App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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It was just over a year ago today that I was one of "those people" who scoffed at Twitter. It always struck me as a kind of disjointed, one-way instant messaging system. I never really understood the point or the popularity. After almost a year of using it and just over 2,500 tweets under my belt, I've made a complete 180. I use it often enough now to have developed an annoyance at the way the browser doesn't indicate when I've gotten a private message and the official app makes me dig for retweets.
Twittelator Neue - Twitter Client for iOS5 - I will never refer to it by its full name again - combines the usefulness of each and adds more than a few tricks of its own. Virtually everything an average Twitter user would need access to is only a tap or two away. In some cases just a swipe. And it's all wrapped up in one of the slickest UIs I've seen in recent memory. Text windows "fold-in" like paper notes, retweets will show portraits of both the original tweeter and the retweeter, thumbnails of images will display in a narrow preview window on the timeline itself and can be viewed by tapping either the tweet's link or the preview itself.
This brilliant UI design is by far the best thing about Twittelator Neue. Users can create custom timelines to swipe between, so for example I can check for retweets of my own posts with a flick of a finger rather than digging through menus. A handy mini-menu bar will pop up when the screen is idle for a few moments and makes navigating between accounts, timelines and messages a snap. But by far my favorite UI improvement is the way replies will display the entire history of the discussion. Finally, context that I can re-read while I type out a reply!
As far as usability goes, there's very little I can complain about. Twitter Neue is simply a very slick app. It's certainly worth the current asking price of $2, but seeing as there's a totally free and official equivalent (less fancy though it may be) it could still be a hard purchase for some to make. But what puzzles me is how it doesn't seem to incorporate any iOS 5 features despite being designed specifically for iOS 5. Perhaps some will be integrated in the future, but at the moment there's very little evidence of iOS 5 in this iOS 5 app.
There are other apps out there that can access the same bits of information for free, so it stands to reason that Twitter Neue is mostly for those who take their tweets seriously. That being said, it's well worth it for those who do. Personally, I think I've found my new go-to Twitter app.