There is absolutely no shortage of Twitter apps available for the iPhone. But in my mind (and the minds of many others) one stands above all the rest: Tweetie. And while the app has undergone several small tweaks since it was first released last year, a big time revamp is about to hit: Tweetie 2.
We’ve been testing out of the app for a few weeks now, and I’m happy to report that it’s the Tweetie you know and love, but better.
Maybe you’ve seen some tweets from users in recent weeks labeled as coming from “Bigbird”? Yeah, that’s Tweetie 2.0. Some may recall that this was also the code name for Tweetie for the Mac right before it launched. The reason for the nickname is that Tweetie 2 is built on top of the Project Bigbird core, which Atebits developer Loren Brichter first developed for Tweetie for Mac. This means an iPhone Tweetie that is “faster, slimmer, and much more powerful,” as Brichter puts it.
So what’s new? A lot. Here are the big ones.
Persistence — Tweetie now remembers the last thing you were browsing when you closed the app. This means if you were on a user’s Twitter profile, you will go back there when you open the app again.
New message indicators — When you have a new @reply or direct message, you will now see a glowing blue light below those sections to let you know.
Scroll up to reload — Rather than having a separate reload button, to reload your main tweet stream, you simply now scroll up, hold for a second, and Tweetie will check for new tweets.
Live-filtering search — At the top of your tweet stream is a Search Timeline option from which you can search your stream. The best part about this is that it filters as you type. Very sexy. You can also search your mentions this way.
New tweet options — Bringing up the tweet box (the area where you write your tweets) if faster than ever. But there are also a range of new options if you hit the 140 character counter. You can now easily geotag tweets (presumably this will work with the Twitter Geolocation API when it goes live, but for now it inserts a Google Map link), search for hashtags to include, and even search the people you follow to find someone to @ reply to (this is very nice).
Draft manager — If you’re the kind of person who writes tweets to send at a later time, Tweetie 2 has a draft manager where you can save multiple drafts of tweets.
New tweet stream options — One of the nice features about Tweetie from the get go was that swiping a tweet to the right brought up a range of options for things you could do with that tweet. Tweetie 2 o offers even more of these including new ways to retweet, quote tweets, post a link to a tweet, mail tweets, and translate tweets. If there is a link in the tweet, you also have a bunch of options.
Notifications — Yes, you can now get Push Notifications for specific users’ tweets on your device. [Update: My bad, these are not Push Notifications, but rather a way to toggle on and off the SMS notifications that Twitter sends.]
Create iPhone contacts from Twitter profiles — Pretty self-explanatory, pretty awesome.
Saved searches — The searches you save on Twitter.com are now synced with Tweetie.
Landscape — The whole app now works in Landscape mode. Or you can disable that.
More threaded conversations — One of the really nice UI elements of Tweetie for Mac is that is allows you to easily see a threaded conversation view between people. You can now do this on Tweetie 2 as well simply by clicking on who a tweet is in reply to.
Video support — If you have an iPhone 3GS (Tweetie 2 requires iPhone 3.0 or above, but will work on older iPhones that that OS) you can also easily upload videos to Twitter via services such as yFrog.
So those are a lot of the big changes, but there are many more subtle ones as well. The main takeaway is that if you’re addicted to Tweetie 1, there isn’t anything in Tweetie 2 that you won’t like, and several things that are greatly improved. It’s simply a must-download.
So when will it be available? Brichter plans to submit to the App Store at some point this week, so you can look for it sometime in the next couple of weeks depending on the approval process. The app will be $2.99, just like the first version was. Sadly, this will not be a free upgrade for existing Tweetie for iPhone users, as Britcher considers this to be (and has made it) a completely new app. Still, it’s easily worth the price.
One more thing
Brichter has also revealed that he is working on Tweetie 2 for Mac, and that it should be available shortly. He doesn’t give away too many details, but there are features such as syncing between the iPhone and Mac version. That will be a free upgrade if you already have a license for Tweetie for the Mac.