Daft Developer

Monday, October 05, 2009

A Look at 10 iPhone Twitter Apps

A quick summary of 10 iPhone Twitter client applications I have been trying out. I have ordered them by preference, starting with my favorite. My analysis is heavily based on how I use Twitter. I've noted what I like and dislike about each app and added a few screen shots of each.

Prices are based on the Canadian iTunes store

Tweetie 2

Price: $2.99
Vendor: Atebits
Go to the Tweetie 2 site.

What's Nice

  • Wow, what a great product. Tweetie 2 is fast and stable like its predecessor, but offers a rich set of new features.
  • At $2.99 it is the cheapest of the full featured Twitter client apps.
  • Slick integration with follows back and follow cost.

  • Refresh your timeline - "pull down" on the timeline to refresh it. Great idea>
  • Following/Followers list management is very easy

What's Lame

  • I can't seem to get to the Public Timeline.
  • It replaces the old Tweetie, so it really cost me $3.99.


SimplyTweet

Price: $4.99
MotionObj
Go to the SimplyTweet site.

What's Nice

  • DM and Reply alert - This works like text messaging, so you could use SimplyTweet for texting too.
  • Conversations - Very nice. It can be easy to lose track of conversation threads and replies, SimplyTweet can show reply threads.
  • Bubble Tweets - I find bubbled tweets easier to read
  • Follows back - this feature is well integrated into the product and is displayed on the user profile
  • Nearby - You can specify the proximity of nearby tweets from 1 to 50 miles

What's Lame

  • Follower/Following Lists - I can't seem to display these lists.


Echofon

Price: $4.99
Naan Studio Inc
Go to the Echofon site.

What's Nice

  • I'm calling this the 'people finder' - from within the tweet window, you can pull up a list of people to choose from for shout-outs.

  • Links are auto-shortened with bit.ly. This just happens automatically once you tweet.
  • Profile detail shows if you are following someone and if they are following you back.
  • Following/Follower lists on profiles. My "can't live without" feature.
  • Trends - Go to current trends through the search feature.
  • Nearby Tweeters. Again through the search window

What's Lame

  • The Name - EchoFon? Is Naan Studio Inc a Swedish company? because 'Echofon' sounds like the name of an Ikea product.
  • I can't find the 'go to user' feature. But the search can be used to find people.


BirdFeed

Price: $4.99
Vendor: System Of Touch
Go to the BirdFeed site.

What's Nice

  • Bubble format and fast scrolling - I prefer the bubble format, even though it takes up more screen space.
  • Tied into external tools - Query tweeps agaist FollowCost, DoesFollow, Overlapr - could be better integrated into the app, but still cool.
  • Basics like ReTweets, DMs, Replies and favorites are quickly accessible and easy to find.

What's Lame

  • No URL Shortening - It either can't do URL shortening or I don't know how to find the feature. But when I paste a URL, it violates the 140 character limit and I can't post the tweet.
  • Profile Details - While I can look at profiles and see bio's and follower/following counts, I can't view followers/following lists. I tend to use these to follow new people.


Twittelator

Price: $4.99
StoneDesign
Go to the Twittelator site.

What's Nice

  • Horizontal aspect - You can view link web pages horizontally.
  • Paper clip links - Links in a Tweet include a paper clip icon which can be clicked to navigate to the link. Reduces some navigation overhead.
  • TwitPic display - thumbnails of photos are displayed in tweets.
  • Mute - This seems contradictory to the spirit of Twitter, but sometimes, maybe I don't want to hear @Alyssa_Milano's daily minutiae.
  • Groups and subgroups - I think these are specific to Twittelator. There are so many sites trying to provide this feature.
  • Link shortener - j.mp

What's Lame

  • Tweet actions menu (to retweet, reply, etc.) was slightly difficult to find. Tap above the tweet text to activate.
  • The Windows 3.1 style shading on text makes it very hard to read.
  • UX - This application just doesn't look that good. Might be time to hire a design and graphics expert.


Twitterrific

Price: Free (displays advertising)
IconFactory
Go to the Twitterrific site.

What's Nice

  • What a slick interface - shading and colouring looks great.
  • Feed display - I can collapse tweets to 3 different sizes
  • Access to the public timeline, which I only use to play with the translator
  • Translation - This works very well, especially on latin based languages. Thai, Malay not bad. Japanese? Not so good.

What's Lame

  • It makes "chirping" sounds when you refresh your feed. This is cute, like... once.
  • Ads. Not really intrusive, but I feel like I need to click them or they'll start charging for this app.


TweetDeck

Price: Free (Beta Version)
TweetDeck
Go to the TweetDeck site.

What's Nice

  • Columns - I love columns. I generally use columns to store searches on keywords and hash tags. With TweetDeck my searches are always available, and I can quickly scan them.
  • URL Shortening - there is a small icon of chain with 'shrinking' arrows on the tweet window to shorten URLs. Tweetdeck uses the bit.ly shortener.
  • Location Tweeting - Not my thing, but it's there.
  • TwitPic Photos - Take a shot, or choose one from your library. I like this feature.

What's Lame

  • Unstable - Tweetdeck crashes on a regular basis for me. Usually when I start it up, it'll just disappear. Annoying.
  • Column Maintenance - I have a super hard time closing columns, tapping the 'gear' in the top right corner is very challenging. This could just be me.
  • Column update messages - I have a lot of columns and when I start Tweetdeck I get a load of intrusive messages indicating how many new tweets have been added to each column.



Tweetie (1)

Price: No longer available
AteBits
Go to the Tweetie site.

What's Nice

  • Fast - Tweetie loads fast, and scrolls nicely. The line display lets you move through tweets like a rocket.
  • My Profile - I think every Twitter app should have strong profile maintenance. Tweetie makes it easy to view your bio, followers/following lists and time-line.
  • Nearby - You can see who's tweeting 'nearby' if you allow Tweetie to broadcast your location. Again, not my thing, but still cool.

  • Trends and Public Timeline - I generally avoid the trending topics (mega spamage). I think being able to follow trends is an important part of Twitter and it's good that Tweetie offers this.

What's Lame

  • Follows me? I can get to my following list, but there's something I like about knowing if someone I'm following is following me back. Tweetie doesn't have this feature.



Twitter Pro

Price: $0.99
iApp Ventures LLC
Web Site?

What's Nice

  • ummmm? Well... it has a nice icon.

What's Lame

  • Scrolling is very jumpy - probably the most irritating feature.
  • Can't view profiles, or add users.
  • It costs a dollar - I can't believe this app got through testing?
  • What is this app even called? iTwitter Pro or Twitter Pro?

Tweeter

Price: Free
Takuma Mori

What's Nice

  • Simple. It works as advertised - all you can do is tweet. That's it.

What's Lame

  • Well, this app doesn't really do much.

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