Category: Social Networking
- Find tweets that mention the song or album playing on your iPod
- See the home timeline for each of your accounts
- Search for tweets that mention specific topics, #hashtags or @users
- See a random selection of the latest public tweets
- Simple navigation with 5 tabs: home timeline, search, public tweets, send tweet and accounts
- Read the recent tweets of a Twitter user
- See a detail view of each tweet with hyper links (#hashtags, @users, web links)
- Open web links in a separate browser or in Safari
- See conversations
- Send tweets
- Follow and un-follow
- Configure one or more accounts
- Easily switch between accounts
- Multitasking on devices that support it
- Last 200 tweets of each account’s home timeline are saved on the device
- No Twitter account necessary to read tweets
20Tweets for iPhone is a really cool app. I have used it for a week now and feel pretty acclimated to it’s interface. It gives you a cool, fresh way of viewing the public timeline to discover interesting tweets very quickly. One of my favorite features of this app, is the ability to search tweets based on the music in your iTunes library. I don’t know of any other app that has integrated this feature. If you are a “Tweet Addict” the search by music feature, alone, makes this app worth the purchase. You can even play the tracks in your library directly from within the app itself while you are browsing tweets! How cool is that?!! So, let’s take a spin through the apps features, shall we?
Open the app and you will notice an iPhone native style interface with features that are easy to navigate. If you do not have a Twitter account, you can still use the app and browse the “Public Timeline”. If you have an account, to make the most of the app you want to go to the accounts button (bottom left of screen) to set it up for 20Tweets. Once you have opened the “Accounts page, tap the “+” to get started. You are prompted to enter your username and password. If you have multiple accounts, you would simply do this multiple times until you are logged into all of your accounts. Once complete, choose the account you wish to use & tap the “Home” button located at the bottom left of your screen.
Here you will see your “Home Timeline”, not too different from any other Twitter client. It’s pretty simple and straight forward. If there is a tweet you want to view individually, tap that tweet to do so. If there is a link within the tweet, tap on the link to open the URL inside of 20Tweets built in browser. You can also tap on the users name to view their profile, follow, unfollow, see all of their tweets, view how many people they follow and how many people follow them. If they have a website listed, tap the URL (displayed below their name) to be taken to their website from inside of 20Tweets. So far, pretty straight forward, right? Well let’s get to the search options…
When you initially tap on the “Search” button (bottom of your screen to the right of “Home”), nothing really jumps out as different. You will see a field for input and most likely look over the awesome features within this page. Look just above the search bar. You will notice that there are two tabs, “Search” & “Music”. Now toggle that tab to “Music”. If you have music loaded to your iPhone, you should now see an Album Cover, the name of the song, the name of the album, and scan/playback features for playing your music. You can now scan through your music and find a song to jam out to while using 20Tweets. Although, it doesn’t stop there. By tapping either the name of the song or album, 20Tweets generates a timeline of tweets that is choc-full-o-tweets referencing the artist and/or album. A fantastic way to gather news about your favorite artists or to discover other users who are interested in the same types of music. I find this to be a phenomenal, winning feature. Now that we’ve unearthed 20Tweets gem, let’s move on to “Public Timeline”. The button is located at the bottom of your screen, dead center.
Once you have opened the “Public Timeline” you will notice that 20Tweets presents itself very different than most other apps. It is much more of a visual, interactive experience. You can swipe through the latest tweets using finger gestures, which makes it fun and easy to discover new tweets. Find a tweet you like? Want to see the users full feed? Tap the blue arrow at the bottom right of their tweet to do so. Pretty easy stuff. And you guessed it! The “Public Timeline” features 20 of the latest tweets, hence the name 20Tweets.
If you are looking to simply compose a new tweet, tap the “Tweet” button located to the right of the “Public” button at the bottom of your screen. Now enter your text and tap “Send”.
Some of the issues I have encountered with this app, have nothing to do with it’s aesthetics or functions. My issues arise with functions that are missing.
- Can not view my followers from my profile page – Normally, you can tap the word “Followers” in a Twitter client to view those who follow. this makes it easy to @ reply or DM another user. This feature is absent.
- No DM or @ reply – Once you are viewing a user profile, there is no means by which to Direct Message them or send a Public Reply. I feel that this is a crucial feature of any Twitter client.
- No Re tweet function. – If it exists, I haven’t found it yet. There is no way from within 20Tweets, to Re tweet an interesting tweet. Retweets are a huge part of my Twitter usage, so I found this to be a hindrance in the usage of the app.
- Can not view your own profile easily. – In order to view your own profile, you have to find one of your tweets in the timeline, and navigate to your profile like you would a complete stranger. I would love for the app to allow you to view your own profile from the accounts tab.
- Refresh restrictions in “Public Timeline”. – When scrolling through the 20 featured tweets, the refresh button is completely unavailable until you reach the final tweet. I would love to see the refresh button available at all times while browsing the “Public Timeline”.
Lastly, perhaps more freedom for navigating music. – The search music feature is amazing, don’t get me wrong. Currently, though, the music is displayed alphabetically by song. Maybe in a future update, allow for users to choose how the music from their library gets sorted. I have a lot of tunes on my iPhone, so getting to a preferred song choice can be a lot of work using only the “next” and “back” tabs.
From the developer with regards to music playback:
“The app takes over the sort order of your iPod. Meaning: the back and forward buttons navigate in shuffle, album or playlist order when that is what is selected on the iPod.
The app defaults to alphabetical order when shuffle is off. Or when there’s nothing more to play; when all songs were shuffled or the album or playlist finished playing it’s last song.You can also switch music song by song from the iPod UI. When you switch back to the app, it will realize that the song has changed and update the artwork, title and album.” – 12/10/2010
Despite some of it’s short-comings, 20Tweets is a solid app that is worth the purchase for anyone like me, a Social Networking junkie! The interface is pleasing, the functions work well, the music feature is very innovative and it supports multiple Twitter accounts. Providing that some of the features suggested, are added in the future, I would most definitely provide this app with 5 stars.
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