Mobile Twitter on the Blackberry

Twitter == Addictive. CrackBerry == Addictive. Twitter + BlackBerry == toxic levels of addictivenessicity.

This is a quick review of some of the mobile Twitter interfaces and how well they work on the BlackBerry. I'm just looking at mobile web interfaces (for now).

Mobile Twitter

First off - the official mobile Twitter interface -

It's fairly plain and uninteresting. At the bottom of the screen, we see a few options.

You can even perform basic follow / unfollow activity.

At first glance, it seems ok. Most of the basic functionality is there. If all you want to do is read your stream and post - it's fine.

But! Thanks to the Twitter API, there are a plethora of different interfaces.


Let's look at Slandr.

Wow! Straight away we can see the difference. Avatars are displayed - as are adverts - and there's a whole heap of extra functionality. Those icons beside a person's name are "reply", "Direct Message", "Favourite" and "Retweet". It really saves the wear and tear on the thumbs to have quick access to those functions.
There's even more at the bottom.

Conspicuous by its absence on the official interface is "Replies". Slandr quickly gives you access to any messages you've been sent - either directly or in your friend stream.

There's also a wicked search page.

The only problem with it, is that you cannot bookmark your searches. So, if you're following a particular subject of hashtag, you're out of luck. You'll also notice that hashtags aren't clickable.

Twitstat Mobile

Twitstat is a great site for gathering stats about your twittering. Their mobile interface is also pretty good.

It's clean and well spaced. Although you may see fewer tweets at once, it's much easier to read than other interfaces.

The little icons allow you to favourite, reply and - oddly - "LOL" someone. Disappointingly, they rely on JavaScript. I keep JS switched off on my BlackBerry for performance reasons.

On to the features that make Twitstat stand out.
Reply highlighting. When scrolling through a load of tweets, it's easy to miss ones directed at you. Twitstat helpfully colours the tweets to make them stand out.

The "ego" link will return all the tweets that feature your name.

Hashtags are clickable and can be bookmarked.

Anyone who follows twitstat, will have generated for them some details about their tweeting.

I post a lot about beer...

Not only will Twitstat expand some links run through URL shortening services, it will also place flickr pictures in-line.

This is probably the most useful aspect. It's so annoying to have to click through to find out what someone thinks is cool. Much better to see the full URL so that I can determine if it's a link I want to visit, if I've seen it before or
if it's BlackBerry friendly.


Finally, on to dabr.

Lots of options - but the screen is quite cluttered. Again, it has the ability to reply, DM, favourite and retweet.

The basic search functionality is good. It allows bookmarking.

Hashtags are also clickable.

Profile pages allow you to see followers, which is a nice touch.

It does have a couple of bugs. The input field isn't limited to 140 characters. This means you don't get notified if your tweet is too long. It also claims to do reply colouring - but I can't see any colouring in the BlackBerry browser.


All of the alternatives are better than the standard interface. I find myself using Twitstat for reading and searching - but as it doesn't allow me to follow new users, I flick back to Slandr quite a bit. Twitstat has cooler features, but Slandr is more useable. Dabr is fine - but it doesn't have anything to make it stand out from the others.

Geek Stuff

These device used was a BlackBerry 8800, running firmware The screenshots were taken using JL_Cmder.

3 thoughts on “Mobile Twitter on the Blackberry

  1. David Carrington says:

    I really appreciate the screenshots of dabr on Blackberry. They'll help to improve it.

    The reply highlighting feature probably does the opposite to what you meant, it highlights anything which mentions your username.

  2. says:

    Thanks for reviewing slandr. Clicking on hashtags is noted down, as well as the ability to bookmark your own links in the topnavbar, which already long lasting feature-request.

    Please note that we also display inline images: posted by autopostr or mobypicture. I will add Twitpic soon too.

    greetings from Amsterdam,

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