Computerized Investing > January 5, 2013
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by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

Free

The official iOS app from the popular social media service for sending tweets and monitoring your tweeps.

Twitter is an online social networking service and microblogging service that allows users to send and read text-based messages or “tweets” of up to 140 characters. The service has grown to over 500 million registered users, generating over 340 million tweets a day. Registered users can send tweets and follow other users, while unregistered users can simply read others’ tweets. Twitter first began as a Web-based service, but now there are numerous apps that bring the functionality to hand-held and mobile devices. For everyday tweeting on my iPhone 5, I use Twitter’s own iOS app.

The app underwent a complete overhaul last year, making it a cleaner, more user-friendly experience.

After installing the free app from the Apple Store, you are only reading tweets to start. You don’t have to be a registered user to use the search function and read tweets. However, if you want to send your own tweets or follow users so their tweets appear on your “newsfeed,” you will have to set up an account. However, if you are installing the app, it’s probably because you already have an account. You sign into the app as you would the Twitter website. I have a Twitter account related to Computerized Investing, and you can follow me @aaii_ci. If you are like me and have more than one Twitter account—one for work and one  personal—you can set up multiple accounts on the app as well. You can then toggle across different accounts using the Accounts button.

When you first log in to the app, it takes you through a series of screens to help you find people to follow from your address book and by category. Many people use Twitter just to see what other people are saying without ever tweeting a thing. My work account follows other investment and finance professionals, where I can get unique perspectives and outlooks on investing. If there are specific people you are interested in, you can also set up notifications when they tweet.

The look of the app is very clean. The newsfeed is very easy to read. Tapping on an individual tweet will open it in a larger window with a preview of any links that may be in the tweet. From this window you are also able to reply to it, “retweet” it to your followers or mark it as a favorite.

For the typical Twitter user, this app will give you everything you need. It lacks some power features such as “tweet scheduling,” which more advanced users may need. You can write a tweet and save it as a draft to send later, but this feature is a little confusing. When you compose a tweet, your apparent options are only to Tweet (send) it or Cancel. When you choose Cancel, however, you have the option to save it as a draft or not save it (effectively deleting it). When writing a tweet, you also have the option of adding your location.

There are some occasional bugs. The most annoying bug is that sometimes tweets are not sent and don’t go into the “draft bin,” where you can attempt to send them again. The other gripes are more related to Twitter in general and not the app, with the biggest being the occasional service outages.

If you are new to Twitter, or if you are just a casual user, the Twitter app for iOS is the way to go. It’s very easy to use and you won’t get bogged down with features you don’t need.

Twitter for iOS

Free


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