capsule review

Tweetbot for iPhone

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Tweetbot — A Twitter Client with Personality

Tweetbot for iPhone is the second-best Twitter client I’ve ever used. The only Twitter app I like even more? Tweetbot for iPad. My iPad, unfortunately, doesn’t fit in my pocket. That’s why I’m glad the iPhone version of Tweetbot is so capable—and simply fun to use.

Tweetbot for iPhone, superficially at least, looks pretty much like any other Twitter app: A tab bar adorns the bottom of the screen, and tweets appear in a long scrollable list, with the newest ones on top.

Line of the Time: Superficially, Tweetbot looks like any other Twitter client. Its clever gestures are where the app shines.

Where the app from Tapbots really shines is in its discoverable, memorable, and powerful tapping and swiping shortcuts. Want to see a complete Twitter conversation? Swipe a tweet to the right. If you instead want to see any replies a particular tweet has evoked—even one you didn’t author—just swipe the tweet to the left.

Tap on the avatar accompanying a tweet to go directly to that user’s profile. Tap and hold on the avatar, and you’ll get options to send that user a direct message, manage which Twitter Lists you put that user on, mute the user, or unfollow the poor sap.

Similarly, single-tapping a tweet brings up buttons for common actions like replying, retweeting, or marking as a favorite; tapping and holding it instead brings up options to save an embedded link (to services like Instapaper and Read It Later), copy a link to the tweet, copy the text of the tweet, email the tweet, or translate it.

Tap Dancing: Tapping and holding on various elements within Tweetbot tends to bring up useful contextual menus like this one, which appears when you tap and hold on an avatar.

Tweetbot is overflowing with such tapping shortcuts. On a user’s profile, double-tapping the profile tab icon takes you to that user’s page on Favstar. Double-tapping on the Direct Messages tab brings up an option to mark all those DMs as read. And you can configure a tweet triple-tap to perform one of several actions, including initiating a reply, or (my preference) starring a tweet as a favorite.

The app also lets you customize two of its five tabs. Your main timeline, replies, and Direct Messages are static, but the final two tabs can link to your profile, mute list, retweets, favorites, lists, or search—your choice.

Another nicety in Tweetbot is its integration with services like Readability, Google Mobilizer and Instapaper for presenting easier-to-read versions of webpages you visit. Those services strip away needless cruft, leaving just the meat of the article you’d like to read; integration of those services within Tweetbot makes it much simpler to read content from websites that don’t play especially well with the iPhone.

Obsessive Twitter readers (like me) will appreciate that the app integrates quite nicely with the Eddy-award winning service Tweet Marker, which syncs your last-read tweet between multiple apps and devices. When I hop between the iPhone and iPad editions of Tweetbot, I thus needn’t fear losing my place. It’s great.

Tweetbot is easy to learn, and nearly as easy to master. It makes keeping up with your Twitter timeline simple and entertaining. It’s fast, clever, and a delight to use.

[Lex Friedman is a Macworld staff writer.]

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Tweetbot — A Twitter Client with Personality

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