iPhone Gems: The Complete Guide to All 33 Twitter Apps
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Twittervision (free) is a unique Twitter aggregator app capable of displaying tweets from around the world in near-realtime. Based on the concept that a new tweets are posted very frequently by Twitter’s worldwide community, Twittervision simply watches the public Twitter timeline and displays selected tweets on a world map near their originating locations. Twittervision is far from comprehensive in terms of the tweets which it displays—to keep things interesting it seems to select a relatively small number of tweets based on diverse geographic locations rather than simply choosing the most recent tweets in the general public timeline. Further, it only picks up tweets which specifically include location information, rather than simply relying on a user’s location from their Twitter profile.
Tapping on the Twittervision screen will switch to a list view where additional options are provided, including viewing local tweets, viewing the selected global tweets in a list view, searching Twitter, viewing favorite tweets and posting your own Twitter updates. You can view the details of an individual tweet by tapping on it, open links in a tweet in the built-in browser, and follow or stop following users.
In keeping with its global nature, Twittervision also provides the ability to translate tweets into English. This is accomplished by double-tapping a tweet that appears in a foreign language.
Twittervision is an interesting concept, and has some value mostly for entertainment purposes, but does not seem to have a practical application as a general Twitter client; you cannot view your normal Twitter timeline, and cannot send or receive direct messages; tweet posting is similarly minimalist at best, with no ability to post links or photos within your tweets. Further, the “local” page did not seem to show any tweets during our testing, and other users seem to be experiencing similar problems. Ultimately, Twittervision is worth a look considering its free price tag, but it doesn’t strike us as much more than a novelty item at this point. iLounge Rating: C+.
Ziibii is a free aggregator application that acts as a client to collect information from not only Twitter but also other services such as Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and web-based RSS feeds. It presents aggregated information from all of these sources as a “river” of information.
Ziibii doesn’t really provide any other Twitter integration beyond displaying content from your Twitter timeline. Tapping on a Twitter entry will simply take you to the mobile web page for that tweet using Ziibii’s own built-in browser. Like Twittervision, Ziibii is an interesting novelty app that is worth a look, but shouldn’t be confused with a real Twitter client. Note that our rating reflects Ziibii’s usefulness specifically as a Twitter client rather than as a general information feed aggregator. iLounge Rating: C.
Summizer is designed primarily as a client for searching Twitter. It is available in two versions: Summizer Free and Summizer Pro ($3). Both versions are fully functional, however the free version limits you to only two saved searches/trends. Summizer opens with a search screen where you can enter your own search criteria, access a list of trending topics from Twitter, or review any previously saved searches.
Entering search criteria or selecting a search will display a timeline of the tweets meeting that search criteria. From here you can tap on a tweet to either reply to it, retweet it, or view a list of tweets from that specific user. You can save the currently-displayed timeline as a search by tapping the Save button in the top-right corner.
Replying provides a simple text entry field with no options for attaching any kind of links or photos. Selecting the retweet option immediately reposts the selected tweet—you are not given any option to edit it before posting or confirm that you want to repost it.
Note that Summizer does not provide any method for posting new tweets, nor for displaying your own timeline, viewing your direct messages, or viewing user profiles; again, it exists simply as a client for searching Twitter. Although Summizer is focused on being fast and easy to use, it’s important to consider that many of the other Twitter clients that we’ve looked at provide similar or better search functionality combined with a wide selection of other features. Summizer’s single-purpose approach may be of some mild interest to users who are primarily focused on researching Twitter, but ultimately we’re not sure that we see the point, particularly in the case of the $3 Pro version; there are more fully featured clients with better search functionality. iLounge Rating (Summizer Free): C. iLounge Rating (Summmizer Pro): D.
Twitter Trend is a free ad-supported app that is similar to Summizer in that it is primarily designed to search Twitter. However, instead of providing general search capabilities, it is entirely focused on following trends on Twitter. The application itself is divided into three screens that organize Twitter trends by categories of Hot, Rising and Emerging, based on the number of posts which reference each topic.
Twitter Trend’s “More” button provides additional information on what these categories are indicative of, as well as providing the ability to set up a Twitter Trend account to provide more personalized information such as tracking trends among your Twitter friends and being notified of new trends via SMS or e-mail. The personalized Twitter Trends account is a beta service, and requesting an account simply opens a web form built in Google Spreadsheets where you can apply to be considered for a Twitter Trend account when the service is launched.
Twitter Trend is an interesting app for following what is going on in the Twitterverse, and may be worth downloading for those who are curious about such things, but it is a particularly specialized app that will likely not be of interest for most Twitter users. iLounge Rating: C.
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