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Our Review by Dave Spatholt on July 6th, 2009
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: FAMILIAR LOOK
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TweetDeck for the iPhone is definitely designed to be a companion to the desktop, everything feels similar and the usability comes easy because of the similarity.

Developer: Tweetdeck
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0

iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Most people reviewing an app like TweetDeck are going to be twitter users who have run the gauntlet of various applications and iPhone apps in order to utilize twitter. I started on the iPhone with Twinkle for its nearby tweets, moved onto Twitterfon when Twinkle mostly showed me local male amateur pornography via various twitpics, and finally downloaded TweetDeck earlier this week. I’ve been using TweetDeck on my desktop for a while and like it better than anything else that is available.

TweetDeck for the iPhone is definitely designed to be a companion to the desktop, everything feels similar and the usability comes easy because of the similarity. I had a really difficult time figuring out how to sync the columns from my desktop to the phone app, but a little bit of exploring lead me to the “more” block along the bottom menu. Setting up column syncing and the quick follow button next to it were features I found incredibly useful, even more so if I actually used them. Typically I find other users from searching or from friends, so a quick follow button is somewhat lost on me. As well, inside the New Tweet window, I’m still not sure what the “link” button does. I understand the map and photo buttons, which has a nice link to map feature I haven’t seen in other clients, but am unsure what a link button needs to be present for—mobile users typically aren’t working heavily with URLs unless they’ve already copied and pasted it in iPhone 3.0. Lacking from the New Tweet window is an easy way to include someone you’re following into an @reply. Also missing is a landscape mode for composing tweets.

Power users will find it useful to have their API calls and time to refresh listed in the main window, the ability to use multiple accounts and having the option to use either twitpic or yfrog for mobile picture uploads. These same power users may also find it hard to swallow the recommendation of only carrying six to eight columns during sync versus the ten column limit in the desktop version. I’m also left wondering if push notifications could out do the notification bars.

Besides these minor complaints, TweetDeck for the iPhone is a solid entry into the vast field of twitter applications. Handy notifications pop up when you receive new tweets and a breakdown of the new tweets can be found from the update icon. Columns can be zoomed for a more full-screen viewing effect which also hides the settings icon on the corner of each column. Flipping between columns is easy and very reminiscent of the design used on the iPhone’s home screen providing good usability for novice users. The compose button is large and easy to locate. The updates icon lists the number of updates and touching it shows a more detailed breakdown of where those updates came from.

Overall TweetDeck iPhone will give most TweetDeck users a familiar environment, but it comes with limitations. Some users will find just what they are looking for in TweetDeck iPhone while others will want to stick with apps like Twinkle, Tweetie, or TwitterFon Pro. Being a free app without any advertisements might give it the edge against TwitterFon, but the lack of landscape makes me quietly contemplating dropping some cash on TwitterFon Pro.

iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

TweetDeck for iPhone screenshot 1 TweetDeck for iPhone screenshot 2 TweetDeck for iPhone screenshot 3 TweetDeck for iPhone screenshot 4 TweetDeck for iPhone screenshot 5
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