The official Twitter client is a cleanly designed app and certainly functional for browsing Twitter, but the world of third-party apps has spent years finding ways to improve what a Twitter client can be and do.

While there are numerous clients, the three you are likely considering are the official Twitter app, Tweetbot, and Twitterrific. What differentiates these apps from the others? What follows is a detailed analysis to help you make an educated decision.

Let me preface this by saying that I have often been unable to decide between these apps. Because of this and the fact that we all have different opinions and preferences, this is simply a slate of descriptions and facts rather than a recommendation for any of the three apps.

Design

While not necessarily a deal breaker for many users, the design and aesthetic of an app is often one of the first-considered factors when choosing what makes its way to your Home screen. Each of the three clients in question features significantly different design, so this is especially important to think about.

Starting with the official Twitter client, this is almost certainly the cleanest of the three apps. The design choices of the app make it look quite similar to the web browser experience of Twitter. Some people will be drawn to this option solely for the unmistakeable familiarity, and that is definitely something to consider. An example is provided below.

When first looking at Tweetbot, its design can seem a little on the dull side. While this will not appeal to all users, its dullness can be considered a minimalist veneer for a feature-packed interior. I’ll come back to the many features of Tweetbot later, but, while some may like it, don’t come to Tweetbot if you are looking for the most attractive Twitter client. An example is provided below.

The biggest question mark of the three clients is probably Twitterrific. While some people will undoubtedly enjoy and appreciate how this client is crafted, it can seem a bit cluttered at times. Customization options are always appreciated, and Twitterrific is definitely the strongest of these three apps in that regard. Eight different app icon choices, light and dark themes, four profile picture display preferences, nine app fonts, three image display options, and multiple line spacing options are all included in a package that is more moldable than both Tweetbot and the stock Twitter client. That being said, the design can be hit or miss based on your preferences.

Features

While not all users need a full gamut of features, each app has a unique set of tools that may heavily influence the decision of many readers. Compared to the two third-party clients, the Twitter app is a little light on features. The most glaring omission especially in comparison to the other two apps is the lack of customizable tabs at the bottom of the app interface. In a recent update, Twitter added the ability to create and access Twitter lists: a particularly nice feature for users of lists. That being said, for users who don’t need a frill-packed experience, the first party Twitter app is certainly adequate.

Tweetbot’s focus is undoubtedly on utilitarianism and features. Unlike the Twitter app mentioned above, this app allows you to customize which menu buttons appear in the menu bar at the bottom of the interface. Additionally, Tweetbot provides a convenient and workable way to create and access Twitter lists. Combine this with the customizable menu bar to make accessing your lists a jiffy. Perhaps the nicest feature of Tweetbot is the ability to easily manage multiple Twitter accounts, a feature that is still surprisingly cumbersome on the first-party client. Combine all of these features and an interesting statistics tab, and you have one powerful Twitter app on your hands.

Twitterrific boasts a similar feature list to that of Tweetbot, albeit in a slightly more clunky package. Twitteriifc sports all of the features of Tweetbot mentioned above except for the statistics page. This means that, if you do not care about the stats feature of Tweetbot, the Tweetbot vs. Twitteriffic debate will likely come down to your preference in the style and design of each app.

Notifications

Finally, a feature that is one of the most important in my Twitter use. I follow so many accounts that I often find the content I want to see drowned out by the white noise of generic news tweets and accounts I should have long-since unfollowed. If you find yourself struggling with this same issue, you should consider picking up the first party Twitter app. On the profile page of each account you follow, you can enable Tweet notifications. When you enable an alert for a specific account, you will receive an alert every time it tweets. Even though it can overwhelm my Notification Center, this is my favorite feature of any Twitter app.

While not everyone will need or want to use Tweet notifications, it is definitely something to consider since this feature is only available within the first-party app. This is the only reason I stick with Twitter instead of Tweetbot.

Recap

  • Twitter
    • Clean and minimalist design
    • Tweet notifications
    • Not as feature-packed
    • Little to no customization
  • Tweetbot
    • Feature-filled
    • Hit or miss design
    • Mulitple accounts
    • No tweet notifications
  • Twitterrific
    • Feature-filled
    • Hate-it-or-love-it design
    • Multiple accounts
    • No tweet notifications

I hope I have given you plenty of additional information to help educate you and aid you in deciding which Twitter client will work best for you. Which client is your favorite? Do you use one that is not included in the three I have mentioned here? Let us know in the comments below!