It’s been about almost 5 months since Microsoft released Windows 8 to the world. And that’s doesn’t include the pre-release / beta availability that developers and MSDN subscribers had access to for months and months before general release. Regardless, Twitter has finally managed to release a native Metro-styled app for Windows 8 users. With Twitter’s recent “Token Fiasco“, it has been hard to find a decent Twitter client. As soon as a client starts to gain any traction, they reach their limit and there’s no way for the developer to get past the limit. Because of this, there is more attention put on Twitter’s own clients. Thankfully, they finally managed to release a client – too bad it’s one of the worst clients I’ve used in my 5 years on Twitter.
With spell check built into Windows 8, almost every application should have this enabled. I can excuse new developers, especially if they are individuals or small companies. If Twitter had their client in the Store on launch day, I could understand not having this feature enabled. But so late to the game, and missing such a simple thing is pretty sad. What makes it worse, is with Windows 8 running on so many different form factors, including tablets that might not have a physical keyboard, you’re going to end up making more mistakes especially when you’re trying to bang out a tweet quickly on the go using the on-screen keyboard.
I’m guessing Twitter was going for the clean and simple – Metro type look. However, they may have taken that to the extreme. There’s no reason that Home and Mentions couldn’t share the same page. Or at least allow the user to make this configurable, so I can choose which columns I want to see on my main page. On the plus side, it works and looks very nice when docked on one side of the screen. That benefit could still have been achieved with a better use of space on the default page.
Viewing individual tweets is cool, but the Retweet functionality is limited to straight retweet without allowing the user to add comments. Most third party apps allow you to choose which method you prefer. Sometimes this is a setting, other times it gives the option to add comments when you tap the RT button. With Twitter’s client, you have no choice.
There are plenty of other missing features like pinning search results, support for multiple Twitter accounts, the option to open links in the regular browser or in the app, which URL shorting service to use, what image service to use, and so much more. If you’re looking for a basic Twitter app then this is for you – but, you better know how to spell. If you want something with a little more power and flexibility, keep looking around the Store, and hopefully Twitter will resolve the Token issues soon so developers can start making decent clients again.