Twitter's official iPad app gets the job done, but these four apps take Twitter to the next level with a range of additional capabilities to track your tweets and get the most out of the social network for personal or business use.
Hootsuite for Twitter
Hootsuite is an excellent third-party Twitter app (free, iTunes) which offers a great overview on what’s happening on all your social networks.
You’ll need to create a Hootsuite account first but having done this, you’ll be able to access multiple Twitter accounts and connect to a Facebook profile, Facebook page and Foursquare and LinkedIn accounts on the iPad app.
On opening Hootsuite, you'll see a list-like grid with network updates in the top-left hand corner, your own updates down the center and any pending updates due to go live later to the right.
There is a search bar at top and to the right of that a status bar which brings up separate window. With this, you can pick your social networks at the top and add photos, auto-schedule status updates, shrink URL links, add a location, contact or even translate content at the bottom.
Furthermore, HootSuite even has an in-app stat tracking screen that will give you more information about the links you tweet (providing you use the in-built URL shrinker and not the likes of Bitly or Awe.sm).
With arguably the finest Twitter app available for iPad, the developers behind Tweetcaster have packaged a lot of useful features into one product.
Tweetcaster Pro is a versatile app that serves up much more functionality than at first sight.
For instance, on launching the app you’ll see a grid-like home screen with panels for the latest trends, recommendations on who the follow, any Tweeters you’ve bookmarked (for quick access) and nearby Twitter users.
A toolbar at the top of the screen shows your connected Twitter accounts and allows you to jump straight into tweeting or to see your interactions or messages on each account. Tapping one of these options pushes you into a fairly standard split-display layout.
But Tweetcaster is more than just a Twitter app with an extensive overview. It also boasts better searching (Search Party can search one person’s tweets, all your friend’s tweets or for something from your own timeline) and lists (you can organize people into lists, create lists to follow interest and copy other people’s lists with SmartLists).
TweetCaster Pro costs $4.99 from the App Store. A free, ad-based version of the app is also available.
The layout of the app is fairly ordinary, with timeline, mentions, messages and favorite down one side and your Twitter timeline on the other.
It has some handy features for retweeting and replying. For example, you can double-tap on a tweet to view details or customize a triple-tap for replying, retweeting or favoriting a tweet. Swiping to the right of an app reveals the on-going conversation with one of your followers.
Changing Twitter accounts is very fluid and simply requires you to tap on the account at the top and you can also include support for read-it-later services (including Pocket, Instapaper and Readability) via Account Settings. Another neat feature is the option for displaying tweets from your Twitter lists in their own timeline.
Iconfactory’s Twitteriffic 5 ($2.99, iTunes) is a little different to the rest of the apps featured here and that's no bad thing.
On opening the app, you are invited to hook it up to existing Twitter accounts or create a new one entirely. Upon doing this, you’re transported to a very user-friendly home screen that is slick and very easy to use. As review site AppStorm observes, it looks pretty similar to the UI on Windows 8 Phone.
The Twitter timeline practically takes up the whole screen as a vertical list, while there are simple buttons at the top of the screen for writing new tweets, checking mentions, messages and favorites.
Switching accounts is also trouble-free -- you just have to tap the avatar in the top left-hand corner -- and you can refresh the page by pulling down from the top of the page. As with the other apps listed here, Twitterific can open web pages just by clicking on the URL link.