I was put on the developer beta list and took a look at Worthwhile and I think it is worthwhile for you to check out.1
Let me start right away by saying that it is not nearly as visually stunning as Tweed. The app is very utilitarian feeling and likely won’t see anyone downloading it because it looks visually interesting. Like most good apps though, Worthwhile doesn’t need those visualizations to make the app useful for you.
What It Does
Worthwhile turns your Twitter feeds, or your Twitter lists, into a large list of shared links. Tapping on a link will show the linked page to the right and provide you options to send the link to Instapaper. This is all very similar to Tweed, however unlike Tweed you can hit a button on the list itself, for each tweet, that will send that link straight to Instapaper — no need to open the whole page.
This is something that I really like and that makes the app really great for reading through links on Twitter lists. (I don’t actually have any Twitter lists that I made, but I ‘followed’ the ones that Shawn Blanc made — why do the work when he did it for me.)
When you first launch the app you sign in to Twitter and Instapaper. After which your feed starts to populate. You will notice that there is a button to hide the item, or to read it later along with the URL under the tweeted text. Luckily you can turn off some of this clutter in the settings preference. I turned off the hide button and the URL preview to maximize space for the tweet text itself.
Tapping read later will immediately send it to Instapaper and hide the tweet from the list. A very nice touch. You only see Tweets with links that were made in the last 24 hours, however by enabling ‘weekend mode’ the time span is extended on Mondays to include all of the links from the past weekend. This is a great example of a feature that was made because people actually used the app before they launched it — I love that little touch.
As I mentioned above the reason I was sent this app to try out is because the developer thought that I may actually find the app useful. With Tweed I never got into the app — it always seemed more cumbersome that using Twitter on my Mac or iPhone (I rarely, if ever, use Twitter on my iPad). I was pretty skeptical about Worthwhile when I saw it — but the ability to add links with one tap intrigued me enough to make we want to try out the app.
For my main timeline I think Worthwhile is useless — it’s just as easy to use Twitter on my iPhone to add things from my main feed to Instapaper — with the added benefit of seeing all tweets.
Where Worthwhile really excels for me is in the use of lists.
I never look at Twitter lists and never make them, but some of the lists that I follow, made by other users, are really great for using with this app. This allows me to comb through tweets that I would otherwise not see and potentially grab some interesting reads from them.
For that alone I have found myself popping Worthwhile open once a day to comb through some Twitter lists.
Worthwhile is in the App Store now for $3.99. Typically I don’t care about price once it is below $5 on the iPad and Worthwhile is no exception — a good buy. It’s not the prettiest, but it is highly useful and quick.
Worthwhile will truly turn your Twitter feeds into an RSS like tool that is not curated by you, but curated by people that you choose to curate it for you — this is an interesting concept. I rather like that idea.
Couldn’t resist that. ↩