Surprisingly, nearly 3 months after iPhone 3.0's release, there are only a few twitter applications that offer push notifications. Twitbit is one of them. Version 1.x wasn't compelling enough for me to use as my primary client, but the latest 2.0 update is rather impressive and brings Twitbit up to par with other great Twitter clients. The design is clean and simple yet not lacking in important features.
The home tab displays both your timeline and mentions. Just select which you want to view from the top. To scroll up to the most recent tweet, tap the time in the iPhone's toolbar. Tapping on a tweet opens a new screen with the Tweeter's name and username, the tweet, and some options. The tweet is displayed in a chat bubble below the user and includes the date/time and what platform the tweeter posted with. If the tweet was a reply, "In reply to…" will be attached to the tweet and tapping this will bring up a nice conversation view (direct messages also have conversation view). The tweet screen also includes buttons to reply, DM, retweet, and mark as favorite. Tapping the forward icon in the upper right corner allows you to open the tweet with the built in browser or mail a link to that tweet.
As you navigate through screens, the button on the top left will be named after your previous screen. If you find yourself several screens deep through navigation, tap the home tab to quickly return to your timeline.
A user's profile screen includes the standard profile information including the options to follow/stop following, block, and bookmark. You can also send a user a public or direct message and view tweets that mention them from their profile. When viewing your own tweets from your user profile, there is an option to delete.
The Search tab is where you go to search for tweets in all of Twitter or by tweets near you. You can save any search term to for quick access later.
Search for users in the People tab as well as find all the users you have bookmarked and recent profiles you have visited. Your own profile will be listed on the top of the bookmarks list in blue. You can easily rearrange the list order by tapping edit.
Twitbit supports the use of multiple accounts and the account tab is where you go to switch between users. Tap the arrow for an account to set your push notification settings and edit your services. Twitbit allows you to post pictures to TwitPic, Yfrog, and Flickr and videos (3GS only) to TwitVid, Yfrog and Flickr all of which need to be authorized separately. If you have an Instapaper account, you can authorize it to use with Twitbit as well.
For even more settings, visit the iPhone's Settings app and tap Twitbit. From here you can choose to display full names or usernames, how many tweets to fetch (20, 50, or 100), whether to highlight new tweets, and whether to scroll to the top when loading new tweets. Retweets can be formatted as "… (via @name)" or "RT @name: …", image upload quality set as low, medium, or high, and nearby search radius as 2 km, 10 km, 50 km, or 250 km. If you don't want your links to be shortened, you can turn that off too.
Twitbit is great application, but does has some disadvantages. There isn't a way to access a list of users when composing a tweet, Flickr uploads do not include EXIF data, and the push notification sound is Apple's default Tri-tone text message sound. The good news is that the developers have let us know they are considering adding these features in an upcoming release.
Speaking of the developers, High Order Bit is already diligently working on 2.1 promising features like full landscape support and the ability to iterate through your timeline from the tweet view. They are also planning to utilize those Twitter API updates for native retweet and geotag support.
Twitbit 2.0 is an excellent Twitter client! Notifications are quickly pushed to your iPhone in under 2 minutes, the UI is clutter free, and performance is smooth and snappy. If you're looking for a Twitter application with built-in push notifications, I highly recommend Twitbit. If you're unsure about making a purchase, you can try before you buy! Twitbit Lite is available for free and has all the features of Twitbit "pro" except for push and Flickr uploads. If you do choose to download Twitbit, be sure to let us know what you think!
- Push Notifications for mentions and direction messages in under 2 minutes
- Upload to Flickr
- Built-in browser and map
- Bookmark users
- No access to users while composing tweet
- Flickr uploads do not include EXIF data
- Only one notification sound option