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Yesterday saw the release of the official Twitter iPhone app, which is basically a newer version of the popular Tweetie app, which Twitter acquired recently.

The move also puts Twitter in direct competition with other app developers, who may be a bit peeved at the fact that this app is available free of charge.

I've been trying the new app out...

The app may well appeal to new users of Twitter more than some others, since it can be used without logging in and setting up an account to search through trending topics and browse and read others' tweets. Users can also sign up for a Twitter account within the app. 

The basic functionality is the same as Tweetie, with tweets from displayed in a timeline. One nice touch is that, by pulling the page down, it will refresh with any new tweets.

However, if you come back to the app after a while, you need to spend time scrolling back to the top to see any new entries; a shortcut back to the top would be useful here. 

By swiping any of the tweets in your timeline, you can bring up a quick menu which allows you to reply or retweet, as well as bookmarking it for later or emailing it: 

The usual search features are there, and search within results and you can store searches, though takes a few clicks to get back to these stored searches each time, as with lists, making this less usable than some other apps. 

You can see details and the profile of anyone in your stream, which includes the information on whether or not they are following you as well: 

Key stats on follower / following counts and number of tweets are also shown: 

There are a few omissions here though. For instance, you cannot access someone's profile and see a list of their most recent tweets, something which I find useful on the Tweetdeck app. UPDATE: Actually, you can see recent Tweets via the 'clock' icon, something I originally missed. Not obvious for the first time user though. 

Another major problem with the app is that you cannot edit before retweeting, which is a big omission. Also, while other apps provide the choice, you can only retweet the new way, while I personally prefer the 'classic' method so you can see more clearly who is doing the retweeting. 

Conclusion

Since it's free, the new Twitter app is probably a good introduction for new users as it allows them to access Twitter without having to create an account first. 

Despite the fact that it can be slow to load at times, I prefer Tweetdeck for the iPhone, partly because I am so familiar with the desktop version, but also that it offers more functionality than this new app. 

I am disappointed by the app, my main gripe being the limited retweeting options, and I think there are better third party apps available. 

Graham Charlton

Published 20 May, 2010 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (6)

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Matthew Curry

Matthew Curry, Head of Ecommerce at Lovehoney

Hi Graham, if this is just Tweetie, you can see a user's recent tweets by clicking the Clock symbol at the bottom of their profile. But yeah the retweet functionality is a bit weird.

over 6 years ago

Tom Stuart

Tom Stuart, Chief Architect at Econsultancy Enterprise Guest Access

As in all well-behaved iPhone apps, you can immediately scroll to the top by tapping the status bar (the strip at the top of the screen which shows the time, signal strength and battery charge).

Although the "retweet" button is indeed native-only, you can use the rightmost "share" button and choose "Quote Tweet" to get an approximation of old-style organic retweets if you really want to. (It's arguably an advantage that this official client discourages organic retweets in favour of native ones, since native retweets are an overall improvement for the Twitter ecosystem as a whole, albeit at the expense of the ego of the individual retweeter.)

over 6 years ago

Will Dymott

Will Dymott, Head of Data & CRM at Practicology Ltd

Hay Graham To edit before retweeting use the function on the far right of the quick menu and select "Quote Tweet" IT's not that different fromTweetie and I prefer it to Tweetdeck for Iphone despite using Tweetdeck on my desktop.

over 6 years ago

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Keenkreations

Like what the above poster said, the clock symbol on the bottom will list out all the user's recent tweets. Also by tapping on the @ symbol will bring up all the mentions to said user. You can also tap on the tweets statistic and it will show up the users recent tweets.

As for a shortcut to scroll to the very top, there is a function built into the iPhone itself which is universally present in most iPhone apps: tap the top bar (where the clock is). In most apps, you scroll right to the top. In Twitter for iPhone, this works.

For ReTweeting, you can use the menu function called "Quote Tweet". It's the symbol to the very far right next to the paper clip. That would set you up in the compose window with quotes around the original tweet. From there you can set it up with the traditional "RT" attached to the front with your own comments.

over 6 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Thanks all - didn't see the clock symbol initially. 

Tom - can't believe I didn't know that after reviewing so many apps!

over 6 years ago

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@iJohnDNS

I was a bit annoyed with the upgrade for Tweetie 2 users. Twitter app blatted Tweetie 2 (although leaving Tweetie 1) - you remember, the apps we bought.

It then expected the user to re-input all their accounts, which was crap as it behaved as an update in the app store and removed Tweetie 2 (above).

Search has been 'destroyed', you used to be able to search for a phrase, for example I often want to see which users have RT'd me and the only (?) way to do that is to input a 'rare' phrase from my tweet. Now you can only search for a single word.

But I'm living with it. Haven't fired up Tweetdeck for ages, or any of the other apps I have installed. 

over 6 years ago

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