Yes, Blaq is the new tweet. Today the new app lands in the BBSync Store, and soon to BlackBerry App World and we’re excited to bring you the first hand look at the new and unique Blaq twitter app for BlackBerry. I know there’s other Twitter apps, but I’m going to focus on what makes Blaq stand out of the crowd. So keep on reading to take a more in-depth look at Blaq.
First off, I’d like to start with a little bit of background behind the app and how it came to be. Blaq is actually the creation of Ryan Hamrick, who is the UI Designs and Concepts, and Kyle Fowler of Development and Magic. Ryan said the name just popped into his head one day. He wanted to make an app that looked great and still was able to deliver the best features that Twitter had to offer. Ryan is a graphic designer and went in search of a developer to help bring the app to life. Ryan said that while he was looking for the developer, he was designing the screens and was thinking of a play on words that would shout the word “BlackBerry” and the word Blaq just came to him. Ryan said he was just wanting something better to look at in a BlackBerry Twitter app, and he then came upon a developer who was just as inspired as he was about the project at hand and had some very serious skills with the BlackBerry platform. The two of them show their talent in this app that has launched today.
Now onto the app and my first impressions. I installed Blaq on my BlackBerry 9650. I did a battery pull and the app was ready to work. The icon is a big white B. The alerts are a small green bubble with a white star in the center. I’m going to start from the beginning though. The application is unique. It’s another great Super App because it integrates nicely and leaves the controls to you. I’m going to start with the menu first. Clicking on the Menu button will bring up the menu, which includes quite the list. First is Quick Tweet. Yes, this is an option that allows you to tweet from anywhere in your phone, the Blaq app doesn’t have to be open for you to shoot a Quick Tweet to Twitter. There’s Send Feedback which emails both Ryan and Kyle so you can give your automatic feedback. Update Status (no explanation needed), My Timeline, Direct Message User, Refresh Timeline, Get More, Reply, Reply All, Retweet, View Tweet, User Timeline, User Profile, BlaqOut User (this is like mute), Copy Tweet, Email Tweet, Mentions, Direct Messages, Search Twitter, Find User, Trends, Settings, Help, Exit, Manage Accounts (yes, more than one Twitter account), and another favorite of mine: Link To BlackBerry Contact. I find it interesting that SocialScope has that option as well, but it’s not in the Twitter For BlackBerry app.
Let’s look at the Settings. You can set your Refresh Settings for Home Timeline, DM Timeline, Mentions Timeline, Tweets To Download, Tweets to keep in Timeline. In Display you have Show Real Name as on or off, Merge DM’s as on or off, Animate Timeline as on or off. The Tweet Font size, Default Lists, Photo Service, it’s URL Shortener, and the Notifications, and even Actions.
Next I’m going to go into detail about Help. The first part tells ou the help with Custom URL Shorteners. And the last part is the Keyboard Shortcuts available for the app. I could post the list, but you can find them in the Help in the Menu.
The top bar and the highlight are grey. The background is black. The fonts are in white with the Twitter name in neon green, and the time and the location of the tweet sit in grey. There are seven icons at the top. The green house is home, the blue @ is replies, the White envelope with the green arrow is Direct Messages, the check list is lists, the green message icon is for tweets, the blue refresh sign is for refresh, and last but not least, the green arrow up is for full screen. Clicking on a tweet is pretty neat. It brings it up with the blue @ on top, Green arrows forming a square, the star, and envelope app. At the bottom sits the pic and a line with time and where the tweet was tweeted from. At the bottom is the name and the @ name. Click on the @, and it takes you to the Blaq Ops. This is the information on your friend. There’s the pic, the Unfollow or Follow option, Block, how many Followers, How many Friends, How many Tweets, and where they’re from, their links, and their caption. If you look at home, you can move to the side at your tweets and the messages will show. Keep moving and direct messages will show. It’s like Poynt and BlackBerry App World with the Top 25 apps carousel styled scrolling.
When you look into someone’s profile, you can choose how to communicate with them. You can request a follow, if you link them, you can have more options. I really like the way this works. Even the outlines will show. In home it’s got the black background. In reply it’s blue outlined, and in DM, it’s green. Sending a tweet is a green cursor, white font, the World Blaq in white and the wings. You have the options below of file, link, @, and Location from the thumb tack icon. You can set current location, enter location, Find on a map, or From Contacts.
All in all, graphically it’s appeasing. It really does fall into Super Apps because it integrates into your BlackBerry. I was able to send pics from the camera right to the Blaq app, it just really is nice. And I really like the option of sending a tweet by email to someone. There’s always those few friends who won’t try Twitter.
My personal thought is that the app is done very nicely. I love the little features it includes. There’s a paid and lite version, but the paid version is definitely worth the few dollars if you love your Twitter. I like how user friendly it is, the colors in it, the way you navigate through it, very sleek. I’m very impressed with the app and all the little neat features it includes. If you have it, please share your thoughts with everyone on what you think.