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.)
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.
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 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.