Birdfeed iPhone app makes Twitter experience pleasant, not outstanding

Jan 19, 2010
Tech

With a multitude of Twitter apps available in the iTunes App Store, I missed Birdfeed when it first launched in June 2009. Originally priced at $4.99, Birdfeed has seen a price reduction to $2.99 and a few updates (most recently in November). Birdfeed’s tag line, “A very nice Twitter client,” isn’t untrue — it is nice — but with […]

With a multitude of Twitter apps available in the iTunes App Store, I missed Birdfeed when it first launched in June 2009. Originally priced at $4.99, Birdfeed has seen a price reduction to $2.99 and a few updates (most recently in November). Birdfeed’s tag line, “A very nice Twitter client,” isn’t untrue — it is nice — but with iPhone Tweeters likely set in their ways when it comes to Twitter apps, Birdfeed’s simply nice features make it a hard sell.

If you’re looking for a Twitter iPhone app that displays your timeline like chat bubbles, Birdfeed is a nice option, but that’s a matter of taste (I personally dislike the look). Birdfeed does have a quick load time, and offers offline caching of up to 500 tweets. Settings are found both in-app and in the iPhone’s settings panel, so be sure to explore both areas to maximize your Birdfeed experience. The iPhone app defaults to a tweet refresh load of 20, but you can change this manually within the settings panel to a maximum of 100, which you should do if you follow lots of people. Birdfeed also places timestamp bookmarks in your timeline every time you refresh, which can help you remember where you’ve left off.

Birdfeed’s developers have been upfront about restricting the iPhone app to Twitter’s essentials to maintain its simplicity. The app offers some customization when it comes to re-tweeting style, as well as support for Favrd, Follow Cost, Instapaper, Favstar.fm, Tweeteorites and Flickr. But, if landscape typing, push notification, follower/following management or automatic URL shortening is on your must-have list, look elsewhere. You won’t find those features in Birdfeed.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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