Since I had been away from my home office for a few hours, I decided to check in with Twitter using the beta of RIM’s new Twitter for BlackBerry app. Unfortunately, the experience wasn’t as good as I would have hoped for.
The application works and feels like the similar Facebook for BlackBerry app; not necessarily a good thing, as working with it takes too much effort. Most BlackBerry Twitter applications require patience, but Twitter for BlackBerry is the worst. Much of the time, the screen remains blank while the data loads.
Like its Facebook equivalent, Twitter for BlackBerry comes with a menu of icons at the top of the screen. These include Home, @ Mentions, My Profile, DM, Find People, Search and Popular Topics (note that Twitter for BlackBerry has no Lists capabilities). But reaching these icons takes time, and then it takes even more time for the screens to load.
The application offers few options. It lets you include Twitter Messages in the BlackBerry Messages Applications, but who uses that? Other options include refresh rate, distance measurement and spell check. It has no options for changing the interface to make it faster and optimize the small screen; no ability to turn off notifications; and no option to exit the application without logging out. UberTwitter (my BlackBerry Twitter application of choice) has more than double the number of options available and still works faster.
To ensure that Twitter for BlackBerry’s poor performance wasn’t a network issue, I used UberTwitter at the same time. UberTwitter still called for a little patience, typical of BlackBerry Twitter applications (I have yet to find a truly great BlackBerry Twitter app), but I accomplished tasks noticeably faster than I could using Twitter for BlackBerry.
Additionally, if you don’t want Twitter for BlackBerry using up your BlackBerry’s juice, you must log out of Twitter from within the application — not just close it. Closing the application still leaves the door open for it to notify you when you have new messages.
Twitter for BlackBerry isn’t yet available as a public download and is still in beta; I would hope that prior to being launched it receives some serious performance upgrades.
What mobile application do you use for your Twitter needs?
Related GigaOM Pro content (sub req’d.): Metered Mobile Data Is Coming and Here’s How