I’m used to having a huge choice of Twitter stuff for the iPhone, some might say too much choice, whilst on the Hero I used and liked TwitDroid. Despite my initial reservations about Twitter, the whole concept still seems a bit naff but oddly addictive, it is now one of those must have apps for me on any new device. Prior to my impulse Pre purchase I hadn’t even bothered checking to see whether there was a Twitter client available but I suspected, given its burgeoning popularity, that it would be a formality. As it transpires, there are three currently available….Tweed, Spaz and Twee.
Spaz is currently free and is okay but has a garish UI, a dark background with a white font (for read posts which is tolerable) and a yellowish font for unread posts plus violet links that sort of glow and fizz at you in an eye-strain inducing fashion. Well, it hurts my eyes anyway. It has all the usual Twitter stuff and is quick to load plus tapping the top bar zooms you back to the most recent Twit, iPhone style. I actually liked it but with no option to change the theme I had to let it go….sob.
Spaz has a good search facility built in that is easy to use and is “Location” aware too. I think I actually prefer Spaz over Tweed and Twee but darn it, that UI hurts my eyes. A pity as it also provides the option to change the font size which I like.
Next up was Tweed.
To be honest, there is not a huge amount of difference between it and Spaz except the theme is a much more sombre (and readable) light one. In the free/demo version I am using there is also a font size option, the links are not highlighted and thus at first it is hard to work out where to tap to follow them and there is no Theme option either. Often, tapping a post trying to activate the link proved fruitless with no feedback offered by the app. It does provide notifications though which show up (unsurprisingly) in the notification menu at the bottom of the screen. I’m not sure Spaz offers the same, I can’t see the option under preferences anyway. Tapping the Tweed icon at the top left of the screen provides the option to scroll to bottom or top but is an extra screen tap over Spaz to accomplish this. Other features include stuff you would take for granted on other platforms…..direct messages…trending….”My tweets”….favourites but I can’t see a search option. There is a “search all tweets” at the top of the screen but it doesn’t appear to do much for me. Like Spaz it provides location based services/tweet stuff.
On to Twee now. I tried the Twee Lite version from the Homebrew catalogue but its features are limited, no notifications unless you have the full version. I am at present unable to locate the full version anywhere so can’t report back on that. The layout reminds me more of your typical iPhone Twitter app with most navigation options in a strip along the bottom. Oddly, Spaz and Tweed offer only a small selection of options in this manner and I prefer the quicker access that Twee’s system affords. Man, the font on this thing is tiny and with no Lite version option to change it I was struggling to read it. Twee also go for the dark background and white font but adds in a rather bright blue surround that I also find a bit garish. The overall features are similar to the other two with a quick Search facility being noteworthy.
Ideally, I’d combine Tweeds look and notifications with the navigation and search facility of Twee plus Spaz’s tap to scroll to top and better scrolling ability. In the meantime, I shall probably continue using Tweed though, mostly because it is the most readble UI of my ageing eyes but if Spaz were to offer a lighter theme I’d probably move to it.