Dale Dietrich
friedman: always supply your comparative advantage
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Seesmic Twitter App for iPhone Not for Me. Sticking with the Official Twitter App (aka Tweetie 3)

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seesmic iphone app icon I tested out the Seesmic iPhone App today. Seesmic on the web is my current preferred method of viewing tweets on the Twitter iPhone app icondesktop. While the iPhone app is a terrific start, given the deal breaker points discussed below (not remembering where the user leaves off in the timeline, no landscape viewing modes and no ability to adjust fonts), I’m sticking with the new official Twitter App (aka Tweetie 3) on my iPhone – bugs and all.

Seesmic Pros:

  • ITS FREE
  • NICE INTERFACE: It has a terrific and elegant interface.
  • CLASSIC RT: It supports classic ‘RT’ retweeting.
  • EVERNOTE INTEGRATION: You can now post a tweet to your Evernote database with the click of a button. I love this idea! I hope more twitter apps (iPhone or desktop) add this feature in the future.
  • UNLIMITED LOAD OLDER TWEETS: It supports unlimited ‘Load older…” tweets at the end of the timeline (something that the Twitter App also supports in theory but is often buggy)
  • WICKED FAST: It is surprisingly fast when loading those older tweets. It is faster than the Twitter app, Tweetdeck and Echofon.
  • ADJUSTABLE ‘TWEETS LOADED’ SETTING: I like the ability to set how many tweets it downloads at a time. I always set these to the max – usually 100.

Seesmic Cons:

  • DOESN’T REMEMBER WHERE YOU LEFT OFF ON START: I try to read every tweet from the limited number of people I follow. To do this I want my Twitter app to start up where I last left off. The Seesmic iPhone does NOT remember where I left off when I shut down the app and restart it – even if I shut it down for just for a minute and come back. THIS IS A CRITICAL FLAW AND DEAL BREAKER FOR ME!
  • DOESN’T REMEMBER WHERE YOU WERE WHEN RETURNING FROM LINK: If you are, say, 5 hours down your timeline, and then you click on a link in a tweet to read a linked story within Seesmic’s embedded browser, when you return, you are returned to the TOP of the timeline – not where you left off. You must scroll down and find where you left off in the timeline. If you left off beyond the 100 tweets loaded, you have to reload the older tweets. VERY ANNOYING & ANOTHER DEAL KILLER!
  • NO LANDSCAPE MODE: It’s all portrait all the time. This is especially painful when viewing websites within its embedded browser. THIS WAS ALSO A DEAL KILLER FOR ME (Twitter App & Echofon do landscape – Tweetdeck doesn’t)
  • NO USER SELECTABLE FONT SIZE: My aging eyes need this!! Another deal killer for me. I note Tweetdeck also cannot adjust fonts whereas the Twitter app and Echofon can

  • CHARACTER COUNT FLAW: When typing a tweet, the counter counts the number of letters you’ve typed so far. That’s not what I want. I want to know how many characters I have left. This implementation makes me have to do the math in my head on the fly. Seesmic, just tell me how many characters I have left to type – like the other major Twitter apps do.
  • DOESN’T SHOW WHO RT’D TWEETS IN TIMELINE: It’s bad enough with the new RT system that you are forced to see the icon of the original tweeter and not the icon of the person you follow that retweeted it. But Seesmic doesn’t even say in the timeline which of the persons you follow retweeted it. You have to click on the tweet itself to discover that. Major Ugh!!
  • DOES TOO MUCH: I don’t want all those other services supported. I just want a world class twitter client

tweetdeck for iPhone app iconTweetdeck iPhone App

At the behest of @Ozark_GeoGeek I also gave the iPhone Tweetdeck app a try. I do NOT like the desktop Tweetdeck client so I had never tried the iPhone App. Here are my abbreviated thoughts on it:

PROS:

  • The letter count down while creating a tweet counts down as normal

CONS:

  • As with Seesmic, it too cannot view linked websites in landscape mode like the Twitter App can.
  • You cannot adjust the font size.
  • Unlike Seesmic and Twitter app, the Tweetdeck iPhone app has NO ability to add more tweets to end of timeline. This is truly bizarre and the only iPhone Twitter app that I’ve tested that has this limitation
  • It’s slower than the Seesmic and Twitter apps
  • The interface is bizarre and ugly.
  • There is too much going on in this app. I don’t want a do-everything app. I want a single-purpose, world class twitter app. I have my Facebook app for using Facebook.

Unfortunately none of the many advanced Tweetdeck features (managing multiple accounts, searching twitter etc.) appeal to me.

echofon iphone app icon Echofon iPhone App

On the suggestion of @Nino_Ben I also tried out the Echofon iPhone Twitter app today. This used to be the Twitterific app that I used and abandoned a year or two ago.

PROS:

  • The letter count down while creating a tweet counts down as normal
  • It permits the old-style RTs
  • It has landscape views for reading linked stories
  • It has adjustable fonts
  • It permits loading more tweets at the end of the timeline

CONS:

  • It doesn’t remember where you left off in the timeline, which, for me, is THE critical feature that keeps me using the official Twitter app.
  • A rather ugly interface

Conclusion:

The Seesmic app is a terrific start, but until they fix the deal-killers mentioned above, I’m sticking with the official Twitter App – bugs and all.

Tweetdeck gives me nothing I want that the Twitter App doesn’t provide. Echofon would be a viable, though less attractive, alternative if it remembered where I leave off each time.

It’s nice to know I have these alternatives when the inevitable ‘load more tweets’ function fails to work in the official Twitter App – as happens every couple days for me.

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  • http://twitter.com/TimBarley Tim Barley

    I totally agree with this. I share the exact same views on the iPhone apps. I'm still using Twitter/Tweetie primarily because it can remember my position on the timeline. Echofon seems to do this to an extent, but not as well. This is definitely Tweetie's trump card. To save you the time and trouble: HootSuite and Brizzly don't remember either, but have nice interfaces. One other feature of note: Instapaper support. Tweetie and Echofon have it. I love Instapaper and I would like to see that become a standard feature in mobile Twitter apps going forward.

  • http://www.daleisphere.com Dale Dietrich

    Thanks Tim:

    A friend turned me on to Instapaper a couple weeks ago. I especially like it when reading a linked story that occurs on a non-mobile optimized site – where the print is too tiny to read. Instapaper allows you to set your font size. Whoo hoo! Unfortunately, it turns out I'm not really using it.

    I mostly use my old strategy. If I want to read a story that is too fine print to read, I will 'favorite' the tweet. Next time I'm reading Twitter on my Seesmic Desktop, I go through my ' Favorites' tab, read all the stories through Firefox and then unfavorite when done. Perhaps if I was traveling for extended periods without going back to my desktop I'd use Instapaper more.

  • http://www.daleisphere.com Dale Dietrich

    Thanks Tim:nnA friend turned me on to Instapaper a couple weeks ago. I especially like it when reading a linked story that occurs on a non-mobile optimized site – where the print is too tiny to read. Instapaper allows you to set your font size. Whoo hoo! Unfortunately, it turns out I’m not really using it.nnI mostly use my old strategy. If I want to read a story that is too fine print to read, I will ‘favorite’ the tweet. Next time I’m reading Twitter on my Seesmic Desktop, I go through my ‘ Favorites’ tab, read all the stories through Firefox and then unfavorite when done. Perhaps if I was traveling for extended periods without going back to my desktop I’d use Instapaper more.