Windows Phone 7 has been out for about two years now. In that time I have switched back and forth with different free Twitter apps. Mostly the has been because someone has mentioned one or another that they like. I figured I would give a quick run down of what I felt were the pros and cons of each. These are only the ones that I have used and your mileage may vary. So here we go.
WP7 Built-In Twitter Functionality
While it is great that Microsoft put this functionality in, it is extremely limited in usefulness. Some apps leverage it to allow you to share pictures or information they contain. In all though, I don’t use it unless it is the quickest way to get something out.
Official Twitter App
The official Twitter app isn’t a very big step up from the phone functionality. It gives you a better timeline view and better attachment handling, but it makes you bounce to a browser page to see images that are linked to a tweet.
This was my main Twitter app for quite a while. It is the only one with InstaPaper integration so that you can save you a tweet and review it later. My main problem is that it crashes too much when it can’t find a connection. It also only previews yfrog and twitpic images and only once you go to the detail of a tweet. Other than that it is a solid Twitter client.
This is my current favorite. It has nice image display in your timeline which I have not seen on any of the other apps. There are two modes that you can use with this app. The first is standard to most Twitter apps that allows you to navigate to a tweet and do the usual operations. The second is what they call Quick Buttons. In this case you do not see the content of the tweet but go straight to the let’s get something done stage. It is an interesting take. I do miss the Instapaper integration and it has a tendency to show a blank timeline list once in a while after you view detail entry. If you scroll the list it restore your timeline, but you lose you place and are put to the first entry.
I am not very fond of this app. The first thing is that it makes you pick a “Space” when you enter the app. This is really “which account do you want to see”. On top of that it does not show who retweeted an entry in your timeline and then only tells you how many people RT the post when you look at the detail. There is a Speak feature that will read you a single tweet, but you have to navigate to the tweet and then to a menu to make it work. We will have to see if this gets better with the features in Windows Phone 8. Other than that it is another basic feature app.
In the end I am sticking with moTweets. I would appreciate it if they added the Instapaper capability and fixed the one bug. If they did that I would be really happy with the product.
@aphoria suggested that I missed Rowi in this review. When I started the review I didn’t see a free version of Rowi in the marketplace which excluded it from this post. I guess I missed it somehow.
My initial thoughts on Rowi were that I absolutely hated it (bare with me here). It felt like way too many taps to get anything done. Tap the tweet to bring up a menu and then tap the view button. That still doesn’t make sense to me, but I respect what they are trying to do. If you see a tweet that you want to reply to or RT the functionality is right there. My problem is that I generally don’t blind RT. I want to explore the links first. My other complaint is that having images off to the right side doesn’t work for me. They are too small to be useful. Put them below the text and bigger. I do like that once I go to view a tweet it is one button tap to send to Instapaper and RT a quote is supper quick from the list. I am going to try it for a while longer and see if I whether I stick with moTweets or move over to Rowi.