Blog Post

Tweetie 2: The Complete iPhone Preview


The sequel to Tweetie, the Twitter client that earned itself the much-coveted Apple Design Award earlier this year, is on its way to the App Store as you read this.

For the past few weeks I’ve been part of Loren Brichter‘s Tweetie 2 beta program, testing out new features as the former Apple (s aapl) engineer constructed his new Twitter client.

Brichter has rebuilt Tweetie from the ground-up. The sequel incorporates features such as app persistence, offline mode, drafts, threaded conversations, landscape support and much more.

Read on for an in-depth look at what to expect from Tweetie 2.

Look & Feel

While Tweetie 2 incorporates an updated aesthetic, it won’t be difficult for both new and veteran users to get to grips with the app. More so impressive is how the app incorporates a raft of new features without overwhelming the user.


Even after playing with Tweetie 2 for a few weeks, I’m still discovering new functionality. For instance, when replying to a tweet you can now drag down with your finger to “peek” at the original message.

It’s a small feature indeed but finding these kind of miniscule updates brings to mind that satisfied glow we all get when discovering new features in OS X. In essence, skimming through tweets, tapping out messages and finding new folk to follow looks and feels great with Tweetie 2.

Writing & Replying

Composing richer tweets is easier now. Tweetie 2 lays out the different options clearly so that you can quickly add content to your latest 140 character micro-opus. In a given tweet you’re able to access your Twitter address-book and @ messages, search current hashtags, geotag your tweet and add photos too.


Plus, just like with Tweetie on OS X, you can now shrink URLs with the tap of a button. Obsessively attentive readers may have noticed me video tweeting from Big Bird over the past few weeks, that’s because Tweetie 2 also incorporates video tweeting from the 3GS.


There’s also a wealth of options available beyond simply retweeting a message from someone that you’re following. Now you can quote the tweet, post a direct link, translate and even e-mail the tweet to a friend — all without leaving the app itself.


For prolific Twitter users there’s now a drafts manager. This means that you can write and save a stack of tweets for posting later on. I’ve found that it’s particularly handy to have several drafted tweets ready to go just incase you get hit by a case of tweeter’s block.

Browsing the Timeline

The app now features full persistence. This means that if you’re, say, tapping through a prolonged conversation and then you quit the app, you’re able to pick up exactly where you left off. Every single time you exit, the app remembers your place and drops you right back there.


Offline reading has been incorporated too. You’re now able to compose those witty little one-liners while offline, save them to your drafts, and unleash them on the Twittersphere next time you’re online. Even users or tweets you follow, block or favorite while offline will be synced back to the server.


Exactly like the desktop version of Tweetie, there are now threaded conversations, making it much easier to jump into an ongoing discussion and catch up with what you missed. Also, although I don’t use any read this later services, some users will be pleased to note that there’s Read It Later and Instapaper support too.


One of the most ingenious little additions to the timeline view is the “drag to refresh” gesture. Instead of tapping a refresh button, you simply scroll to the top of the timeline and then drag down. It works as intended and, thanks to the gesture combined with a sound-effect and flippy-floppy arrow, it feels tangible and satisfying.

Landscapes & Locations

Not only can you compose a tweet in landscape view, the entire app can be browsed in landscape view. I appreciate that some users may have been waiting for this, however it’s not a feature that I particularly wanted, nor do I make use of now that it’s here. If I could find the button to turn off auto-rotate, I would do so.

Setting that little niggle aside, the Nearby tweets feature has received a much-needed overhaul too. The original Tweetie displayed an odd looking radar animation before loading a basic, but functional, timeline of tweets nearby your current location.


The new Tweetie loads up a Google Map and then pops up tiny speech bubble icons representing all the tweets in your vicinity. It’s an effective way of sorting through local tweets and is a more creative approach than the standard timeline view.

And There’s Even More…

There are details and small features that you almost certainly won’t come across within the first few days of using the app. For instance, Brichter has now included profile editing from within the app.


Another feature that I just picked up on today is the ability to tweet simultaneously from multiple accounts. When composing a tweet you simply tap the “New Tweet” header at the top of the screen and then select the other accounts that you’d like to post the message from.

The Bottom Line

The app is a standalone purchase, as opposed to an update/upgrade. It’ll be available in the App Store soon for only $2.99, just like the original iPhone Tweetie. There’s also an update to the Mac version on the way, however this will be a free update to current owners of Tweetie for OS X.

If you’re unfamiliar with the current state of Twitter clients, we’ve got a great roundup here on TheAppleBlog. It’s worth noting that the original Tweetie came out on top as one of the top clients.

The new app definitely gets a thumbs-up from me, although I’d be interested to know which of you will be upgrading to Tweetie 2 when it comes out.

38 Responses to “Tweetie 2: The Complete iPhone Preview”

  1. Rob Wieland

    Where can i find the best location to really make Tweetie2 work properly on my 3Gs. Do you have an instruction manual i can use on my macbook pro to study the basics and nuances for the iphone app.

  2. chrisgriswold

    Joe, it’s because you are using a secondary Twitter client, and Twitter doesn’t allow you to manipulate the timestamp. It is giving the accurate time for when you sent Twitter the message.

    • So the advertising of Tweetie2 saying that your tweets will sync when you do get online is false? It just saves drafts and then later you can tweet those drafts when you get online and it’ll just say that you tweeted it just then?

      What would be the point of saving drafts then? I’d much rather write my future tweets down on notepad or notes instead if it’s going to do that. ugh, i don’t know. I just feel ripped off. I thought that if i tweeted offline, when I connect online and send tweets it would put them in the timeline that I tweeted them.

  3. can anyone explain to me why when i am using tweetie2 offline
    and save my drafts, when i upload them all, they are like a spam of tweets. instead of saving when i actually tweeted them? for example, i tweet something offline 2 hours ago, i finally get a connection right now
    it’ll say i tweeted it 4 seconds ago when i upload it instead of the original 2 hours

  4. It sounds decent I’ll admit, but aside from being able to edit your profile (which I admit is brilliant), it just sounds like it’s trying to be Twittelator, which was always much better than the original Tweetie.

    Still, the “modify profile” will probably see me spend the couple of quid on it.

  5. I don’t really understand what all the hubbub is about with the new Tweetie not being an update, but a new app. I have no problem spending $6 for a really good Twitter client ($3 for v1 and $3 again for v2).

    I’m hoping that the developer doesn’t do the same thing for the desktop client thought. Its an outstanding application and all, but I really don’t want to spend $20 twice. I have no problem spending money for an upgrade so long as the price is reasonable. After all the developer spent his time and efforts to develop the applications. I just hope I can afford the it.

  6. Beau Giles

    I’ll have to think about upgrading to Tweetie 2 and switching from SimplyTweet – push is something I was kinda looking forward to but it looks like it’s not happing this time around. :(

  7. I’m a bit annoyed because I bought Tweetie 1 a few weeks ago, but my annoyance is tempered by the low price of 3 bucks, so I will go ahead and buy it, as I was pretty impressed with 1.0 and 2.0 looks a lot better.

  8. I understand that software developers have an interest in creating new revenue streams, but I wish that the developer could make the upgrade to tweetie 2 slightly cheaper for people who have been tweetie clients before.

    • $3 is too much money for you? You paid hundreds of dollars for the phone, continue to pay $100+ per month for the phone contract…and $3 is too much to part with?

      If you’re using an iPod touch…then maybe I could understand…but it ultimately comes down to “if it’s not worth $3, then don’t pay it.”

      It just seems crazy to me when people start nickel and diming stuff under 5 bucks.

    • NetNewsWire has a somewhat similar problem: You buy NNN, next month it goes free, now a new version (mainly switching from newsgator to google reader for syncing) is out and they want $10. (PS, I don’t agree w/ people who bought v2 of NNN thinking they should get the upgrade for free.)

      Sure, $10/$3 is individually insignificant for most people. However, it feels *we* are the ones being nickled and dimed. If this becomes common practice the cost will add up quickly.

      That said, the only way capitalism works is when people vote with their money. If more people thought about their purchases before spending, the world would be a better place.

    • John Smith


      The problem is, there is no current vehicle for Loren (the developer) to provide discounts to current users. The App Store doesn’t allow for this. The _only_ way he could actually provide discounts is to somehow cross reference everybody that had purchased the app previously, and to send them money. I don’t think this is feasible at all.

      The App Store does not support upgrades at discounted prices in any way at this time. There’s one price for everyone.

    • @mikelite: I’m afraid I agree with Josh here. You talk about a recession, yet you were able to afford an iPhone/iPod touch. If you can afford that, surely you can afford $3. Actually, you already did by buying Tweetie the first time (I assume since you are following this post), so why the sarcastic question about the recession.

      I’m currently unemployed and have been so for nearly a year now. If the new version of Tweetie looks to be good, I have no problem paying $3 to buy it. Hell, I can’t even buy a gallon of gas for $3! Yet, this developer spent countless hours developing the new version of Tweetie for others to enjoy. If you don’t want to buy it, don’t! No one is twisting your arm. I personally will assess if it’s worth my $3 and if so, I’ll purchase it.

      @josh: No, I’ll tell you what seems crazy to me. Someone pirating a $0.99 program. That’s what seems crazy to me. As a developer, I spend a huge amount of time learning how to develop for this platform and will probably spend another large amount of time writing a program for it. If I charge $0.99 for it, I really don’t expect someone to steal it. I mean really, one dollar. For crying out loud!

    • @Dave M. Your argument is so flaky it could be toaster strudel. Just because I was able to afford a major purchase at one point, does not automatically mean that I’m able to spend even $3 as freely as you can or I wish. Sure, it might be “just $3” to you, but don’t begin to assume you know what my financial situation is like.

    • @mikelite: If you are so “affected by this thing called “The Recession”” that you can’t afford a $2.99 program, you need to seriously reassess your financials and decided if paying $40+ a month for an iPhone plan is really a good idea.

      I have 12 quarters on my dresser right now. I got those quarters from buying dinners every 3rd friday over the course of a few months. If you have a job and go out to eat lunch just once a week. The change you will accumulate from now till the release of Tweetie 2 should easily pay for the update. That’s assuming you actually want it

      That said, you don’t have much of a leg to stand on here. We are not talking $30 here. $3, like half one of those lunches I mentioned. Less than a gallon of gas in some cities. Just a little more than a gallon of Milk.

      Dude, if you are that bad off…

    • Again you fail to understand the simple concept of “don’t judge my ability to purchase anything” I have every leg to stand on, I don’t give a shit about you & your financials & you shouldn’t assess anyone else’s.

  9. “Another feature that I just picked up on today is the ability to tweet simultaneously from multiple accounts. When composing a tweet you simply tap the “New Tweet” header at the top of the screen and then select the other accounts that you’d like to post the message from.”

    That’s a slick feature, for sure, but not new to 2.0.

    I’m disappointed in the reorganization of the compose screen, as with Tweetie 1.x, I can add a picture or location link without needing to first hide the keyboard. Now, I’ll have to get rid of the keyboard somehow, and then hit the button I’m going for. :-/

  10. Sounds fantastic. I knew I was right to stay with Tweetie, although I’ve tried a lot of others.

    Twitter client authors are finally starting to realise that many people “tweet” without ever having seen, downloaded, or even *used* a desktop twitter client. I have a fabulous desktop computer, but I always have my phone with me even when I’m sitting in front of the 30″ screen. Why would I want to have Twitter in two places when it “fits” with my phone so much better?

    @ Olly Farshi: The rotate screen option is something I’ve been waiting for in that using the built-in browser is almost impossible unless you can go into landscape mode. Half the tweets I look at are web links and this will go a long way towards making that actually useful.

  11. I will definitely make the switch back to Tweetie. I loved tweetie but had to resort to other apps for video (among other features) until Tweetie released a new version. I stopped using the Tweetie desktop app though, I have found that Echofon updates faster (using it for a day). We’ll see.