I like my apps to be simple and clean and I think that you would agree that is what Apple likes to see in apps designed for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Echofon Pro from Naanstudio is a universal app which makes it compatible with all of Apple’s iOS based devices. All of these attributes made Ecohfon Pro a great Twitter app for my iPhone, but the recently released iPad compatible version really put the icing on the cake.
Echofon Pro on the iPad has a nice clean interface with a very readable time line. The time line has a white background with black text and it features a visual clue within the time line so that you know where you updated last. All the Twitter features you’ve come to know and love like lists, mentions, direct messages, favorites, retweets, etc. are all there. The developer made good use of the iPads larger display.
I use the app strictly in landscape mode because you have your display options on the left and the time line on the right. It is all very well laid out and the display is used efficiently. I make ample use of the hardware switch to lock the iPad into landscape mode when using this app.
The time line is immensely useful as you will see in the following paragraphs. Don’t be afraid to tap around this apps interface — you’ll never know what you’ll discover. I’ll give you a few to try here.
View Twitter Profiles
If you tap the avatar icon of one of the persons you are following the app reveals information about them via their profile. You can immediately access their tweets, favorites, a list of who they are following and their followers, check out their lists, see if they are following you, add them to a list, send them a direct message, unfollow, or block them. Statistics are available for some of the items, for example, the number of tweets they’ve made, etc.
Tap the text of a tweet in the time line and you are given the options: Reply, Favorite, Retweet, Copy, or Delete in a pop-up. I like this option a whole lot. It puts everything right where I need it. Note that the Delete option only appears for your own tweets. Sorry you don’t get to be a global tweet censor yet!
If you tap a URL in a tweet you get the most amazing in-app browser. You can view the page just like in the Safari browser that ships with iOS and later tweet the URL, open the URL in the full Safari browser, e-mail the URL, or mark it for reading later. I think that about covers all the bases you need for reading and sharing a story or two.
If someone posts a photo via twitpic or even mentions one you will see a thumbnail displayed on the right most side of the tweet. If you tap it the photo is displayed inside of a popover. Very nice.
I took some time to test the app in portrait mode and in this mode the sidebar disappears and you are left with a clean time line only display. All the features you can access listed above on each tweet are still there, but this time there is a thicker and darker line that tells you where the last update was. The remaining tweet are separated by a lighter less thick line. If you click the user name for your Twitter account at the upper left the sidebar is revealed as a drop down menu. It is very functional, but I still like landscape mode a lot better.
The apps settings are a bit sparse, but realistically does it really need a lot of settings to change or tweak? I don’t think so and I think you will agree. You can have multiple accounts and manage some aspects of those accounts like push notifications, syncing with the desktop version of Echofon, setup services like bit.ly, Ping.fm, and photo services like TweetPhoto, TwitPic, or Flickr. You can configure Read It Later or Instapaper (I recommend the latter) for bookmarking and reading something that caught your eye later.
The only things I missed in this app was a sound telling me when new tweets arrived in the time line and there was no way to create and save draft tweets or queue them up for posting later. The developer advised me that drafts are in the works and I cannot wait to have that feature since it would be very handy. Especially for when I’m working on posts for Cult of Mac, I want to pre-prepare my tweets in advance so I can tell all of you about my latest story once it goes live.
Overall this is a great product and worth a look. The developer was generous in making the app Universal so that it runs on my iPhone and iPad. Echofon Pro replaced Twitterific last night on my iPad and now sits prominently on my iPad dock. I’m now contently sending out tweets on either my iPhone or iPad using Echofon Pro and you could be to. It costs only $4.99 and it is available now at the iTunes App Store (iTunes Link).