If you are a fan of Twitter, there are certainly no shortage of applications for the iPhone that allow for a great Twitter experience while on the go. One of the best selling Twitter apps has been Atebits’ Tweetie for iPhone. In addition to being among the best sellers, the app also won the coveted Apple Design Award in 2009. The follow-up, Tweetie 2, is currently in the App Store review process and builds upon an already impressive app.
Mac users are likely familiar with Tweetie for Mac, a terrific desktop Twitter client. Tweetie 2 for iPhone utilizes the same code base as what Atebits calls “Bigbird”. The result being a faster, slimmer and more powerful app. Rather than add simply adding new features, the developer did a complete re-write of Tweetie. You’ll notice a host of new features, but they are built using an all new Bigbird core that as the developer puts it, “ is meant to last”.
If you are familiar with the first release, the following are new features added in version 2:
- There is full persistence – not just caching tweets for offline reading, but remembering where you are in the app.
- You could be viewing a conversation of a tweet of a recent mention of one of your followers, quit the app (or get a phone call), and when you come back, the entire UI stack is restored.
- Offline mode.
- You can favorite, follow, block, add to Instapaper and more all while offline. Next time you connect, all of those actions will be synced back up.
- There’s a drafts manager, you can even use it to compose tweets and DMs while you’re on the subway, and blast them out simultaneously as soon as you get out. (And if you’re a fan of Birdhouse, you can now send drafts to it from Tweetie).
- You can link up Twitter users to contacts in your iPhone Address Book. Forget just adding notes, you can link up with email addresses, phone numbers, and more – and even better, all of that linkage information is backed up when you sync your phone.
- Threaded conversations are there, just like the Mac version, as are nice tab bar notifications so you can see at a glance if you have new items. “Nearby” has been revamped to take advantage of MapKit (it’s even cooler than you can imagine), and Tweetie 2 already supports the new geotagging metadata coming soon from Twitter.
- Saved searches now sync with Twitter.com and the upcoming Tweetie 2 for Mac. There is deep, native integration with other services, including Favstar.fm, Tweet Blocker, and Follow cost.
- The compose screen design has been completely overhauled, with a @people picker, recent hashtags, multiple attachments manager, and a “peek” gesture when replying to a tweet.
- Plus: full landscape support (configurable, of course), edit your Twitter profile, custom API roots on a per-account basis, vastly improved gesture shortcuts, in-app rich-text email, new-style retweet support, refresh-all on launch, TextExpander, Read it Later integration (in addition to Instapaper), autocomplete recent searches, autocomplete go-to-user, improved avatar caching, inline Twitlonger, reply chain list view, preview short urls, tweet translation, block+follow from multiple accounts at once.
Tweetie 2 is priced at $2.99. Due to the constraints of the App Store, the developer is not able to offer upgrade pricing to owners of Tweetie 1. There has been much debate in the blogosphere on whether the developer should offer this as a free update to existing owners. It appears clear the developer didn’t take the easy path to 2.0 and the result appears to be a vast improvement worthy of the bump to 2.0. Ultimately, owners of version 1 can vote with their wallets.
Based upon initial feedback from the sites offered a pre-release of the beta, it’ll be hard not to recommend Tweetie 2 to those looking for a good, comprehensive Twitter app.