Tweetbot iPhone app one of the best out there

Selling for $1.99, Tweetbot is the newest iPhone app to challenge Twitter's official app for the hearts and minds of mobile tweeters.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
3 min read

Tweetbot is the latest Twitter app for the iPhone and one that's been getting some buzz since its debut this week.

Available from Tapbots, Tweetbot gives iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users yet another alternative to Twitter's official mobile app and other Twitter mobile clients. And though it'll cost you $1.99, Tweetbot offers a nicely designed look and feel and a healthy array of features, easily turning into it one of my favorite Twitter apps.

After you log in for the first time, Tweetbot provides a quick tutorial. From there, you're taken to your timeline where you can view the tweets you follow.

A navigation bar at the bottom of the screen displays the usual array of buttons to switch among different views, including your timeline, the tweets in which you're mentioned, and your direct messages. Tapping each of the last two buttons on the bar opens small pop-up windows with multiple selections. So from those two buttons you can navigate to four different sections, including your lists, your favorites, retweets by others, and a search window.

A search bar at the top of the timeline helps you track down specific tweets either by name or content. The app can also alert you with an audible tweet when your timeline gets updated, though you can turn that option off. And as with other robust Twitter apps, you can set up and view multiple timelines.

Tapping a specific tweet brings up a bar underneath it with several options. You can respond to the tweet, retweet or quote it to your own followers, copy or e-mail the tweet, and save it as a favorite. Double-tapping specific spots on a tweet also kicks in different views. Double-tapping the text brings up more details about the tweet. Double-tapping the tweeter's logo shows you information on that account. And double-tapping the URL loads its linked Web page. You can even set up your own triple-tap to perform specific tasks.

The various buttons and options may sound confusing, but they work together smoothly. Overall, I like the display of the timeline in Tweetbot. It's clean, quick, and user friendly. And it provides fast and easy access to most of the key features and functions Twitter users need.

From the settings screen, you can customize a variety of options, including the font size, the display name, and which URL shortener and image uploader you want to use. You can also access your own account to view your followers, followees, and tweets, as well as edit your account details.

My only complaint about Tweetbot so far is the lack of landscape mode, an orientation I find handy not just for typing but also when reading Web pages linked from a tweet.

How does Tweetbot fare among other iPhone Twitter apps? Overall, I prefer it to almost all of the other Twitter apps I've tried, both free and paid. The casual Twitter user would probably do fine sticking with Twitter's own official and free app. But for me, Tweetbot has already landed a permanent spot on my home screen.