5 Free Twitter Clients For The iPad

tweet display.jpg1   5 Free Twitter Clients For The iPadBack when the iPad was first released, I reviewed two of the first Twitter clients released for the tablet device. Since then, several new apps have emerged to provide various styled user interfaces for browsing and reading Twitter updates.

From the official Twitter app to the broader social networking client apps, if you’re an avid Twitter and iPad user, you will no doubt want to download more than one Twitter client for iPad, because each of the ones reviewed below offer something a little unique that you may find useful to how you interact with Twitter. With the new multitasking features of the iOS 4 for the iPad, there’s little reason not to have a folder of several Twitter apps to choose from. Some client apps are great for extended Twitter browsing while others are more useful for quick tweeting and checking in on the latest updates.

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Twitter

While there are over a dozen Twitter clients in the App Store, this Twitter (iTunes Store Link) app is sort of the official one, produced by Twitter. It’s the one I use most on my iPad. It contains all the standard features of most Twitter apps, including real time search, top tweets, Direct Messages, Mentions, photo sharing, internal web browsing, and the ability to share, copy and translate tweets.

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While this Twitter client works in the typical linear fashion, its interface is composed into three sliding columns, the first one includes the Twitter tools, the second includes the timeline, and the third column is for viewing links and Twitter profile information.

Website downloads in the application are fast, and the user interface is very intuitive. However, as suave as this application is, it shouldn’t be the only Twitter client on your iPad. Let’s look at some others.

TwitBird

NibiruTech’s TwitBird (iTunes Store Link) is a full featured Twitter client with a linear interface. TwitBird mirrors nearly all the features of the website version of Twitter. If you’re a heavy Twitter user or addict, TwitBird has nearly everything you will probably need, including the ability to add multiple accounts, landscape and portrait viewing, shortening URLs,  inline photo viewing, geotagging support, Twitlonger support, and blocking and unblocking of contacts.

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I like how you can mark tweets as as read, and can view how many new tweets have been added to your Home, saved searches, Lists, Mentions, and Direct Mentions.

The tools for TwitBird are plentiful, including Nearby Tweets, Trends, Saved Links, and Public Timeline. But in addition, TwitBird’s interface includes features for importing photos from your iPad Photo Album, accessing your contacts directly in its Address Book, connecting to your Facebook account, and audio recording a tweet.

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You can also save a tweet as a template to re-use again.

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There are premium and pro versions of TwitBird, but this free ad-supported version should be sufficient for most users.

TwitterBook

If you’re both a heavy Twitter and Facebook user, this client app, TwitterBook (iTunes Store Link) does simply one thing: it enables you to send updates to your accounts at the same time. Unfortunately you can’t view your updates and contacts on both social networks, but at least you don’t have to open two different applications to post to both accounts.

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HootSuite for Twitter

If your social networking includes Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare, the iPad version of HootSuite (iTunes Store Link) may be your go-to Twitter client. If you’re not familiar with the popular HootSuite website, check our MUO reviews here.

HootSuite for the iPad contains most all the features of its website client. You can manage multiple accounts, comment on posts in your Facebook News Feed, perform real-time searches, schedule tweets for later posting, as well other standard features. All the standard Twitter tools are laid out columns in HootSuite making for convenient browsing by sliding across the columns and viewing updates.

HootSuite may feel a little overwhelming for those new to Twitter and the iPad, but veterans social networkers will feel right at home.

HelTweetica for Twitter

For those of you who like the minimalist user interface, HelTweetica (iTunes Store Link) might appeal to you.

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This Twitter client has all the standard features of most Twitter apps, but it includes some nice visual and information features that make it stand out. For example, it has an Analyze feature that gives you an hourly count summary of the most frequent Twitter users on your contact list.

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Tapping the app’s All-Stars button will present the avatars of all your contacts. Tapping on a contact only gives you their last posted tweet, their Twitter name, and the last time they tweeted – all laid out of course in Helvetica font style.

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There are a few other free Twitter client apps for iPad in the App Store, but the above five seem to be the most intuitive or they stand out in their features. However, if I overlooked a Twitter client for iPad that you like, please share it with us in the comments section below.

If you’re looking for desktop versions of Twitter clients, check Tim’s comparative review of applications.

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