Fundamentally, it works in exactly the way as TweetBot does for Twitter, which I reviewed in October 2011 and have been using as my preferred Twitter client ever since. I would suggest reading that review first.
Because of the major similarities, getting used to NetBot took no time at all, as it’s a familiar interface. If you have multiple app.net accounts, then you can add all of them to NetBot and switch between them easily. It supports all of the third-party services that TweetBot supports – important, as app.net doesn’t have its own URL shortener and has only recently included image uploads, which NetBot itself doesn’t yet support. You can also enable Stream Marker to save your place between clients.
The home tab is called ‘My Stream’; it defaults to just showing your posts and those of your followers, but you can enabled ‘unified stream’ mode which also includes @mentions from people that you don’t currently follow. The next two tabs are Mentions and Messages, and the final two can be changed by long tapping to produce a sub-menu – here, you can choose to show starred posts, your profile, your mute settings or search.
When you start typing in the search box, you are given the option of searching all posts for the query, searching for usernames matching the query, or going directly to the profile of the query if it’s an exact match. app.net doesn’t do trending topics or saved searches so these don’t appear here; instead, NetBot offers to find your Twitter friends, and let you view the Global Stream of all new posts on app.net.
The Compose button appears on the top-right of every screen, and NetBot can save draft posts if you’re not yet ready to submit them. It supports smart quotes, so instead of straight apostrophes and quote marks you can have the correct left- or right-curled quotes. Tapping ‘New Post’ whilst composing lets you change the account that you post from, and also brings up a list of Twitter accounts that you can cross-post to, although it won’t warn you if you go over Twitter’s 140 character limit if you choose to do this.
On the whole I’m quite happy with NetBot. There may be other clients out there that are better, but NetBot is familiar and supports almost all of app.net’s features.
NetBot is available from the iOS App Store. It’s currently free for a limited time, and normally costs £2.99.