A couple of weeks ago TweetDeck the famed desktop tweet application joined the mobile apps market and I've been testing it ever since. Here is how it stands up against TwitterFon, my previously preferred app.
1. TweetDeck allows you to manage multiple personalities. Yep, that's right if you have more than one twitter profile (like me, follow @uberbusy and here @martinbeauchamp) then you can tweet on the fly without logging in and out of apps. What a time saver!
2. On loading the apps, TweetDeck goes a little crazy and throws out so much information it is confusing, especially if you have a few different accounts running (you can turn some of this information off in setting). TwitterFon is more simplistic in its behaviour, mainly because mutiple accounts is not supported but at least you don't feel overwhelmed.
3. Use of colour, seriously this is important distinction between the two apps. TweetDeck uses sleek but indistinct shades of gray to communicate information. TwitterFon is far more obvious with its choice of palette. Giving a nice visual display of unread vs read tweets, it took me at least a week to see that TweetDeck does change the colour of read tweets, something that needs improving. TwitterFon wins on usability!
4. New updates, apart from colour, both apps deal with things differently here. TwitterFon lets you read from where you left off. TweetDeck starts you at the latest information first. I much prefer TwitterFon's ways here. I don't feel like I am potentially missing out on something important.
5. This only applies to TweetDeck. Syncing (columns) between your desktop and iPhone version. All very cool, as it cuts down setup time plus makes great use of desktop TweetDeck. Where columns are so important in organising and grouping information. Wow! this knocks off point 4 of must haves in my 6 features post. (edit: One minor point here, if you setup an account for syncing, don't bother if you have special characters in your email you registered to TweetDeck on, because it won't like it - thanks to @digitalandy and our very own @CalvinRobinson for pointing this out - I still ask why people have hyphens in their emails, sooo 90's ) . TweetDeck wins on functionality!
6. Ever wanted to email a Tweet? Yes! Well you'll love TweetDeck. What a great addition!
7. Internal browsers, well neither are particularly good, neither are they particularly bad. However, TwitterFon does allow you to launch Safari, which I often use. Simple functionality that TweetDeck definitely needs.
8. TweetDeck crashes on me all the time. Mainly when I want to add a user to a group. I'm sure it is a bug, but it is uber annoying.
9. In TweetDeck once you write a post you are committed. You can't cancel and come back to a half written one like on TwitterFon. This is a frustrating if you want to quickly check what someone has written before you respond.
10. @ anyone! TwitterFon makes sending message @ someone a simple as pie. They have a directory of people you follow in every new tweet, making it easy for you to just find that persons name a tweet them. No such luck on TweetDeck, you have to be some kind memory man. Bet loads of tweets have gone lost by misspelling.
11. Quick delete a half written tweet. TwitterFon has the trash icon and a simple touch allows you to start again. TweekDeck forces you to use the back button, so time consuming!
12. Want a free app without adverts. TweetDeck is the app for you. I'm almost sure if they put ads in on TweetDeck I'd even pay a small amount not to see them.
Edit: 13. TweetDeck doesn't allow you to click search hash tags?! You tweeters will know how important this is.
After two weeks of playing around with TweekDeck, I must say that it is impressive and has a tonne of new features that others clearly don't have. However it is not the clear cut winner in the mobile twitter apps market. TwitterFon can still hold its own in for its shear simplicity of design and a couple of important features such as 9, 10 and 11. My verdict if you have mulitple personalities and are a die hard tweeter and haven't tried TweetDeck out then make sure you do! but If you only manage one account and arecasually following the few then I'd stick to TwitterFon.
6 Reason TwitterFon is better than Twitterific
6 Features an Twitter App should have