Tweetbot for iPhone has been my Twitter app of choice for almost two years now. It does pretty much everything I look for in a Twitter client, and the fact that it syncs timeline location and mute filters across different platforms is a major selling point. At the recommendation of my friend Dave, I decided to give the new Twitterrific for iOS a serious shot. I used it for about five days and found pros and cons with it.
Overall the design is very clean. The light theme with the white background looks good, and everything is very readable. They definitely get points for having a multitude of customizable display options. Font face, font size, avatar size, line spacing and a dark/light color scheme are all independently selectable. The new tweet screen is very nice looking, and when replying, the tweet being replied to is visible without scrolling like in Tweetbot. Swiping one direction on a tweet leads to the reply UI, and swiping the other way shows the previous conversation and future replies. Pulling up on the tweet list refreshes and uses a nice looking flapping bird icon to indicate the loading process is still going.
Unfortunately, it’s the small gripes that make the decision for me. The icon for gaps between tweets1 is a small three dot icon and proved very hard to hit consistently. Even after a couple of days I was regularly missing on the first and second try. I also found that the need to hit this indicator was more frequent than I was used to since Twitterific only loads the last 100 tweets instead of the 200 Tweetbot does. The decision to make you own avatar a cropped circle version rather than something more squarish is a bit of a weird decision. It also lacks the mute feature that I have come to rely on. While it does have username autocomplete, it lacks the hash tag auto complete that I have also come to rely on.
Nice To Haves
It does support Tweetmarker so syncing across applications works. And it also supports iCloud syncing so that it can sync across platforms. It also feels really fast. It could just be well done design that creates an illusion that it’s fast, or it might actually be faster. Either way, perceived speed is all that really matters.
I don’t like to “review” applications based on features that aren’t there. So holding things like the lack of a mute feature aren’t really fair. I would likely still give this app four out of 5 stars, punishing it mostly for the frustrating touch targets and the 100 tweet limit for gaps. I am the type of person who always puts function ahead of form, and therefore am willing to accept Tweetbot’s design style in order to get other features.
But Twitterific is still a great application, and if you spend most of your time reading tweets, and don’t care about missing “old” tweets this is one of the better looking apps around. This level of customizable UI is something not found on a lot of other iOS Twitter clients. For some Tweetbot is cluttered and overkill. For all of those people, this is a great alternative.
- In other words, to load “missed” tweets [↩]