Tweetie has been my favourite Twitter app since it launched many months ago. Quick, good to look at and with a ton of features I had no hesitation in buying it at the time. Roll forward to now and Tweetie 2 has been launched, not without some controversy. The developer, Loren Brichter, is charging £1.79 for the new version. In my view this is more than reasonable as it is a complete re-write of the application and comes with so many new features. However there is a noisy community out there that thinks this is robbery and once you’ve paid for an app you should get updates forever for free. Crazy. If that model continued, developers would have no incentive to continue development of app’s and ultimately the platform would become a waste ground of app’s released that are buggy and never improve. If only Apple provided a way of allowing dev’s to charge for upgrades. Anyway, Tweetie 2 – what’s new?
A new look and feel and a faster interface again. Mention’s and DM’s are now highlighted by a blue globe underneath the icon on the main screen. This is much improved on Tweetie where mentions and DM’s could be lost as you had to go and check to see if there was a DM rather than being notified. From this screen it’s easy to delve into a twitter users details – how many followers, their recent tweets, theirs favourites and so on. You can also follow/unfollow from the app and tweetie allows you to link a twitter user to a contact on your iPhone. A really neat navigation feature is if you swipe left to right on the application title bar you jump back to the timeline – very handy for when you’ve drilled down into a users followers or tweets.
A feature I haven’t seen in any of the other twitter app’s is what the developer calls Persistence. No matter what screen you leave from when Tweetie is closed, when you fire it back up it will continue from that screen. Really nice and makes it feel like your switching out of Tweetie and then back unlike most of the other iPhone app’s which feel like you are closing down and restarting again. It also does this very quickly – hopefully more app developers will add similar functionality. Tweetie 2 also add’s full support for landscape mode which is great for typing tweets but not so great for reading – I far prefer the landscape mode.
Searching is also strong within Tweetie. You can search the timeline, search for any term, view trending topics, save searches and also get a pretty fast local view that draws tweets on a map. Tweetie will sync your saved searches with twitter.com which is handy. What would be really nice is synchronisation with Tweetie on the Mac – the last tweet read on the iPhone is where tweetie on the Mac would refresh from, same accounts on each app. Probably a step too far as not every iPhone owner is a Mac user but it would be nice.
Final new additions worth mentioning can be found in the compose screen. You can now query for twitter usernames (at last – I can never remember some people’s twitter names) and also for hashtags so you can add the most relevant one to your tweet. You can also attach photo’s and video’s and geotag your tweet. Tweetie 2 comes with support for the new geotag features that Twitter are to roll out plus support for the new retweet functionality that is to come soon.
Other app’s have some if not all of the features in Tweetie 2 but none of them pull it together in a package that looks so good and works so well. the interface is well thought out and shows some real innovation. Oop’s, almost forgot another nice swipe feature – drag to refresh. Get to the top of the timeline, pull down and release to refresh. Fantastic and surely a feature that will be copied by many other app’s in the future. If you buy one twitter app for the iPhone it really has to be Tweetie 2.