Twitter is a social networking tool that has become essential in my daily job. It’s the simplest and quickest way to answer questions and get involved in conversations. Plus, the limit of 140 characters ensures there are no thousand word rants. But, finding the perfect app for it seems something of an impossibility. Here’s a run down of some of the best ones out there, and my top pick, and preferred client.
My Choice: Tweetbot ($2.99 – link to app)
For me, one of the biggest factors of any good app has to be aesthetic appeal, especially since the iPad was equipped with a Retina display. It has to look good. As far as I’m concerned, Tweetbot is by far the best looking app of the lot. The dark grey theme with blue highlights looks industrial, almost assuring you that it’s here to do a great job. It also has some great features to boot. The support for viewing various types of image in screen is vital. You can add more than one account, and change between them by tapping the image of yourself in the top left. (Great for people, like me, with more than one twitter handle.)
Tweeting is a pleasure too. You get the usual large onscreen keyboard at the bottom, and the editing window above it. There are some nice touches here, especially if you like uploading images. The “Use Last Photo Taken” has become a really useful part of the app. Instead of going through your library looking for your pic, it selects the most recent one. Within a second it’s attached to your tweet, and ready to be uploaded. Really nice. There are also tag and mention icons to make it easier to include the right hashtags and mentions within your message.
In the settings you’ll also find a Streaming option. That means that while the app is running, it’ll constantly be looking for new messages, replies and updates from the people you follow. (No dragging down to refresh!) It’s a universal download and will work great on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Great features combined with fantastic looks make this my top app for iPad, but, there are others to consider.
Twitter for iPad (free)
You can’t run down a list of twitter apps without including the official application. It’s relatively new look adds some cool new features like sliding windows off screen. It’s simple to use. Down the left are all you accessible functions: Timeline, Mentions, Messages etc. It makes the most of the display real estate and isn’t just a big version of the iPhone app. You can add multiple accounts too, and thanks to its integration in to iOS, tweeting images can be done without having to access the software separately. If you don’t want to pay for a client, there’s no use in looking any further.
Echofon Pro for Twitter- ($4.99 – link to app)
Although it hosts some really great features, like instant updates and the ability to mute certain hashtags and users, I find Echofon too expensive. Sure, there’s a free version, but it’s got ads (which I hate, a lot). The design doesn’t warrant the expense. In my mind, it’s trying too hard to look like iOS, instead of having a new look, something unique. I really don’t like the App Store style view of followers either. I know many who will swear by Echofon, not me. It costs $2 more than Tweetbot, and looks nowhere near as good.
HootSuite – (Free app, Pro service $5.99 per month – link to app)
This one’s the ultimate app for social media professionals. The app integrates practically every social network worth mentioning: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN, FourSquare etc. And although the app is free, it’s really boosted a shedload by the $6 monthly Pro service. You get access to all your analytics, Facebook Insights, tweet archives and more. You can also schedule re-tweets to links at the best times of the day to ensure more people see your stuff. Perhaps not one for the average consumer, but a must for anyone who’s serious about building their online presence.