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.
Tue, Aug 26th 2014 2:11p Darren Adams The print-out of my family tree has been rather lop-sided since I started tracing my roots. I have recorded sixty-six ancestors of my mother, going back seven generations and to the early 1700s (the oldest is my great x6 grandfather Richard Arman, born in 1718). I started the research in 2008, and as anyone who has carried out family history research will know you can get a lot of information quite quickly and then it slows down as the clues and evidence become more difficult to access. So on my [read] Keywords:
Three years at Microsoft
Sat, Jun 28th 2014 9:11a Darren Adams I had a very busy day yesterday and didn’t notice that it was my third anniversary of joining Microsoft. Looking back those three years have flown past – I remember the job interviews and my IBM exit interview as if they were yesterday. At my exit interview I had to hastily change my main account password because I was going to have to divulge it to my then-manager, and I suddenly realised it was rather unsuitable.
A few times during those three years people have asked me whether I i [read] Keywords: collaboration
Apps for Excel 2013
Wed, Jun 25th 2014 4:11p Darren Adams Office 2013 has the ability to provide in-application apps to users, and Excel is the most bountiful place to find and use these useful additions. Here’s a pick of some of the best.
Random Generator by AbleBits – as the name suggests, this app inserts random numbers, which is really useful when creating some fake data for a demo (particularly if it’s a business intelligence demo which often requires a LOT of data). But I hear you ask, isn’t it easier just to use the =RAND [read] Keywords: application
Power BI for Office 365
Wed, Jun 4th 2014 7:10a Darren Adams In two recent posts I discussed the Power BI app for Windows 8.1 and Power Query for Excel 2013. Continuing with this business intelligence (BI) theme, let’s take a look at Power BI for Office 365 (and to make it less of a mouthful, I’m just going to refer to it as Power BI).
The post about the Power BI app described the way that Excel files may have ‘presentable’ BI content, and the same applies here. If you create an Excel spreadsheet containing a Power View dashboard ( [read] Keywords: database
Windows Phone 8.1
Tue, Apr 22nd 2014 7:10a Darren Adams This latest update to Windows Phone is not generally available yet, so most users will need to wait until their networks push out the update. If you’re interested in grabbing it now, you can do so via the Windows Phone developer program.
Despite the 0.1 version increment, this is a HUGE update. What follows is a list of new features and improvements, but I’ll probably miss some because there’s so much. Click on the small images to see the full version.
The start screen
Probably [read] Keywords: microsoft
All aboard the Camberley Express
Fri, Feb 28th 2014 2:11p Darren Adams Sitting on the train to Farnborough this evening I felt compelled to put fingers to keyboard while I was ‘in the mood’ for it. “Farnborough?” you may ask… but I live in Camberley. Okay, this is what it’s all about.
I live ten minutes’ walk from Camberley station. This factor forms part of the pros and cons equation. The train service to and from Camberley is not the best on the South West Trains network. There are three direct trains from Camberley to Waterloo in the morning, and t [read] Keywords: facebook
Power BI app for Windows 8.1
Thu, Feb 27th 2014 4:11p Darren Adams In late December I blogged about the Power Query add-in for Excel 2013, and mentioned that Excel is an important part of Microsoft’s strategy for Business Intelligence. BI in general is very much a hot topic in customer conversations. Power BI for Office 365 recently became available, and I’ll cover that in detail another time, but now we’re going to take a look at the Power BI app for Windows 8.1.
As I mentioned before, Excel’s Power tools take care of the various stages of BI, and Powe [read] Keywords: facebook
Microsoft Project Siena
Wed, Feb 19th 2014 5:12p Darren Adams Most Windows 8 (or 8.1) users would look at the apps on their start screen and assume that they couldn’t build one themselves. Many people would be wrong, as Microsoft’s Project Siena app sets out to help those people who’d like to build an app but have almost no development skills. If you understand the data you might be working with, that’s an advantage, as is a good knowledge of Excel function syntax. So what is Project Siena?
Project Siena is itself a Windows 8.1 app [read] Keywords: development
Super Calendar for Windows Phone
Tue, Feb 18th 2014 7:10a Darren Adams Ever since the days of the Palm devices, developers have been coming up with better versions of the applications (‘apps’, as we call them these days) which are native to the devices. Many moons ago I remember acquiring a calendar app that was better than the one supplied with the Palm OS. Times have not changed. The native calendar app on Windows Phone is fine, it does all that it should… or does it? A quick search in the Windows Phone app store reveals many alternatives. IR [read] Keywords: applications
Selling a car privately
Fri, Jan 3rd 2014 10:12a Darren Adams Almost twenty years ago I achieved something that was to lift a great burden from my shoulders – I became eligible for a company car. Since then the government have done everything in their power to make opting for a company car a less attractive proposition – if they could ensure that electing to take a company car would result in an eternity in Hell I think they would – but there’s one big thing that keeps me browsing the range of permitted company vehicles time after t [read] Keywords: facebook