A review of Tweetbot 4
Posted October 10, 2015on:
Tech blogs seemed to go ga-ga over the latest iteration of Tweetbot, a well-established alternative to Twitter’s default mobile app.
I was less impressed given how it seems targetted at the power user and is a paid app (SGD6 for a limited period). But I concede that it does what few other Twitter apps do.
- No group private DMs: Tweetbot supports direct messages from individuals but not groups. I cannot form private groups or receive group DMs. I have to rely on the Twitter mobile app or TweetDeck on a desktop.
- No scheduling of posts:I cannot prepare tweets in advance for posting on a schedule. I need to use Hootsuite on mobile or TweetDeck on a desktop.
- No blocking, only muting: I cannot seem to find a way to block users in Tweetbot. I get lots of users sending messages to the wrong @ashley and this makes it hard for me to focus on who and what matters. I end up using the Twitter app (tap and hold) and TweetDeck (click the “…” area) to block them.
- Mentions and Activity are separate: Twitter and TweetDeck collate all mentions of my user handle under Notifications. Tweetbot separates these messages to a Mentions space and an Activity subspace under the Stats space. Viewing replies or mentions should take one tap or click; it takes several in Tweetbot.
As a result of these shortcomings, I still need to have Twitter and Hootsuite on my mobile devices.
- No ads: Promoted (paid) tweets do not seem to appear in my Tweetbot timeline. This makes for more focused reading of my carefully curated follows.
- Synced sessions: This might be worth the cost of the app alone. I can start reading my timeline tweets on my iPhone and scroll back to tweets, say, three hours ago. Later I can pick up my iPad and resume from that point instead of trying to remember where I was. I process more relevant tweets that way.
- Uses Safari View Controller: This is another feature that makes the app worthwhile. When you click on a link, Tweetbot launches an in-app lite version of Safari that supports content and ad blockers. I get faster, more private, and ad-free reading.
I have made Tweetbot my default Twitter tool for now based on the latter two strengths. I am constantly reminded and irritated by its weak features, but they are not deal breakers.
I wish the app had a try-before-you-buy option. In the absence of this feature, I share some thoughts so that this might help others make decisions on whether to buy the app or not.