Best Twitter Apps for Palm Pre, Palm Pixi

Two Palm webOS users have recently posted their reviews of the current crop of Twitter apps, both free and paid, for the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi smartphones. Their summary: There's plenty available, from the barest of bare bones to powerful, full-function tweet machines.

Dan Ramirez is a "self-confessed iPhone-turned-Palm-Pre fan boy" according to his Twitter profile (@vara411). On his blog, Totally Palmed, he reviews a half dozen webOS Twitter applications for Palm's Pre and Pixi smartphones, all available on the Palm App Catalog.

Mobile developer, and recent webOS convert, Roy Sutton, founder of Pre101.com, offers his thoughts on the same apps, but dives in a bit deeper.

NW's Keith Shaw on Palm Pre: The official Cool Tools review

Palm has been enduring a drumbeat of criticism because its online App Catalog has only a fraction of the applications found on Apple's App Store for the iPhone. Developers haven't flocked to the innovative webOS yet, though those that have rate it highly for its capabilities and ease of development.

That might be about to change. Palm just made generally available the Ares toolkit, which lets you build webOS applications with a Web browser. And, at January's Consumer Electronics Show, the company will unveil a key OS update, which will boost battery life, software performance, Wi-Fi speeds and handset responsiveness.

But today, you have a half dozen applications from which to choose for working with Twitter.

Ramirez's top choice seems to be Tweed, from Pivotal Labs, $1.99, followed closely by Twee, from Digital Morsel, $2.99. He likes the wide range of features and functions in the first, though he considers the UI itself pretty plain; the second has a richer UI, lacking some of the features in the first but adding some others (such as thumbnails of pictures).

Sutton echoes those judgments. Tweed's UI is minimalist, he says, but not its functionality. "In Tweed's design, all of the functionality is hidden behind a bright blue button on the top right. When you click on it you find everything you could want in Twitter app. More importantly, all the functionality works very well."

On Twee, Sutton confesses "I love the look of Twee." But he discovered an odd memory utilization issue: Twee spawns a second process that keeps running even when the app is shut down. It's not related to the notifications service, but it doesn't seem to take up much memory and Sutton didn't identify any specific problems resulting from this oddity.

There's also a free version, Twee Free, which drops notifications, nearby tweet search, Twitturly, and StockTwits.

The other four Twitter apps for webOS are:

* Spaz, from Funkatron Productions -- the only open-source webOS Twitter app that's also free. Sutton: "The look and feel of Spaz is solid, but there isn't anything that you haven't seen before." He says a paid version is rumored to be in the works.

* TinyTwitter from Tiny Byte Productions -- $1.99. Ramirez: Very fast, in part because it's stripped down to the most basic Twitter features (doesn't include "search", for example).Sutton: It doesn't match up to its paid rivals.

* Yak from JM Productions -- $2.99. Ramirez: Fast like TinyTwitter, with more features; Ramirez experienced some connection issues while using it. Sutton: "Does everything you need a twitter app to do…but it doesn't do anything else." (The only link for JM Productions has nothing more than a second link for "Palm webOS app support". When you click on that, it bring you to a third page with a single link, for "e-mail support."

* FleetTweet from 8bit development -- free. This app does one thing -- lets you post tweets. It's "free" but is supported by ads. Sutton: "I am all about simple apps with a laser focus, but this one strikes me as toooo simple."

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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