Twitterrific 5 for iOS: Better Than Twitter, But Not Tweetbot

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Twitterrific 5 stream

The Twitter app battleground has been relatively quiet thanks in part to API changes made by Twitter that’s affecting Twitter developers (and those to come). That’s not stopping long-time contender Twitterrific [iTunes] from breathing new life into their old app. Can this old bird learn new tricks? Keep reading to find out!

Twitterrific’s new design is a major upgrade from the old. Its design feels more modern – a mix of design elements from Google and Apple. The add account page is reminiscent of a Macbook’s login screen. Your avatar is displayed in a circle and the layout feels a lot like Google+ for Android. Oddly, user avatars in tweets are square rather than circular like your avatar.

The app has always sported a dark theme, but now it’s jet black by default. If that’s too much for you to handle there’s a lighter theme available (see above pic). I recommend the lighter theme mainly because Helvetica font looks gorgeous on it! For me, the default font size is the only thing that spoils Twitterrific’s new look. It’s big enough for a blind person to see and takes up a lot of space.

Accounts and Settings

Fortunately, you can change the font size and other elements of Twitterrific by tapping on your avatar to bring up the account and settings menu. Here, you can access your profile tweets, favorites, searches, lists, and the aforementioned app settings.

Twitterrific 5 settings      Twitterrific 5 settings 2

Tweet Views

Twitterrific 5 Tweet Options

In tweet view, Twitterrific makes a refreshing departure from all of the bells and whistles that clutter up other Twitter apps. Home and mentions tweets have different color schemes, which would look cool if the colors actually complimented each other.

Tapping on a tweet will open the standard set of tweeting options, and options to translate, email a tweet, or retweet with a comment. Full conversation view can be accessed with a quick swipe to the left. Swiping to the right will let you quickly reply to a tweet. When replying, a preview of the original tweet sits just below the reply box. If multiple people are mentioned in a tweet, all of their names are added to the reply by default.

Twitterrific 5 new tweet

Not So Terrific

Despite its pretty looks, there are a few holes in Twitterrific. There’s no inline viewing options for media, so you can’t see photos and videos without opening the built-in browser. The app does a poor job of handling in-app links that aren’t mobile formatted. Options available under settings are basic, immediately pushing Twitterrific out of the running for power users. Also, there’s no way to make retweet with comment the default process for retweeting.

Most importantly, I can’t access my direct messages in Twitterrific.

To Buy or Not To Buy

So is Twitterrific [iTunes] worth the limited-time $2.99 price tag? Not unless you’re using the official Twitter app. Otherwise, I’d wait for a few more updates (and another sale) before buying Twitterrific. If you already use Tweetbot or something similar, stick with it.

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