When it’s not displaying the Fail Whale, Twitter is a pretty useful service for keeping up with family and friends. The first app I install on every mobile device is a Twitter app of one flavor or another, since having a good app can make all the difference to getting the most benefit out of Twitter. Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from.
The iPad screen is particularly good at working with the social network, due to its larger size. I admit I have a weakness for Twitter apps, and I’ve tried so many I have lost count. Here are my current top five Twitter apps for the iPad. If you have a favorite share it in the comments.
Twitterific Pro. This is my “go-to” Twitter app on the iPad. I use it in either portrait or landscape as it displays well in either orientation. Working with multiple Twitter accounts is easy (on the Pro version) and the app handles all standard Twitter functions. It is not as configurable as other apps, but it works very well. Users of the paid version can also install the iPhone version on that phone for free. Free and Pro ($4.99).
Tweetdeck. My favorite Twitter app for the desktop is Tweetdeck, as I find the multiple column display presents a lot of information at a glance. The iPad version is very similar, although it displays very differently. In portrait display, the top third of the screen is wasted until you tap on a tweet. That opens up the details window, which lets you do all the normal things to a tweet that you expect. Tilting the display to landscape shows the power of Tweetdeck, as it mimics the desktop version by putting a lot of information at your fingertips. Updates can be slow because of all the information in the multiple columns. Free.
Osfoora HD. Osfoora (strange name) can do virtually everything with Twitter you’d ever want to do, and has a configurable display. The display reminds me somewhat of Tweetdeck, so I’m not sure I like the wasted screen space. It’s a solid performer, and many iPad owners swear by this app, so it makes the cut. $3.99.
Twittelator. This app is one of the most attractive Twitter clients you’ll see. Twittelator looks good, but the layout can be confusing at times, because the timeline is rather small while the individual tweet window is huge in comparison. It is a full-featured Twitter client, and lots of people love it, so it’s on the list. $4.99.
Echofon Pro. Echofon adds syncing to a good Twitter app to give it a leg up on the competition. Unread tweets are synced among the iPad, iPhone and desktop so no tweet gets missed. More importantly, no tweet gets read twice due to device switching. $4.99.
Related GigaOM Pro content (sub req’d): Forget, Syncing, Let’s Put Music in the Cloud!