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Best Twitter Apps for iPhone

Best Twitter Apps
During the iPhone's nascent stages, users had limited choices when it came to Twitter applications. But now, there are myriad services that allow you to blast 140-character tweets, and keep up with your buddies, too. So now, the problem is weeding out the pretenders from the contenders – not that we're complaining.

So to help you decide which app is best for you, we're offering a brief overview, with ratings (on a 1-to-5-birdie scale, of course), of eight Twitter apps for iPhone. BlackBerry users, don't fret; we've got you covered, too.

Twitter

Twitter
Price: Free
Ease: 5
Aesthetics: 3
Speed: 4
Options: 5
Multimedia: 4

Overall tweetability:

It took long enough for it to appear, but when it did, the official Twitter app (which is really just a revamped version of Tweetie) instantly became a fan favorite. It's not too fancy looking, but gets points for its ease of use. When composing a message, a simple button tap hides the keyboard, and lets you access tools like username and hashtag search, URL shrinking, your iPhone's camera, your photo library and geotag services. Plus, you can search trending topics and nearby tweets, just like in real life. It's simple and to the point -- just like our favorite tweets.

Echofon

Ecohfon
Price: Free
Ease: 4
Aesthetics: 2
Speed: 4
Options: 3
Multimedia: 3

Overall tweetability

Echofon was the top dog for a while, and it's still a good choice for Twitter users who want a free and simple app. The navigation bar runs across the bottom of the feed, and, while its options may be limited as compared to other apps (with its lack of URL-shortener, for example), there's something to be said for such a simple and clean interface. It's not as thorough as Twitter's app, but great for beginners.

Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck
Price: Free
Ease: 5
Aesthetics: 5
Speed: 4
Options: 5
Multimedia: 5

Overall tweetability

There's one reason why we love Tweetdeck so much: its columnar layout, similar to Safari's on the iPhone. To start, there are columns for users you follow, @ mentions and direct messages. But Tweetdeck also lets you add columns, which is perfect for those with more than one Twitter account or for adding customized searches and your Twitter lists. If you only download one app on this list, make it Tweetdeck.

Twitterific

Twitterrific
Price: Free
Ease: 3
Aesthetics: 3
Speed: 2
Options: 3
Multimedia: 4

Overall tweetability

Twitterific is another clean app, with the usual tabs – tweets, mentions, messages and favorites – but also a list of trending topics underneath a search bar. Our main complaint is that the Twitter stream lags and can be slow to update. Plus, it's annoying to toggle between streams. We would much prefer a navigation bar to this app's clunky menu.

Seesmic

Seesmic
Price: Free
Ease: 4
Aesthetics: 3
Speed: 4
Options: 5
Multimedia: 3

Overall tweetability

Seesmic is an all-in-one social-media client for the iPhone. While that's fine, we prefer to keep our Twitters and our Facebooks from clashing in a social media brawl. However, Seesmic is well-designed, easy to navigate, supports multiple Twitter accounts and lets you hook into MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Wordpress and countless other services. If we have any complaint, it's that, as a Twitter client, Seesmic just doesn't stand out enough, which can be a problem in the crowded app market.

HootSuite

Hootsuite
Price: $2.99, or free for the Lite version
Ease: 4
Aesthetics: 4
Speed: 3
Options: 5
Multimedia: 4

Overall tweetability

For the person who's too busy to tweet in real time, HootSuite allows users to schedule tweets in advance. While that feature sets this app apart, we also like how easy it is to toggle between streams -- just by swiping a finger across the screen. HootSuite also offers Facebook integration, and, for pro users, lets you track the performance of your shared links. Our biggest gripe with HootSuite is the initial setup, which is too time-consuming, cluttered and not very user friendly.

Twitbird

Twitbird
Price: Free
Ease: 3
Aesthetics: 4
Speed: 2
Options: 3
Multimedia: 3

Overall tweetability

Twitbird is just too darn cute to leave off this list. (Just say its name out loud if you don't believe us.) It's aesthetically pleasing, and users can even customize the background of the main feed. Be warned, though: this app is pretty slow. Still, for a free app, Twitbird is stocked with options, including Facebook integration and list support. It's jut too bad they're rendered useless by the time lag.

Brizzly

Brizzly
Price: Free
Ease: 2
Aesthetics: 3
Speed: 2
Options: 3
Multimedia: 5

Overall tweetability

It's about as much fun to set up Brizzly as it is to get a tooth pulled. Why on earth should we have to confirm our account via e-mail? There's not a lot to write home about once you've completed that arduous process, either. Sure, Brizzly is free, and we like how photos and videos show up in the main feed. (Note to other apps: copy that.) Other than that, you're probably better off looking elsewhere.

Tags: apple iphone, AppleIphone, apps, brizzly, cellphones, echofon, features, hootsuite, iphone, IphoneApps, seesmic, smartphones, socialnetworking, top, tweetdeck, twitbird, twitter, twitterrific, web

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