Since Tweetie was purchased from atebits you can definitely tell that priorities have shifted to align more with the focus of Twitter, Inc. Expected but unfortunately features that we have all come to love have been removed over time. This has been reflected in the Mac app as well as the iPhone app. ( Fred Oliveira sums it up well in his post Dear Twitter. )
Twitter for iPhone no longer supports some of the third-party services that it once did before. Most likely because they are not developed, controlled and maintained by Twitter, Inc.
Updated 3/15/10: After some digging around the Internet, I found out why Twitlonger and twtmore aren’t working for some. The problem is with Twitter updating their Terms of Services to specify what “protected twitter” accounts can do regarding to functionality.
Ubersocial ran into this. ( Look in the comments. )
Matt sums it up as:
Just to explain, when you attach a photo, video, or location, it’s also adding a corresponding link to go with it in your tweet. Apparently it is against the Twitter Terms of Service for ‘protected’ users to attach anything with a link because the links themselves aren’t protected. It’s the same reason for why ‘protected’ users are no longer able to use TMI.me or TwitLonger for sending long tweets; (because those links themselves are not protected).
Updated 3/19/10: iPhone screenshots are smaller in the post. Added list of features per app.
Updated 3/22/10: iPhone screenshots are linked to larger versions.
Updated 4/5/10: On, March 31st, Twitter officially removes the Quick Bar from Twitter for iPhone.
Many users are switching from the Twitter for iPhone app to an alternative because of a new “feature”, the Quick Bar, which recently launched.
Quick Bar puts a flip-style view of trending topics above the timeline. When first launched it floated above tweets. Now it sits annoyingly at the top with no option to turn it off. Previously trending topics were located in the Search pane of the app. The additional placement on the timeline pane seems to be a push towards advertising in Twitter. Personally, I would “in-app purchase” to be able to turn it off.
For the sentiments of the Internet on this “feature” you can follow its hashtag, #dickbar.
The settings pane of the app is much smaller than it used to be. Native retweeting has replaced the option for “RT”. The only other option is to quote a tweet and manually add the characters. No choice in the matter. You must use Twitter’s preferred option.
All URL shortener services have been removed. Now the app defaults to Twitter’s t.co short URL. And in most cases will “t.co” your “bit.ly” or shorten your already short URL.
The above mentioned trimming of Twitter for iPhone’s features, addition of the Quickbar and the obvious path that the app is headed on has led me to start looking for alternatives. 16 iPhone apps have been reviewed and below you will find their details.
Tweetie … you are missed.
Starting its life as an Adobe Air application, Tweetdeck also released an iPhone app. It allows you to view both your Twitter and Facebook streams in a series of side-by-side columns. The user interface is slick and responsive. There is no option to quick reply from the main timeline. You have to view the tweet’s details and then hit a reply link. However, there is a quick compose button in every pane at the top right side.
Below is a list of features included in Tweetdeck:
Tweetdeck … Free
This blue egg Twitter client provides a clean interface with all the standard Twitter features: main timeline, mentions, DM, Search, Lists, Trends, etc… The functionality could use a bit of work. The only way to reply to a tweet is to view the tweet’s details. However, tapping on the tweet in the timeline will not pull that up. You have to tap on the person’s name, not their icon, but their name to view the tweet’s details. And then from there you can reply, retweet, or DM.
Twittelator seems that it would be odd to use over the long term. The experience isn’t as polished as it could be. For instance, in-app web browsing is done through a menu choice. There is no functionality to simply click a link in a tweet and have it load in-app.
Below is a list of features included in Twittelator:
Twittelator Pro … $4.99
This speedy iPhone app has a decent mix of settings. The tweets are located in the home panel and are presented in an easy to read manner. There is no quick reply so one must click on the tweet in order to reply or retweet. However, it does give you an option to use “RT” when retweeting. You can also mute clients, users, and hashtags from your stream. Echofon is a great choice if the features are what you are looking for. You can’t beat the price.
Below is a list of features included in Echofon:
Echofon … Free
Defaulting to a black theme, Osfoora is a Twitter app that has polish. It allows for multiple accounts that can be switched by tapping on the Twitter name at the top of the panel. Each tweet has a “quick reply” menu that can be accessed by a simple “tap and hold” touch. The app gives a choice in retweeting, which is great. There is a “Facebook style” icon home screen that has icons for timeline, profile, compose, trends, search, nearby, favorites, settings and more. I’m not fond of it but some may enjoy.
Below is a list of features included in Osfoora:
Osfoora … $2.99
Ollie is the blue bird that is featured on the icon of this app. Twitterrific was one of the first iPhone apps for Twitter and for the Mac. This solid app immediately displays tweets upon launch, supports multiple accounts, and has a simple compose screen.
Striving to be minimal, it does seem that this app is lacking in a few features. There is no “quick reply” feature. You are limited to only using bit.ly with no ability to customize. And the only image service available is yFrog. Twitlonger is also not supported. If you want a simple, fast Twitter service without the extra third party features then this is the app for you.
Below is a list of features included in Twitterrific:
Twitterrific … Free or $4.99 “in-app” Premium Upgrade
In reviewing this app… well I couldn’t. I have a Tapulous account and assigned my iPhone 4 to it. Twinkle still was not able to sync. Strike one for having a separate account system for a Twitter app. Strike two for not being able to authenticate. Then I added my Twitter account to the app. It pulled up the details but failed to load my feed. Strike three.
As I could not get any account to work with this app, I do not recommend it. After a waste of time trying to get it to work … at least it was free. The only feature that did work was the Nearby updates. ( Not sure if they were tweets or Twinkle updates. )
Below is a list of features included in Twinkle:
Twinkle … Free
The first thing noticed about Fluttr is that the interface has not been optimized for iPhone’s retina display. The interface looks pixelated. The app also crashed a few times during tested and seemed a bit slow. As far as themes go, it allows you to choose a wallpaper which is used on the background of the main screen and timeline.
Fluttr does support Twitlonger if you go over 140 characters. However, I find it very odd that it does not allow you to paste text in a compose view. It allows you to copy it and select it but not paste. The compose view also does not support horizontal orientation nor saves drafts.
For the price one would expect a more polished app. Perhaps this will get better over time. Price vs. polish and the “Facebook style” home screen are deal breakers to me.
Below is a list of features included in Fluttr:
Fluttr … $2.99
First impressions are everything. This solid app has a great looking icon worthy of any home screen. Beyond that, the app quickly loads the timeline upon launch. Very responsive in loading new tweets and sending its push notifications. The app supports multiple accounts which can be accessed by clicking on your Twitter username at the top.
Unfortunately there is no “quick reply” feature. One must click the full view of a tweet to be presented with options to reply, retweet, quote in tweet or mark as a favorite. The icons on the More view do need updating to support iPhone’s retina display as they are pixelated. Twitbit also does not support Twitlonger. A few minor adjustments and this app would be stellar.
Below is a list of features included in Twitbit:
Twitbit … $2.99
If you love themes and a featured packed Twitter app then Tweetings is for you. There are settings galore and you can tell that time has been spent really polishing this app. There is an option for a “default” theme and a “night” theme. Included themes are: Silver, Carbon (dark), Plain, Speech Bubble (glossy), Speech Bubble (matte), Shadows, Shadows Evolved, Subtle, and Subtle Carbon.
It also supports Twitlonger and Twtmore. When composing it has horizontal view, scheduled tweets, drafts, tweet music and more. The standard features of any twitter app are included. Plus a wide choice of image services, URL shorteners, The push notifications are unique as you can set a time for it to “sleep”. Great for not getting alerted as one sleeps. One can also choose the alert tone as well.
Fantastic app. Highly recommended.
Below is a list of features included in Tweetings:
Tweetings … $2.99
Tweeting simplicity. Weet is a clean, fast Twitter client. While it does have a short list of settings you can definitely tell that this app has been well thought out. Little details like pull to refresh are there when needed. The app does use Twtmore instead of Tweetlonger. And it will automatically expand the longer tweets in your feed.
Also for those looking for a “mute” feature. I suggest creating a “Close Friends” list. Weet lets you rearrange the bottom icons. Put the first icon as Lists, second as timeline, etc.. Problem solved.
Weet also has great integration with the CloudApp service. It has the option to use it for URL shortening, image upload, etc. Cloud App provides URL shortening, file hosting and custom domains. If only more apps supported CloudApp.
Below is a list of features included in Weet:
Weet … $0.99
This twitter app is not the speediest out of the group that I reviewed. You can expect to view a loading screen as the timeline is downloaded. Most apps get around this by caching and storing the previous loaded timeline while the new tweets are loaded. Tweetery is a very simple Twitter app. Main timeline, mentions, direct messages, Favorites, Muted users, and Settings — that’s it.
If minimal tweeting is your style then Tweetery would be a good option. No choice on URL shorteners, image services, etc. The ability to mute users was a surprise. Overall a stable simple Twitter app. However for the price there are better alternatives.
Below is a list of features included in Tweetery:
Tweetery … $1.99
While it does have a cute icon, that is about as complex as its features gets. The app uses TwitPic for images, j.mp ( bit.ly ) for URL shortening with no option for a custom shortener. It has your standard run of the mill: timeline, lists, mentions, DMs, etc…
There are far better, cheaper, alternatives with a better feature set. I would skip this one.
Below is a list of features included in TweetList:
TweetList … $2.99
I’m not sure who was “inspired” by whom but Icebird looks a lot like Fluttr. Or maybe it is the other way around. I will say though that Icebird has a ton more finish and features than the afore mentioned app. If the “Facebook style” home screen with a twist is more your style then this app is a solid recommendation.
Icebird supports the basic twitter features, uses twtmore for longer tweets, has the best quick reply I’ve seen yet, and is simple to use. It has URL shortening available through two services. Another interesting feature is that it lets you search through your timeline. They call it “filtering”. For $3.99 the price seems a bit high compared to the competition.
Below is a list of features included in Icebird:
Icebird … $3.99
Living up to its name SimplyTweet is just that. It allows you do all the basic functionality that you would expect from a Twitter app. However it does not support multiple accounts. The app loads tweets quickly. It has a pull to refresh functionality as well.
Overall if you want a simple experience with push notifications then this would be a great app. Not to sound redundant but at this price there are other alternatives on this list that provide a more rounded experience.
Below is a list of features included in SimplyTweet:
SimplyTweet … $4.99
There is more than meets the eye to this cute little raccoon. Seesmic for iPhone lets you manage both your Twitter and Facebook accounts from one app. And it does allow for multiple accounts. One simply swipes from left to right when in “timeline view” to switch accounts.
Another great feature is that you can post an update to multiple accounts. However it does lack Twitlonger support. There is no muting feature but this can be replicated by relying on a list, which are viewable in the Profile view.
For a Twitter ( and Facebook ) it has all the standard features you would expect. On the Twitter side: a timeline, replies, retweets, messages, etc. The app is free but with ads that are placed in the timeline. To remove the ads one can purchase the “in-app” upgrade.
Below is a list of features included in Seesmic:
Seesmic … Free or $4.99 “in-app” Upgrade
This app reminded me of Tweetie in its early days. It has two themes available and you can adjust font size. The app also has choices for image services, URL shortening, and Instapaper integration. Tweets are fast loading. The app is very responsive. So far I haven’t had it crash at all.
For longer Twitter posts it uses TwitLonger or twtmore. Pull to refresh is included which is a nice touch. It highlights links in tweets, color highlights various information and has an in-app browser. The price to feature ratio is spot on. Definitely recommended.
Below is a list of features included in Tweetlogix:
Tweetlogix … $1.99
After extensively trying all 16 applications, I have narrowed it down to four Twitter apps that I could see replacing Twitter for iPhone on a daily basis.
The four final apps that have all the right features, ease of use, stability and polish are: TweetDeck, Tweetings, Weet, and Tweetlogix. Personally, I’ll be using Weet. The CloudApp integration was the main selling point for me.
During the research and testing phase of writing this article, I put together a detailed spreadsheet of each app’s features. While not pretty, it is a handy reference if you still aren’t quite sure which app is right for you.