The iPhone OS has by far the most applications compared to any other mobile operating system. Even when it comes to Twitter clients, the iPhone is at the top with more Twitter apps than all the other mobile platforms combined. Today we are having a little shootout between some these apps where they will go head to head with each other and we pick one which we think should be the Twitter app for your iPhone.
Twitter for iPhone
Known as Tweetie 2, Twitter for iPhone came into existence when Twitter bought over Tweetie and when the original developer of Tweetie joined Twitter to continue developing applications for them. Undoubtedly one of the best applications that was available for the iPhone, Tweetie 2 was, however, a paid application. Luckily Twitter for iPhone changes that and the app is now completely free for download.
Twitter for iPhone is essentially the same application as Tweetie 2 but Twitter has made some minor changes to the application. The first thing that you'd notice is that the icon has been changed, which generated a lot of criticism, as the new icon is rather uninspiring and cannot match the beautiful icon for Tweetie. The search too has been changed and this time for the better. Rest of the application remains the same.
The interface design of Twitter for iPhone is still amazing. On the bottom you can see the row of buttons to jump to different categories. The first three get highlighted everytime a new tweet arrives in that category. On the top you always have the new tweet button on the right. On your timeline, you can scroll all the way up to find the search bar to search within your timeline. You can pull down your timeline and then release it to refresh it. The timeline can be viewed in landscape or portrait mode or you can have it permanently set to portrait mode.
Your tweets will have the display picture placed on the right, which makes them easy to spot. Others will have it on the left. Tweets can have a relative or absolute time stamp on them. Tweets with images in them will have a small image icon near the time stamp. If it is geotagged then you will see its icon. If it is from Foursquare then the Foursquare icon will also be displayed there. If a tweet was retreated, you can also see the name of the person who retweeted it. You can swipe left or right on a tweet to quickly access some important functions, such as the ability to reply to the tweet, retweet it, favorite it, go to the user's profile, open the link in it or access additional options related to it.
Alternatively, you can click on it to see from which application it came from and whom it was replied to (if at all), along with all the previously mentioned options. If there was an image link, a small thumbnail of the image will be displayed here. If the tweet was geotagged then a small map will open below the tweet highlighting the area. If you click on the image or map then it will open in full screen. Images have a handy loading bar, in comparison to other apps that just show a rotating icon where you have no idea how long it will take to open the image. When you click on the 'in reply today ' option, you can see the conversation between the two people like a messenger chat session.
If you click on a user profile then you can see his real name on the top along with his picture that you can click on to open in full screen. You can choose to follow or unfollow him/her and Twitter for iPhone also shows you whether the user follows you or not. Then you have other details about the user below and the option to see his tweets and favorites. You can choose to block the user or report as spam, enable notifications for and view their lists or add them to yours. Twitter for iPhone also offers services such as Tweet Blocker, Follow Cost, Favstar.fm, Overlapr, Favrd and Tweeteorites built right into the app.
When creating a new tweet, you have the option to add a picture or video, either from the gallery or take a new one from the camera (video option only available on the iPhone 3GS). You can choose to geotag it, add a username from the people you follow or those who follow you, add a recently used hashtag, or shrink the URL. You can click in the new tweet button in the middle of the top bar to change to a different account to send the tweet from. If you are replying to someone, you can just slide down on your typed text to reveal the tweet that you are replying to. You can choose type in landscape or portrait mode.
Some of the good features in Twitter for iPhone include support for drafts. You can write and save tweets in the application until you decide to release them to the world. Also, if there is a network error then a tweet is saved here, so you can try to send it later. In Twitter for iPhone you can also edit your Twitter profile information, such as your bio, location homepage, etc., which you cannot from the other applications. You can go to a user's profile and add his information to your contacts on the iPhone.
The search feature in Twitter for iPhone is really impressive. You can search for something throughout Twitter, you can search for nearby tweets (that is tweets geotagged with location near to your current location) or search for people by typing their name. You can then also choose to save the search results for future reference. Also found in the search section are the current trending topics, and you can choose to have hashtags in here as well from the settings. Twitter for iPhone also highlights tweets from popular users in a small bar and you can side scroll through them. At the bottom is a Suggested Users section, where the Twitter staff suggests popular users across various categories, so you can choose to follow someone who matches your tastes.
Twitter for iPhone has many little features that you only learn about and appreciate when you use the app. It is an incredibly user friendly and good looking application that you would want to use even if you might not be really interested in Twitter. Developer Loren Brichter has worked hard on the original Tweetie and it shows in Twitter for iPhone. The best thing is that its completely free and since its from Twitter it does not need to rely on advertisements to sustain itself. Surprisingly, there was a lack of sponsored tweets as well, which means you can concentrate just on Twitter instead of what everyone else is trying to sell you.