iOS Twitter Apps

For the longest time I used the now-dead Tweetie for iPhone as my iOS Twitter app of choice. After Tweetie was bought by Twitter I used the renamed Twitter for iPhone (later Twitter for iOS)  and was relatively happy … even through all of the stupid things like the trends car that they would do from time to time.

The reason is because Tweetie was still there.

However, with the release of Twitter for iOS 4.0, they changed everything, and I’ve been pretty sour on Twitter for iOS 4.0 since the release. I’ll get into the specifics a little later. So I’ve been trying out three different Twitter apps for the iPhone to try and find one that will work best for me. So Twitter for iPhone, Twitterrific for iPhone, and Tweetbot have been the “big three” so far. Needless to say, I haven’t settled on one yet.

Twitter for iPhone

  • Good Stuff
    • Fast, probably the fastest of the three apps
    • Will have access to the newest stuff Twitter releases
    • Integrates seamlessly with the built-in Twitter auth in iOS 5
    • The Connect tab show mentions along with follows and retweets
    • Has an iPad and Mac app available
    • Push. Notifications.
  • Bad Stuff
    • Extra UI chrome distracts and takes away from the actual tweets
    • The Discovery tab is absolutely useless
    • Must click on tweet and be taken to a separate page to do anything with the tweet
    • Changing accounts is cumbersome (and the shortcut is a non-obvious, hidden swipe)
    • Both iPad and Mac apps are decidedly different applications
    • Doesn’t use the built-in Twitter keyboard supplied by iOS 5
    • Demotes DMs and Favorites into your profile
    • Feels user hostile

Twitterrific for iPhone

  • Good Stuff
    • Uses the built-in Twitter keyboard (makes adding hashtags and usernames a lot easier)
    • Can complete actions on tweets without being taken to another screen
    • Provides both light and dark themes
    • Closely related Mac and iPad apps
    • Easy to understand navigation (not hidden)
  • Bad Stuff
    • No pull-to-refresh
    • Does not integrate with built-in Twitter auth
    • No. Push. Notifications.
    • Handling of URLs in tweets is sometimes spotty

Tweetbot

  • Good Stuff
    • Clicking on a tweet brings up options but does NOT take you to a separate page
    • Very easy to change accounts
    • Some integration with built-in Twitter auth
    • Push. Notifications.
    • Quick and customizable navigation (two tabs are customizable)
  • Bad Stuff
    • Does not use built in Twitter keyboard
    • Highly stylized UI chrome can sometimes feel heavy
    • There are some hidden actions that can simplify things but are hard to find
    • The integration with the built-in Twitter auth is incomplete (but that is the fault of Twitter)

Conclusion

I wish I could mash the there of them up or just get Tweetie back. Sadly, neither of those are possible, so I am now trying out Tweetbot after spending time with Twitterrific for the past week.

At some point in the future I will go ahead and report back what I decided on.

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