Twitterrific 5 for iOS: Just Delete the Other Clients

| Quick Look Review

Some users keep multiple Twitter clients on their iPad or iPhone because there is no clear winner. Every other one has some major irritant or missing feature, and one can't decide. Well, I've decided. All the rest have been deleted from my iPad and iPhone.

I have tested just about every Twitter client on iOS and OS X. My favorite on iOS has been, for a long time, Osfoora HD. That's because I am more of an appearances person, don't have multiple accounts, don't much dabble into many lists, and I have a preference for an absolute rather than relative timestamp.

And that right there is the crux of the matter. The act of tweeting is a very personal thing, and if a client is missing a key feature or two, that's grounds for termination. I'll go farther.

Everyone who uses and writes about Twitter clients for any platform is convinced that the set of standards they've developed for features and usage are the only good ones. Everyone else is an idiot. And so it's incomprehensible to each us why another person uses the Twitter client they do.

This quick look review will tell you that Twitterrific 5 is fabulous, gorgeous and so good that I've abandoned all my other clients. But before you declare me one of those idiots, take a look and then decide. You may not delete all your other clients, but you might very well add this one and then let it grow on you. You might also decide to change your ideas about what you must have, like I did.

The timelines are clean, crisp. (This is the white option.)

Missing Features

Upfront, I'll say that T5 has some missing features. In my case, the one missing feature that annoyed me is the absolute timestamp. But when the presentation is as gorgeous as T5's, I didn't worry about it too much. Just so you know, here are the notable missing features:

  • Video uploading
  • Instagram link is temporarily broken - hold and open in the in-app web browser
  • iOS: only Twitter's picture service use
  • No "Find" in timeline
  • No option for absolute instead of relative timeline.
  • No streaming timeline
  • No support for editing lists
  • No push notifications
  • No timeline filtering/muting

In the Icon Factory's roadmap, they point out that the last four are planned for some future version. Why are some features missing? My take is that Twitter itself is in a state of flux right now. There are some behind-the-scenes politics. To sum it up, Twitter is being rather pushy about the idea that pure clients should be deprecated. Developers and many customers aren't fond of that idea. So when developing a new code base from the ground up, one has to be mindful of what's worth investing in, for the sake of simplicity and developer ROI.

The Important Features

What T5 does have is the essentials plus some niceties.

  • Universal App
  • Color coded timeline
  • Dark & light themes
  • Choices of fonts and sizes
  • A gorgeous text presentation
  • Line spacing control
  • Its own display brightness control
  • Multiple accounts
  • Unified timeline, or break out of Mentions and DMs, etc.
  • Auto switch to dark theme at night,
  • Sidebar (Settings) option in landscape mode.
  • Details of individual tweeter, location, following status, option to block or report. Favoriting.
  • Language translation, email the tweet, RT with comment.

Again, when writing code from the ground up, one has to set priorities as well as understand the users. This is a good set of features to have as well as drive to the new ones with the published road map.

Presentation

What I liked most about T5 is the visual presentation. Both the full name and the username are displayed. The layout, spacing and fonts selections make for a crisp, great looking page. I especially like the very readable "Proxima Nova" font. T5 will literally light up your iPad's display and bring a smile to your face.

In Settings, you can opt for automatic black after dark.

The display itself is devoid of too many distracting icons. That's one thing I don't like about Osfoora: icon ambiguity and clutter. Plus, the update icons are animated and exceedingly cute. And you can leave the sound effects on without going crazy.

Settings

Settings are now self-contained within the app. Access them by tapping your avatar on the top left. This is a change from T4, so if you already have T4 installed, the settings in the iPad's main Settings area apply only to T4, not T5. That threw me at first.

Two of the settings panes are shown below. (Not shown is the accounts pane.) They're not extensive, but I agree that it's wise to keep things simple in a major rewrite.

Settings, in the app, are good but basic.  Room to grow.

One complaint: When switching between Dark and Light modes, there's no visual indication that the option "took". But you see the result when you're done, so that's a nit.

Something to Chirp About

Twitterrific 5 is off to a great start. It's a clean, lovable app with a sparkling presentation that focuses on text and communication. It's not full-featured yet, but you get that feeling that, like a cute hatchling, you'd rather grow with this app than stumble through something more complicated, less inspiring. It's not for everyone, but it's the tweet of my life right now.

Still, the rating must reflect the current lack of so many features in this dot zero version: 3.5/5.

T5 requires iOS 5. It's available at an introductory price of US$2.99.  It's compatible back to iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 3rd generation.

____________

[UPDATE] Some have asked about how to do a "DM" in T5:

1. Navigate to a user’s profile by tapping their avatar.
2. If that person follows you, you’ll see a small envelope icon, indicating a private message.
3. Tap that to start a new DM.

Notice the To: identifier at the top of the sender window.  You won't see the leading "D".
That's opposed to tapping the @ icon, next to the envelope icon, which starts a new tweet to someone who doesn't follow you.

Product: Twitterrific 5

Company: The Icon Factory

List Price: US$2.99 (introductory)

Pros:

Universal app for iOS, fairly full-featured, clean, attractive interface.

Cons:

Missing some features that will be added in future versions.

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Comments

John Hamilton Farr

Reading this review was the first thing I did this morning, and it changed my whole day. Maybe a bunch more.

I love Twitter and have recently been using Tweetbot, a great app that covers some of the features missing here. About a week ago I downloaded Twitteriffic to try it out. The first thing that happened was, I clicked on a web page link and took an instant dislike to the smallish view window that action brings up. Being in a cranky mood this morning, I responded to your tweet about this review with a flippant “I hate it,” though I did include a smiley face. The next thing I knew, you’d passed the tweet on to the developer, and I immediately realized “hate” was a stupid thing to say without having given the app a longer try. The other thing was, I trust you in these matters and owed you the same courtesy, so I settled in to get acquainted with Twitterriffic….

My verdict? Twitterriffic is delightful, and it only took an hour or so of playing with it to make it my Twitter app of choice. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

With the dark background and the beautiful detail of the large avatars on the iPad, the app *draws one in,*  something that Tweetbot doesn’t do. The visual experience is addictive. I find myself going through the tweets more slowly because I don’t want to leave. UI-wise, the practice of overlaying different panels over a darkened background timeline keeps one anchored in the app. This is much more sophisticated than I realized at first. Also, the use of different colors for different types of tweets is really cool: it looks good and has a function. Beauty and intelligence. These guys are onto something, and I wish them well.

Jose Adan

There is another missing feature: you cannont see RT of your tweets. Bad bad

John Martellaro

Jose:  Of course you can RT:
1. Tap the tweet.
2. Tap the three dots on the right.
3. Select Retweet with comment.

The tweet will show up in your timeline as you with an RT of the originator.

Judy

Your reviews & comments have whetted my Twitter appetite & I’m going to download right away.

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