With the sheer range of Twitter clients out there on the App Store, choosing a Twitter client for your brand shiny-new iPad can be a long-winded process. Your choice of Twitter client really depends, though, on what kind of Twitter user you are, and whether you use Twitter to simply keep up to date with the world or to keep the world up to date with your happenings.
No matter what kind of Twitter user you are, there’s an iPad Twitter client out there for you! Here’s a detailed look at the pros and cons of the 7 best Twitter clients in the App Store at the moment.
The official Twitter client for the iPad closely resembles the Mac client and allows you to undertake some basic Twitter functions, including location services and uploading photos directly from the app. Links in tweets can also be viewed either via Safari or the built-in browser.
The official client is well-suited if you are a passive Twitter user and simply want to use it to read a few tweets, however, more advanced Twitter users may find it a little lacking in features to satisfy their needs.
Advantages: Simple to use and easy on the eye.
Disadvantages: No advanced features. A lot of wasted screen space in landscape mode.
Echofon has been a popular alternative Twitter client on the iPhone for some time, and now there’s an iPad version. The iPad app comes in two versions, the basic free ad-supported version and the Pro version (which removes all adverts) for $2.99.
Echofon is a lot more customisable than other Twitter clients (you can customise the notifications and themes, for example) and has a nifty little feature whereby tweets stream instantly and you don’t have to constantly refresh the page to keep updated. If you use Echofon on your desktop, the app will sync with your Mac meaning that you never read the same tweet twice.
Advantages: Lots of features and very customisable.
Disadvantages: The app does have the tendency to crash sometimes.
Price: Free (basic); otherwise $2.99 for the Pro version (ad-free)
HootSuite has been a popular web-based alternative to Twitter for some time now, and now there’s an iPad version which, thanks to the iPad’s large screen, has kept its column view like on the web version. You can, of course, customise the columns to suit your tastes.
HootSuite is packed full of features that will keep even the most active Twitter users satisfied. Apart from the basic Twitter toolkit, you can also schedule tweets directly from the application (to avoid flooding your followers with a barrage of tweets) and if you tweet links directly from the application, you can view click statistics for each one.
Advantages: Jam-packed full of features – far more than you’d expect from a free Twitter client.
Disadvantages: The sheer range of features and slightly complicated interface may confuse some people.
Osfoora is the brainchild of independent iPhone and iPad developer Said M. Marouf, and offers some pretty nifty features that make it stand out as a Twitter client worth considering. The interface is fast and clean and you’ve got the choice between two themes: dark and light.
Osfoora HD can also be integrated with third-party services, such as Read It Later and Instapaper and can be customised to tailor your needs. You can also tweet what’s playing on your iPad and save drafts and snippets from tweets.
Advantages: Nice interface and great customisation possibilities.
Disadvantages: No push notifications!
Twittelator has probably got the most intuitive interface of all the Twitter clients on the App Store and is worlds away from the traditional column view you’ll see with most other Twitter clients.
Instead of your column view, you’ve got icons along the bottom so you can access your mentions, current trends on Twitter and your profile. Your timeline always stays visible on the left-hand side, allowing you to keep up to date with the happenings yet still allowing you to browse Twitter. The interface is easy-going, however the narrow timeline view does make it impractical for reading.
Advantages: Intuitive interface and loads of customisation possibilities.
Disadvantages: The narrow timeline view makes reading tweets impractical.
Twitterrific is a popular Twitter client for Mac computers and I’m pleased to see that the developers did not make any significant interface changes whilst porting their app over to the iPad. The interface is clean and you’ve got easy access to your mentions, DMs and so on along the left-hand side of the screen.
Twitterrific makes it easy to see current trends on Twitter by listing them along the left-hand side of the screen as well, and searching Twitter is a breeze. The New Tweet screen is a little basic for my liking, with hardly any options to customise your tweets, however you can shorten links and upload pictures straight from there. The free version is ad-supported and only supports one account, however you can upgrade to a multiple account and an ad-free Twitter experience for $4.99 via an in-app purchase.
Advantages: Nice, easy to use interface.
Disadvantages: Lack of in-app customisation. No push notifications.
Price: Free (basic); otherwise $4.99 via in-app purchase.
TwitBird is already renowned as a popular Twitter client for the iPhone and now its developers have released an iPad version. The interface resembles Echofon or Twitterrific with access to your mentions, direct messages, and current Twitter trends down the left-hand side and your current timeline displayed in a scrollable column on the right.
The application is very customisable and allows you to tailor your Twitter experience to suit your individual needs. However, the free version comes with massive banner ads that make the bottom 20% of the screen unreadable, pretty much forcing you to upgrade to the paid version, and the iPad optimisation is sketchy in some places. There are three versions of TwitBird – the basic version (which is free), the Premium version (which removes all adverts and supports up to 2 accounts) and the Pro version (which removes all adverts and supports up to 16 accounts).
Advantages: Lots of features and very customisable.
Disadvantages: Complicated to use. The optimisation for iPad is a little lacking in places. Annoying, intrusive adverts.
Price: Free (basic version); $1.99 for the Premium version or $2.99 for the Pro version.
I hope this article helps you choose a Twitter client for your iPad. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, especially if I’ve missed an important one!
Don’t hesitate to share it with your friends if you think it’ll solve their iPad Twitter woes!
Note: Some people may notice that I have missed out TweetCaster here. Unfortunately, I could not get the app running on my iPad 2 (authentication errors), so I could not review it for this roundup!