Yesterday evening, at a beachside dinner organized by our investors, True Ventures, I sat at a table full of relatively young entrepreneurs (I’m pretty sure I raised the average age by a few years.) Most of us had iPhones — both old and new — and […]

Yesterday evening, at a beachside dinner organized by our investors, True Ventures, I sat at a table full of relatively young entrepreneurs (I’m pretty sure I raised the average age by a few years.) Most of us had iPhones — both old and new — and most were Twitter users.

So it should come as no surprise that we all had an opinion about Twitterrfic, an iPhone client for Twitter. To sum up everyone’s thoughts in one word: horrific. Scrolling through messages should come naturally; it doesn’t. And the UI manages to leave you feeling about as satisfied as a cup of noodles warmed with hot tap water.

But we won’t have to use it anymore, for Twinkle by Gogo Apps, previously a jailbreak app, has just hit the iTunes Apps Store. Its UI is remarkably intuitive and easy to use. As John Gruber writes, “It’s an interesting contrast with Twitterrific — even ignoring cosmetic differences, the two apps take significantly different UI approaches.” I think that’s an understatement.

The best aspect of the service is the ability to find a person using Twinkler near you using the LBS feature of the iPhone — though currently it doesn’t seems to be working. This could turn Twinkle-Twitter into a social experience, a simpler and easier version of other complicated LBS-based, friend finder applications.

I like how one can quickly look at all direct messages in a separate window. In fact, there are numerous little things that I find appealing about this app. For instance, it takes just two clicks to start following someone on the feed. Sending private messages is easy and looking up profiles is even easier. What I don’t like: Not having the ability to quickly see replies.

My Rating on this iPhone app: 4 out of 5.

  1. Yeah, when I think great UI I always think hot pink, bright aqua blue, stars and speech bubbles. If you and your friends think the “horrific” tag should hang on Twitterrific and not Twinkle, you’re smokin something.

  2. The new name of Gogo Apps is Tapulous, the maker of Tap Tap Revenge :).

  3. Alan Jacobs Friday, July 18, 2008

    I’m also puzzled by these comments, in several ways. Users scroll through messages in Twitterific exactly the same way they scroll through messages in Twinkle, with a flick of the finger. There is literally no difference at all, neither in basic design – new messages at the top, etc. – or (on my iPhone) in performance. The big GUI difference between the two apps, as Frank R said, is in the use of color, and I very much prefer the muted tones of Twitterific. What am I missing? It seems to me that if you’re going to call an app “horrific” you should at least explain what prompts you to use such strong language.

  4. I Twittered-out about 6 months ago. My friends aren’t as exciting as I thought they were and I’m sure that no one cares that I ordered the shrimp scampi.

  5. notgettingit Friday, July 18, 2008

    iTODD is RIGHT!!!!

    who in the world has time to play on twitter, facebook and all of those social communities. i use linkedin to get found by recruiters and find business people to cold call. but i don’t get twittering. anyone who seriously works for a living and doesn’t waste their employers paid for time by being online doesn’t twitter or post facebook responses or any of this BS. it represents the ultimate juvenilization of adulthood. Look at me. Look at me.

  6. @ notgettingit – I agree with you. No one in their right mind and that has a serious day job would have time to twitter and poke and buzz everyone else all the time !

  7. Perhaps more employers (like mine) will jump on the “block all social networking sites” bandwagon. (They also block all the major webmail sites.) I must admit, they ARE a real timesink.

  8. Master William Saturday, July 19, 2008

    I have to agree with Om. The Twitterific UI is horrible.

    Three clicks to reply to a tweet?

    No ability to see previous tweets from a user?

    No quick access to DMs?

    No ability to follow

    No ability to unfollow

  9. That helps, Master W. I didn’t realize that Twinkle allowed following and unfollowing, which is very nice. However, Twinkle’s refusal to allow users to turn off the “Nearby” tweets makes it unworkable for me – I don’t want to follow someone’s life just because he or she lives near me. I suppose I’ll just have to wait for Twiterrific improvements.

    (Also, replying in Twitterific is a double tap and a tap, or just one tap if you’re not in list view.)

  10. Master William Sunday, July 20, 2008

    Alan – a double tap and a tap is three taps, no? :-)


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