The Ultimate BlackBerry Twitter Client Battle Royale Part I
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Thread: The Ultimate BlackBerry Twitter Client Battle Royale Part I

  1. #1
    AgentBlackBerry's Avatar
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    The Ultimate BlackBerry Twitter Client Battle Royale Part I



    For as long as I can remember, BlackBerry users on Twitter have argued over which mobile client is the best all-around. Although there are many different Twitter apps to choose from, the top three most used and well-known have been Twitter for BlackBerry, UberSocial for BlackBerry and SocialScope. These three are the ones that have incurred more debates than I care to count.

    I’ve primarily used Twitter for BlackBerry over the last year and a half and have been quite content with it. Over the last 6 months or so, I had heard grumblings about how UberSocial is “ easily the best app for Twitter.” SocialScope users, on the other hand, would boast about their app being so good and so exclusive, that you needed to be “invited” to use it (actually true about the invitation). All this trash talk was just asking for a good head-to-head... to-head battle to determine which app is the best, once and for all.

    We needed a good review to compare and contrast all three of these Twitter clients and that's exactly what I attempted to do. I will be going pretty in depth in terms of pros and cons about all three of these clients so this battle will actually be a couple of parts. Part I will focus squarely on User Interface and the look of the apps while Part II will be more focused on Performance and Notifications.

    So without further ado, here is the Twitter Client on BlackBerry Battle Royale between T4BB, UberSocial and SocialScope.

    The Setup

    To start, I decided to run all three apps at the same time on my BlackBerry for 5 days (battery killer and a half). Throughout the tests, I used Twitter for BlackBerry v3.0.0.24, UberSocial for BlackBerry v1.353, and SocialScope v0.9.6.36. By running all three concurrently, I was able to see how quickly I got mentions/DMs/notifications from each app and compare them in as many things as possible.

    Then, I gave each client its own 3 day span where I would force myself to use nothing but the app to tweet. It was a little tortuous at times specially since I wasn’t use to certain ways in which each app functioned. After about a half day of continuous use though, it became a little easier and I gotta say, I was very surprised with what I found out about all three of these clients.

    It is worth noting that all of these clients had their pros and their cons, obviously. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be loved and hated by so many people at the same time. Unfortunately, two of them have too many cons, in my opinion, and that’s what ultimately decided this battle.

    BATTLE 1 - USER INTERFACE

    Possibly the most important part of a good Twitter experience is how UI looks. How aesthetically pleasing the UI is, will strongly influence whether or not and for how long you continue to use a specific Twitter client.

    Twitter for BlackBerry



    Positives:
    In my opinion, T4BB has, hands down, the nicest user interface out of the big three. It’s clean, no ads, no clutter, and it’s definitely does the most important functions that any Twitter client needs to do without many problems.



    One of the things that I absolutely love about the UI on T4BB is how you can see outside notifications from within the app as pictured above. This not only saves you time when it comes to finding out what notifications you have received without leaving the app but if you are on the move and your signal/WiFi drops you will automatically be able to tell. I’ve always been in favor of having every app include this top row and while I know it’s not always possible, it is always a huge plus when an app does manage to add it.



    Twitter for BlackBerry also allows one-click access to information within tweets. What do I mean? Well when someone’s tweet contains a picture, a link, or another Twitter handle, for example, on T4BB you can click those individual parts of the tweet and open the picture, the link or the user’s profile without going into another screen (the actual tweet) like you have to on UberSocial and SocialScope.

    Negatives:
    Currently, Twitter for BlackBerry does not allow to see if anyone has retweeted you, followed you, added you to a list or any of those extra awesome features. Obviously, I’m hoping those added goodies come soon but so far, nothing.

    Twitter for BlackBerry also does not support muting, twitlonger or open at least read tweet. I never thought I’d personally want this last feature since I’ve never really used it, but after trying out UberSocial and SocialScope (both have open at last read tweet), I’ve completely changed my mind. Not having this feature or a Connect tab (see retweets and other interactions) are HUGE negatives.

    UberSocial for BlackBerry



    Positives:
    UberSocial for BlackBerry does have a pro when it comes to UI and that’s the ability to change the “theme” of the app to one more to your liking. I chose the “Midnight Theme” but UberSocial does give you seven other options to choose from.



    UberSocial has this awesome feature called “Inner Circle” (which has its own set of notifications) to which you can add your favorite Twitter handles and be notified when they do anything on Twitter. I can see this being a huge plus for people that follow everyone back and in reality only want to know about a few select people.



    UberSocial for BlackBerry also supports twitlonger and TMI.me for those times that we need more than 140 characters to say what we mean. From a writer's point of view, this feature is great because you don't have to look for every little place that u can delete a character in your tweet to "make it all fit." From a reader's point of view though, it's a little different. Unless you catch my attention with the first words of the tweet, odds are I will not click on the click to finish reading the entire paragraph you decided to write on Twitter.

    Negatives:
    UberSocial is just ugly. There’s no two ways to go about it. It is the only client, out of the three we’re discussing, that employees ads. I can imagine that on a portrait oriented screen (Torch 9810/9850/9860 Curve 9380) this wouldn’t be a huge issue as there is more real estate for tweets above the ad, but on the Bold 9900, it simply takes way too much space.



    In the example above, the ad literally takes almost one third of the entire screen. You can imagine how unbelievably annoying this becomes when trying to scroll through your timeline. Of course, you can get rid of the ads altogether but then you have to purchase a one year subscription for $4.99. Simply not worth it.

    UberSocial for BlackBerry seems like it’s just too busy. The menu is ridiculously long. I counted 38 different items on the menu alone. Unless you know exactly where you’re going, you’re going to be scrolling up and down for a little while. If you decide to go into the Options and you want to find a specific section in Options, good luck. The Options screen is goes in a specific order and to be able to get to a certain part of the list, you have to click Save/Next at every screen/option before the one you're looking for. It's terribly designed.

    SocialScope



    Positives:
    Like UberSocial, SocialScope also gives its users Themes (six different ones) to choose from which is definitely a fan favorite. It’s very crisp in its design and is more like Twitter for BlackBerry in the cleanliness and simplicity.

    SocialScopes, like Twitter for BlackBerry, offers shortcuts within the app so no there's no need to open the menu every time you want to do something like on UberSocial.



    SocialScope also allows the user to see if you’ve been retweeted. You do have to manually check it though as it does not do it through a notification. Also, while it will show the number of times you’ve been retweeted, it won’t tell you by whom.

    Negatives:



    One difference between SocialScope and the other two clients, that I personally see as a negative, is the way the app shows the time of the tweets on the timeline. Instead of having it indicate how long ago it was posted, SocialScope decides to show the time it was posted instead. This wouldn’t be an issue if it displayed the current time somewhere within the app, but unfortunately, it doesn't. I found myself confused at times wondering if I was reading something from an hour or two minutes ago.

    [Update] Thanks to horangi7 for pointing out that this is only done by default on SocialScope and can be changed under Settings > Display > Date Format to "Relative."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Visually, these apps couldn't be more different. While Twitter for BlackBerry is very simple and direct, UberSocial and SocialScope have a lot going on which can add to Twitter experience but also confuse the user like crazy when he/she first starts using it.

    The visual aspect is only a portion of what made this Battle Royale so interesting. Part II will be all about notifications and interactions within the app. So stay tuned!
    Last edited by AgentBlackBerry; 05-22-2012 at 02:48 PM.


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  2. #2
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    Excellent review. I personally have been using t4bb as its the cleanest out of all three. However Ubersocial is by far the most intuitive as it has almost double the features that either app has. It also supports multiple accounts. In addition it has themes that can be applied to help make the UI a little more inviting. Ubersocial is also free so I cant really complain about the ads. SocialScope I also tried for a while but it quickly became cluttered and I found myself with tons of notifications, and limited options. It was almost like I had to message folders.
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    Regardless of the ads, I still go with UberSocial. I have been using it for years now ever since it started as UberTwitter. Although you will see a lot of items when you press the menu button, by familiarizing it, you won't get lost or something. You can get the hang of it if you will use it more often. Not only that, aside from the default themes that you can use, you might want to try and download other themes like UberWarrior that is the one I'm using right now. I tried T4BB as well as SocialScope, but nothing would compare with UberSocial in my opinion. We've got our own preferences in terms of how we would enjoy using Twitter on our mobile devices and it's up to us which one really suits our taste.

    Great article indeed Sir! *round of applause*
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToraxCefiro View Post
    Regardless of the ads, I still go with UberSocial. I have been using it for years now ever since it started as UberTwitter. Although you will see a lot of items when you press the menu button, by familiarizing it, you won't get lost or something. You can get the hang of it if you will use it more often. Not only that, aside from the default themes that you can use, you might want to try and download other themes like UberWarrior that is the one I'm using right now. I tried T4BB as well as SocialScope, but nothing would compare with UberSocial in my opinion. We've got our own preferences in terms of how we would enjoy using Twitter on our mobile devices and it's up to us which one really suits our taste.

    Great article indeed Sir! *round of applause*
    I still think ubersocial has more features than all of them. I also stand corrected in that t4bb does in fact support multiple accounts. The usberwarrior them is really cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentBlackBerry View Post
    One difference between SocialScope and the other two clients, that I personally see as a negative, is the way the app shows the time of the tweets on the timeline. Instead of having it indicate how long ago it was posted, SocialScope decides to show the time it was posted instead. This wouldn’t be an issue if it displayed the current time somewhere within the app, but unfortunately, it doesn't. I found myself confused at times wondering if I was reading something from an hour or two minutes ago.

    Actually SocialScope does have this option in the settings, change 'Date Format' to 'Relative'. Great write up.

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    Excellent article AgentBlackBerry!!

    This is exactly what BlackBerry users need to compare which Twitter client is best for them and why, and point out various pros and cons to each in an easy, and understandable way that will be looked upon many as the backdrop for a long time.

    I loved the,
    I decided to run all three apps at the same time on my BlackBerry for 5 days (battery killer and a half).
    Thank you very much for all your effort bro!
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    Joe Jerde's Avatar
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    Ever since I've tried UberSocial back when it was UberTwitter, it was way to overdone. From that point on I stuck with Twitter for BlackBerry. But since then it looks like UberSocial has changed their setup system. I may have to meander back and check it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Jerde View Post
    Ever since I've tried UberSocial back when it was UberTwitter, it was way to overdone. From that point on I stuck with Twitter for BlackBerry. But since then it looks like UberSocial has changed their setup system. I may have to meander back and check it out.
    Try it out Boss.. Its UberCool now.. You'll be UberHappy with it
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    Just wanted to put in my 2 cents worth. SocialScope lite is hardly worth mentioning and to try and get an invite to the pro version is like trying to draw water from a stone. At least Ubersocial has a more than functional free app and pretty awsome pro. Twitter for blackberry seems to be my go to app though . Doesn't have a lot of fluff simple and does the job . They are both readily available. To the masses. So for this reason SocialScope get's a thumbs down from me.
    Last edited by Walter66; 06-04-2012 at 10:34 AM.
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    Joe Jerde's Avatar
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    Yes, native apps are most convenient as long as they aren't bloated.

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    I just found out something new about Twitter for BlackBerry yesterday. Most (if not all) of you prolly already know about this feature but I will share anyway.

    One thing I have always wanted in Twitter is the feature in the iOS and Android version of "last read tweet". What I found which is somewhat close is when you open the Twitter app, quickly scroll down to the first tweet at the very top of the page (which would be the last one you read). If you get that tweet highlighted before all of the new tweets load up, you will be on the last read tweet and can then scroll up and start reading all of the tweets since you were last on Twitter. In order for this to work of course, you have to turn "Tweet refresh in background" off in your options.

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    ToddGH is offline BlackBerryOS Friend Follow ToddGH On Twitter
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    This is an absolutely fantastic article!!
    If T4BB had a true 'last read post' option, I might switch to it, but for now it's Ubersocial. Great job!

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