Thanks to everybody who game me twitter client recommendations for my iPod Touch; I’ve tried them out, and settled on Tweetie. (Recommended by Shawn Rider.) It’s been successful enough that I immediately stopped launching Twhirl on my Linux machines, and I’ve recently stopped launching Twitterriffic on my Mac.
Others I considered:
- TwitterFon. It didn’t have any way to grab old messages in the timeline that I saw, and when I tried it, it was only grabbing 20 messages at a time, which combined to make a deal breaker. It seems now to be grabbing more messages than that, but I haven’t seen any reason to go back to it; I still think that not letting me grab old messages is a deal breaker, even with the more generous fetching.
- Twitterrific. This is what I use for the Mac, and the iPod version is okay. But the send button is immediately above the keyboard, causing me to accidentally send a half-written tweet; also, there’s no way to look at your replies, which I like to do occasionally. (Especially since I want this to be my only twitter client at work.) Also, you have to pay ten bucks if you want to get rid of ads, which is out of line
- NatsuLion. This one isn’t so bad; its main problem is that it has a notion of “unread messages” that doesn’t work well on the iPod and which is badly implemented (basically, not being properly persistent between views or invocations). So the result is that it’s constantly showing nag numbers in bright red. Otherwise, I would probably happily recommend this client.
- Tweetsville. I read some good things about it, but I tried Tweetie first, and I was so happy with Tweetie that I decided not to spend the four bucks to see if Tweetsville somehow managed to be even better.
Tweetie has none of these problems. The interface works great: everything I want is right there, and it reliably places me where I left off reading in my timeline. It has access to the full twitter user interface; so if you want a Notes-style minimal application, this isn’t the client for you, but since I’m using it as my primary Twitter client, I appreciate having access to my replies tab and even my follower list. (E.g. so I can try to figure out if a new follower is a spammer or not, and block them if appropriate.) Looking at the screenshots made me worry that an iChat-style bubbles interface is the only option, but there’s also a more traditional interface that’s a lot more economical with your screen space. And I just found the option to turn off multiple accounts support, so I don’t have to look at that screen again. (Of course, for some people, multiple account support might be a bonus.)
So, basically, it’s easy enough to use to become not only my preferred iPod twitter client but to displace the twitter clients on computers that I use. In particular, the iPod keyboard works fine for me; I also find that I prefer not being interrupted by notifications that tweets have arrived, I prefer being in control of my twitter interactions. (I’d already turned off notifications on my twitter clients at work.) And it’s nice to be able to check my tweets when walking Zippy first thing in the morning, too.
Other non-twitter-related notes:
- This device is wonderful. If you bought another kind of iPod after it was released, then I’m afraid that you made the wrong choice. (Sorry, Dan!) So when I complain below, keep in mind that my overall impression is amazingly positive.
- The keyboard and browser really do work very well; there are limits, but it’s fine for following at least 95% of the links in tweets, probably 99%.
- One minor annoyance with the music player: there’s no easy way to pause. With my old iPod, if I was listening to the music in a context where I wanted to be open to interruptions, I’d just leave it unlocked, so pausing was a simple button press; even if it was locked, pausing was flipping a switch followed by a button. Whereas on the Touch, the screen will lock itself automatically, which means that pausing requires pressing a physical button, sliding your finger, and pressing a virtual button: three gestures, one of which is fiddly and two of which can’t be reliably done without looking at the device.
- Podcasts automatically advance to the next episode, which I find slightly annoying, but I imagine other people would prefer that. Also, if an episode is a multi-segment AAC file, then there’s no easy way to see how much time is left in the whole episode from the default screen. But both of those are more than made up by the fact that the album art is huge and beautiful and that you can see the duration of an episode before you start to play it.
- Podcast episode notes have also disappeared, which baffles me. Though, fortunately, they’re still there for JapanesePod101 episodes; those folks must be using a different mechanism. (Song lyrics, perhaps?)
- When I went to the App Store from the device, it wanted to update two of my applications; were both of them really updated over the last week, or did I get old versions when I originally purchased them (via iTunes)? Odd.
- My car accessories didn’t work properly with the new device. I ended up getting a couple of Griffin AutoPilot devices instead.
- The battery life isn’t nearly as long as the nano; no big surprise there, and it’s still quite long enough. Though that was definitely an impetus for making sure that our cars had adapters that could charge the iPod, not just play from it.
- I haven’t taken much advantage of it yet, but I appreciate having a device that’s more autonomous from iTunes. I’m sure at some point I’ll start downloading podcast episodes directly from the iPod, for example, and that I’ll purchase apps directly from it as well.
- I haven’t tried any games yet, though Zen Bound and Eliss have caught my eye.
This post has not been revised since publication.