TweetDeck 1.0.1 for iPhone review

TweetDeck already offers a popular, cross-platform desktop Twitter app. How does its new iPhone app compare – both to the desktop client and the numerous iPhone Twitter apps already available?

Pretty well, actually. TweetDeck’s distinctive columns-based interface translates well to the iPhone. Your friends’ updates live in one column, your replies/mentions in another, and your direct messages in a third. You can easily create new columns – for other accounts, Twitter searches, or user groups – with the Add Column interface. Groups in TweetDeck are implemented better than in any other Twitter app we’ve tried.

TweetDeck suffers slightly from offering too many options for navigating columns. With the Columns tab bar icon, the arrow on the upper-left with identical functionality, and the pair of arrows on the bottom for switching between tabs one at a time, the limited space on the iPhone’s screen is needlessly cramped, especially as you can flick left and right through the columns. Annoyingly, the app hides its Settings tab unless you’re in Columns view.

The app uses Growl-esque notifications to alert you when new tweets appear. The alert’s not customisable, and it’s not really necessary as there’s a separate ‘new tweet’ indicator on the bottom-left corner of the tab bar. Fortunately, you can turn it off.

Like most other iPhone Twitter apps, TweetDeck integrates with the iPhone’s camera and services like yFrog and TwitPic. Composing tweets works fine. As in Tweetie, double-tapping a tweet brings up a screen with options to reply, retweet, email, or designate as favourite.

OUR VERDICT

Setting TweetDeck apart is its tight integration with its desktop counterpart. You can sync columns and unread tweets by creating a free TweetDeck account. No other iPhone Twitter client with a companion desktop app offers this feature. With a bit of layout clean up, TweetDeck will rival Tweetie and Twitterrific as the dominant Twitter app for iPhone.

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