I have started to really use twitter all the time, everyday. It’s quite addictive to have a pipeline directly into the thoughts of all these other people that also use the service. I have been going back and forth between Twitteriffic and Tweetie on the iPhone, and using Tweetie on the Mac up until recently. Then I found out about Tweetdeck, which is an Adobe Air application, but works quite well on the Mac. I started making groups and filters and going totally nuts loving all the extra control it gave me over how I could use twitter. Then last night, the iPhone app was released. This is probably the single nicest application I have ever seen on the iPhone, and it’s quite quick and useable.
When the application first loads, you get the view on shown above. It defaults to showing your friends, which is just really people you follow. Plus there are separate columns for DMs, @replies sent to you, and you can create groups and search filters or add other types of columns as you please. It basically mimics the desktop application experience as best you can with the limited real estate of a quarter vga LCD screen.
One of the most visually impressive and convenient actions the application handles is rearranging your columns, and it works just like you think it would. When you are viewing the zoomed out view of all your columns, you simply hold your finger down and the columns zoom out even further. Then you can hold your finger down on one and drag it around to rearrange it. It works pretty well, and when you’re done you hit the giant Done button, pretty simple.
Another really nice feature is the integrated notification system. While you are flipping through columns, reading tweets and writing them too, perhaps browsing links, watching youtube clips and following new friends, updates pop up in a small bar at the top of the screen, not shown here. But also at the bottom is the total number of updates you have not marked as seen, and when you tap it the pop up widget comes up which allows you to jump straight to the column that you select by tapping. This is really awesome, and I wish more apps did stuff like this. VERY usuable.
The pic above shows what it looks like when you are actually viewing a single column. I think the left and right arrows at the bottom are unecessary as you can move to the column to the left or the right by swiping in the appropriate direction. The yellow “write” icon up on the top right allows you to go to the “edit tweet” window, and when you’re done there it just slides out of the way and returns you where you left off. You can select an individual tweet to see the details, which is pretty useful and fully featured.
The last thing I want to show is the column edit tool:
In this view you can select from a number of different “types” of columns, and then add it. Once you have the ones you want, you can easily come back and edit them. If you choose to sign up for a tweetdeck account the application will sync between your iphone and desktop so you don’t have to deal with marking tweets as seen in both placed, total synchronicity. I have noticed it isn’t always perfect, but it’s still a lot better than keeping two separate apps that don’t know about each other.
Next up I’m going to take a look at the Google Reader iPhone app by Phantom Fish called Byline, it carries along this same type of idea but does the syncing through Google’s Reader service.