I have been using many Twitter apps on my iPhone (I should do a comparition review at some point). But today I am going to have a look at TweetBot from Tapbots.
When I thought I had seen enough Twitter apps, TweetBot came across. I thought, it is just another twitter app, but I got a nice surprise. And here it is why:
- First of all the attention to detail. The guys from Tapbots have really done an amazing job taking care of every single detail on the screen and making the experience really smooth and enjoyable. And it has also really nice sound effects.
- Second, speed. The app is snappy and you do not feel any lags when doing most of the operations.
- Third, features. Tweetbot has all you can expect and more from a Twitter iPhone app.
Let's start having a look at the main screen, the Timeline. By default you see the tweets from your timeline, but if you press on the top bar, you can actually select if you want to use some specific list as your default view. Also in the upper bar you have on the left the accounts button and on the right the compose button.
If you slide to the top of the list, it will refresh the tweet list, like in many other apps. You then get a nice indicator with the number of new tweets loaded. Also, the lower bar icon will get a blue line indicating that there are new tweets. In case you have mentions or direct messages, the corresponding line under the icon will light up.
If you just tap once in any tweet, a bar will appear with the most used options: reply, retweet, mark as favorite, more options and view the tweet details. If you double tap on the avatar, the profile will open. If you double tap on the tweet, the detail view will open, and if you double tap on a hash tag or a link, the search for the tag or the link will open in a new view. It is also possible to configure actions for triple tap.
The more options will show a menu where you can post the the link to the tweet in Twitter web page included
If you keep pressed on a tweet, you will also get a menu with more options:
Another neat feature of TweetBot is the use of gestures. Swipe to the left to see a full conversation thread will be loaded. Swipe to the right to see the answers to the tweet (left swipe loads all the related tweets while the right swipe only loads the tweet replies for that specific tweet). You will always see a nice animation as a feedback of the gesture. Nice details.
The Mentions view follows the same design and the timeline:
The Messages view (direct messaging) includes a triangle that indicates the number of messages in each conversation.
The Favorites view is also behaving as the timeline or the mentions view.
In all these views you can always use the search bar on top to look for specific words within the timeline:
Let's have a look at the TweetBot account and settings.
TweetBot supports multiple accounts and they are really easy to configure. Add or delete an account and then just select the account you want to use.
Settings allow you to configure sounds, display (font size, name display, date format), retweet format, triple tap option, post in background and some specific account settings, like shortening service, picture service, etc.
One nice feature is an option to sync the last read tweet using TweetMarker service. This service is used by other Twitter apps (Twitterrific for iPhone/iPad and Mac, Tweetings for iPhone/iPad and a Chrome extension for Twitter so far). This is a great service and I hope to see it integrated in other Twitter apps, like YoruFukurou (my favorite Mac twitter app). When you activate the option, you will see in the timeline a mark on the last read tweet.
And now let's compose a tweet. The New Tweet window is quite simple, with a lower bar with an option button, a mention button to look up for users, and a label button for tags. The option button allows you to access to some other actions.
Here is where I find something that I do not like so much (maybe the only thing in the whole app) and it is the lack of a dedicated button to add a picture to the tweet. Instead, this is located on the option menu.
When insert the @ for a mention, the app will start searching automatically all users that contain the letters that you are typing, so it makes it really easy to find the username you are looking for even if you do not remember it completely. Really useful feature. And the same applies for the hash tags, suggesting you popular tags.
When you add a picture to the tweet, you can see a nice thumbnail of it added in the lower bar. By tapping on it you can delete it or view it in full screen.
In case you press close without haven't tweeted, you can always save as a draft for later or delete it.
Now let's have a look at the other views left.
Twitter search allows you to search in the twittersphere and to save and delete your searches. These searches are also synchronized with the searches in your Twitter account.
And also nice is the list management. you can add and delete lists easily. Also, from a profile, you can add users to different lists.
Mute filters allow you to mute tweets by username, hashtags and clients. This can be quite useful if you want to avoid some specific things.
The retweet view has different options when you press the upper left corner button: you can choose between the retweets from others, the retweets by you or your own tweets that have been retweeted. You can even see who has been retweeting your tweets. Nice feature.
And now profiles. Your own profile can be fully edited from the app itself (avatar, location, web address, description). You can check your tweets, your followers and who you follow and in which lists you appear.
For other user profiles, you can see if they follow you or not (on the top of the profile), you can mention or send a direct message to the user (from the upper left corner button), manage list membership and mute. On the bottom of the view you have a dedicated button to or block and report as spam the user. There is also throughout the whole app some options to access the Favstar web page service, in case you use it.
So now my evaluation:
- user interface
- attention to detail
- maybe I would like to see an indicator on the timeline view next to the tweets that contain attached images
- picture preview support for as much image services as possible (Flick is missing for instance)
This is by far the best Twitter app. If you are already convinced, go ahead and byt it in from this link. All these features for just 2.39€ (2.99$)? Worth every single penny!