By Hillel Fuld *
Since its debut into the tablet market, the iPad has sold well over three million devices. The iPad’s App Store is a quickly growing market with 25,000 apps already available for download.
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There are a ton of apps that take advantage of the iPad’s large, vibrant display. While most people associate the multimedia interface with flashy games or online magazines, it also can be applied to social networking and data consumption.
Of all social networks, the quantity of Twitter apps for the iPad suggests that while both Twitter and the iPad are starting to enter mainstream consciousness, both are used daily by a large early adapter community.
There are countless options available to the iPad owner looking for a solid Twitter app. The following are 10 feature-packed and user friendly options we found.
1. Osfoora HD
What stands out about Osfoora HD is its user interface; it’s beautiful and takes full advantage of the large iPad screen. It also includes all the standard and advanced Twitter features including Instapaper integration to save links for later reading.
One of the disadvantages of Osfoora HD is the inability to quickly read the thread leading up to a tweet. It requires you to click on the tweet, which opens a new view that includes the “In Reply To” option.
Twitterrific for the iPad is one of the most popular choices among iPad Twitter users for good reason. It’s feature-packed and has clickable links and profiles directly in the main stream — something missing from many of its competitors. While it’s listed as “free” on iTunes, there have been some grumblings in the comments about a $4.99 features update. The standard version will net you basic options and control over one account. It’s missing some basic features like “Reply All,” as well as a missed tweets count.
Price: Free / $4.99 upgrade
Flipboard needs no introduction. The “social magazine” for the iPad made tremendous waves upon its release. It is first and foremost an app for consuming content from various sources but with its Twitter list and profile integration, it’s a pretty impressive standalone Twitter app as well. While it is a great Twitter app for consuming information, it lacks many of the advanced features found in almost all of the apps on this list.
It only supports the native RT option, there are no geolocation features, and there is no option to carry out a conversation with your Twitter followers from within Flipboard.
4. Tweetings HD
While Tweetings HD might not be as well known as Twitteriffic or Tweetdeck, its iPad app definitely competes with the best of the them. What is unique about Tweetings HD is its one-click access to any one Twitter list right from the sidebar of the main screen. Tweetings also has push notifications, which makes it stand out from the rest. However, one of the apps’ major shortcomings is the lack of live clickable URLs in the timeline. Clicking on a tweet will open a new pane, which can be an annoying extra step.
5. Echofon Pro
One of the most popular iPhone Twitter apps, the iPad version of Echofon Pro does not disappoint. It includes all the advanced features expected in a modern Twitter app with one notable addition: Echofon Pro allows you to reply to various tweets with one single response. So, if 10 people wish you “Happy birthday,” you can reply to all of them with one “Thank you.” This is not to be confused with the nearly universal “Reply All” option.
Twittelator for iPad has some unique features like inline photos from your friends’ tweets, a full chat view of Twitter conversations, and others. However, the standard view does not utilize the entire 9.7″ display, which some might say is a waste of potential.
Twitrocker is not as well known as some of its competitors, but it’s just as good if not better than the rest. Twitrocker also comes in a free version for those who’d like to test it before shelling out $4.99. Twitrocker includes all of the features you would expect to see, including full list integration, bit.ly support, multiple account support, and many others.
There are two unique aspects to Twitrocker. First of all, your password is not saved in the app, but rather you log in using Twitter OAuth. Second, unlike almost all the apps on this list, Twitrocker offers “unread” counts on your various Twitter lists, meaning you can see how many new tweets are waiting for you. It’s a nice addition to an already polished app.
Tweetdeck is one of the most popular clients on the various platforms. There is a Tweetdeck for Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, and most recently Android. What is unique about the iPad app compared to others on this list is the ability to swipe between columns, offering quick access to replies, DMs, Twitter Lists, search results, or many other configurable options.
Twitepad is an interesting app with a clever approach to information consumption. The app is similar to Tweetdeck in that it is based on the multi-column interface, but it’s different from the others in terms of the overall user experience and customization tools for composing and arranging your multiple feeds.
Twitter for iPad, the official app from the folks at Twitter, is stunning. The experience includes multiple layers for opening URLs and profiles, and the app has every possible Twitter feature you can imagine.
The app has some nice gesture-based features such as swiping down on a tweet to reveal the thread leading up to it, as well as “pinch” to reveal the sender’s profile. It would have been nice to include the old RT option, one-click access for your lists, and an auto-fill for Twitter names. Still, given the features and backing from Twitter, this app looks like it could beat out the competition.