Category: Social Networking (Twitter client)
Requirements: iPhone 2.1 software
Compatibility: iPhone and iPod touch
File Size: 1.1 Mb
Version Reviewed: 1.1.1
Price:: Free (Twitterrific, ad supported) or $9.99 (Twitterrific Premium, no ads)
Twitter, the micro-blogging site where you can upload posts of just 140 characters, is designed for the mobile. In fact, it’s built around the SMS, with the idea that people could answer the question “What are you doing?” from any cell phone or web connection. And with the iPhone (and to a lesser extent, the iPod touch), you have both, allowing you to not only tell others what you’re doing, but take advantage of Twitter’s other features, like seeing what your friends are up to, sending and receiving direct messages (essentially a private e-mail between two Twitterers), and so on.
Twitterrific from the Iconfactory gives access to most of the popular features in a simple, easy-to-understand interface. It comes in two versions, plain (free) and premium, which are identical, except that once per hour the free version displays a small ad.
Each Twitter client (and there are a lot) differentiates itself by the features it considers important. From Twitterrific’s perspective, the two most important features are posting your status, and reading what the people you’re following are doing, so those are front and center—everything else is a bit buried. To get to the other functions—like doing replies to messages, looking at user information, or marking a Tweet as a “favorite”—simply double tap it, which brings you to another screen with several large buttons.
But Twitterrrific also has one neat trick up its sleeve; if you click on a hyperlink, it opens its own mini-browser, rather than taking you out of the app and into Safari. This makes it so much easier to get back to the flow of reading your Twitter feed after following a wayward link. It’s Twitterrific’s biggest advantage, as the browser is quick. It also—and I’m not sure whether to classify this as a bug or a feature—displays replies and direct messages to you, in your main timeline, even if you’re not following that person. Replies are colored with a brown background, direct messages in blue. This quirk means while you won’t miss information targeted towards you from your friends, you might also get posts you don’t want. If you’re offline, it stores the last fifty Tweets (without profile pictures) so you can read them, but doesn’t allow you to, say, store your own Tweets to post when you get a connection.
Other Twitter apps add more features, but Twitterrific gives you the meat ‘n’ potatoes in a big, easy-to-use format. The ads for the free version are unobtrusive, which, oddly enough, makes me wonder if the $9.99 cost of the premium version is worth the cost for a good client, but one that hardly takes advantage of the more advanced Twitter features.