Of the 3 dozen plus Twitter apps available, very few of them support push notification. Even the “big 3” (Tweetie 2, Twittelator Pro and Twitterrific Premium) still lack push support, despite the fact that smaller rivals like SimplyTweet have already enabled them for their users.
While there are many apps out there with push notification, Echofon (formally known as Twitterfon) is the first that I have seen that uses what I call “smart push technology,” a feature that I wish every iPhone app had.
Smart Push Techno-what?
One of the great things about push technology for Twitter is that I do not have to be online all of the time in order to communicate with friends.
Unfortunately I have many friends who live half way around the world, and receiving responses at 3 AM is NOT fun (which results in me having to turn off notifications at night and reactivate them in the morning).
Echofon Pro solves this by giving me the option to tell it when to stop notifying me of replies, and when to resume them again.
This is a feature I have been seeking for Apple’s native email app (let alone the various Twitter apps out there), and in my honest opinion sets Echofon apart from its various rivals in the app store.
You can also choose whether to only receive push notifications for mentions or direct messages, if you are finding the former to be a bit overwhelming.
Did someone say Flickr support?
While Echofon’s smart push technology originally drew me to the app, another minor feature that I loved was support for Flickr.
Having it hosted by Flickr is even better as it gives me greater control over the images uploaded (especially now that Flickr has an iPhone app), as well as makes it easier to organize them into a gallery.
Other honorable mentions
Echofon does support video uploading (and shooting) via Twitvid, as well as support for bit.ly and a preview for tiny URL’s (which is helpful as some links friends send are NSFW).
What I did not like
Even though Echofon Pro’s smart push notification, I was annoyed by the fact that I actually had to leave the app in order to adjust certain settings (like bookmarking services).
I also was disappointed with the lack of video and image options, as TwitVid, TwitPic and Flickr (my personal favorite) are the only services available.
Also the ability to customize the menu bar at the bottom would be nice as well (hint hint!).
Echofon Pro costs $5, although they do offer a free version for those of you who want to “try before you buy,” in order to get a feel for the app itself.
After testing a dozen plus Twitter apps (and spending more money than I care to share), Echofon is my twitter client of choice.
While its layout may not be as elegant as Tweetie 2, its powerful features have put it light years ahead of its rivals, making it a must have app for bloggers and tweeple alike.