iPhone Twitter Clients: Head To Head!

Michael is back, after a bit of a break, to bring us a head-to-head on Twitter iPhone applications.

Over to you Michael…

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Since time immemorial, man has been searching for the perfect Twitter client for the iPhone. OK, maybe it hasn’t been that long, but at least since the app store launched last July, man (and woman) have been searching for the perfect Twitter client for the iPhone.

Back at the launch in July, I initially tried out Twitterrific but was turned off by the ads and the associated cost of the Premium version if I didn’t want to see these ads. I was also turned off by Twinkle because it was more than a Twitter service, and you had to register with Tapulous to use it (who needs one more thing to register for?).

I finally settled on Twittelator, which like Twitterrific has a Pro version. Unlike Twitterrific, however, Twittelator’s free version has a ton of features and no ads. What I love about Twittelator is that among its features in the free version, it ties in to the iPhone’s camera or photo library and lets you upload to TwitPic, the link to which shows up in your tweet.

The last couple of weeks, MG Siegler of VentureBeat wrote about two other Twitter clients that interested me. MG, whom I follow on Twitter (@parislemon) and who I know to be a Twitter and iPhone power-user, doesn’t normally do one-off reviews of apps. The apps that he highlighted, Tweetsville and TwitterFon must have been something worth trying if MG, VentureBeat’s iPhone guru, found it worthy to post about each (MG’s posts: Tweetsville TwitterFon). So I did check them out, and these apps battled it out to dethrone Twittelator as my Twitter client of choice on my JesusPhone.

At $3.99, Tweetsville, by Tapulous is no slouch. It is very full-featured, has a very clean look and allows TwitPic support (just like Twittelator, but unlike Twittelator it has no location support). It shows a huge list of your history of tweets from those you follow which is great, kinda. The drawback is that if you have been following Twitter somewhere else (on the web or with another client) it takes FOREVER to load all the tweets since the last time you opened Tweetsville. My one gripe with Twittelator is that the history doesn’t go back as far as I’d like. But the Twittelator Pro version does have the ability to go back further in history, so it’s not fair to compare the non-pro free version of Twittleator to the $3.99 Tweetsville. One thing I like is that it has a notifier icon of how many tweets that have elapsed since last you opened Tweetsville. Again, this is only useful if you only access Twitter through the Tweetsville client exclusively.

Which brings us to TwitterFon. Like Twittelator, it has both TwitPic support and location support. And like Tweetsville, it has a clean, white layout. Also like Tweetsville, it has an indicator of how many tweets that have elapsed since you last used it. But it raises the stakes in this area even higher. The new tweets are also highlighted in blue to make it easy to see what you need to read. TwitterFon also doesn’t have the severe lag time that Tweetsville does when it’s loading a lot of tweets.

So given all these facts, I’d have to give the bronze to Tweetsville. But wait, since it costs $3.99 and the others are free, I’m taking away its bronze medal. So out of a three app competition, Tweetsville doesn’t even place. It’s not that Tweetsville is bad, it’s just that it’s not better than the other two and certainly not worth the $3.99. So between Twittelator and TwitterFon, I think I have to give the gold with a very slight edge to TwitterFon. I’m not ready to abandon Twittelator, but I think I will try only using TwitterFon for the next week and see how I feel then. I think the moral of this story is that you don’t have to pay for a good Twitter client on the iPhone.

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Tweetsville looks like this:

TwitterFon looks like this:

… and Twittelator looks like this:

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

10 replies on “iPhone Twitter Clients: Head To Head!”

Twittelator Pro keeps getting new features and has 5 themes to pick from (the one you showed is from the Lite version) –… describes the feature set (we were the first to feature multiple account support and inline viewing of TwitPics) and screenshots of Twittelator are here:

Also, tips and tricks:

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