Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Atebits Tweetie iPhone app
A speedy Twitter client for the iPhone
- Fast loading and navigation, attractive interface, can control multiple Twitter accounts
- Twitter conversations are hard to follow, HTML links are not automatically shrunk during writing
Tweetie is a lean and fast Twitter client. Some aspects could be improved, but this app still offers numerous features that make for an enjoyable mobile Twitter experience.
Price$ 3.99 (AUD)
For any social-networking fiend, finding the perfect iPhone Twitter client is an ongoing quest for the right balance of features and looks. Though we have been partial in the past to Twitteriffic, Atebits' Tweetie for iPhone app is a definite contender to replace it. Armed with a slick interface and quick loading times, Tweetie has plenty of appealing features. There is still room for improvement, however.
Tweetie offers the features you would expect from any Twitter client, including a personalised stream of tweets from yourself and those you follow, as well as the ability to view direct messages, replies and favourite tweets. The iPhone app also includes some extra features such as trend and user search, a profile view, an integrated Web browser for tweeted links and the ability to use the iPhone's GPS function to find Twitter users around you.
Tweetie's minimalist UI is a mix of the iPhone's SMS and iPod interfaces. The app is particularly fast at loading and navigating around tweets and other functions. It doesn't have some of the navigation shortcuts of rival apps like Twitterific, but it doesn't really need to; a quick flick of the finger seamlessly scrolls from the top to the bottom of the Twitter stream.
A tab-based navigation bar on the bottom provides access to features relevant to your own account, like direct messages, favourites and replies. Other windows like trend and user search are available through a More button. We would have preferred a customisable navigation bar like the Apple Remote iPhone app's.
One of the key advantages of Tweetie is the ability to control multiple Twitter accounts. Combined with the speed with which Tweetie can handle a Twitter stream, switching between entered accounts is seamless, bypassing the need to log out and in each time. This is great for Twitter power users or those who use multiple accounts to separate work and personal social networking.
Tweetie draws connections between replies and the connected tweet, but unfortunately doesn't thread them as some Web-based Twitter clients do. Instead, you must first click on the reply tweet, and then click on another button that takes you to the connected tweet. Tweetie also fails to recognise when an original tweet has been replied to by one of your other contacts — in order to navigate the chain you have to first click on the reply. This can be a particular problem when attempting to navigate long-winded discussions.
Atebits claims that Tweetie for iPhone can automatically shrink HTML links, but there are a few catches to this. Tweetie only shortens the HTML link when posting rather than while you're writing, so any posts that go over the 140-character limit due to lengthy links will have to be cut down manually. Even the integrated TweetShrink feature won't help.
Though there are some flaws in the Tweetie for iPhone app, the ability to control multiple accounts and the overall speed make it a breeze to use. Tweetie's minimalist interface is an attractive extension of the basic iPhone scheme.
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