After Twitter launched the New Look Twitter and layout yesterday, 8 December 2011, and also launched their new iPhone Twitter app, I decided to try something a little different… I’ve decided to review 6 different free Twitter apps for iPhone. More and more people are discovering twitter and realising its advantages. So for the next week, I will spend a day per app testing each app and checking which app has the best of the following:
- User Experience
- User Interface
- Glitches and Problems
- Overall Use
The 6 different free Twitter apps I will be testing are:
Once I have used each app over the next few days, I will add my review of each app and give my opinion on which is the best Twitter app to have. My opinion may not be highly regarded, but people looking for the best Twitter app can always use as much insight as possible on the matter Twitter app review.
Here are my findings:
App version: 4.4.4
At first I was a bit sceptical. The app seemed a bit confusing and I immediately noticed there wasn’t any push notifications for @ mentions. This was fine because I got notified by the Twitter for iPhone app every time there was a tweet. While using the app, however, there were some things I liked and also some I didn’t.
Things I didn’t like:
- As I have more than one Twitter profile (@Glynnryan @WorkMyApple & @CreateJunction ) I quickly noticed that I could only have 1 account on the app. If I wanted to add more accounts I would have to buy the full app.
- Navigating between your timeline, @ mentions and direct messages proved to be a bit lengthy and possibly unnecessarily drawn out.
- There weren’t any type of notifications or icon changes within the app to let you know when you have an @ mention or DM while in the app.
- There isn’t any tweet longer services, such as TwitLonger or TMI.me for those times you can’t get what you want to say in 140 or less.
- Changing and customizing your settings for the app means you have to go into your settings for your iPhone and scroll down to “Twitteriffic” and change the settings from there, instead of changing the settings from directly within the app.
- As with many free apps, there are adverts within the app. Understandable that this feature is in the app, to try motivate you to purchase the full version, I felt that the ad’s were somewhat of an irritation.
- Adding a hashtag was easy, but unlike most of the thee Twitter apps, it doesn’t load recently used hashtags by yourself or others. This is a slight irritation as making sure you are using the right hashtag for the trending topics or whatever you may be using a hashtag for can prove slightly challenging.
Things I liked:
Firstly I’ll mention that after posting the article initially to say ill be doing this review, I tweeted all to app the app’s respective developers and told notified them of my plans. Out of all of them, the guys from Twitterriffic were the only ones to reply to the tweet I sent out. As insignificant as this may seem, it gave me the impression that they are genuinely interested in their users and tool the time to reply to the tweet.
Getting back to the app itself:
- Checking to see if a specific person follows you is as easy as checking the person’s profile. This is a nice to have feature that I see was dropped in the new release of Twitter for iPhone (version 4.0), for when you don’t want to follow unnecessary people who aren’t following you back. Especially after a busy #FF, following people thought the course of the Friday.
- @ Mentions to you come up in colour-coded sections on your TL and also in the “@ Mentions” section of the app. These colour-coded mentions have different colours per conversation, which makes it easy to notice which conversation the mention is linked too.
- Mentioning people in tweets are not invasive like man Twitter apps available are. Tap the ” @ ” , which is conveniently situated at the bottom right of your keyboard and start tying a name and a list f names will appear just above your keyboard. Find the person / Twitter account you’re looking for, tap on it and tweet further.
If you’re looking for a Twitter app that’s not too confusing, this is a decent app to consider. If you decide to go with Twitterriffic, I think the “Dark Theme” is the better looking of the two themes available.
2. ÜberSocial for iPhone
App version: 22.214.171.124
I really expected a bit more from this app. Don’t ask my why though, but I think it has something to go with noticing a fair amount of Blackberry users using it. Compared to Twitterriffic, I found one or two things rather useful, but other than that, here’s what I found:
Things I didn’t like:
- Again with this app, there weren’t any push notifications from your home or lock screen or even an app badge change to notify you that you have a message.
- Tapping on “Reply to all” on a tweet adds your Twitter username into the tweet too and you first have to go find your username and remove it from the tweet.
- I seemed to have endless connection problems with this app, despite being on WiFi for the entire day while using the app. I would constantly get this error:
- Viewing a conversation thread to see what’s going on is, well, I’m Not sure! There doesn’t seem to be any way to view the conversation as most of the other Twitter apps can.
- There wasn’t any proper graphical display or notification (in the form of highlighting) a username when tapping on it to go to their profile. If you wanted to make sure you were going to the person’s profile, you would have to tap on the tweet then once it’s open tap on the username in the section below:
- Tapping on the top of the screen to quickly scroll back to the top doesn’t work.
- As with Twitterriffic, there are adverts within the app. However these, compared to Twitterriffic, seemed more in the way of your tweeting experience. The do disappear after a while but come back shortly after again.
- There isn’t any way to see if a specific person is following you like you can on some of the other Twitter apps.
- Your direct messages are all one steam and looks like your Timeline. It isn’t split per contact like other Twitter apps, which makes your DM on ÜberSocial confusing to say the least.
- Minimising the app or switching to another app completely closes the app and switching back to ÜberSocial takes unnecessarily long as the app has to open again from scratch as if multitasking for the is not supported.
Things I liked:
- Adding more than one account is easy and swapping between them is just as quick.
- A subtle section to the top of the screen lets you know which account you’re currently using, for those with more than one Twitter account.
- Notifications within the app let you know if you have an @ Mention or DM or even how many new updates are in your timeline.
- Finding the settings for ÜberSocial and changing them is easy and can be done from within the app.
- Tweet longer services like TwitLonger and TMI.me are available and easily selected from the settings.
- You can set to have a preview of an image in your timeline without having to tap on the image or image link to view it.
- A few themes to choose from to customise the app to reflect you more.
Overall not a bad app that has some cool features. But, I honestly don’t think I’ll using it again. I often found myself going back to Twitterriffic to check my Twitter updates or do something on Twitter.
3. Echofon for Twitter iPhone App
App version: 5.1
When I downloaded this app, I remembered trying it out before but couldn’t recall what I thought of it. I was actually rather impressed with Echofon for Twitter.
Things I didn’t like:
- Despite the app coming up on the notification centre and having all the features like the official Twitter app, for example, I never got any push messages from the app to notify me of any mentions or DM’s on Twitter. This I noticed despite completely turning the official Twitter app’s notifications off and removing the app.
- Saved tweet drafts are slightly hidden away in my opinion and getting to them isn’t a complicated process, but initially I thought the tweet was discarded until I found where the draft tweets are found.
- There isn’t any tweet longer services, such as TwitLonger or TMI.me
- The top menu option disappears when scrolling though your timeline which makes getting to the menu option, to for example switch to another account, means having to scroll all the way back to the top of the screen. Time is money and this unnecessary step can become a bit irritating.
- The advert just below the menu bar gave me a few issues as I found I would often accidentally tap on the advert instead of “menu”.
- The App was a little plain and dare I say boring. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but the app and it’s design reminded me a lot of the previous Twitter for iPhone app and because of that it gives me a slightly dull usage experience.
Things I liked:
- The app is simple and easy to use.
- Checking which people you follow, follows you back is as easy and viewing their profile.
- Adding hashtags and mentioning people in a tweet is easy and non-invasive.
- If you have more than one Twitter account, adding the second or third one is easy, as more than one account is supported in the free version, and changing to them isn’t difficult.
- A fair amount of in app settings are available, including an option of 2 themes(Dark and plain), customisable font size for those who prefer a lager text size and most photo upload services are available and supported.
- Direct messages, are sorted by person or account and not a complete thread of messages like ÜberSocial for example.
- In app “badges” show you when you have new @ Mentions, DM’s or updates in your timeline, making it quick and easy to see when there’s something that needs your attention.
In the end I was quite impressed with Echofon for Twitter’s iPhone app and believe that this could be quite a decent app to have!
4. TweetDeck for iPhone
App version: 126.96.36.199
I wasn’t sure what to expect from TweetDeck as I’d used one of the previous version of the app before and found it a tad confusing.
Things I didn’t like:
- The app doesn’t seem to have an push notification which is slightly annoying.
- There are no clear or specific app settings for the app.
- Adding hashtags to a tweet is a big guessing game as it doesn’t have a saved list, or database for that matter, of previously used hashtags and there is no “#” key straight off the main keyboard like most other Twitter apps.
- The app seems a bit too basic as primitive. This isn’t always a down side to an app but there weren’t any cool features, graphics or bells & whistles to the app.
- Checking who your follow, followers or similar things on your profile or others profiles opens the in-app Internet browser and takes you to the Twitter mobile site, where you have to sign into your Twitter account again instead of just loading the information into a styled page or followers section to the app like virtually all other Twitter apps.
- Like ÜberSocial, your direct messages are all loading in a single thread and juggling between multiple simultaneous DM’s get confusing.
- Only 3 supported imaging services are available for the app, namely Twitpic, YFrog and Mobypicture
Things I liked:
- Adding other services like Facebook and keeping up to date and updating status’ on multiple platforms is easy and they integrate well together.
- Viewing a conversation thread is easy, as tapping on a tweet linked to a convo loads the respective tweet and its history just below.
- All @ Mentions any of your signed in Twitter accounts come up in one central place. This can be a negative if you want to keep things separate, but I found this quite useful.
- Linked to the above point, adding separate screens for separate accounts or services is easy and can have a dedicated screen for each.
- Switching from your timeline to @ Mentions or DM’s is effortless. Only needing to swipe to the left or right as if you’re viewing photos in your camera roll, to switch to the respective screen.
- A slight gold/yellow coloured highlight comes up when you have a new mention, DM or timeline update, instead of big chunky numbers “badges”. I liked this but some users may prefer a “badge” type notification.
- Viewing a person’s profile gives some interesting info like “Tweets per day”, which is probably the average amount of tweets an account posts per day.