If you’re a user of Twitter and an owner of a Windows Phone, you may argue as to whether you actually need a Twitter client since the native integration into the phone’s OS is so good. If you’re not familiar with that integration it basically works like this… you can bring your Twitter (and Facebook, Windows Live, and LinkedIn) contacts into the people hub and get an aggregated view of updates from those people and responses to you. It’s easy to see when people have replied to me or mentioned me, and you can make groups of people (e.g. family, colleagues), pin the groups to the start screen, and thus get a snapshot of the updates coming from just those people.
However, if you’re more than a casual user of Twitter, or use features such as lists, filters and trends, then you may want a dedicated Twitter client. And if you’re a Windows Phone owner the good news is that there’s plenty to choose from. Here’s a brief look at some of the clients available.
Click on the app icons to see a screenshot.
Twitter (free) – the ‘official’ Twitter app offers a good level of features, a tidy uncluttered user interface, easy access to lists (and the ability to create new lists and add people to them), a choice of photo service, viewing of trends, and the ability to choose a theme (light or dark) and font size. However, there are some missing features – if you look at a mention or direct message you can’t see the conversation, and there’s no support for a ‘live tile’ (an indicator on the start screen showing the number of unread mentions or messages).
Birdsong (£0.79) – apart from a choice of theme and viewing of trends, this app offers all of the features of the Twitter app, but also includes the ability to configure the panorama interface by adding your choice of lists. It also allows you to see the conversation of any mention or message. Birdsong supposedly supports a live tile (it’s in the settings) but it’s never worked for me. Nevertheless, a very good app.
Rowi (£2.29 or a free ad-supported version) – seems to have everything apart from a choice of theme. There’s a couple of nice touches… you can see thumbnails of tweeted pictures (click on them and they open) and clicking on a tweet or message brings up a floating menu of options.
Carbon (£1.49) – again, appears to have it all, plus a filters feature to mute people or hashtags, and a view which can be switched to show lists or retweets. The only problem I have with Carbon is that it doesn’t always respond to a press of the finger. But it’s a favourite with many people and I can see why.
gleek! (£1.49) – not only wins the award for the strangest name, but is also my favourite client. It’s somewhat different as it starts with an options page – new tweet, search, messages, trends, friends & faves, lists, each configured account, and gleeks (tweets from the gleek! account). You can however change this option and open the app straight into the timeline, mentions or retweets. There’s also an option to show ‘peeks’, which are random tweets. But what I really like about gleek! is the ability to pin different things to the start screen (my account, lists, trends, individual people, even direct access to a new tweet) and, new in version 1.5, the ability to colour-code friends to get more immediate visibility of them in the timeline.
Like many of the other Twitter clients you can change the font size in gleek! – it offers small for ‘Eagle Eyes’, normal for ‘Normal People’ and large for ‘Old Geezers’. It also allows the display of media ‘inline’, an option that can be turned off to preserve reading space and bandwidth.
I’ve added some extra gleek! screenshots here (click on the small images to see the larger versions)… above is a selection of live tiles (although I caught them at a time where there were no new updates), and to the right the colour-coding screen showing some of the accounts I’ve colour-coded. The timeline image above shows Camberley People colour-coded in pink, one of the nine colours to choose from.
It’s only fair to mention that other Twitter clients are available, such as moTweets, Seesmic, Beezz (nice but hasn’t been updated for a year), TweetCaster, Mehdoh (very popular but development has stopped), and Peregrine. And possibly some others.
Windows 8.1 ships
Thu, Oct 17th 2013 2:10p Darren Adams For Microsoft employees such as me, Windows 8.1 has arrived in three stages. The first was a preview, which the rest of the planet also had access to. This was covered here. Then came RTM (release to manufacturing), the stage at which it’s almost baked and is ready enough to give to ISVs and manufacturers so that they can work with code that’s representative of the final shipping product. The rest of the planet did not get access to RTM code, and we were given a direction to not wide [read] Keywords: blogging
Instagram apps for Windows Phone
Sun, Sep 15th 2013 11:10a Darren Adams Apps are an important consideration when choosing a phone. I’ve had a number of discussions about ‘missing apps’ for Windows Phone, and in the past one of them was Instagram. True to say that there’s still no official Instagram app for Windows Phone, but there are now a number of unofficial apps available. As I’m also the owner of iOS and Android devices I’m able to say that the Windows Phone apps stack up well in terms of features, and I’d also question [read] Keywords: facebook
The transfer window of doom
Sun, Aug 18th 2013 6:15a Darren Adams It’s a funny old game, football… if you support Aldershot Town, you could only aspire for your team to reach the dizzying heights of Arsenal’s status, their stadium, their squad and their past achievements. Or maybe you’re happy with not expecting too much, and therefore never being too disappointed. Maybe also you’re happy paying £19 for a match-day ticket, rather than £60 or probably more. If you support Arsenal, as I have done for more than thirty years, your e [read] Keywords: facebook
Bing apps for Windows Phone
Wed, Aug 14th 2013 3:14p Darren Adams News-centric apps are great at showing the capabilities of Windows Phone’s live tiles, so I was glad to see Microsoft release four new Bing apps last week… Bing News, Bing Sport, Bing Weather and Bing Finance. They’re a bit like baby brothers of the equivalent Bing apps for Windows 8′s modern UI.
Click on the small images in this post to see the larger versions.
Bing News, as its names suggest, is a news-based app pulling stories from several sources (such as Sky News, Gi [read] Keywords: facebook
Introducing Ruby Adams
Sun, Aug 4th 2013 5:21p Darren Adams For a few months the discussion about getting a second dog had intensified, and while we were on holiday it reached the point of deciding on a breed and a name. When I say “breed” I don’t mean that we were expecting to get a pedigree dog as it would undoubtedly be something small and with a non-moulting coat… probably a poodle cross like our Yorkipoo Missie.
Upon returning from holiday it seemed a good idea to get the puppy into our lives as soon as possible – that [read] Keywords: facebook
A totally moronic idea
Wed, Jul 31st 2013 5:13p Darren Adams I saw this news story while we were away on holiday, and out of all the news stories from the two weeks this was the one I had to comment on. The idea which I deem to be moronic is this… let drivers park on double-yellow lines for 15 minutes in order to boost local trade.
There is good intent behind the idea – ‘local’ shops and the traditional British high street trade are struggling under the weight of competition from retail parks and megastores. So it stands to reason [read] Keywords: facebook
Windows 8.1 preview, complete with start button
Sat, Jun 29th 2013 6:17p Darren Adams Earlier this week I become embroiled in a slightly heated Facebook discussion – it was sparked by me posting about installing the Windows 8 preview and stating that “it has a start button for those who require it”. By this I implied that I don’t need it and personally didn’t think the return of the start button was necessary. Why? Because most computers that aren’t Apple Macs have a Windows key which invokes the Windows 8 start screen, and the re-instated star [read] Keywords: apple
Helpful apps in Outlook 2013 – part 2
Fri, Jun 21st 2013 3:18p Darren Adams Back in November last year I posted about helpful apps in Outlook 2013 – apps which analysed the contents of e-mails and then suggested actions or provided information. Last week I was moved onto Office 365 for e-mail – I now have a 25 GB mail box, and some more of those helpful apps have appeared. A couple of them are Microsoft-internal, but are a good example of what can be added.
Action Items was discussed in the previous post – it looks for things that may be actions and a [read] Keywords: facebook