What’s the best way to use Twitter on Windows 8? Almost two year ago, I told you why MetroTwit is my favorite Twitter client. I still use it to this day, and in fact, I chose to pay $15 and become a MetroTwit+ user.
MetroTwit’s desktop version is great for all versions of Windows, and was around way before Windows 8 and it’s “Metro” UI were officially released. Things are different today. Windows 8 had become a fact that’s increasingly hard to ignore, and Windows 8 tablets are more popular than you think. Surprisingly, there aren’t many Twitter clients available for Windows 8’s Modern interface, and those that exist can get quite pricey.
MetroTwit‘s Windows 8 version is free, it’s slick, and it’s easy to use. I’ve already mentioned it in my list of Windows 8 apps that will make you love Modern UI, and here’s why you should try it too.
Setting Things Up
MetroTwit for Windows 8 is not a clone of MetroTwit for desktop. In fact, the two are quite different. Being the more basic of the two, the Windows 8 version doesn’t support multiple users, and offers a limited amount of configuration options when compared to the desktop version. This, unfortunately, is quite common with Modern apps.
Once you sign in with Twitter, you’ll find yourself with this basic MetroTwit configuration.
The interface is very straightforward. Browse through your timeline, mentions, DMs, favorites and sent tweets using the sidebar, and pin the columns you use most frequently. Use the small arrow icon to pin a column, and the X button to unpin one.
Unlike the desktop version, you can’t control the columns’ width, and you can’t reorder them once they’re pinned, so make sure you pin them in the order you want them to appear. The left-most column will always show the column currently selected on the sidebar.
MetroTwit for Windows 8 contains all your basic Twitter features, but it is lacking some of the features found in the desktop version. Click the bottom tweet button to compose tweets. These can include images from your computer or webcam, as well as your current location. What they can’t include is shortened links, as MetroTwit for Windows 8 doesn’t provide any bit.ly integration or link shortening. When you post a link, it will simply truncate it.
For each tweet on your Timeline, you have the option to reply, retweet (old and new methods), as well as some further options such as block and share.
Wonder where the “favorite” option is? So did I, and I finally managed to find it by clicking the tweet’s time (e.g., “7 minutes ago” in the screenshot). This opens up the tweet in a separate window, where you’ll find the coveted Favorite button. You’ll also find something else: a mysterious crash button, disguised as a “More” button. Seriously, don’t click More through this window, if you don’t want the app to crash.
This window also shows you whether the user who tweeted is following you or not — a pretty handy feature.
One of the nicest features about MetroTwit for Windows 8 is the built-in browser. This makes it much easier to quickly read articles from Twitter and go back to your Timeline. This is enabled by default, and I can’t see why you’d want to disable it, but you can do so through the settings.
When looking at a single user, you can view regular things such as tweets and followers, follow or unfollow the user, and add the user to a list. MetroTwit for Windows 8 support lists to a point. You can add users to lists, but you can’t create new lists through the app. This is pretty ordinary for many Twitter clients.
You can also pin a user to your home, thus having a whole column with just this user’s tweets.
Being a Modern app, MetroTwit supports side-by-side view with desktop apps, which can help you stay on top of things while working, if that’s your thing.
It also sports a live tile on your Windows Start screen showing your latest mentions, and can display notifications on your lock screen, if you want it to.
MetroTwit‘s Windows 8 client is good for a Modern app, but compared to its desktop sibling, it seems almost crippled. I’m not sure if this is due to restrictions coming from Microsoft or laziness on the developers’ part, but if you’ve used MetroTwit for desktop, don’t expect the same experience.
Having said that, MetroTwit for Windows 8 is a simple and easy to use Twitter client, and if you’re not a heavy user or a very advanced one, there’s no reason why you won’t enjoy it. It might not be as good as Tweetro+, but then again, it doesn’t cost $10. MetroTwit for Windows 8 is completely free, and doesn’t even have ads like the free desktop version. If you’re looking for a clean and simple Twitter client for Windows 8, be sure to give it a spin.
Looking for more awesome Windows 8 apps? Check out our best of Windows 8 list for some great finds.