Four Twitter Clients for the iPod touch

Did I mention I got an iPod touch for Christmas? Actually, I got an Apple gift card and I hustled down to the the Apple Store the next day to spend it all.

The very first application I loaded on my new iPod touch was Twitterific, so I could keep in touch with my tweeps there, too. This is a great-looking app, which mimics the look of the Mac-only desktop client. I recently switched to TweetDeck on my desktop, though, and wanted features on my iPod that I was getting used to on my Mac -- features which aren't in Twitterific.

For example, there's no ability to retweet (without adding in "RT" manually, of course) and there are no separate groups for replies and direct messages. Also, the user profile data is limited. A Premium version of Twitterific is available, but it adds nothing to the feature set for the $10 you'll pay.

So I went to see what else was available...

Twittelator was one app that got high marks from users. I immediately noticed a plethora of groups that were available, including a list of my own tweets (although I dislike its listing of all of my DMs here). There's much more user profile data available than in Twitterfic, too. However, the tweet listings are not as tight as I'd like and the text can be difficult to read when the app shrinks lengthy tweets. Also, there's no retweet capability.

Another choice was NatsuLion for iPhone. Besides the fact that I don't have an iPhone, it's annoying that the app wastes the space in the title bar by putting the name of the app there. The rest of the interface is nice (the list view shows the most data of these four), but features like retweeting and user profiles are missing, and you can't open a link in Safari without toggling a setting which also disables the built-in browser. But it has groups!

I ultimately settled on TwitterFon, which gives me user profiles, retweets and separates messages and replies from other tweets. The list view could be touched up a bit by using display names, shortening relative times, and losing the title bar, but it's very readable. Other features, like deleting my own tweets, searching, and trends, help make this app my current favorite.

All of these, though, have rough edges and I'm looking forwarded to later incarnations. I'm particularly looking forward to being able to mark tweets read without that being done automatically.