If we had trending topics on BBGeeks, Twitter would certainly be one of them. We’ve made an effort to connect with readers via our own Twitter feed, and it’s led to six rounds of help files — with a seventh coming later today. We’ve also reviewed a number of BlackBerry Twitter clients, and the list is growing. It started with TwitterBerry (due for an update), and progressed to UberTwitter, Tiny Twitter, Twibble, and Blackbird. Today we move onto yet another one, BBTweet. Like the others, we’ll take a quick walk through the program to see what makes it tick.
BBTweet hosts itself on Google Code, but that doesn’t really affect how users download it. In fact, the developers made it easy, setting up a Tiny Url redirect so you don’t have to type in the whole JAD address. You can check out the BBTweet main page at http://code.google.com/p/bbtweet/. The download link can be found there, but in case you just want to get on with it, head to http://tinyurl.com/bbtsvn. That downloads the latest version, 0.3.16, which is an experimental one. You can get the stable version 0.2 release here. Once you’ve downloaded it, you can find it by looking for the weird blue bird drawing among your applications. Launch that and you’ll have the screen to enter your account information. You’ll also be able to set whether you want the application to automatically retrieve updates. The options below that allow you to set the specific interval. The positive here is that you can set different intervals for different actions. For instance, you can have your friends’ timelines updated every two minutes, but you can update your @replies every five minutes, and your direct messages every 10. Finally, you can set the number of status update retries allowed. Once you’re done there, click the Menu button and click Save. That should launch you right into the program.
Sending a tweet and pictures
After you enter your settings — and each time you launch the application thereafter — you’ll see the status update screen, asking the ubiquitous question: What are you doing? Just enter in your message and click in either the trackball or the Menu button. From there you can send your message by selecting Update. Once you do that, it will let you know your message is sent, and then the screen will reset to blank. Lather, rinse, repeat. Unfortunately, it appears that there is no way to attach a picture to your tweet. This is again a shame. Attaching pictures has been a big thing for Twitter users, and there are a number of BlackBerry clients which have that feature. I’m sure it’s a deal breaker for a number of users. Here’s where BBTweet is different than other Blackberry Twitter clients: there is no place in the application for your timeline. Instead, all updates filter through your messaging system. You can also reply and retweet through there, though it’s not as straight forward as some of the other clients.
Replies, direct messages, retweets
Since BBTweet integrates with your messages, you can’t reply or retweet as easily as in other applications. In fact, it will have to be done manually. This means going into the message from your Messages application, adding the @username or RT @username part, and copy and pasting the text into the application. It’s really not that much of a pain, but compared to other Twitter clients it adds a few more steps. As I’ll repeat below, this application is really for the casual user who wants a simple interface, rather than the hardcore Twitter user. Same goes for direct messages. Just type d username in the field before you type your message, and you can send out a direct message. I’m not quite sure if you can receive direct messages — the project page says it’s coming soon, but it could be in the new SVN. If I used direct messages at all, perhaps that would be an easier question to answer. As always, the comments are open for all to add their experience.
Following, unfollowing, location, search, shortcuts
Sorry, these aren’t features with the ultra-simple BBTweet client. It would be a bit tough to integrate them, considering the purpose and the interface.
This application should work just fine for the casual Twitter user who has no need for pictures, direct messages, or a massive number of replies and retweets. If you use any of those features heavily, I’d consider going with one of the more intensive applications (listed in the first paragraph). If you check out the project feed and issues section of the Google Code website, you’ll see that there are a number of issues with the application. This includes users who cannot get the application to work at all. Many times this can be solved by downloading the latest SVN, rather than the stable release. Again, this might not appeal to some users. For interactions, it gets a D. For usefulness, it gets a C. For simplicity, it gets a B. That’s about the best way to sum it up. NOTE:If you would like to check out some other options for using Twitter on your BlackBerry, please be sure to read our Ranking the BlackBerry Twitter Applications post where we fill you in on all the best Twitter apps available.