I ‘ve got a new main Twitter client on my iPhone, but before you make some snarky remark about how often I say that, just hear me out. The reason I like the totally re-designed (and totally free) Twitterrific 3 is because its approach is so similar to Icebird ‘s, my other ‘main ‘ Twitter client.
Twitterrific doesn ‘t have any tabs to speak of, and there are only a handful of features accessible on any given screen. There’s a main menu with options to view standard Twitter fare (All Tweets, Replies, Messages), conduct a search, and view lists and current trends. The timeline view shows only four tweets at once, and tapping on a tweet will show the text, an in-line picture (if applicable), and a handful of sharing options split between three buttons at the bottom.
As I said in my into paragraph, the design reminds me a lot of Icebird ‘s (in a flattering way, not a ‘hey, they copied them! ‘ way). Twitterrific is a Twitter client that concentrates on breathing room and takes the pains to help you concentrate one just one thing at a time.
It can be a little bit of a jolt coming from the 5-features-per-millimeter approach of Tweetie (now Twitter), but I think Twitterrific ‘s design makes Twitter feel less busy. I enjoy the extra colour and I ‘m really digging this fun, light hearted take on a service that’s super-saturated with information.
Twitterrific is very tap heavy (like Cultured Code ‘s Things), and there are basically no hidden shortcuts to speak of at the moment. Fans of tap-and-hold or ‘slide to… ‘ functions are just Tweet Out of Luck in Twitterrific, although I have read that we might see shortcuts in future versions (via @Twitterrific).
However, what Twitterrific lacks in fancy little extras, it makes up for in the best in-app browser integration I ‘ve used thus far. Most other Twitter clients require two taps to exit the browser (one to return to the original Tweet, and one more to return to the timeline), but the devs at Iconfactory solved this by using two buttons: a ‘back ‘ button for returning to the original tweet, and a ‘done ‘ button heading straight back to the timeline. You can actually accomplish this same thing by swiping on the ‘back ‘ button in Tweetie, but Twitterrific ‘s controls are much, much clearer about this.
For all of Twitterrific 3 ‘s strengths, there are some definite, almost radical changes to get used to:
- No automatic refresh – you press the refresh button (yes, you use an actual refresh button)
- No @replies or DM counters – the only way you ‘ll know that you ‘ve received a DM or reply is to simply spot one in the main timeline or go specifically to the @reply or DM list. I ‘d definitely prefer to see some sort of in-app alert.
- No address book (coming soon) – many other Twitter clients feature a username address book, containing a list of all the users you follow. This is very useful for auto-filling names when you mention someone, and Twitterrific is currently lacking any such feature. Fortunately, the developers did mention to me that a people search feature (including an address book of sorts) is coming in a future update.
Free vs Premium
I’m basing this mini review on the free version of the app, which is fully functional, but for ads from The Deck and a single-account limit. Buying the premium version of the app for $4.99 will allow you to hide the ads (which are displayed at the top of the timeline, and can be scrolled past) and add more of your Twitter accounts to the app. I ‘ve been using the free version of the app for a few weeks and haven ‘t felt a need to upgrade.
Twitterrific isn’t a new app by any means, but this third iteration is a completely separate download on the App Store. I’ve heard conflicting reports with regards to users who purchased the premium version of Twitterrific 2. Our own Josh Gard claims that using the in-app purchase to buy the Premium version of Twitterrific 3 happened for free, since he purchased V2 Premium. However, Twitterrific’s own Twitter account seems to state otherwise.
In other words, Twitterrific 3′s complete re-write is considered as a whole new app by the developers, and V2 users will probably have to pay again to disable the ads and add extra accounts.
I like Twitterrific 3 a lot more than the official Twitter, and that surprises me. I ‘m a user who ‘s big into features and little shortcuts, but something about this roomier, more colourful approach to tweeting has really bowled me over. So even if you already consider yourself a fan of the ‘real ‘ Twitter app, I would still highly recommend you give Twitterrific a download. There ‘s really nothing to lose here, and I think you ‘ll find the Iconfactory-designed icon is a *lot* better than the stranged winged whale that Twitter seems to have adopted.
Twitterrific is available for free in the App Store, though the in-app premium purchase costs $4.99.