Almost two months ago, Twitter released an official BlackBerry application. While I wasn’t much of a Twitter user at the time, my use of the service has been gradually increasing, and recently I decided to look into mobile solutions for the popular micro-blogging service. At first, I was inclined to simply enable SMS (text messaging) updates and posts. This being, I figured that the BlackBerry application was just going to be another icon, and that it wouldn’t have any useful features. But, after deciding to test the application, I quickly found out that my first impressions were definitely wrong.
After installing the application from the BlackBerry AppWorld, I was presented with a friendly screen asking me for my Twitter credentials. As soon as I supplied them, I was brought to a well layed-out home screen. The layout of this screen was strikingly similar to that of Facebook’s BlackBerry app in the sense that it had the icons and links at the top and the status updates at the bottom. However, scrolling through previous posts didn’t have the same “lag” that the Facebook application gave me, and navigating the application seemed to be much easier.
Upon moving around different parts of the application, I found myself truly impressed with the high level of functionality the application had. Moving to the replies tab, I was blown away by how quickly the content loaded. Moving onto the direct messaging tab, I was impressed with the fact that the application predicted the name of my recipient as I typed it; a feature not seen with most social networking applications on the BlackBerry. From there, searching through Twitter posts and trending topics was a breeze.
The last task I wanted to accomplish with the application was submitting a status update to Twitter. While I thought that this was going to be an overly-simple and basic task, I was very impressed with the countdown of remaining characters; a feature that I definitely could not have gotten had I chosen to simply use Twitter’s SMS functionality.
All in all, I would definitely recommend the Twitter application to anyone who owns a BlackBerry, even if you are not a big Twitter user. Having said this, I believe that having Twitter available in the palm of my hand will make me a more active Twitter user, as the application allows you access all of the features of Twitter whilst on the go. Overall, the polished feel of the application, weighing in at under a megabyte, beats Twitter’s SMS service and mobile site hands-down.