We’re at it again with another walk through of a BlackBerry Twitter app. This time it’s Tiny Twitter, a stripped-down Twitter client. It runs on Java, but don’t let that fool you. Tiny Twitter loads faster than most Twitter clients I’ve tried so far, and that’s the big appeal. Let’s take a look around and see if it’s as feature-rich as the other apps we’ve reviewed.
To download Tiny Twitter, head to http://www.tinytwitter.com/m/ from your BlackBerry. The site should recognize your device and give you the option for the appropriate download. Clicking it will bring you right to the download link. For me the download was a bit quicker than UberTwitter and Twibble, so we shall see if that means a less resource-intensive application. Once you download the app, run it. Unlike the other two, the setup process consists only of entering your username and password. The only other question it will ask is if you want to be notified up updates and fixes for Tiny Twitter. The only effect that has is to make you follow @TinyTwitter. At this point, you’ll be at your main timeline page. This is the easiest setup process so far.
Sending a tweet and pictures
As usual, we’ll start with the most important function: sending a new tweet. Like most Twitter apps, this is accomplished by clicking the Menu button and selecting Tweet. Tiny Twitter asks “What are you doing?” and you can answer. Just type your message and click the trackball, then select Send. If you want to send a picture, which is an increasingly popular Twitter feature, you can do so before sending. When you click the trackball to send (or hit the Menu key), you can select Add Picture. Here you might encounter a message saying that no photos are found and to change the default directory. Click the Menu button and you’ll see a few options. You can take a new photo to send by clicking Take a Photo. I got an error when testing this, so don’t bank on it to work for you. If you get the same one, you can just take the picture and save it. To select a preexisting photo, select Change Directory. Select the appropriate one (usually “pictures”). Even here I ran into troubles. I couldn’t seem to get the photos on my memory card or device memory to show up. All I could find, really, were some old screen shots from way back in December. Those, I thought, had been long deleted. So pictures appears to be an issue with the BlackBerry version of Tiny Twitter. If you’ve had success with the feature, please let me know in the comments.
Replies, direct messages, retweets
Replying, sending direct messages, and retweeting are easy functions with Tiny Twitter. All can be accessed by pressing the Menu button on the main timeline. To reply to a message, scroll to it, press the Menu button, and select Reply. If there are multiple people involved in a thread, you can select Reply All to have all of their names included in the reply. To retweet a message, scroll to it, press the Menu button, and select Retweet. The general RT message screen will follow, where you can make little edits in case the RT @ part brings the message over 140 characters. To direct message, scroll to the user you wish to DM, press the Menu button, and select Direct. Type your message, and that’s that. Finally, you can view replies to you and direct messages by pressing the Menu button and selecting Inbox.
Tiny Twitter can use your GPS to set your location. Unfortunately, if your BlackBerry doesn’t have a GPS unit, or else is locked by Verizon, you’ll just get an error. To update your location, go to the Tweet screen and click the Menu button. There you’ll see an option to Update Location. Click that to do so. In the main timeline screen, you can check Nearby Twitter Peeps by selecting that option.
Following and unfollowing
Someone getting a bit annoying with their tweets? Sending them every five minutes? Being horribly negative? Overly self-promoting? You can zap them from your follow list with a few clicks of your keys. Just scroll to the offending twitterer, hit the Menu key, and select Unfollow. You’ll see a confirmation screen to follow, from where you can click the trackball and select Yes or No. Simple enough. To follow a new user is a bit of a process. The idea is to find a tweet or a timeline of the user. This can be best accomplished by searching, which is the next section. You can search for the username by hitting the Menu key and selecting Search. Enter in the username, click the trackball, and select Follow. You can also Do Search to find the user. You can also use this method to follow a user by utilizing Access Links. This will be a section below as well. If you see a user you want to follow mentioned in a tweet, click Menu and select Access Links. From there scroll down to the appropriate user and click the trackball, selecting View Link. That will take you to the user timeline, from where you can follow him/her/it.
To perform a search with Tiny Twitter, hit the Menu button and select Search. Here you can enter in a term. Once you click the trackball you’ll get a number of options. For a basic search, select Do Search. If you’ve performed a search already in your session, clicking Search from your timeline menu will bring you back to your previous search. For a new one scroll to the top of the screen. Here you can edit your search in order to perform a new one. Search is pretty seamless here, and unlike Twibble it’s easy to return to your own timeline. The Escape key works perfectly, bringing you right back there every time, from almost any screen. Believe it or not, that’s a big function in my book, and one reason I’m not as keen on Twibble as I am the others.
If you decide to follow @TinyTwitter, the first tweet you will receive from them is a list of shortcuts. We’ll go over them here, if only for posterity. Reply: r
Direct Message: d
Access Links: l
User timeline: a
Top of list: n I’m surprised there’s no shortcut for search (I tried “s” and it didn’t do anything).
Just a quick note: if you want to access a link from a friend’s tweet, hit the Menu button when hovering over and click Access Links. This brings you to a new screen, where you can click on the link and open it in the default browser.
Just a few things not covered by our normal Twitter review headings:
- Tiny Twitter is fast. That’s the whole point, I think. Searching took the longest of any function, which is reasonable. It was still as quick if not quicker than UberTwitter and Twibble.
- The glitch in the picture sending function is a bit annoying. If someone else has this feature working, let me know.
- There are only a few options, but that’s fine. The basics are all there: how often to check for updates (under Sync Settings), how many tweets to keep in the timeline (in General Settings), and some display options which can quicken or slow down performance.
This is yet another recommended Twitter client for BlackBerry. It’s tough to rate this among TwitterBerry, UberTwtitter, and Twibble, since they’re all good in their own ways. Hopefully the next few we review will be up to par. NOTE:If you would like to check out some other options for using Twitter on your BlackBerry, please be sure to read our BlackBerry Twitter Applications Ranked post where we fill you in on all the best Twitter apps available.