What an epic adventure the last few weeks has been trying all these different twitter apps. Apart from discovering all the random files being left on my devices as I uninstall all the apps I also discovered that different app used differing amounts of system space. In fact recently I ran out of storage space on my phone which was really annoying. More so because I had 15 GB free space but the 2GB system space had become “full”. System space was not a criteria on my search and perhaps it should have been. No matter as relatively speaking the overall app performance was the most important factor.
Lets quickly review the apps (more in-depth reviews can be read for each app by following the links).
My first app of the series and it all started out very well with a web interface allowing a quick and easy association of my accounts with the app. After that it all went downhill with a clunky and unresponsive app interface which often saw me uninstalling or clearing the app settings in order that correct synchronisation would occur. Not to mention notification failures all round. Good responsiveness from the @hootsuite twitter account.
My favourite app of the review. It did nearly everything I needed and worked well overall throughout the review period. There was some issues with account association but those were easily resolved. Rubbish responsiveness from the @plumeapp twitter account.
Terrible! An app by any other name! Probably the first app I’ve seen crash and then report a different app as the culprit from the crash. Well at least in this case it was a previous form of UberSocial (Twitroyd). Issues with picture uploads, loading tweets, reading tweets, sending tweets - you get the picture - no neither did my followers due to the many, many, many crashes.
Just do not bother. Installs but that is all it does, crash, force close, crash you won’t even get to the point of adding an account.
I had a good feeling about TweetCaster when I was initially installing it but that good feeling rapidly evaporated. Very, very laggy and takes forever to startup. I spent most of my week looking at the TweetCaster splash screen or a process bar telling some percentage loading. That would not have been the end of the world if I then did not need to wait for the tweets to load as well.
Interestingly over the course of the review I discovered just how incestuous the world of twitter apps really is with Plume, UberSocial and Echofon all being owned/released as third party apps from UberMedia. Which is just incredible that three out of the five apps tested being from the same publisher. Sadly two of those apps were just terrible and the third well….read on…..
….Plume for me was the winner of the twitter app review. With that said I’ve already reinstalled Plume and thanks to its export/import feature reloaded all my accounts I’m already using it. BUT there is a BIG caveat and that is it is still the free version and the main reason being that since the review I made a few weeks back Plume has undergone a few updates. Sadly these updates are not for the better and now the app is laggy, slow and spends a lot of time loading things. This change in performance effectively levelling the playing field with all the other apps. So if I had reviewed Plume in week five rather than week two it would have been a significantly different result.
So in short the conclusion is that all the apps not made by Twitter themselves I’ve tried have been rubbish. They suffer massively with performance issues, some can not upload pictures and others will not even let you login. I’m guessing some of these issues lay at the feet of Twitter with its credits/token system and quite a lot at the feet of the app providers.
What I also realised was how much I missed the feature of “notifications” by which I mean the way Twitter and some of the apps above allow a single column which contains: retweets, mentions and favourites - this is such a vital column to have it really dates an app by not having it. That and being able to get notifications from a particular account you are following. Again a feature which was in scarcity with the apps I reviewed.
The winner of the overall review was going to be Plume but it is not any more. There is no winner! Plumes sudden performance issues and the lack of notifications, which after a tweet from them regarding introducing it being “we’re thinking about it”, means it is actually starting to grate on me.
Sigh - the take home message is sadly BRING BACK TweetDeck! Tweetdeck was the best but since it does not exist as an app anymore it is hard to make it the winner. Believe it or not I am actually considering going back to the Twitter app I hate so much with its horrible layout just because all the other apps are even worse. The question is will Twitter ever incorporate the features lost from Tweetdeck back into their app or perhaps a better question will I just give up with Twitter just like I did with Google+ due to the mundane and difficultly of interfacing with their product?