Tweeting on the go is the new thing. Nothing shows you’re hip and with it like an iPhone imbued with the ability to send tweets about anything and everything you’re doing. Of course, some people actually need to do this, so there are legitimate reasons for a Twitter-enabled mobile device too.
Whatever your reasons for doing it, it’s not likely you’re going to be happy just using the Twitter Mobile website from your iPhone or Blackberry. Unless you only follow four or five people, you probably won’t want to use the SMS (text) feature either.
You’ll need an app. But which one?
For this look at mobile Twitter apps, we’re separating them by device type and then looking at the most popular for each.
The real Twitter mobile war is between Blackberry and iPhone users. Crackberry enthusiasts have two popular clients: TwitterBerry and Tiny Twitter. You can see the latter below in the Java Handsets section, but TwitterBerry is a Blackberry-only app. It’s fairly basic for something made for such an advanced mobile platform. In fact, it’s pretty limited with no profile viewing or URL shortening. Funny, since it does support TwitPic. If you’re not a real twitaholic, this might be OK for you.
Apple users will have 6 real choices for iPhone use (six if you check the Java Handsets section below): Tweetie, TweetDeck, Nambu, Twitterific, Twitellator, and TwitterFon. All three are available at iTunes. Picking a favorite is not easy, but the most popular (by a slim margin) appears to be Tweetie.
Tweetie has a lot of filters/searches, is intuitive to use, seems to run fast, and supports multiple accounts as well as access to Trends. This is a nicely done app for the iPhone, though it can run a little slow at times.
TweetDeck (aka TweetStack) for the iPhone just came out with a new rendition. So far, while the new upgrades are nice, the app is having some real hangups. Running as, basically, the desktop version of TweetDeck for the iPhone, this app has a lot of power and functionality, but is very slow too. Once it is working as it should, this will ultimately become the only app I can see myself using. It supports multiple accounts, great alerts, and is free. My only few hangups so far are the fact that it keeps booting me off, and that if I receive a direct message I have to send it back as a direct message, and if I fail to click send dm it sends it to everyone.
Twitellator Pro is relatively new to the scene, winning the Editor’s Choice at Mac:Life in May. It handles multiple accounts and does most everything you expect a powerful Twitter client to do. Because it’s so new, there aren’t a lot of users to draw feedback from, but it’s a robust app. It does seem to run faster than TweetDeck for the iPhone, for sure.
TwitterFon is popular, I think, purely because it’s free. If all you need are basic Twitter functions, a fast app, and something simple and easy, then this is the iPhone app of choice for twits. If you need a little more power and function from your Twitter experience, though, then cough up the $3 and buy one of the other two apps on our iPhone list.
Tiny Twitter is by far the most popular Java-enabled client for tweeting. In fact, if you’re using one of the other phones on our list, it’s likely Java-enabled and can use this instead. This app includes a lot of options for personalization to enhance how you interact with Twitter on your mobile. This is a great app that does all basic Twitter functions as well as a few extras.
The Nokia smart phone OS of choice, Symbian generally has just a few apps and only one real Twitter app of any note. Twibble Mobile has the very basic Twitter functions and that’s about it. No user icons (just names), but it has a cool location-mapping plugin that allows your friends who’re including location pings with their tweets to show up on a map on your phone. Otherwise, Twibble isn’t much better than just going to twitter.com.
ceTwit is one of the few and proud WinMobile apps for Twitter that’s enjoying any success at all. Avatars, auto-refresh, and more are all built-in and the app almost makes Windows Mobile look pretty. Almost. Most basic Twitter functions are supported and it even color-codes tweets.
That’s our wrap-up of Twitter mobile clients. Nearly every one of these is a big step up from just getting text messages or using the Twitter Mobile site. Some are better than others and some mobile devices have more ability than others too. Best app appears to be TweetDeck so far if they can get their act together.