The Iconfactory, the company that began as a graphic design studio focused on icon design and has since branched out to iOS app development, has released a major update to its Twitter client for the iPhone and iPad, Twitterrific.
Twitterrific 5 debuted in the App Store tonight and it’s a radical departure in look and feel from its predecessors. The Iconfactory says that it’s been completely rewritten from the ground up and it does indeed feel like a totally new app. Twitterrific 5 keeps the core functions you’d expect from any competent Twitter app, allowing you to view your timeline, search for other users or trending topics, post new tweets with images or videos attached, and so on.
Beyond this, Twitterrific 5 offers a gorgeous interface and font and customization options that should please most users who want to change things up a bit.
To highlight the changes, here are screenshots from Twitterrific 4 (left) compared to Twitterrific 5 (right):
Twitterrific 5 feels much more modern and reminds me of Microsoft’s Metro design language, particularly when the Dark theme is active. It really is lovely, with excellent font choices that are all crisp and pleasing to the eye on the iPhone 5′s retina display. And if you’ve forgotten your reading glasses or need a larger font to catch up on your Twitter timeline as you burn off those extra holiday calories on an elliptical machine, Twitterrific 5 gives you nine (!) font sizes to choose from, ranging from way-too-tiny-even-for-my-20/20-eyes all the way to enormous.
Also new to Twitterrific 5 is cross-device synchronization so that you can keep track of your reading position in your timeline on multiple devices automatically. You can enable this using Apple’s iCloud service or through Tweet Marker, a 3rd-party service that The Iconfactory added to the Mac version of Twitterrific last year.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, which means a video should be worth a whole lot more, feast your eyes on this video of Twitterrific 5 in action that I recorded on my iPhone 5:
I’ve been using Twitterrifc 5 as my main Twitter client on my iPhone 5 and iPad mini for several days now and I’ve both loved it and had moments of frustration with it. I love the interface. It’s really, really pretty. And I like the light and dark themes and the automatic switching. But Twitterrific 5 fell down for me in a few places.
First, it doesn’t load nearly enough tweets when I’ve gone several hours without checking Twitter. You can force it to load additional tweets by tapping on the ellipsis symbol that appears in the break between recently loaded tweets and older ones. But this only goes so far and I find that I’m missing tweets that would load without prompting in my regular client of choice, Tweetbot.
This limit on the tweets loaded may be a performance-driven decision, or a philosophical one driven by The Iconfactory’s view of Twitter as a real-time social network rather than one where you should be going backward in time to view older tweets. Regardless, I’d love to have at least the option to load more older tweets before I could use Twitterrific as my primary Twitter client.
Second, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidentally scrolled to the top of my timeline when I was just trying to switch accounts, create a new tweet, or do anything involving any of the buttons at the top. The tap target areas for these virtual buttons are too small and it’s way too easy execute the scroll-to-top shortcut.
There were a few smaller issues here and there. For example, I’d selected the automatic theme switching between Dark and Light at 7:00 pm and 7:00 am but this switch didn’t always happen and I’d had to manually make the change from time to time. Also, Twitterrific 5 lacks some “pro” features like push notifications, the ability to mute other users, the option to create and edit your Twitter lists, or the ability to save multiple draft tweets (though it does offer offline posting, favoring, and following support).
All that aside, Twitterrific is drop-dead gorgeous and lovely to use. The gestures and customization options are great and it makes Twitter feel vibrant. This will be enough for many and you can’t go wrong with Twitterrific if you’re a Twitter user looking for a beautifully-designed Twitter app that can change its looks to suit your needs and take care of Twitter basics in style.
Twitterrific 5 is available now in the App Store for a special introductory price of $2.99, so snag it now before it goes up.