Can you believe it was over a year and a half ago that we initially reviewed TwitterBerry? That one was written by our resident Twitter expert, Rae, and since then the craze has spread. This has meant plenty more BlackBerry Twitter clients. We’ve reviewed a lot of them, but now we’re circling back to the original. It’s been updated plenty since our initial review, so we felt it deserves the regular treatment.
To download TwitterBerry, just head to http://www.orangatame.com/ota/twitterberry/ from your BlackBerry browser. From there it’s your standard installation process. The TwitterBerry icon is easily recognizable, so click that and fire it up. The startup screen features not only fields for your login information, but also your Twitter options. This includes how often you want the application to automatically update, if at all, your default splash page (i.e., the page you see when you start up), whether to connect via secure HTML, and a few other options. You can choose to have the application run in the background when you close it, you can choose the font size, and you can choose whether to cache icons in your flash memory or on a memory card. Once you hit save you’ll move on to the update screen. Now it’s time for the fun part.
Sending a tweet and pictures
If you set your splash page to Update, you can just tap away and tell everyone what you’re doing. For others, it takes just a quick step. With most BlackBerry Twitter clients, you’d hit the menu button and look for Update. However, as you hit the menu button on TwitterBerry, you’ll see that there is no such option. Instead, hit the Escape button. That will bring you from a timeline page to the “What are you doing?” page. Once you type in your message, hit the trackball and select Update. To send a picture you’ll have to go to your camera or media player applications. Either take or select a picture, hit the menu button, and scroll down to Send to TwitterBerry. That seems like a roundabout process, when there could just be an option in the menu. Adding the extra step won’t win TwitterBerry any fans. Even if you take the extra step, you might find problems in sending a pic through this client. The problem seems to be better now, but it’s still hit or miss. After talking with some people about the issue, it sounds like sending lower resolution pictures works more frequently, as will connecting via TCP.
Replies, direct messages, retweets
Replying, retweeting, and sending direct messages is simple with TwitterBerry. Just scroll to the user, click the menu button, and select one of those three options. The application will fill in all the relevant information for you — the @replay address, the text of the retweet, or the d username. You can also view replies to you and direct messages. Go to the Update screen and click Menu or the trackball. There you can select Get Replies, which will display a list of instances people have mentioned you. Here you can also view your direct messages by selecting the appropriate menu option. You can also view your direct message outbox by selecting Sent Direct Messages.
While you can view the locations of your friends by highlighting them and selecting User Info, TwitterBerry does not offer the option to update your own location.
Following and unfollowing
TwitterBerry makes easy the act of following and unfollowing people. On any user tweet — whether on your Friends Timeline, the Public Timeline, or any other individual timeline — select Follow. That’s it. This goes only for the originally tweet — if someone on your friends timeline retweets or replies to someone and you want to follow that person, you’ll have to click on their username and then follow them. You can’t just highlight the @username and select Follow, unfortunately. Unfollowing is just as easy. Just highlight a tweet from the user, hit menu, and select Leave. There is no confirmation prompt for Following and Leaving, but if you accidentally unfollow someone, you can quickly re-add them. I had trouble with this feature in other BlackBerry Twitter clients (didn’t realize that the follow request didn’t go through for about a week), but it works like a charm with TwitterBerry.
It is with the greatest sadness that I report the following: TwitterBerry has no search function. I don’t know how you leave this off, but it’s not here. It does make me wonder, though, how much searching is done on a BlackBerry Twitter client. Let me know how extensively you use the function.
TwitterBerry does have a few keyboard shortcuts:
- R: reply
- T: top
- D: direct message
- Z: update timeline
- B: bottom
Network Request Error
Sometimes, you’ll see a dialog box saying Network Request Error. This is rampant in TwitterBerry (but not predictable enough for me to nab a screenshot). It might cause some temporary issues, but I noticed nothing of note after clicking OK. It seems to happen when Twitter.com performs an update. I noticed it a few times on Monday, but today I haven’t gotten it yet.
- I love the interface on this. Everything is straight forward. Scrolling over a tweet allows you to reply, retweet, or direct message with that user, so the basic functions are as good as it gets.
- If my two biggest complaints are the lack of a search function and a roundabout picture attachment system, it’s the signs of a good client.
- It runs fast, which is always a plus. Sometimes loading a timeline, whether my friends’ or the public, can take a second, but it’s still faster than most clients I’ve used.
- Hitting the Escape key to enter an update took a minute to get used to, as did hitting the Menu button and selecting Friends Timeline to get back my splash page. It seems kind of backwards, but it works well enough.
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.