TweetCaster is the latest 3rd party app and it comes from Handmark. The app comes after the news of Seesmic discontinuing support for their social media tool and it looks like it has a few features that Twitter users will really appreciate. The app has an interesting UI that’s very different from other Twitter apps we’ve seen. The only strange thing is that when you want to connect your Twitter account, it opens a permission for TweetCaster to publish updates on your behalf. That’s not exactly something we want in a Twitter app but it could just be associated with the beta. Cool features that are not currently in the beta, but they will be included when app goes live in App World in a few weeks include:
- “Zip It” feature– Enables user to hide annoying @people, #trends, or any keyword from your timeline. A zipper shows in its place in your timeline, to remind you if you want to unzip.
- Share to BlackBerry Messenger – Allowing you to retweet not only to all your Twitter followers, but also just with a few people on BBM. No other Twitter app lets you do this.
- Instapaper Support – Sometimes opening links takes too long on your BlackBerry. Saving them to your Instapaper account lets you access them later, at your convenience.
It’s great to see companies still building 3rd party Twitter apps even thought the 1st party markets are still there. Even today, there are innovations going on in the community that Twitter couldn’t have predicted. For example, what about Tweetups? Building Tweetup functionality into an app is something that a 3rd party could do, but Twitter probably wouldn’t see it as an essential feature and worth building into the official client. It’s features that speak to the power users of Twitter that is going to keep users on a constant hunt for the next Twitter app. Small companies and developer groups can move much faster than a big company can and users are demanding features faster than these large companies can churn them out. Just look at Twitter for BlackBerry, it has taken them a long time to get to this version and it doesn’t even have multiple account support. They seem to be spending a lot of time on UI and small icon improvements, but they’re not interested in doing anything truly innovative with the app. That’s what happens in a company of 15,000 people.
Downloading the open beta of TweetCaster is a little frustrating because you have to log in with your Twitter account in order to get it, but you can’t do it from the desktop. To download the beta version, you’ll have to complete the whole process from your BlackBerry by heading to this link in your browser. TweetCaster is available for BlackBerry OS 5 and higher.