Twitter has changed. It's no longer the domain of nerds and conferences but now serves the mainstream, not to mention pop stars with tens of millions of followers. Twitter's official app has changed with it, altering the way everything from the timeline to direct messages work and are surfaced. It's not what it once was, and its certainly not for everyone. Luckily many really good Twitter app alternatives also call the App Store home. And that's a very good thing, because many people use Twitter very differently. For some, it's just a way to follow celebrities or keep up with news. For others, its a virtual water cooler to chat around during work breaks. For yet others, it's a network to expand their social connections and market their wares. Different apps suit different use-cases. So if you're only interested in the best iPhone apps where Twitter is concerned, these are the ones we'd recommend!
Tweetbot by Tapbots is arguably one of the most advanced Twitter apps available for iPhone, as many hardcore tweeters will tell you. Features include support for lists, push notifications, profiles (and the ability to edit them), translations, automatic night theme, and more. Tweetbot 3 also supports intuitive swipe features as well as tapping options to suit both types of users. The media timeline view in Tweetbot is unique in its own right and gives you an easy way to browse images without being interrupted by text. It's worth mentioning that the iPad version of Tweetbot has not yet received an updated interface like the iPhone version has, which is something to keep in mind for those seeking a consistent experience.
The Iconfactory's Twitterrific was the first Twitter client on the iPhone, and Twitterrific 5 remains among the best. It's got gestures, push notifications, transparent menus, and pretty much everything you'd expect from a well designed app. You'll find all the basic Twitter features you'd expect such as conversation view, list support, built-in translations, and more. You also still have the unified timeline options, which includes posts, mentions, and direct messages all merged together, which they made famous. Not only that, one download gets you the same great Twitter app for both iPhone and iPad.
If you want a gorgeous, effortless way to read and enjoy Twitter with zero learning curve, you want Twitterrific 5.
Echofon has one of the simplest interfaces in terms of Twitter clients, don't don't let that fool you. Timeline view and live streaming are lightning quick on Echofon Pro, as are push notifications. It also retains the ability to tweet over 140 characters thanks to built-in tweet extender support. In terms of push notifications, Echofon Pro syncs your place between all your devices, including Mac, accurately and instantly. I'd go as far as to say it's the only one that consistently works 100% of the time in my experience.
If speed and cross-device syncing is important to you, Echofon Pro is sure to impress.
When Osfoora was first launched several years ago, it was one of the most beautiful Twitter apps available. As luck would have it, Osfoora 2 follows the same pattern and offers a gorgeous user interface that's not only easy to use, but provides a refreshing change from what we've become accustomed to. With features like what's playing, gap detection, Tweet Marker support, and much more, there's a lot to like. The only down side I can see if the lack of native push notifications. However, Osfoora 2 does support background app refresh and local notifications, so as long as the app's running in the background, you'll receive notifications.
If you can live without native push in exchange for a great Twitter experience, Osfoora 2 doesn't disappoint.
The original Twitter app for iPhone was based on Loren Brichter's classic Tweetie 2. That's gone now and in its place is something that changes and evolves based on the latest direction and feature sets of Twitter itself. That includes interactions, like your follower count and how many people favorited or retweeted something you posted. It also links conversations with blue lines, and does other things to make the experience more... mainstream. The past few iterations of the official Twitter app have not only made is usable, but quite pleasant.
If you want a Twitter app that's totally aligned with Twitter itself, and gets all the latest features first, you want the official Twitter app.
These are our favorite Twitter apps for iPhone that keep us connected to our readers and followers each and every day. We know many of you are on Twitter as well. Let us know what Twitter client you're using in the comments below!
Note: Originally published, November 2013. Updated, November 2014.