private Messages view).

If you have any unread PMs, the icon will be filled in with blue; otherwise it will be more transparent.

Riposte QuickView Private Messages Button

Similarly, if you have the Full Screen mode enabled (as shown above — a setting you can toggle under Riposte’s General Settings), the button for creating a new post hovers in the bottom-right corner of the screen at all times. By turning on the Full Screen mode, the common “back” button (for returning to previous screens if you’ve drilled down into a conversation view or a web page) is gone.

Riposte gets past the missing “back” button by using a swipe-left-to-right gesture for going back. Pretty much from any screen you are in, swiping left to right will take you back one level.

This has become one of those gestures I find myself using in many other apps — similar to how I was always trying pull to refresh in apps that didn’t even support it, I’ve begun swiping right to go back in apps that don’t support it.

Jared Sinclair, one of the developers of Riposte, said:

We take push/pop transitions at face value: swiping to go back is like pulling yourself back to where you were before. If I can’t picture an app as a set of cards laid out in a grid on a table, I can’t understand it.

It’s clear the Riposte guys thoughtfully implemented this swipe gesture. For example: on the screen for composing a new post, swiping left-to-right or right-to-left moves the cursor one character respectively. Thus there is a “Cancel” button on the post compose screen for going back to where you were.

There are several other swipe gestures, such as two-finger swiping up/down to switch between light and dark mode, or two-finger left-to-right swipe to get back to the root Stream view.

And speaking of swipe gestures, one of the gestures included in the Pro feature is a 3-finger brightness control. While using the beta of Riposte 1.2, I showed this brightness control shortcut to my wife, and she asked why that wasn’t something you could do in every app. I agree (sort of).

In the iPhone’s Settings there are a handful of toggles buried too many taps deep, and I wish it’d be easier to get to them quickly. Brightness control is one of those, and while I don’t know that a universal iOS gesture of 3-finger swipe is the answer, I like that Riposte guys at least did something.


Preeminent among the Pro features in Riposte 1.2 is the option for different typefaces.

There are a total of 9 unique typefaces (a combination of iOS stock and free options, including Avenir, Exo, Gill, Signika, Source Sans Pro, and others). Some faces have multiple weights, making a total of 14 different font options.

Of the options, Avenir and Signika are my two favorites — I’ve been using Avenir at the Extra Small size.

I asked the Riposte guys why they were charging for a Pro update that didn’t include licensed typefaces such as Proxima Nova, Whitney, or Chaparral Pro. Their reply was that the typefaces they like are a little too expensive to license until they see what sales are like for the Pro update. Their intention with the Pro upgrade is for it to be the locus of future features, so it will only get better.

If I were in their shoes, I suspect I would make the same choice. Licensing a typeface for use in an iOS app is not cheap — costing in the thousands of dollars — and the ADN app market is still relatively small. Hopefully Riposte will be successful enough to both sustain its development and warrant the licensing of some elite faces like we’ve come accustomed to in the more mainstream apps like Instapaper and Twitterrific.

Post Drafts

Another Pro feature of Riposte is the auto-saving of any un-published post. You can view all your drafts by tapping the paper icon in the compose view.

Riposte Drafts

Basically, when you cancel a post that has text in it (or if you quit the app), a draft is automatically created for you. It means no lost posts and not having to tap an “are you sure you want to cancel” button every time.

But it also means you end up with a lot of draft posts that should just go in the trash. After 2 weeks using the beta I had about 12 draft posts I didn’t want. A swipe and delete on each of them cleared them out before I wrote a few better drafts in order to stage the screenshot you see above.


ADN has become far more than just an ad-free Twitter replacement. And eventually the service will reach a point where any one single client cannot (or at least should not) handle all the functionality of ADN. But at the moment, for the core functionality of ADN as a social network, Riposte handles everything I am most commonly using with flying colors. It has become one of my favorite and most-used Home screen apps.

It’s impressive to me just how far and how fast this app has come in the short amount of time since its release. I am, as usual, looking forward to what’s in store for Riposte and for ADN in the days to come.

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Free Invitations

And, of course, no ADN-related article would be complete without some free invites, courtesy of the Riposte developers and the team. If you want to join ADN, click here to sign up for free (while invites last).

Note, when you join ADN your new account will automatically be following me (@shawnblanc). Free accounts can only follow up to 40 people, so feel free to unfollow me if you want.

Review: Riposte 1.2

Jerry Seinfeld talked to Steve Inskeep about coffee and his awesome internet show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, which is one of my favorite things ever:

After a lifetime in formal show business, I kind of had a theory that if you remove the structures of show business — the studio, the makeup, the microphone, the can we get you something to drink, the chair that you’re screwed into — if you remove that, you’ll get a different tone, a different dialogue. I wanted to get the dialogue that when you’re standing on the sidewalk and you’re kicking the curb and you’re with a friend and neither of you really wants to go home and you’re just standing there talking. That conversation, I thought, that’s a ‘talk show’ that I’d like to try and see if I can get that in a bottle.

(Thanks, Ben!)

So Jerry Seinfeld Called Steve Inskeep To Talk About Coffee

Feed Wrangler is a brand new RSS service from my pal, David Smith. It’s $19/year and comes with a free universal iOS app. An OS X client is on the way and a full-featured API will be opened up in the next few weeks to allow 3rd-party devs to build their own Feed Wrangler apps.

I’ve been using the beta version of Feed Wrangler for the past month, and I love the underpinning functionality and goals for Feed Wrangler.

Federico Viticci wrote a review, and I agree with every word. Especially this bit:

Of all the Google Reader alternatives I’ve been trying, Feed Wrangler struck me as the one with a clear vision, some unique features, a reliable engine, and a simple business model…

It’s difficult moving from Google Reader’s familiar service and (unofficial) 3rd-party apps and going to a completely new service that’s less familiar, less mature, and a little bit rough around the edges. But Feed Wrangler’s Read Later integration and the Smart Stream versatility are exactly the sort of forward-thinking innovation I hope we’re going to see more of in a post-Google Reader world.

Feed Wrangler

Rumor is, iOS 7 is getting a noteworthy design overhaul. And 9to5 Mac says it’s going to look “very, very flat”.

[T]he interface loses all signs of gloss, shine, and skeuomorphism seen across current and past versions of iOS. Another source framed the new OS as having a level of “flatness” approaching recent releases of Microsoft’s Windows Phone “Metro” UI.

When I think of some of the apps on my iPhone that have a “flat” design feel to them — apps without gloss, shine, or heavy skeuomorphism — I think of Twitterrific, Letterpress, and Day One. I consider these to be some of the most well-designed apps on the iPhone. If that’s the direction iOS 7 is going then I welcome the change.

A more “flat” design aesthetic doesn’t mean having to give up playfulness, whimsy, and personality.

Rumors of a Flat iOS

Arrive in the office, make a cup of coffee, open up your email, and turn up your favorite song. We know how it goes.

Check out Steven Jengo’s new single, Summer of 2042.

Fresh tunes with a softly different touch; with that kind of familiar sound, simple and melodic, deep and lazy, freshly brewed for your listening pleasure.

Take care when driving at high volume. Find more at

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My thanks to Steven Jengo for sponsoring the RSS feed this week. Sponsorship by The Syndicate.

Sponsor: Fresh Music From Steven Jengo

Trevor McKendrick:

I released my first app one year ago yesterday. It started as a small side project with the explicit goal of paying my rent.

As of yesterday it’s done $73,034 in net revenue, after Apple’s cut.

I’m a sucker for stories like this. Especially ones where the focus is on success through shipping and iterating — something I could use a reminder about every now and then.

(Via John Moltz and Harry Marks.)

Trevor McKendrick’s First Year in the App Store

John Siracusa:

But tickets selling out in less than 2 minutes does not reward anyone’s dedication. We were all online at 10 a.m. PDT sharp, all ready to purchase, all equally dedicated. It was a de facto lottery, with an extra layer of pointless stress added on top.

The WWDC Lottery

Daniel Jalkut:

As the sheer number of Apple developers increases, the capacity of WWDC remains the same. The goals of the conference both for Apple and for developers are increasingly unmet as the number of developers who would like to be educated, indoctrinated, and communed with far outweighs the number of developers who actually can be.


When Horizon 1.0 shipped just a few months ago, what set it apart as a calendar app is that it pulls in the weather forecast of the location of your upcoming events. It also gives you an inline forecast view for the upcoming 2 weeks.

Today, version 2.0 was released and it adds natural language parsing, an updated icon, and some other nips and tucks.

There are some extremely great calendar apps for the iPhone (Fantastical, Agenda). If you’re a calendar nerd, or just curious, Horizon is certainly worth checking out.

Horizon 2.0

WWDC tickets sold out in under 2 minutes.

I’ve heard many suggestions for how Apple could solve this problem: find a larger venue, raise the price of the tickets, have two WWDCs back to back, split off the Mac and iOS tracks to be in different venues, or split off the gaming-centric tracks to be in a different venue.

Apple knows demand for WWDC attendance is high, and they knew they were going to sell out in a matter of minutes. Yet they still haven’t yet changed anything related to the supply and demand. For whatever reason, Apple still considers the location, capacity, and structure of WWDC to be the best choice. And so it’s the way it is and that’s that.

The way they draw a line in the sand regarding software and hardware features — waiting to add or change something until they’ve found the ideal solution — is the same way they feel about developer conferences.

That Was Fast

I went to the first-ever Circles Conference last year and enjoyed it tremendously. If you’re in the creative industry at all, I highly recommend this event. Since this is only the second year it’s still a small and intimate event, but the speaker lineup is like wow.

Early bird pricing ends this coming Tuesday. And right now they’re giving away an event pass and hotel stay. I wish I could go again this year, but I my wife’s and my second kid is due just days before the conference.

Circles: A Creative Conference