First batch of Twitter apps for iPad almost ready to fly [Updated]
Not surprisingly, Twitter Inc. isn't making an official application for the iPad. (You can always pull up Twitter.com in the tablet computer's Safari browser.) Instead, the company is relying on its army of third-party developers to dream up the next wave of touchable software, and they're taking the call.
Two days before the iPad even hits stores, several developers of Twitter-powered iPad apps have already shown off or have had plans leaked for their upcoming products.
As you'd expect with software designed for a device that these folks have yet to actually use, some of the designs are less inspired than others. You could always just run iPhone apps, either as small rectangles in the middle of the screen or blown up to double size, but they look clunky.
We take a look at the apps iPad owners will be able to download soon in order to get their tweet fix.
Twitterrific was one of the earliest Twitter applications for the Mac. Developer Icon Factory also makes a popular version for the iPhone, and it appears the program may be ready in the iPad App Store for Saturday's launch.
The blog AppAdvice has a few pictures of the iPad app. It looks, perhaps ironically, more complex than its Mac brethren -- similar to the Seesmic desktop app. When the iPad is held upright, Twitterrific switches to a stream-like view of tweets, which looks rather strange on such a big screen. Twitterrific will supposedly be free, with a premium version available as an option within the app for $4.99, according to AppAdvice.
All eyes are on Loren Brichter, the sole developer of Tweetie, one of the most popular and critically acclaimed Twitter apps for the iPhone. Brichter released the second major version of the iPhone app in October and since then has remained under the radar while seemingly neglecting the Mac version of the Twitter app.
Turns out Brichter has been secretly drawing up Tweetie for the iPad. He confirmed in an e-mail that one is in the works but refused to say when we could expect to see it in the virtual store. Tweetie for the iPhone costs $2.99, and the ad-free Mac program costs $19.95. So we can expect some cost to be associated with the iPad app -- especially with the dreaded iPad sticker shock.
Newcomer Twitepad stirred the iPad frenzy when it was the first Twitter app to be shown off in an iPad software concept video. Twitepad's website says it has been approved by Apple Inc. and will be available on Saturday.
The interface is complex, but it brings the iPad one step closer to a multi-tasking, ADD-friendly experience. You can surf the Web in the companion browser while scrolling through tweets on the left-hand navigation bar. At 99 cents, Twitepad is looking to gain steam by undercutting the competition early.
With a looming deadline, the developer of Tweeterena 2 for the iPad (was there a Tweeterena 1 for the iPad?) seems to have hurriedly glued together some toothpicks to be one of the first out the door. About two weeks ago, the concept video showed up saying that it would be "coming soon." Based on the rushed video, let's hope it looks drastically different by the time it goes on sale.
[Updated, April 2, 11:32 a.m. Tweeterena 2 will be available at launch.]
-- Mark Milian