20 ways to use Twitter from your mobile phone

by Ross McKillop on April 16, 2008

BlackBerry iPhone iPod Symbian Windows Mobile

Alright I admit it, I’ve drank the Twitter kool-aid. For a while I was in the “I don’t care what you’re doing right now” camp, but have since discovered that it really is a great way to keep up on current events, find interesting people and keep in touch. And like a number of geeks, I carry several mobile Internet devices at all times. So I gave as many mobile Twitter clients/services a try, and here’s what I’ve found.

Note: you can always follow @simplehelpblog on twitter. I’d be happy to answer questions or offer suggestions!

Note 2: if you’re looking for iPad Twitter Apps, check out 5 Great Twitter Apps for the iPad.

 

Name Platform
ceTwit Windows Mobile 6, Windows Mobile Smartphones
Hahlo designed for iPhone/iPod Touch, probably works in any browser, web based
Jargong see this page for supported phones
Jitter Java. Any mobile phone with CLDC 1.0 / MIDP 1.0, which should be pretty much any phone supporting MIDlets. In other words, if you can run downloaded games on your phone, you can also run Jitter.
MobileTwitter jailbroken iPhone or iPod Touch
PocketTweets web based for the iPhone or iPod Touch
psychzzz web based, should work on pretty much any browser
SQIJ Windows Smartphone 2003SE, Windows PocketPC 2003SE, Windows Mobile 5/6 Smartphone, Windows Mobile 5/6 PocketPC
ThinCloud designed for iPhone/iPod Touch, probably works in any browser, web based
Twitter2Go web based, WAP or xHTML-MP interface
Twitter Email any mobile phone that can send email
Twitteresce Java J2ME enabled phone
Twitter Flashlite FlashLite 2.x enabled device
Twitter IM any mobile phone that supports Jabber, Gtalk and LiveJournal chat
Twitter Mobile Home web
Twitter SMS Any phone that supports sending SMS text messages
Twitter Webdebolsillo web
TwitToday Windows Mobile 5/6 touchscreen PDAs
Twapper web
Twobile Windows Mobile 5 or above Touch-screen device (no touch-screen=no work)


ceTwit

Works as advertised. The author tests on an HTC TyTN II (AT&T 8525) and a Samsung Blackjack, but he has tried to make it Smartphone friendly. For what it’s worth, it worked like a charm on my HTC S621. Well, user icons weren’t displayed, but I would consider that a feature not a bug, as it uses less bandwidth (Canadians will appreciate that). Update: I got in touch w/ the author, and he confirmed that the Smartphone version doesn’t support avatars, intentionally. Of all the Windows Mobile Twitter clients I tried, this is the one that remains on my Smartphone. Download here.

Screenshots:


Timeline

Action menu
   

Timeline options

Update

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Hahlo

Another web based Twitter client designed specifically for iPhones and/or iPod Touches. So no jailbreaking or software installations required – just point Safari to http://hahlo.com. Of the web based clients, this one was the most “buggy” for me. A direct message sent to a friend apparently just disappeared into the ether. With that said, it does have a lot of features and the UI is decent.

Screenshots:


hahlo home

Timeline
   

Update

Replies

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Jargong

I’m actually glad I don’t have a supported phone. This is another one of those “the entire world in one” applications. Here’s their schtick – Jargong is Social Networking (Flickr and Twitter), Instant Messaging (MSN, ICQ, AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk and Jabber) and Feeds (Google Reader) in a single client application”. Phew. If you’ve used this app and have some thoughts to share, by all means do so in the comments and I’ll update this paragraph accordingly.

Screenshots:


Twitter part of Jargong

Personal timeline

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Jitter

Jitter is Java based, so it’s almost guaranteed this one will work on your phone. Very minimal, low bandwidth, text only. A tiny bit ugly, but certainly functional. I’m a little confused why it had people in the “send a direct message to” list that I’ve never added to Twitter, but eh, no big deal. Perhaps the coder assumed everyone adds Scoble to Twitter.

Screenshots:


Java apps list

Update
   

Jitter Options

Timeline

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MobileTwitter

I think this was the first actual Twitter app for jailbroken iPhones and iPod Touches. I could be totally wrong. It’s functional, not ugly, what more can I say. It looks a lot like the web interfaces (PocketTweets etc). But it has a cool icon for your Dashboard. Install it via Installer.app.

Screenshots:


Public Timeline

Update
   

Light on the Prefs
 

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PocketTweets

Another web based interface to Twitter, but very specifically created for the iPhone and/or iPod Touch. Just visit http://www.pockettweets.com from your iPhone/iPod Touch. It is very slick, loads quickly and it’s pretty feature rich. Of the web based Twitter interfaces for the iPhone, this one is my favorite.

Screenshots:


Timeline

Toolbar
   

Update
 

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psychzzz

Very plain. Kinda blah. Only allows you to update Twitter, not read friends updates etc. But it gets the job done, and it’s certainly low bandwidth. Just point your mobile browser to http://mobi.psychzzz.com. You an also run a few other tools from the page, like “Domain Checker” and “Site Ping”.

Screenshots:


Home page

Sign in and update

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SQIJ

I try to stick to the saying “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything”. I’m making an exception here. Seriously, don’t download this software if all you’re looking for is a Twitter client. SQIJ is actually a collection of “Applets”, and Twitter happens to be one of them. If the other Applets appeal to you, and you want a Twitter client, maybe this software is for you. Things that annoyed me: you have to run a setup.exe w/ your phone docked (just give me the .cab please), you have to create a SQIJ account in order to add the Twitter applet and it was slow as death. With all of that said, the actual UI wasn’t totally ugly or hard to use.

Screenshots:


Your “SQIJ’s”

Following list
   

Timeline

Update

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ThinCloud Twitter

This is a web-based Twitter client designed specifically for iPhones and/or iPod Touches. That means you don’t need to have a jail-broken device, just load https://twitter.thincloud.com/login in Safari. I preferred PocketTweets, but you may not.

Screenshots:


ThinCloud home

Friends list
   

Timeline

Update

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twitter2go

Uhhh something’s awry at twitter2go.com. Or at least in Internet Explorer Mobile. The “bookmark” function (which is a bit of a security risk as it saves your username and password in plain text) doesn’t work, trying to view someones status will only display one specific user (no matter what name you enter). The update feature, however, works perfectly fine. Even if you’re determined to find a simple web based Twitter client, I’d skip this one.

Screenshots:


At least Update works
 

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Twitter Email

There are a few 3rd party services such as http://emailtwitter.com, but I’m not sure I’d recommend them. Though you can set up an account with them so you don’t have to email your password each time you want to update, it’s still not ideal. A better solution might be to sign up for tumblr, find the private email address used to update your tumbl blog (it’s in the “goodies” section”) and then use http://twitterfeed.com to import your tumble blog RSS feed.

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Twitteresce

For some reason, Twitteresce fails to install (on my Java J2ME enabled phone). I transferred the .jad file to my phone several different ways, and I get a default “this Midlet failed to install” error. Such is life. If you have an experience using this client, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll update accordingly.

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Twitter Flashlite

I don’t have a Flashlite enabled phone, so I couldn’t give this one a try. From the dev: “The application just updates the status message but I am thinking to add support for other Twitter APIs. There are bugs in application (not saving credentials in SharedObject, bad graphics, bad user-interaction (UI, soft-key-mapping). I would post the code later after fixing/cleaning.” I’ve tried leaving a comment on the devs site asking for some screenshots, but I’m not sure it went through. Ah well.

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Twitter IM

From: http://help.twitter.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=28

Twitter asks that you verify your Jabber, Gtalk and Live Journal chat addresses, just to make sure that you’re you. If you haven’t added your IM address to Twitter, follow the first set of instructions. If you’ve added your IM address but your updates aren’t posting, skip down to the second set of instructions.

  1. Log in to Twitter.
  2. Click on the Settings link in the top navigation bar.
  3. Click on the Phone & IM link.
  4. Click to verify your IM account. That should do it!

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Twitter Mobile Home

Point your mobile browser to http://m.twitter.com/login. Login. Done.

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Twitter SMS

First see: How to activate your phone for Twitter

Then text your update to:

  • In the US, use 40404.
  • In Canada, use 21212.
  • In India, use 5566511.
  • Anywhere else, use +44 7624 801423
  • Note that Twitter won’t charge you anything for sending the SMS messages, but your cellular provider might.

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    Twitter Webdebolsillo

    It works, it seems to have all the features you’d want, and it’s entirely in Spanish. If I could read Spanish, I’d have more to comment on, but even from just clicking around I was able to find most of the features you’d expect (friends timeline, public timeline, direct messages, etc).

    Screenshots:


    Timeline

    Profile
       

    Timeline clickable links
     

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    TwitToday

    Looks brilliant. Couldn’t get it to show up on a Windows Mobile 6 Smartphone today screen (non-touchscreen device). As the author states “When posting a tweet, the key is speed. I don’t want to wait to launch an app, I don’t want lots of features. I just want something to take my message and post it.” Which is exactly my view. I’m bummed I can’t give this one a shot. Or I should say, I’m bummed I’m not smart enough to figure out a way to get this on my today screen.

    Screenshots:


    TwitToday

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    Twapper

    Here goes. Twapper is a 30 Boxes and Twitter mashup. Kind of. Visit http://m.30boxes.com/twapper in any mobile web browser (or regular browser) and enter a username. You’ll see their updates and friends updates. Or, go directly to their username by using the URL http://m.30boxes.com/twapper/rossm, where rossm is the user you want to view. If you want to update your Twitter status, send direct messages etc – join 30 Boxes, add twitter to your Web Stuff, and post an update to twitter from their Status line. Then login on your mobile and you are good to go. Too much of a hassle for me, so no screenshots for you!

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    Twobile

    Since I don’t have a touch-screen Windows Mobile device, I couldn’t actually test this one. Anyone who uses it regularly and has an opinion, please feel free to share it in the comments and I’ll update this paragraph. Twobile can be downloaded here.

    Screenshots:


    Update

    Featured
       

    User status

    Twobile settings

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