I hope you all loved the last review of Gravity from me, which some even mentioned as the biggest review over Gravity till date. Thanks for the love shown by you all, which encouraged me to come up with another post showcasing other alternatives twitter clients.
Its never like that only few twitter clients out there, but if someone had tried Gravity once, then it becomes harder to settle for anything else. Still there are many, who search for other clients as Gravity asks for a little price. So, here I am trying to sum up some of the free alternative twitter clients than almighty Gravity, let’s see how much worth everyone of them has.
Snaptu: This was probably the first ever twitter app that I installed in any of my Smart phone. A simple yet effective mobile app that could find its place in your phone even if not just for twitter.
Snaptu is not just another mobile app, but in fact its a widget platform in itself, which has very easy and open API to build widgets upon to bring number of services to your smart phone in easiest way possible, in form of widgets.
Most special thing about Snaptu, being widget based it works in same way from lower end S40 devices to higher end Nokia N97 Mini etc. Specially over S40 devices I found nothing as rich as Snaptu.
Installation is as easy as it could have been. One has to just navigate to http://m.snaptu.com and it will show up options accordingly.
Snaptu caters a variety of services\ apps like CricInfo, FaceBook, AccuWeather, Picasa, Dictionary, Sudoku, Dictionary, Google Calendar and of course twitter. Twitter appears as a widget in Snaptu and serves all the basic purposes in simplest possible way.
Though Facebook app here is also worth special mention as that one works better than the official facebook client app, but this post was intended for twitter service, so let’s move that way.
The login screen is simplest yet include the search twitter option and view public timeline option as we find on twitter official site. Quite handy to start with twitter, if you are new to it.
User name and password fields take you to Nokia native text input screen that might feel annoying to making, but its a thing that you have to live with as it will continue in rest all experience with Snaptu. Wherever there will be option to input some text, it will be the same native screen. Though that’s not exactly annoying as it include the familiar experience and also shows the counter on top.
But I should say that putting a checkbox like Follow Snaptu is un-necessary pushing, which they should have avoided. You should not ask people to follow you in this way.
Later it comes to the twitter experience,
I would like to see better fonts, geo-tagging and pics upload support essentially here, but still it presents all the basic functions, one might be looking from a twitter client. Not only you have options like reply-to-all, but you can check the profile and have the preview of pics as well (though I am not sure, how many services it supports, but being web based, it should support most of them).
Though I didn’t found any pics upload option, but I think as Snaptu handle Picasa very well, there are other pics upload widgets for sure and that could serve the purpose, but again a unified experience is what we don’t get here.
One thing that I would admire here, which we always wished to have in Gravity as well is picture zooming option like given below, sometimes we really need that only.
As you can see picture viewing screen also has Open in browser option. And yes like almost all of twitter clients, it also doesn’t make use of Flash Lite for showing previews of videos posted rather than showing the screen like the above when clicked. Is video playback that hard to implement?
With settings, Snaptu is as basic as it could be. I wish if they would have given options like theme etc here. Still it has enough to show off the twitter, see how updates appear with notifications. It got most of the basic things that you require from a twitter client and it supports touch phones as well.
Socially: Like Snaptu, Socially is also an app that could find its way in your smart phone, even if you didn’t wanted it for your twitter needs. Not only free, but it also brings some functions like even Gravity trying to reach now.
Socially facilitate not only integration with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook (though the same is having some problem now days) and Foursquare, but goes beyond that. These social services get integrated with your contacts in a very good way and facebook app is much richer than Gravity has. I mean browsing through profiles of friends, photos and options to have birthdays from Facebook or to sync profile pics with contacts pics just by one click.
The UI might not seem that cool after you might have seen Gravity itself, but still its cool and effective enough with a desktop alert (last 15 updates) kind of thing for even non-touch phones.
Initial steps to connect the services are kind of naive and the facebook one is facing some issues right now due to some changes from Facebook side, though you can easily connect the facebook via browsing through given URL on your PC and it will automatically connect your socially with your facebook account after you authorize the same from web.
Unlike the other apps, I will talk about in this post later on, this one has plenty of settings to fiddle with. Not only auto start, preferred Data Access Point, preferred WLAN Access point and even prompt for Foursquare Check-Ins since the latest version arrived. You say… WOW!!!
Though I am not able to find some way to upload photos through it, but if it was there, then was picture perfect as we already have features like browsing through pics.
Definitely, its likeable when some app brings your favourite business networking site directly into your phone. After all, its not only about twitter and social networking, when you talk about social. Though haven’t started using LinkedIn that much from cell till now, so can’t figure out the use cases, but I know many people, who could make out a good deal of it.
But yes! I would say Gravity reminds you at many places, like when you try to check in Foursquare. You think that it could have been easier like the way Gravity does, so simple, so natural, so tight.
The home screen displays photos of your contacts (twitter/Facebook etc), which got recent updates and the updates could be scrolled right to left below to it. Not only that whatever you say from the home screen in updates, goes across all the services means one door, one update to all Facebook, Twitter, Linked and Foursquare. I am specially happy about this app that it adds the geo-location options, which Snaptu misses badly.
Yes! there are no picture previews, pics upload options and no Reply-to-all in socially’s twitter experience as of now, but still no naive typing screen and option of geo-tagging makes socially is exactly the thing, which you wanted as alternative to Gravity, if didn’t wished to pay any price.
If you thought that’s enough about Socially, then you probably missed the fifth icon in top row of home screen. Yes! Socially has a very very surprise package for you, if you leave it running in background, then it also tells details about incoming calls like from where and from which provider someone is calling and also when the last call or SMS was made from that number, not only that but also a blacklist function for incoming calls. Definitely, there are many thing in Socially that even gravity could learn a thing or two from it.
Tweets60: Its only non-free product in my list and I have taken a lite product for review (free version), so there are many things I might miss about this. This app even gotten a mention over AAS, so you might check out a thing or two from there as well.
When you open the app, the first thing that strike your mind is, how much similar it looks like Gravity, but as you move further, you start finding differences. There is no full screen mode (or may be in lite version only), no control over font size like gravity, no themes, no image upload, no under the tweet options of reply, reply-to-all or conversation mode.
As much, you try to move in, the disappointment gets bigger. Again saying that its not because it has something lesser than the two mentioned before it, but its because it reminds you too much of Gravity and when you try to do things in Gravity way then you suddenly woke up from the dream.
This app has own way of handling basic twitter operations and though no geo-location support or reply-to-all option, but its good enough to live with sometimes.
There are common tabs like Home, Replies, Direct msg, Direct msg sent, favorites and updates. No options for conversation or like who replied to whom, I was not even able to find the way to view someone’s profile.
Nothing much to talk about more in it, I guess, but please remind me, if I would have missed something.
Trill: This client has recently joined the game and people loved the bird way of tweeting specially. After Gravity, only the interfaces of rounded buttons and inline options here touched me somehow.
Not only, you can view any profile in best way,but also the inline buttons to reply or anything been something one get addicted to, if would have used Gravity. Definitely, its a good design in comparison to rest all free product dealing with twitter.
There are again tabs like Home, Replies, Direct messages and Public timeline. One must not miss the bottom center icon as well, which shows possible navigation ways. simple yet Innovative.
Its design has taken many elements from Gravity and though misses things like picture preview, reply-to-all and geo-tags, but they could really built it upon this base.
Dabr: And here comes the only mobile site of the all names I mentioned above. If some mobile site get higher ratings than even the official mobile site of twitter, then it has to be something. Dabr.co.uk is probably the simplest way available on planet as you can find it running in same way even on lowest GPRS supporting phones and that too with much needed pics upload option.
At the first sight, you might find it a mess of links only, but once you start with it, then you find all the functions built in.
Though no reply-to-all option here, butIt also got reply-to-all option and you can even view if someone sent a geo-tagged tweet. There are previews available for pictures too.
Some of my friends told me that dabr has option to send geo-tagged tweet, but I am not able to find that yet. After making this post live, James from @1000Heads confirmed me that as per dabr’s own blog post, Geo-tagging available for iPhones, iPads, Android phones and the N900 too.
Why not Symbian, dabr? Why not?
It supports a number of themes to choose from and even choice of modes that which kind of phone, you are using dabr on. But what I liked most about it is its simplicity yet capability of doing most of things like picture upload.
So, that was my attempt to bring some info about free twitter clients for people, who couldn’t afford to buy a Gravity license, but still I will insist that one must see Gravity once before thinking that how much price its asking for.
Please add your comments, if you like the info and wanted to add something.
Update: On suggestion of one of the friend, I decided to add a poll here