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iPhone Review: Tweetie 2

UPDATE: Tweetie has been bought by Twitter and replaced with Twitter For iPhone, which as of the current update is essentially the same. The main difference is that it is now completely free. Read my review here. Tweetie is no longer available on the app store. However, the review below remains valid simply because Twitter For iPhone is for all intents and purposes the exact same application.

I know, I know. I’ve come very late to the highly-regarded Tweetie, and that’s because I’ve also come very late to the iPhone, having owned a 3GS for just a little over one month.

Hence, I have no experience of the original Tweetie, which was released for the iPhone way back in November 2008, and therefore have not had the opportunity to become as passionate about the client as many others.

Please forgive me. I will try to make up for this oversight with enthusiasm and detail.

iPhone Review: Tweetie 2

Honestly? I give Buzz about a week
before it drops off the front page.

So, this is essentially a first look for me, which should provide some comfort that this is an open and honest review.

A Little History

Prior to getting Tweetie, I was using TweetDeck on my iPhone. The TweetDeck app is free, and because I was familiar with TweetDeck on my PC it seemed logical to install this first. Indeed, I was quite happy with this decision, as for the first three weeks of iPhone-related Twitter usage TweetDeck seemed to hit all of my buttons. It was fast, it was easy to use, and it basically just worked.

(I’ll be reviewing TweetDeck for the iPhone at a later date.)

But all the overwhelming positive mentions of Tweetie kept eating away at me. Could something this loved be anything less than excellent? All of a sudden I was very keen to find out.

Tweetie 2 costs £1.79 ($2.99), which didn’t make a lot of difference to me as I’m fairly happy to pay small amounts for apps (and, for that matter, digital books), especially when they come with a big collective thumbs-up.

Tweetie 2 rates four out of five stars over some 715 ratings at the app store, which should ease the pain a little when you hand over your credit card.

For a lot of existing Tweetie owners, however, having to pay the full price again for an upgrade caused something of a stink, with even some notable Twitter celebrities voicing their objections at having to part with that lofty three dollars, which however you look at it is completely ridiculous. Almost insulting. I guess Charmed and voiceover acting doesn’t pay as well as it should.

At First I was Like…

As I’ve said, I have no experience with the original Tweetie so I can’t really comment on the differences, but I’m assured that they are plentiful and varied, and if you rated the original then easily worth your hard-earned cash.

So, having robbed me of my life’s savings, Tweetie installed itself on my iPhone, and I eagerly loaded it up.

And absolutely hated it.

Why? Because it wasn’t TweetDeck. TweetDeck let me set up columns, which is something that has become absolutely the norm for me in the world of Twitter. There are no columns in Tweetie. Instead, you access everything via predetermined, non-configurable icons.

iPhone Review: Tweetie 2

At first, I didn’t like this at all. I’m not exaggerating when I say my initial reaction was essentially ‘ugh’.

And Then I Was Like…

But after playing around with Tweetie, the little things started to work their way into my soul.

Writing a tweet is as easy as writing anything on the iPhone (mostly thanks to the auto-correction software).

iPhone Review: Tweetie 2

When you reach the top of a timeline, you refresh by pulling down and releasing. This is such a beautiful and natural movement that it becomes second-nature within a matter of minutes, and soon you’ll want to see it on everything on the iPhone.

This also reveals a convenient timeline search bar, too.

iPhone Review: Tweetie 2

Tweets flow down smoothly and with grace, and both easy to read and manage. You can click on a tweet to access the usual options (reply, retweet, favourite etc) but simply running your thumb from right-to-left over any tweet will also give you these same features, right there in your timeline.

iPhone Review: Tweetie 2

Adding photos, geotagging and shrinking URLs is all available at the click of a button, and Tweetie even supports username and hashtag searching, too (remembering recent uses).

iPhone Review: Tweetie 2

But Now I’m Like… ♥

The direct message implantation on Tweetie is a dream. You get proper threaded conversations, with history, like you get with your SMS on your iPhone.

iPhone Review: Tweetie 2

On your main screen, click on the magnifying glass icon, and you open up a ton of new options.

iPhone Review: Tweetie 2

The nearby feature is fantastic for stalkers.

iPhone Review: Tweetie 2

Searches are saved and super-convenient.

iPhone Review: Tweetie 2

See how my profile is positioned on the right-hand side on that search, as opposed to everybody else who is aligned to the left? Tweetie does that for every timeline.

Tweetie is packed full of features, but what makes it a must-download is everything is so wonderfully designed and slick that closing it down almost feels like you’re committing some kind of sin.

Not that it matters – where and whenever you close Tweetie, it will re-open to that exact same point. How’s that for usability?

Still not convinced? Wow. Well, you also get all of this:

  1. Multiple accounts (which are super-easy to manage).
  2. Offline mode – tweet, favorite, follow, save to Instapaper and more even when you don’t have a connection. Your actions are synced as soon as you go back online.
  3. Full landscape support.
  4. Drafts.
  5. You can link Twitter accounts to your iPhone address book.
  6. Short URL previewing.

All for just £1.79 ($2.99). Which is about the price of a cup of coffee for something you’re going to be using multiple times each and every day right up until Tweetie 3 comes out. Value? You do the math.

Conclusion

I’ve now tried a range of different iPhone Twitter apps (reviews to follow) and while there’s still a couple more on my ‘to do’ list, I’m fairly perplexed as to what they can possibly offer that will exceed (or even rival) the amazing features, attention to detail and sheer polish of Tweetie.

I haven’t opened TweetDeck in a week. I don’t even care about columns anymore.

That‘s how good Tweetie is. Buy it. And if you don’t have an iPhone, consider buying one of those just for Tweetie, too.

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