Ever since I purchased my iPad last week I have been searching high and low for a twitter client to take pride of place on my home screen. Those who have looked at my apps screen will have seen that i’ve been going through twitter clients at an astonishing rate; and at last I think I have found the one. However here are my thoughts and reasoning behind not sticking with the ones which I originally tried.
The first app which I tried was Twitterrific (iTunes link) due to its very attractive price, it was free. The first time I opened a native iPad application was Twitterrific. The crisp look, clarity and layout of Twitterrific utilized every square inch of the large iPad screen, and new twitter features such as lists. Responding to tweets and compiling tweets was a straight forward process, with the ability to follow conversations within a couple of touches. There was major drawback, there was no ‘address book’ of contacts; meaning that if you wanted to mention another person in your tweet, you had to remember the @username and input it manually, something which I simply can’t do. Twitterrific, sadly got uninstalled after a few minutes.
The second client that found its self onto my iPad was TweetDeck (iTunes Link). I had stayed clear of the Mac client as it utilizes the CPU intensive AdobeAir format, however the iPad version had no such issues. Once again, TweetDeck took full advantage of the larger screen by allowing columns to be created listing a live twitter stream, mentions, direct messages, or lists. It solved the problem that Twitterrific had by allowing twitter addresses to be added into tweets. However this client didnt support conversation threads. One of the most enjoyable aspects of twitter is having conversations with people you have never met, but share the same interests. This is of course impossible if you have no conversation support, and cant see what their last tweet was in reply of. To me the conversation support feature was even more critical in a twitter client than ‘address’ support. TweetDeck got uninstalled after a few minutes.
Having had no luck with free twitter clients it was time to move into the realm of paid for clients. This didn’t bother me as I had paid for Tweetie (now Twitter for iPhone), and it was worth every penny. Starting low on the cost scale was Tweeterena 2 (iTunes Link) at just 59p. This was the least esthetically pleasing client I had tried, however it fulfilled all the requirements I had. It displayed my timeline, mentions, conversations and integrated addresses of people who I followed. It was by far the best twitter client I tried, and for the 59p price tag it was a bargain. There was one minor problem, stability. Out of all the applications I had installed on my iPad, Tweeterena 2 was the only application which crashed on me; and it would normally do so after I had composed a tweet, and was just about to send it. Quite understandingly, a lot of developers were suffering with stability issues of their applications, as the iPad emulator differed quite significantly from the actual device. I contacted the developer who was aware of the problem, and informed me that stated that this would be resolved with the next updates. However I couldn’t wait that long, Tweeterena 2 will be come a fantastic client once stability issues are addressed, and it was removed after a couple of days.
Still no joy meant that I was going to take the plunge and invest some serious money (£2.99), and take a closer look at Twittelator (iTunes Link). I had been aware of Twittelator’s existence from day one, however the price point did put me off, especially as there several free clients out there. First thoughts that go through my mind when I load the application is ‘thats one good-looking app’. Twittelator uses boxes to compartmentalized your twitter experience; one box contains your twitter feed, the other contains either; messages, mentions, channels, search, list or draft messages; keeping the screen clutter free. Function wise it fulfilled my needs, ‘address book’ support, conversation history and stability was second to non. All was good. Customization of the app was also a pleasant surprise allowing the changing of background image, I was very impressed indeed. There is only one complaint I have with Twittelator, and that is there no portrait orientation mode. When the iPad is rotated to portrait only one of the ‘boxes’ is available, its usable but not ideal. However as my iPad spends most of its time in landscape so that I can type this problem is a small one (and possibly non-existent). This is by far the best twitter client I have tried, and only wish that this was the first twitter client I tried. If you have the same requirements as me I highly recommend that you spend £2.99, and like me have your joy of twitter rekindled.