Twitter's official iPhone app: Any good?

On the one hand, you're effectively getting Tweetie 3.0 free of charge. On the other, have competing Twitter apps already surpassed it?

The official Twitter app is here, and it's a freebie. Rick Broida

Last October I conducted a simple poll: What's your favorite iPhone Twitter app? The winner, with around 28 percent of the votes, was Tweetie 2, then a $2.99 app.

Last month, Twitter acquired Tweetie, rebranded it, and dropped the price tag. The result: the official Twitter for iPhone, aka Tweetie 3.0. It just landed in the App Store with a hodge-podge of new/improved features and the sure-to-be-popular price of "free."

The app now lets you view trends, search, and browse without actually having a Twitter account. You can also sign up for one right inside the app.

The search feature has been reorganized and enhanced (results now include Top Tweets, for instance), and Retweet is now part of the main toolbar.

Some nice tweaks, sure, but how does Twitter's app stack up against other favorites such as Echofon, TweetDeck, and Twitterific?

Personally, I can't say I'm a fan of the rebranded Tweetie. The interface looks bland and colorless compared with TweetDeck and Twitterific, and the lack of toolbar labels and built-in help are sure to confuse newcomers to Twitter and/or Twitter apps. (Actually, that's true of many of the apps.)

On the other hand, it's free--and ad-free, unlike the freebie versions of some of the others--so it's hard to complain too much.

What do you think of Twitter 3.0? Are you, like some App Store reviewers, bugged by the new icon? Are you happy to get a formerly paid app free of charge? Tweet--or just type--your thoughts in the comments.

 

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