Issues with Tweetdeck for iPhone

Over the last year my use of Twitter has developed from simply geek-chic & vanity, to it being a genuinely useful tool for my work/ministry & interests.  I’ve connected with a huge number of people around the country (and some further afield) who have shared resources, experiences & conversations which have been of great value.  As my Twitter use has developed, I’ve had to find appropriate tools to keep up with everything.

For a long time I used Twhirl on my desktop for multiple accounts, and it served me well, but was lacking in some areas.  So I moved to Tweetdeck and have been very happy with it as a desktop client. Unfortunately it is let down by some hugely frustrating issues with its sister app for the iPhone.

The biggest issue is its instability: it crashes up to four times a day with very little pattern or consistency.  The only consistent crash is when I try to ‘unfavourite’ a tweet – when it dies every time.

But there are areas of functionality which drive me crazy and make it almost unusable.  When returning to the app (either via the Home screen or the Multitask bar) it re-starts the app rather than returning to its previous state:

  • all previously unread tweets are marked as read
  • the interface scrolls to top of tweets and so losing your place in the timeline
  • if you open a tweet and follow a link then open it in Safari, returning to the app loses your place (as above)
  • if you scroll down the tweet list, slide across to a different column, then back, and it’s scrolled back to the top

When introducing the multitasking functions of IOS4, the Apple website saysApps can remember where you left off. So when you return to the app, you can jump right back into […] whatever you were doing.‘ This seems to have completely passed by the developers of Tweetdeck.

Also, if you tap on a tweet, then the user’s profile, then the ‘recent tweets’ tab, you can’t interact with those tweets in the way you can with the main timeline (add favourites, etc)

There are a couple of areas of functionality which seriously lacking:

  • there is no landscape mode when viewing tweets or webpages (pretty fundamental error)
  • there is no option to schedule tweets (unlike the desktop interface)

Other than that, it’s a nice product ;o) but I’m afraid I’m no longer using the app – instead I’m trying Hootsuite for iPhone.

Do you have any Twitter app recommendations? Share them below…

5 Comments

  1. I totally agree with everything you've said here Ricky. I've been using Tweetdeck for iPhone well over a year and experience exactly the same bugs and annoyances as you describe.

    The funny thing is though, I'd kind of got used to them and forgotten how much they frustrated me. It wasn't until I read this that I thought "yeah, he's right!"

    I'm still using it though because I've not found another app with the same features…

    • Hehe thanks Jon – you are clearly blessed with way more patience than me ;o)

      I can thoroughly recommend Hootsuite for iPhone – seems to have all the same features. Give it a go…

  2. I agree with the points made. I think Tweetdeck was much more stable a year ago, befor iOS4, although I'm not sure that it's iOS4 that introduced the instability. For me, tapping Update consistently crashes Tweetdeck. That's bad, because Update was an important part of my usage pattern. There seem to be some buffer overflow. If I restart the phone (which I rarely do), Tweetdeck may work for a while, including the Update button, but then comes the consistent crashes.

    I've switched to the Twitter for iPhone app. The only drawback compared to Tweetdeck is that i's not as easy to switch between lists, and that it hasn't got Facebook (which is not that important for me anyway)

    • Thanks Helge – I loved the official Twitter app, but it has two drawbacks to my mind:

      – the minor one is that if I've not checked my feed in a while it only loads the last 50 or so tweets from my contacts. That's ok and make sense in terms of bandwidth, but if I scroll all the way to the bottom of the list it doesn't give me the option to load older tweets. In my opinion it should work in a similar way to the web app (ie, get to the bottom and automatically load older tweets, or at least give the option)

      – the major issue for me, and the reason I can't use it, is that since Twitter introduced the new retweet mechanism, there's no option in the updated app to use the old RT: method. As I sync my Twitter account with my Facebook account, if I use the new retweet method, those updates don't get copied over to Facebook. I don't have the time or inclination to manually manage the transfer – so I use a client which offers the old RT: option instead.

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