You’d think at some point that we would run out of BlackBerry Twitter clients to review. That time is coming, probably really soon. There are still a few more in the hopper, though, and I want to get to at least one more before we do a massive wrap-up. This week we’re talking about TwiXtreme, a client that started making its rounds last week. How does it stack up against the other Twitter clients we’ve reviewed?
You can check out the basics at TwiXtreme’s website. They do have options to download it there, but since they’re JAD files you’re better off downloading them OTA. Just visit the link on your BlackBerry browser and there will be a big, unmistakable download icon atop the screen. Click that and you’ll go through the normal process. Upon booting up, and viewing the cute bird animation, you’ll be prompted for two things. First is allowing the app certain permissions. This is pretty standard fare for Twitter applications. Select Allow, and then you’ll enter in your Twitter account information. Once you’re done with that, it’s onto your timeline. Yes, the application is that straight forward.
Sending a tweet and pictures
If there’s one thing to get right in a Twitter application, it’s making the act of tweeting as easy as possible. TwiXtreme does this, not only putting the status update option near the top of the menu, but also labeling it intuitively: What are you doing? Hey, everything on Twitter comes back to this one question. Click on that and you’ll go to a nicely designed page where you can enter in your 140 characters. Sending a picture is not quite as easy, though there’s really little to it. If you want to snap a new photo, in fact, it’s really easy. Just clock on the camera icon, which is above the text bubble in the What are you doing? screen. That brings you to the camera application, where you can point, click, and send to Twitter. If you want to attach an existing picture, click the Menu button in the camera and select View Pictures. When you find the picture you want, hit the Menu button and select Send to TwiXtreme. That will put the image right in there for you.
Replies, direct messages, retweets
Replies, direct messages, and retweets are handled within the individual tweet screen. When you find a tweet you want to reply to or retweet, click the trackball on it. Atop the screen you’ll see the user avatar and name. Next to that is an icon which will bring you to the user’s profile, and next to that is a mail icon. That’s for direct messages. Click on that and you’ll head to the direct message screen, where you can use all 140 characters, rather than wasting them on the “d username” bit. To reply to the tweet, go to the bottom of the post and click on the @ sign. That will bring you to the What are you doing? screen with the @username already filled in. To retweet, select the arrow icon, which is next to the @ sign. That will also bring you to the What are you doing? screen, with the RT there for you, ready to send. You can also check out @replies and direct messages from the main menu. Just click the Menu button and selection Mentions or Direct Messages. That will bring up a timeline list of those messages.
Location features with TwiXtreme will only work if the application can retrieve your GPS location. Unfortunately, my Verizon BlackBerry doesn’t support this function (or at least I haven’t been able to figure out how to make it work). If your Berry does support GPS, you’ll be able to check out a list of those tweeting near you.
Following and unfollowing
Following and unfollowing is a feature available on most of the Twitter clients we’ve reviewed, but none better than on TwiXtreme. Well, to be more accurate, it’s not that it’s easier as a process. It’s just easier to find lists of people you are following, and those that are following you. As with most Twitter clients, following and unfollowing is handled in the user profile screen. Just click on the user’s profile and you’ll see an icon next to the name, a plus for those you are not following and a minus for those you are. Click on that to either follow or unfollow the user. There is no confirmation screen, so make sure you know you want to follow or unfollow the person before you click it. TwiXtreme makes this all easier by having dedicated menu options to view a list of those you are following and those who are following you. From there you can click right into their profiles to follow or unfollow. This is especially useful for finding those who follow you, but whom you do not follow.
Search is never a terribly difficult feature to implement, and TwiXtreme does a good job of it. When you select Search from the menu, a box pops up in the middle of the screen. Enter in your term and you’ll head to a new timeline featuring your search term. Easy, basic, straight forward. We’ve come to expect these things from search. You can also search for trending topics by clicking on the top menu option, Trends. There you’ll see a few of the hottest discussion topics on Twitter. In that screen you can drill down even further. Hit the Menu button and you can view daily and weekly trends, in addition to the current trends.
No real shortcuts to report, other than T for top of a timeline and B for the bottom.
- I like the automatic update method TwiXtreme uses. It automatically checks for new tweets quite often — it seemed like every two or three minutes. Instead of adding them to your timeline, though, it lets you know you have new tweets. Click the link, and they’ll show up.
- All considered, this is a pretty fast application. It takes care of most tasks without much load time. And when there is some load time involved (for instance, when you view someone’s profile), you get the neat animated bird icon.
- The menu is perfectly laid out. All the options make sense, and the Followers and Following You options make it even better.
- There is no Options menu option. Not sure how I feel about this. Normally I love flipping through the various options, but there’s something nice about having everything laid out for you. TwiXtreme does this very well.
NOTE:If you would like to check out some other options for using Twitter on your BlackBerry, please be sure to read our Twitter Applications for BlackBerry Ranked post where we fill you in on all the best Twitter apps available.