With Twitter becoming more and more popular each year, the competition for the best Twitter app is in its prime. Let's investigate the feature lists, functionality, and overall design of some of the top Twitter clients for the iPhone and see who truly has the best app — or the best one for your needs.
Tweetbot is surely the best Twitter client available at the moment. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing — with its interactive interface, beautiful design, and integrated sounds — but it goes above and beyond when it comes to functionality. The app really comes to life as you utilize gestures to explore your timeline and hear the noises each time you click (and you can always disable the sounds if you prefer). The best thing about Tweetbot is how they treat lists. Unlike any other Twitter client I have seen, Tweetbot allows you to view your lists as one sleek, fully functional timeline. This is absolutely essential to those of us who utilize Twitter lists to their utmost potential. Switching between different lists is convenient and simple. If you currently do not use lists, you may want to start. It will make your existence in Twitterland much more simple and entertaining. Tapbots never fails to deliver gorgeous design with an interactive and easy-to-use UI. I have to admit, I haven’t touched Twitter for iPhone since its launch.
For a free Twitter option, Twitter for iPhone is certainly your best bet. It has a clean, bright theme and utilizes most features you would need in an iPhone app. For example, if you see a trend that makes no sense to you (you're not alone), you can press the icon in the bottom left of the screen whilst viewing the trend's feed to have an explanation of it. Invaluable, especially considering some of the more obscure trends. It also features push notifications and allows you to find friends to follow using your contacts list. It has a clean, simple-to-use tweet composition interface and support for Instapaper. One of the best features is an easy way to access the reply, retweet, favorite and other common commands by simply swiping accross a tweet.
Tweetings is similar to Twitter for iPhone in many ways. However, the UI is not as amazing as Twitter for iPhone's, and you might feel overwhelmed by the amount of settings it offers. It's still a good client, especially if you like the dark theme.
What's great about Echofon is that you can now enjoy Twitter push notification without dropping a dime. That's of course if you don't mind the ads. It also exists in an ad-free version but the app's very limited set of features are definitely not worth spending the money they are asking for it. If you don't use Twitter much and you're just looking for a simple free client with push notifications, Echofon is all you need — although Twitter for iPhone is better in my opinion, it really comes down to personal preference.
Twittelator Neue is gorgeous in design, but a bit behind when it comes to function. Although it has a lot going for it, and does most things a Twitter client should, its lack of push notifications and iOS 5 Notification Center integration, really makes it not worth it right now. Wait until they update it to include these things, which I am certain they will come out with shortly. Keep an eye out for updates, because this Twitter client is both functional and beautiful — as if it were made by Apple itself. I am excited to see what they do with it.
If you're still looking for a Twitter client that can meet the needs of a power user, then TweetDeck is probably the way to go. It really differentiates itself with its ability to integrate your Facebook feed and an original UI based on floating columns that you can customize and move around. If you find yourself needing to post to Twitter and Facebook simultaneously, TweetDeck is the way to go. You can scroll left and right to view your mentions, followers and Facebook feeds and you can also rearrange and add different ones to suit your taste. It works well if you also use TweetDeck for PC or OS X as it works the same way.
HootSuite offers many features not specific to Twitter. For example, you can use Faceboook and Foursquare from the app as well. You can also schedule updates, update Facebook status and pages, make Tweets and check in on Foursquare. You can also translate Tweets and status into over 50 languages. It also allows you to shorten links using the owl.ly service.
Osfoora has been one of the more popular Twitter clients. It offers many of the same features as Twitter for iPhone, but improves on a few. For example, I like to read the tweets that were made while I was asleep when I wake up. Osfoora gives you a counter on the timeline icon that indicates how many tweets were made when you last refreshed. Very useful if you follow a lot of people. It also allows HTML code to be interpreted in the tweet view which, although not very useful, is gloriously geeky. It does, however, lack push notifications. You would think that, by now, push notifications would be standard in all Twitter apps.
Tweetlogix is well designed and works well, but it's missing some key features that really are holding it back. It's similar to Twitter for iPhone, but lacks push notifications and iOS 5 notification center support. For $1.99, with these key features missing, I don't see how this is worth it. But it is popular due to its nice design and easy to use interface.
Twitterific is a great looking app, but it has a real issue when it comes to the interface. It simply takes an excessive number of taps to do anything with it. Also, you have to pay to remove ads or to add more than one account. In my opinion, its price is not justified by its feature set, and I would recommend one of the free Twitter apps.
Echofon Pro is the same as Echofon but without the ads. It offers real time updates, like the Twitter website, thanks to its use of the user streams API from Twitter. It features inline photo and video viewing and has a nice DM screen that looks a lot like the SMS app. You can geotag and add media to your Tweets, but again, I don't feel the price is justified.
Besides being one of the most expensive Twitter clients, Twittelator's main issue is its inability to display more than three tweets at a time. This will force you to scroll all the time making it impractical if you're a power user. However, it does offer every single feature under the sun and even allows you to video tweet.
With Twitter 360, Twitter meets augmented reality. It's an impressive app that allows you to see geolocated tweets in the world around you, and it layers the app on top of the camera view finder. It does require an iPhone 3GS or later and it's actually more of an app to show off than to actually tweet. It looks a lot like the Layers app, and it is pretty cool to show your friends.
IM+ is not only a chat client, but it allows you to tweet and view tweets right within the app. Although I cannot suggest you buy this app for the sole purpose of using it as a Twitter client, if you need a good IM client for your iPhone that allows you to tweet, this is a great option.
Quick Tweets lets you write out and save tweet templates that you use often. For example, you could add "I'm bored", "This is what I'm having for dinner" to the app and be able to tweet them without typing them up every time. It's not a full Twitter client, but it accomplishes its purpose well.