iOS is not lacking in Twitter clients, and many of them are the practically the same. Tweetbot stands out amongst all the rest not because of any special feature or function, but because everything it does it does so well.
- Quick access and navigation of your timeline, mentions, direct messages, favourites, retweets and lists.
- Supports multiple accounts
- Search for tweets
- Automatic URL shortening through multiple services
- Easy photo and video uploading and sharing through multiple services
- Create drafts of tweets to send later
- Built-in location services to easily post your location
- Inline image viewing (if the image service is supported)
- Time-saving interface
- Profile editing
- Comprehensive list management
- Support for Instapaper and Read It Later
- Tweet translation
- Push notifications (through Boxcar)
Tweetbot is a phenomenal Twitter app. It does nothing revolutionary, but instead does a lot of things you’d expect from a Twitter client really well. It has an impressive feature set, as you can see above, but it’s really how Tweetbot has integrated all these features that make it so great. This is something that’s much easier to understand once you use it, but everything is where you need it to be when you need it. Tapping a tweet reveals an action bar so you can act on that particular tweet. You’ll find buttons for displaying different views at the bottom of the screen, but if you want more than the main five options you just tap and hold down a given button to see more. Like with many Twitter apps, you can refresh your timeline by pulling down on it to initiate refresh. The interface is just so well thought out and easy to navigate that you spend practically no time messing around with the app and instead just doing what you need to do.
Tweetbot doesn’t really fall short. It would be nice if it were free, but it’s certainly worth the $2.49. Sometimes when I tap something it doesn’t go where I expect it (like a Twitter handle in an @ reply, for example, which loads details about the tweet and not the user’s profile). Tweetbot gets the job done elegantly. There really isn’t anything notable to complain about.
When it comes to Twitter clients, iOS is rife with competition. The official Twitter client for iOS is a very good alternative if you don’t want to pay. It has many of the same features as Tweetbot and even some of the same interface elements (although they’re not quite as pretty). When iOS5 is released later this year, it’ll also have directed ties with the operating system — which may or may not be a plus depending on how you look at it. A similar, slightly more minimal, and also free (but ad-supported) option is Twitterific.
Trickle is an alternative for the ultra-minimalists who just want text on a solid background and only one tweet at a time. It’s a nice option for when you want to really focus on the content in your Twitter stream. It’ll run you $1.19.
And then there’s Super Twario, for those who want reading their tweets to feel like a side-scrolling platformer. Despite its… unique functionality, it’s completely free.
While there are tons of other iOS Twitter clients, many of them are pretty much the same with a slightly different look. Nonetheless, if there’s one you really love above all the others and it wasn’t mentioned here, make your case in the comments.
Lifehacker’s App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories. This week, we’re focusing on Twitter clients.