Welcome to Yatca!

Monday, 30th March, 2009

Yatca is an innovative Twitter client application for BlackBerry (OS 4.6+) that delivers updates and replies directly to your device’s inbox. This enables you to tweet and reply in much the same way that you work with email and SMS. We hope you enjoy using Yatca but it is a work-in-progress so please bear with us until we get it right. Oh and please check the FAQ page before posting a question!

Yatca RIP…what should I do with the source?

Thursday, 2nd September, 2010

As of the 1st of September, 2010, Yatca will no longer work with Twitter. The reason is that Twitter no longer supports the ‘basic auth’ mechanism that Yatca uses when interacting with the Twitter servers. The people at Twitter are not even slightly to blame here. I agree fully with their moving away from ‘basic auth’. They gave plenty of notice that this change was coming and they provided lots of advice on how to re-work client apps such as Yatca to use the newer OpenAuth mechanism. The simple truth is that with all the other commitments in my life, I just couldn’t find the time to make the necessary changes. In any case, the official BlackBerry Twitter client from RIM integrates with the Messages application and it was this single feature alone that drove me to develop Yatca in the first place.

I’m now trying to decide what to do with the source for Yatca. There is a lot of stuff in there that might be useful to somebody developing a BlackBerry app that interacts with Twitter (assuming you’re up to coding the OpenAuth bit yourself but it’s not rocket science). Maybe I should just turn Yatca over to the status.net people to see if they could do something useful with it – I really like what those guys are doing. Any other suggestions?

Rage Against The Müchine

Tuesday, 22nd December, 2009

I jüst don’t like üsing those other Twitter clients and seeing as the official RIM client hasn’t surfaced yet, I thought I’d do another Yatca release to tide myself over for a while. There are now two different OTA installers for Yatca depending on your OS version. One installer is for users running OS 4.6 or 4.6.1, and the second is for users running OS 4.7 and higher. Please be careful to choose the correct installer for your device (check under Options -> About if you’re not sure). Here’s what’s new:

1. For Storm and Storm2 users, touchscreen support is now much improved. When reading a tweet you can swipe left to advance to the next tweet or swipe right to go back to the previous tweet. Also, the virtual keyboard now shows and hides itself automatically depending on what you’re doing (e.g. in the reading panel it is hidden but it appears if you start writing a reply).

2. Yatca picks up stuff that that your friends have retweeted using native Twitter retweeting. Yes, I know there should be something displayed to tell you which of your friends have retweeted it but I haven’t gotten around to that yet.

3. Yatca itself uses native Twitter retweeting now. If you really prefer to old-style “RT @superman: I am so strong!” convention then the ‘Old style retweeting’ option will enable you to revert back to doing it that way.

4. Timeline refresh and mention checking will now only occur when your device is idle, so you won’t suffer the irritation of the progress message popping up when you’re in the middle of doing something. Hurray!

5. If you use the ‘Pause Yatca Refresh’ command and then restart your device, Yatca will now stay paused. Previously, refresh resumed following on restart.

6. When composing an update, reply, or retweet, you are not hard-limited to 140 characters. You are still limited to 140 characters when you actually send the text but you now have a bit of wiggle room until you get to that point. I’ve explained this badly – try it out and you’ll see what I mean.

7. There is a new ‘Press enter to send’ option which does exactly what it says on the tin. This is disabled by default.

8. Yatca can now be configured to do an auto refresh as frequently as once every 2 minutes. As always, please remember that your battery life and data charges are entirely your responsibility!

9. There are a few aesthetic changes here and there, most noticeably to the appearance of buttons. This was mostly because the link-style buttons that I used previously looked pretty nasty on touchscreen devices.

(A Peaceful Christmas and Beautiful New Year to You!)

Waiting to see RIM’s Twitter client

Wednesday, 11th November, 2009

Yes, it has been a while. Here’s the thing…when I heard that RIM were working on a Twitter client I suspended work on Yatca until I see what they’ve done. It has been reported that this official BlackBerry Twitter client will take a basic approach similar to Yatca by integrating with the message list. It will go way beyond what Yatca can do however and offer true push delivery of tweets (i.e. near real-time), integration with the Contacts application, support for pre-4.6 devices, etc. I am busy enough with other projects so it does not seem to make sense to try to compete with RIM if most or all of the above is true. Rumour has it that RIM’s Twitter client will land before the end of this month. When it does, I’ll review the options for continuance of the Yatca project.

App World problem finally fixed!

Friday, 2nd October, 2009

The newly released version of the App World storefront fixes the problem that was breaking Yatca. The only snag is that it is more difficult than you might think to install the latest version of App World…

At the time of writing, if you install App World directly from the BlackBerry website you will end up with the old version even though it tells you that you are about to install (check under Options -> Advanced Options -> Applications following installation and you’ll see what I mean). The trick is to use App World to install the new version of itself. You can do this by launching App World and going into the ‘Top Free’ section.

With that uncertainty removed I can now get back to the next Yatca release!

Update on App World problem

Monday, 31st August, 2009

Sorry we’ve been so quiet for the last 2-3 weeks but it was holiday time at Yatca Central! Back in the saddle again now though and full steam ahead (forgive the mixed transport metaphors).

RIM have apparently fixed the problem that was preventing Yatca and other 3rd party apps from working alongside App World. Unfortunately, they haven’t yet given a release date for the fix. You can follow the issue on their issue tracking website though you will have to register to use this. To save you the hassle of doing that, the following is a direct copy ‘n’ paste of the latest update to the issue:

Mike Kirkup added a comment – 28/Aug/09 03:41 PM
This issue has been fixed in the latest App World code line and we are investigating what the next App World release vehicle will be that will pick up the fix.

Mike Kirkup added a comment – 28/Aug/09 03:41 PM

This issue has been fixed in the latest App World code line and we are investigating what the next App World release vehicle will be that will pick up the fix.

Until this fix is released, our advice continues to be that you should not install App World if you want to run Yatca on your device.

App World incompatible with Yatca

Tuesday, 4th August, 2009

The MissingResourceException problem that a number of users have reported is caused by an incompatibility between Yatca and the latest version of App World (  Installing the latter seems to change the behaviour of the message list integration APIs that are vital to the successful operation of Yatca. We have alerted RIM to the problem here. If App World is uninstalled Yatca functions correctly again so we suggest you uninstall App World should you wish to continue using Yatca.

Problems on leaked OS versions and App World

Monday, 3rd August, 2009

A number of users have reported a MissingResourceException error when trying to use Yatca on leaked new OS versions. Others have reported the very same error having installed a new version of the App World store front app. All I can say at this stage is that I’m investigating. Thanks!

Yatca is free, so…

Thursday, 9th July, 2009

I’m doing a long, multi-day bike ride in support of an extremely worthy charity. It’s as simple as this: every €1,000 ($1,390 USD) that I raise pays for a simple but life-saving operation for somebody’s little boy or girl. I’ve never asked for payment or donations to support Yatca so if you’d like to show your appreciation for my efforts over the last 3-4 months, please visit my personal donation page. You’ll also find a lot more detail about the charity in there. Thanks!

Service release

Wednesday, 24th June, 2009

This release contains no new features but addresses three issues:

1. In some BES environments it is necessary to change the ‘Use BES/MDS when available’ setting to ‘No’. This is because some BES admins do not permit Yatca to communicate with the Twitter (or identi.ca) server. The problem is that even when this setting was changed Yatca was still reporting a ‘Bad Request’ error when trying to verify credentials. This has been fixed in the service release.

2. The yfrog image storage service now requires that Yatca identify itself by supplying a unique key when uploading photos. It cannot be guaranteed how much longer yfrog will continue to accept uploads from Yatca releases that do not supply the key. This change has been included in the service release.

3. The blog post for release 1.7.1 stated that the ‘Use geotagging’ setting defaulted to ‘No’ but this was not actually the case. This has been fixed in this service release. Note however that this change will only apply to a new install of Yatca and not an upgrade from 1.7.1. So if you do not wish to use geotagging please ensure that the ‘Use geotagging’ setting is ‘No’.

Favourites, geotagged photos, pause, etc.

Thursday, 18th June, 2009

It’s been a while but I’ve finally got a new Yatca release ready. N.B. Installing this release will blow away all your existing Yatca settings, updates and replies, i.e. you’ll be starting from scratch from a Yatca perspective. You have been warned. Lots of new stuff so lets get started…

For me, the most useful new feature is the ability to mark/unmark a favourite. This means for example that you can flag any items you need to come back to when you’re back at your computer. Now that I’ve had it for a week or so I don’t know how I managed without it before. To mark something as a favourite simply click the button or use the ‘v’ shortcut.

Marking a tweet as a favourite

Next up on the feature list is geotagged photo uploads. This is disabled by default for your privacy and security. If you want to enable it go to Yatca Options and set ‘Use geotagging’ to ‘Yes’. Note that geotagging will increase your power consumption which will run down your battery a little bit quicker. Note also that on device models which default to obtaining ‘assisted fixes’ you may incur additional carrier charges. We won’t be paying.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the geotagging is only effective if you are using an image storage service that supports geotagging! I have changed the default image storage service for Yatca to TweetPhoto. I’m actually quite happy to do this because I really think those guys are doing some great things and I want to encourage you to try it out.

The ability to pause/resume Yatca refresh finally sees the light of day in this release. Users have been asking for this for a long time. When you’re at your computer and using some ultra-slick desktop Twitter client you don’t want to be getting the same 147 tweets to your BlackBerry too. So just invoke the ‘Pause Yatca Refresh’ command. Then when you leave your computer invoke the ‘Resume Yatca Refresh’. Too easy. Note that the resume is from ‘now’, i.e. the exact instant you resume.

Pausing refresh

Twitter recently introduced the concept of verified accounts for famous athletes, entertainers, politicians, etc. Yatca displays a little white tick on a blue background next to the name of any verified account. Note that they are still working on this feature so if you suddenly stop seeing the little tick next to somebody who previous had one you’ll know why.

A verified account

There are lots of other minor tweaks and improvements in this release which I won’t bore you with. Enjoy!