Twitter for Blackberry®
Note: This is an old review that has been sitting in my draft folder. Rather than delete it, I decided to publish it. The content may be outdated as I was testing the first official release.
Recently, Twitter made waves in the tech world by buying Tweetie (renaming it Twitter for iPhone) and launching their own BlackBerry App World and Android [QR here] clients. I've been a long-time ÜberTwitter user, but decided to see what sort of experience the official Twitter app for BlackBerry could provide. Click past the jump for my review!
Look and Feel
As you can see, the interface is very well laid out an attractive. The top row of icons provides quick navigation to various timeline views, including mentions, lists and DMs. There's also a text area beneath that can send out a quick tweet or TwitPic. The hover effects over buttons and links have a nice green glow and there are smooth animations everywhere.
As you can, see, though, not everything has been polished in this first release. There are some obvious glitches/clipping effects in the Trending Topics word cloud (see above). On the main timeline, the input area is better in theory than in practice - the update button resides just above the top row of the on-screen keyboard, leading to accidental tweets. Finally, when compared to other Twitter clients for BlackBerry, tweets on the timeline take up far too much space, resulting in fewer tweets on screen.
One would think this is the area in which an official client would excel. However, after using the client for a week, there were several deficiencies that took away from the overall experience of the program.
- Limited photo support: Not all popular image services are supported. This is something that they claim to have fixed in a recent update, but I still find it unsatisfactory.
- Bad touchscreen UI: Yes, I know, BlackBerry doesn't really come to mind when associated with the word "touchscreen", but with the huge push the Storm received one would have hoped for a sensible UI. Unfortunately, the icon bar at the top of the app has hard-to-hit icons, and when the virtual keyboard was out I found myself accidentally tapping the "Update" button, leaving me to suffer from the indignity of a partial tweet.
- Insufficient Refresh Intervals: This is a purely subjective issue, but I like updating my timeline every 3 minutes. They didn't offer a rate that low.
Twitter for BlackBerry is a well put-together client, and is especially impressive for a 1.0 release. RIM has been active in addressing user feedback, and has polished rough edges and added features (like commenting on retweets) after it became apparent that they were wanted by the community.
However, given my usage patterns, I always find myself going back to ÜberTwitter. While it may not be as pretty as the official client, it's features and usability are unmatched.
Verdict: Definitely check out Twitter for BlackBerry. It might be what you've been searching for all this time.