The Metro interface of Windows 8 lends itself very well to Twitter clients, and so far there’s three (or four, depending on how you look at it) available in the Store. Here’s a quick look at them, plus screenshots. All of these clients are in beta, so they don’t necessarily reflect the features or layouts of the finished offerings.
Click on the tile images to see the full clients.
Rowi – a Windows 8 version of the popular client for Windows Phone. Let’s get my one big dislike out of the way first – the Rowi timeline has a sponsored tweet, an ad, at the top. Get past that and you have the makings of a good client. The navigation is simple allowing you to swap between your timeline, mentions, direct messages and favourites. Clicking on a tweet allows you to get to the tweeter’s details and options to retweet and reply. I can’t however see any way to list the tweets from that person. I also can’t see an option to view a list, although photos from your timeline or trends and hashtags can be viewed on the right. There’s currently no option to tweet with a photo.
Tweetro – this client uses the ‘panorama’ interface to better effect as you can scroll / swipe across to the right to get to photos and, if you’ve added them, lists. Again it’s easy to switch between your timeline, mentions, message and favourites, but unlike Rowi (which sticks to one screen) Tweetro forwards you to another screen showing more detail.
Clicking on a tweet takes you to a profile page for the tweeter, and you can get to their followers, followees, tweets and mentions. Again, no ability to tweet with a photo, but overall this is an excellent client. Oh, and it provides a live tile on the Metro start screen which cycles through the most recent selection of your mentions.
MetroTwit – clever name. This arrived today and you’ll see in the screenshot it’s marked ‘Preview’. While it’s not as flexible or feature-rich as Tweetro I really do like the colour scheme. Clicking on a tweet will show the tweeter’s profile, their tweets, their followers and followees, options to retweet and reply, and shows the conversation if there is one. You can also create a column based on a search, hashtag or user. Tweetro has one big thing in its favour – you can tweet with photos, and you can also do this via Windows 8′s share function (by selecting a photo in the Photos or SkyDrive apps, and then invoking the Share charm).
FlipToast – a client for both Facebook and Twitter. You can post to both (including photos), see updates from both, view Facebook birthdays (nice), and respond to tweets or Facebook updates accordingly. There’s no customisation, no ability to reorder the screen or add Twitter lists… but it’s unique in being a client for both networks and provides a good integrated picture of what’s happening on both. Like Tweetro this client provides a live tile, as seen here.
There’s one app missing from this list and that’s the Metro version of gleek! which I’ll soon be beta-testing. Stayed tuned…