There is no doubt that Twitter in itself is a phenomenon. However, with the ease of access that mobile devices bring, it has truly exploded to become an entirely new way of communicating. As a result of this, Apple decided to embed Twitter in iOS, making it an essential part of the mobile operating system when it comes to sharing. On top of that, iOS device users can also download the official Twitter app to complement the native Twitter integration that Apple offers.
Still, there are a lot of alternative Twitter apps on the App Store that offer a different experience when compared to the official one.
This time, we’ll take a look at Tweetbot and at how it compares to the official Twitter app for iOS.
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Twitter for iOS
If there is one word to describe the official Twitter app, it would be “simple”. The app offers a very streamlined look at all your Twitter feeds, and videos and images attached to them. This simplicity comes at a cost though: The app’s options, while not lacking, are definitely a bit limited, but provide all the basics for any Twitter user.
Tapping on tweets gives you their full view and also shows you the number of replies they have, while swiping them from left to right allows you to reply, retweet them, mark them as favorites and more.
Lastly, a very nice, unique feature of the official Twitter app is the ability to discover Twitter accounts that might interest you. We already saw how fun this feature can be with Twitter’s own #music app, and it looks just as effective with its main app.
While definitely not as clean-looking or simple as the official Twitter app, Tweetbot for iPhone ($2.99) offers a wide array of options, which are relatively easy to manage thanks to an intuitive interface. Tapping on tweets displays several options, allowing you to reply to them, retweet them, mark them as favorites, share them and more.
The Gear icon in particular offers some very interesting options, including the extremely convenient Translate, which, as you might guess, lets you read foreign tweets in your own language.
Swiping any given tweet to the right takes you immediately to the related conversation, while at the top of your timeline, you are able to switch between a common timeline display and one that shows only those tweets that have pictures.
Now that we are talking (writing?) about pictures, Tweetbot ads a very nice touch to the way you see them: Instead of having to tap on any tweet’s attached picture, the app shows you a small thumbnail of it beside its main tweet, so you can get a glimpse beforehand and choose if you still want to tap the picture to view it in full.
The app also allows you easy access to all your Twitter accounts in one tap and offers a vastly larger array of options in its settings.
Last but not least, two extremely convenient features of Tweetbot are its streaming capabilities (which allows you to get tweets in real time) and the ability to customize the last two segments of the bottom menu, which provides a lot of flexibility for using the app.
While the official Twitter app for iOS is extremely capable, the old adage of You get what you pay for applies perfectly here. With the sole exception of the discovery feature, Tweetbot simply outperforms the official Twitter app in every aspect. It is faster, has more options, displays more tweets and its streaming feature is ideal for the social comment service. So, unless you are a very, very basic Twitter user, Tweetbot offers a lot of options that you will be glad to have, even if you don’t use them that much.