As one of the few BlackBerry users at TechCrunch, I’ve been insanely jealous of my colleagues as they test and use the plethora of nifty apps for iPhone and Android. So when RIM announced that it would be launching a native Twitter app for the mobile device, I was ecstatic. I was expecting Tweetie for the BlackBerry. This morning, I started testing out the beta version of the app, and here are my initial thoughts.
Similar to Seesmic or UberTwitter’s BlackBerry apps, RIM’s app features a timeline of your Tweets, and separate streams for you @mentions, direct messages and trending topics. You can also see your user profile and search topics and people. You can see lists of your Tweets, followers, and those who are following you. And the app features integration bit.ly to shorten URLs.
The interface is mediocre; but it’s tough to make anything as pretty as an iPhone or Android app on the BlackBerry. My biggest complaint is that the app is slow. Really slow. Slower than the Seesmic Blackberry app that I currently use to Tweet from my mobile device.
The app is missing lists and geolocation, which RIM plans to add in the future. The next versions will also include profile editing and multi-account login. But I’m confused as to where all of these features will be placed within the app considering that the interface is fairly crowded at the moment.
As I wrote above, these are my initial thoughts and I’ll continue to play around with the app to see if it has any additional compelling functionality. That being said, the app is still in beta, so hopefully RIM will fix some of the bugs and clean the design up a bit to make the app easier to user with the added features.