With the sheer range of Twitter clients out there on the App Store, choosing a Twitter client for your iPhone can be a long-winded process. Your choice of Twitter client really depends though, on what kind of Twitter user you are, and whether you use Twitter to simply keep up to date with the world or to keep the world up to date with your happenings.
No matter where you fit into the equation, there’s an iPhone Twitter client out there for you. After the jump, we take a detailed look at the pros and cons of the eight best Twitter clients in the App Store at the moment.
The official Twitter client received a big update a short while back to version 4.3, which brought along an improvement to existing push notifications and expanded tweets. Alongside that, you’ve got your standard Twitter arsenal such as retweeting, link shortening and picture uploads.
Your mentions and follows are organised in the Connect screen (just like in the web version), and the Discover tab shows tweets by people who share your interests, recommended people to follow and trends.
Advantages: Simple to use and easy on the eye.
Disadvantages: Its features may be a little lacking for advanced users. Not many customisation possibilities.
Tweetbot for Twitter is currently my Twitter client of choice and has plenty of cool features that easily make it a strong contender for the best client out there on the App Store. Apart from the many customisation possibilities, you’ve also got features such as iCloud timeline sync (useful for multiple devices), smart gestures (swiping right on a tweet will bring up a more detailed view, for example) and mute filters, so you can block users from your timeline without having to unfollow them.
Tweetbot also features support for many third-party services, such as Pocket, Instapaper, Readability, CloudApp and Droplr, and you can customise your interface as well (the last two tabs in the screenshot above can be altered to your liking).
Advantages: Jam-packed with features and customisation possibilities. Suitable for almost every kind of Twitter user, from the beginner to the more advanced.
Disadvantages: The interface can be a little complicated to get used to at first.
HootSuite is a popular web-based Twitter client, and the iPhone version really does try to retain some of the features you get in the online version. You sign in with your HootSuite account (if you haven’t already got one of these the app will let you set one up) and you can manage not only your Twitter account, but also your Facebook, Foursquare and LinkedIn — all from one app.
Two of my favourite features about HootSuite are the ability to schedule tweets (just like in the web version) and built-in link tracking (as long as you use their own ow.ly shortening service). Because the app uses your HootSuite account, any drafts or scheduled tweets are automatically synced with the iOS version, ensuring no duplication.
Advantages: Plenty of features, especially for a free Twitter client.
Disadvantages: Swiping across the columns can get a bit inconvenient at times. The interface is slightly clumsy and may overwhelm some people.
Echofon is a simple, clean Twitter app that syncs across all your devices (there is an iPad, Mac and Firefox version) so you’ll never read the same tweet twice. The app supports multiple Twitter accounts and you can mute users from your timeline without having to unfollow them, just like in Tweetbot.
The app also supports viewing pictures uploaded by the people you’re following directly in your timeline and threaded conversations, making it easier to stay on track with them. The free version has adverts — to remove them you’ll have to buy the full version, Echofon Pro, either as a standalone app or via in-app purchase for $4.99.
Advantages: Simple, clean interface with plenty of features.
Disadvantages: Annoying adverts in the free version. The Pro version is a tad expensive for a simple Twitter client.
UberSocial has already found its fame on other platforms, such as on Blackberry and Android, and the iPhone version has been around for a couple of years now. The interface borrows heavily from both these versions, and the app supports all the usual Twitter functions as well as muting certain users, viewing rich media such as pictures and videos straight from your timeline, and multiple accounts.
The app also allows you to cross-post your tweets to Facebook, and you can customise the interface to your liking (including themes, which often cost extra). Like Echofon, the app contains adverts, but you can remove these by purchasing the Pro version via an in-app purchase, which costs $4.99.
Advantages: Very customisable Twitter client. Useful if you’ve been using UberSocial on either Android or Blackberry.
Disadvantages: The interface is very busy and difficult to use. Pro version extremely overpriced.
Price: Free (Pro version: $4.99)
TweetCaster calls itself “the #1 Twitter client for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch” and has a couple of features that aren’t to be found in other clients, such as Search Party, which lets you narrow down your search to more precise results, and SmartLists, so you can organise all the tweets on your Timeline into a more manageable view.
TweetCaster is, in my opinion, a love or hate thing. I personally don’t get on with it very well, however I’m sure there are some people that swear by it. Download the free version to find out for yourself.
Advantages: A couple of unique features that can make your life on Twitter a lot easier.
Disadvantages: The free version has adverts and the Pro version comes at a price ($4.99).
Price: Free (Pro version $4.99)
Twitterific won Macworld‘s “Twitter Client of the Year” for 2010, and it’s easy to see why. It’s extremely simple to use, and the interface is really nice and easy on the eye, especially with one of my favourite fonts, Helvetica Neue Light. You can sync your timeline position across your devices (the app is also available for the iPad and Mac) with Tweet Marker, and there is built-in Instapaper, Pocket (formerly Read It Later) and Readability support.
An upgrade to the Premium version brings not only ad-free browsing but also tweet translation and multiple accounts. If you can live with the adverts, then the free version may well be an absolute snatch though for such a beautiful Twitter client, I would say that $4.99 isn’t that much of an outlay.
Advantages: Really nice interface and plenty of features.
Disadvantages: Customisation possibilities are a little limited in places.
Price: Free (Pro version $4.99)
Twittelator is the final app in our roundup and it boasts over 150 features, including Facebook integration, built-in support for recording and tweeting video, and an integrated web browser, meaning that you don’t have to leave the app to view links. The app comes in 4 (!) versions — the normal Free and Pro versions and a new Neue (shown on the right in the screenshot below), which boasts a completely redesigned (and, may I say, absolutely gorgeous) interface and a couple of extra features.
The Neue version is much quicker and sleeker to use and features more customisation than the standard version, along with a more improved tweet view and tighter integration with iOS. Both apps are free for the standard version (which comes with adverts of course), but the Pro version for both is only $2.99, a real bargain.
Advantages: The interface in the Neue edition is easily one of the best I’ve seen on the iPhone. Plenty of features and customisation options.
Disadvantages: Some customers have complained about the poor customer service.
Price: Free (Pro version $2.99)
I hope this article helps you choose a Twitter client for your iPhone. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, especially if I’ve missed an important one!
And of course, don’t hesitate to share it with your friends if you think it’ll solve their iPhone Twitter woes!