No, seriously. Twiter is awesome.
I’ve joined Twitter, and you should too.
At first I was a little sceptical; after all, it is yet another social network that I have to join… I didn’t really see the point of it – what can you say in a 140-character update that can’t be said in a blog post, for example?
As time went on, however, I watched the video on the Twitter website, and saw that Twitter was designed to update people in-between your blog posts. (I guess one of my WordPress gripes is the fact that it doesn’t really offer a facility to publish snappy one-liners like Tumblr can.) With Uni attendance, soon came the realisation that there were things that needed to be said that I couldn’t whip up a blog post for even if I tried (it takes far too much time, for one).
With my iPhone on me all the time, and the constant internet connectivity, joining Twitter was a no-brainer. Now, whenever I see any hot chick walking down the hallway, I can jump on my iPhone, type in something crazy like “Hot chick at 12 O’Clock. Uni FTW.”, decide against taking a picture and uploading it to TwitPic, and also deciding against finding her MySpace/Facebook profile and linking it via a URL-shortening service like bit.ly – all within a couple of minutes.
Finding a good Twitter client for the iPhone is a totally different ball game, though. Thanks to the awesome iLounge article that reviews all 23 Twitter apps on the app store, I tried to decide between Twiteriffic (free), TwitterFon (free), and Tweetie ($4).
Twitteriffic was almost instantly ruled out – although it was free, it was also ad-supported. Bleh. I persevered with it, though – and was rewarded with a pleasant interface, simple UI, and a serious lack of features. Delete!
TwitterFon was next. Being a freebie, I didn’t expect too much, but I was surprised with an excellent UI (about equal with Tweetie), features crammed up every tab and button, and an excellent set of URL-shortening and TwitPic-uploading features, as well as the impressive geo-awareness. A couple of things turned me off, though – doing some actions can be a pain, requiring you to navigate though a plethora of screens to reach the button that you want, you can’t see what the @reply tweets are in reply to, and you can’t reply to a tweet directly from the tweetlist.
It’s not all doom and gloom for TwiterFon, though – the ability to see unread tweets in the tab-navigation interface at the bottom is excellent, colour-coded tabs are a nice touch, as are the excellent search facilities – including trends, location-based search, as well as a search history. Other handy trick is the ability to post an @reply by selecting the person being replied to from a list, as well as being able to stick a Google Maps link to your current location into your tweet (supposedly this works, I just tried it, and it didn’t for me).Overall, a very close second to Tweetie.
Tweetie – sure, it’s a paid Twitter app, but it’s one of the best. Supporting multiple Twitter accounts, an extremely polished interface (shadows and sliding animations galore), as well as the handy technique of loading just the picture from TwitPic links, and URL-shortening via bit.ly (my URL-shortener of choice). Slide across a tweet, and you get options to reply, view the profile of the tweeter, and mark the tweet as a favourite. Tweeting features are pretty much stock – character counter, upload a photo to TwitPic, and insert a Google Maps link to your current location (with automatic bit.ly URL shortening, ZOMG), or the option to update your profile location. The profile page is especially powerful – having separate buttons for followers and following tweeps for that person.
One of my only gripes about Tweetie is that it doesn’t have the unread item counts in the tab-bar at the bottom. This is especially annoying, as it means you can easily miss an @reply or a Direct Message.
UPDATE: One other thing about Tweetie that I thought was pretty fail was that it doesn’t allow you to enter the @ character as a character for your password. Whenever you try, it simply returns a “you must not enter your email address in this field” error, or something similar… Seriously. I like having secure passwords, and Tweetie forced me to change my Twitted password to something less secure. That’s a huge fail in my book, although I think I can attribute this one to a “feature” of the Twitter API, rather than a fail on Tweetie’s behalf.
While the different tabs in Tweetie aren’t colour-coded, the different kinds of tweets are. Those containing an @reply to you are a darker grey than standard tweets, and your own tweets are a pale orange. Overall, Tweetie wins – followed very closely by TwitterFon (besides, TwitterFon just looks weird when you’re looking at what client people are using to tweet… 😛 ).
So, follow me on Twitter. You can find me at twitter.com/bennyling
That’s it – comments below.
PS – the SS Fail Whale? Where did that come from? I’ve never had a Twitter Fail.