Well Twitter is well over a year old now and pushing the edges of the G2G universe (thank you Bronwen of Perth Norg ). As expected people have found a use for this technology, from social chat, help desk functions, news broadcast, micro blogging, and storytelling. It almost seems now when you get geeks together; twitter will be topic of conversion, out come the mobile phones and the twittering begins. Point in case the Perth Webloggers Meetup this month (April 2007).
What’s avialable for twitter on mobile phones, besides the standard twitter SMS . It does bring up the question – why bother with a mobile phone application for twitter. Well some phone networks charge higher rates for incoming or outgoing overseas SMS. Yes in some places people have to pay for SMS. In some of these cases it’s cheaper to use a data network connection. You could also use free wifi when you can find it.
So lets look at some of the mobile phone apps available for twitter:
This is an application from Madpilot Productions, it’s a Java (J2ME) based application, using a GPRS/3G network. This is from the same people that brought you 88miles. Twitteresce is simple and effective, the interface is raw, but it is version 0.3 (at time of publication) and it is very much in beta. It does suffer on the Nokia phones from a text contrast problem with the text input screens depending on your theme, (dark blue text on a blue background).
In general it is good if not raw in its interfac; applying all the most recent features on twitter except the direct tweets. Twitteresce allows access to both the friends and public twitter streams.
Point your mobile phone to: madpilot.com.au/twitteresce
Another Java (J2ME) based application, running on a GPRS/3G network, this time from Paxmodept. It certainly is an outstandingly well-presented application (being version 1.0). With a full customised interface using the twitter blue colours in all areas but the text input fields, which is a shame as it does spoil the overall effect.
There are a few problems with screen flow and text contrast like Twitteresce is suffers from. The tweets are displayed with the time stamp, useful in a way, but not that much as it’s not recalculating to the local time zone. There was one screen flow that really had me stumped for a minute or so, how to get off the tweets screen.
You can send your tweets as expected, but there is no shortcut for direct or in reply to tweets. There is also no provision to view the public twitter stream or have an auto update of the tweets like with Twitteresce.
Point your mobile phone to: mobile.paxmodept.com
An application from Kevin Cawley from Boulder, Colorado, it’s a Java (J2ME) based application, running on a GPRS/3G network. It’s version 0.83. Site has a few mobile web usability issues, not that they are show stoppers.
The interface is good, the contrast bug is all gone on some fields, by using a lighter overlay fill in the fields. It has a good series of error messages. It doesn’t use a custom interface like Twitlet, but uses the plain text screens like Twitteresce.
However the tweet input, defaults to the standard freeform sms text page, and the contrast problem returns.
Point your mobile phone to: tinytwitter.com
For the phones that can use FlashLite 2, there is a Twitter app too. Abdul Qabiz has throw together a application for basically posting only to twitter, mainly to avoid overseas SMS costs. Again this is a GPRS/3G network application, it’s not bad, there are lots of bugs and interface issues, but Adbul is really frank about this. These could do with cleaning up. Currently it’s really the only free FlashLite Twitter application available.
Download the app here: FlashLite Twitter
There are a series of Twitter applications for various PDA phones. I’ve not tested these, but I’ll list them for completeness:
- TreoTwit – for Palm OS Treo or Palm OS PDA
- Cellity Tweeter – Another thin Java app, not tested due to terms and conditions. Yes I do read them.
- TwitterBerry – twitter for Blackberrys.