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Tweet in style on your BlackBerry

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SEAN BACHER gives Research in Motion’s own Twitter client a go on his BlackBerry Storm 2 and is rather impressed. He does however believe that there is still some room for improvement.
One of the first things I do when I wake up is log into Twitter and catch up on what is happening in the world. I personally believe that the news you pick up on Twitter is the latest and in some cases more to the point. Therefore, it is important that your Tweeting experience be a pleasurable and informative one. This is based on two points: Who you follow on Twitter and what Twitter client you are using on your phone.

Now, the former I cannot really comment about, after all Twitter is open to all sorts and who you choose to follow and who you don’t is completely up to you. But it is on the latter point that I would like to discuss in more depth.

There are a few BlackBerry Twitter clients available from the App World. Names such as Seesmic for Twitter, UberTwitter and Twitter for BlackBerry are just some that come to mind, mainly because I have at some point in my life used all of the above. I have however found the perfect Blackberry Twitter application. It is easy to use, reliable and, in my experience the most intuitive of the three. I am talking about Twitter for BlackBerry.

When I first downloaded the app from the App World, I thought to myself: ‘This has to be one of the best. After all, it was developed by BlackBerry especially for their phones.’ And boy was I right.

The layout is plain and simple – no fancy icons to slow you down and no special features that you will never use plastered all over the show . When you start the client up, the tweets you see are displayed in a chronological order from newest to oldest – not the other way around which I find rather infuriating. At the top of your screen you will find no more than eight icons which let you conduct searches on tweets, people and popular trends. This menu is no more than a watered down rehash of what is available should you push the BlackBerry menu button – basically giving you quick access to the most common functions used in any Twitter client.

Furthermore, Twitter for BlackBerry displays thumbnails of photos that have been posted below peoples’ tweets. Should you want to view the photo, just click it and it displays it in the Twitter client – no more waiting for Internet browsers to open just to display one photo. If however you click on an external link – expect your browser to open. No option there.

In addition to this, the Twitter for BlackBerry application is fully integrated throughout the phone. This means that should you receive an MMS, you can click on the share button and post the photo straight to Twitter. Furthermore, once you have taken a photo, the option to share it is immediately available. You don’t even have to save it to your phone before hand.

Info you need quickly
Should you click on a recent tweet, it will open in a new window – giving you quick info such as the number of tweets the person who you have just clicked on has sent, his number of followers and the number of people he is following. Furthermore, once in the window, you have four icons that let you reply, reply to all, add to your favourites and re-tweet.

With all this in mind though, Twitter for BlackBerry does have one or two draw-backs. Firstly, you have to watch very carefully when scrolling through recent tweets to see if there are any direct messages to you. Yes, you can click the Direct Messages option at the top of the screen. But how often do you really do that? Besides this, any mentions of you are merely signalled by a little @ indicator at the top right hand corner of the tweet. I am sure BlackBerry can do something to make these more prominent and knowing BlackBerry, I am sure they will in the next release.

In closing
If you are a BlackBerry fan and enjoy using Twitter, do yourself a favour and give it a try. After all what have you got to lose? It’s free and if you don’t like it you can always delete it and carry on with your previous client.

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