8-on-8: Tweetium – A Twitter App Review for Windows 8.1 on 8″ Tablets
“B-side Software Saves Windows 8!”
It could be the title of my review. OK, it might be over-exaggerating just a bit. How about “B-side Software Saves The Modern UI!” Can we settle on that? Twitter is my most used service, and the app that links me to that service is of the utmost importance. I do NOT want to use the browser for anything unless I have to. Coming to the Windows mobile platform after years on iOS, I learned to rely on applications. I’m not going to change my ways just because few developers are committed to making best in class applications for the Modern UI. Luckily, everyday I am finding better and better apps. Remember folks, it is quality and not quantity that matters. I don’t need a plethora of Twitter apps to choose from, I just need a great one. Thanks to B-side software, we now have Tweetium for Windows 8.1 (x86, x64 and ARM).
Modern flow layout combines the best of information density and rich media.
Flexible design adjusts to portrait, snap, and all manor of window sizes.
Smart streaming-based feed with robust connectivity and suspend/resume handling. No more manual refreshing!
Post new tweets with fast username auto-complete.
Photo upload support – including pasting image data and files directly into the tweet composer!
View lists you’ve created and subscribed to, and pin favorites to the navigation bar for easy access.
Search for users and tweets.
Rich embedding of several third-party media types.
Powerful conversation and DM support with a rich, streaming-based conversation view.
Multi-window support – Open multiple full instances, or break out specific tabs.
Over a dozen color schemes, choose your favorite!
Automatic roaming of color scheme, pinned lists, and read states.
Share tweets via the share charm, and links via the context menu.
All tabs can now be unpinned and repined, and rearranged using the context menu.
Much more to come very soon!
Usage & Experience
I have been using Tweetium since it has been in beta. Now I am rocking Tweetium 1.1.1 which can be found on the Windows Store here. It is constantly improving, thanks to the caring and responsive developer. Features have literally appeared days after asking if they would come to the app. They also take suggestions from the user community via UserVoice here.
I have been using Tweetium, first on the Lenovo Miix 2 8, and now on my trusty Toshiba Encore 8. Tweetium is perfect for 8-inch devices. Everything is within thumbs reach. The top of the app has “tabs” starting with a New Tweet pop down. Fast, simple, and efficient with auto @ name population based on your followers. Photos can be added from your devices’ camera or photo library (stored locally or in SkyDrive, of course). Next up is the Timeline. Tweets flow in automatically, with no need to sync. Tweets are displayed beautifully, with photos presented inline. Tapping a tweet expands it, allowing you to see a larger photo inline, along with replys below it. Pinch-to-zoom works here nicely. Tapping a link will launch IE snapped next to Tweetium. Perfection.
The UI is what lends that perfection. Scrolling really is like butter. Performance trounces that of the official Twitter client. Under preferences, you can pick from a dozen or so themes. From white, to blue and black, there is something for all tastes. I keep it simple with “Titanium black” and I use the Larger font size option. There is also a setting to bypass “t.co” links. The theme and font sizing selections carry over between all the tabs. Depending on your device’s orientation and snapped sizing, the tabs will be displayed as either full words or icons. It all just works seamlessly and looks great while doing so. A search box is ever present, except for in the smallest of snapped views.
Connect shows all the users’ mentions. News is a surprisingly handy tab. Based on the developers’ app, Newseen, it filters your Twitter timeline and displays only “news” items. It is a great way to catch up on breaking news of the day quickly, especially if Twitter is your news source, as it is mine. Message is home to your Direct Messages and finally the Me tab displays your profile and tweets. From here, you also have access to view your favorites. No complaints, no issues from this user on his device.
The application is not necessarily a perfect fit for everyone. Notifications are missing, and some of us have asked for Tweet Marker support. Tweetium can share, but it is not yet a share target. Other missing items will be added in the next release, like allowing URLs to be clicked on without expanding the tweet and cover images appearing in profile views. This is the only Twitter app I have installed, and the only one I will consider using for Windows 8.1, period. The app is so good, it makes using my Toshiba Encore 8 an ever better experience than it already is. Tablets are all about the apps. You might be happy using the browser on a desktop/laptop form factor running Windows 8.1. However, when holding the device in your hands, your thumbs want easy tap targets and responsive scrolling. Tweetium is all that and much more.
Apps like Tweetium are going to make Windows 8.1 and the Modern UI a success in the long term. Whether you are new to the Modern UI, or have been loving it for over a year, drop the $2.99 without a second thought on Tweetium. You won’t be sorry, especially with nearly every missing feature being added or at least considered for future builds.
- Developer website: http://tweetiumapp.com/
- Support website: http://tweetiumapp.com/support
- Find them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TweetiumWindows