Looking for an alternative Twitter client? Why not try Willow for BlackBerry 10

By James Richardson on 10 Jun 2013 08:20 am EDT

When it comes to third party Twitter applications for BlackBerry 10 there aren't many to choose from. The latest to gain my interest is Willow which certainly has more to offer than the native client that comes pre-loaded on our BlackBerry 10 devices. Luckily Willow supports both the Z10 and Q10 so everyone can enjoy it.

One thing I really love about Willow is its Active Frame - it shows the last tweet which I always find more interesting than just seeing a logo, so kudos to the dev for that one. The main screen is made up of black writing on a white background and at the base of the display are four tabs.

The first of these is the 'Home' one where once pressed you are given a list of options such as viewing your messages, mentions, lists etc. Next up we have the 'Refresh' tab. There is an option for the application to auto-refresh but I like to do it myself just for an extra bit of battery life - but still, a nice option to have. Tab number three is 'Compose' and this one pretty much speaks for itself. What I find handy with this one is that above the keyboard you get contacts, hashtag and send tabs for making life easier. Last but not least is the 'Find' tab which gives to quick access for searching on Twitter. 

There are also the three grey dots at the bottom right of the display. This will open up another list including profiles, following, followers, trends etc. Overall the app is packed full of goodness as you can see from the below list.

Full features of Willow include:

  • Multiple Accounts
  • Auto Refresh option
  • Embedded photos shown as previews in Tweet list
  • Automatic and Custom Retweets
  • Option to quote tweet when Replying
  • Last tweet displayed in Active Frame
  • Hub Notifications for new Messages and Replies
  • Automatically address Replies by choosing a user from a popup list of your Followers
  • Manage Lists
  • Manage Searches
  • Manage your Followers, Following and Blocked users
  • Manage your Profile (name, description and location)
  • View Trends
  • Multiple views including Home, Messages, Mentions, Sent, Favorites, List, User and Search
  • Show More buttons to reveal increasingly older tweets (or more followers/following)
  • Top and Bottom buttons to quickly move to the top/bottom of follower/following lists
  • Adjustable font size for easy viewing
  • Share tweets to other apps via email, text, etc.
  • Tweet websites and selected text from other apps to Willow through the standard Share menu
  • Tap a user Location to open in Maps
  • Users you follow are shaded in blue when viewing followers/following of other users
  • Protected account names are displayed in red

Willow will cost you £1.50/$1.99 and in my opinion if the native Twitter app doesn't fulfill your needs this one is a fine alternative.

More information/Download Willow for BlackBerry 10


Reader comments

Looking for an alternative Twitter client? Why not try Willow for BlackBerry 10


Blaq is constantly beta testing, updates will be coming.

Also, this app is an HTML5 or AIR app. It appears as if it is native, but it is not native. It will not be smooth, and will be very laggy (just watch how much delay is in the video when he navigates around it), especially if you are coming from a native twitter app like Blaq.

I would never pay for a non-native app, yet alone a non-native twitter app when there are countless paid native ones.

Just be careful guys, sure work was put into the app. But it won't be smooth or feel fluid at all. If that doesn't bug you though, then go right ahead and check it out. There was a lot of work that went into this app, but it won't feel anything like a native app, no disrespect to the dev, just saying that you should watch out.

Posted via CB10

some awfully big claims there. firstly `native` is kinda smoke and mirrors, because the webworks sdk is built into the device so isn't that `native` much as c++ is?

I`d agree with your argument if it was an android app maybe, but to say it wont be smooth or fluid at all is extremely unfair to the developer, which is hardly the conduct id expect from another developer to e quite honest.

Still, im going to finish typing this in the BB10 browser which is nice and smooth and fluid and.......oh, its an html5 app.

Yeah, it's an HTML5 app that was created by BlackBerry, most all features would be nearly impossible to do without having the inside utilities that BlackBerry employees have as they CREATED the OS.

Native is NOT "smoke and mirrors", if it is made in QML or C++, it is Native. If it is made in WebWorks, it is NOT native. You are confusing what Native means. And no, the browser is not technically Native, they just did a damn good job with it, better than any non-inside BlackBerry developer can possibly do as they do not have access to the resources that they do.

I'm just saying as a warning, as I just purchased a Built For BlackBerry app, that appeared to be 100% native, upon using it, it was both laggy, and slow. Drove me nuts and started to lose faith in just how bad a native app could be, and then realized it was created in Adobe AIR, and it completely made sense. I'm saying be careful, because I got burned going in expecting an app that looked native, to be native.

The dev should mention in the description that it is not native, as I guarantee you that many people who buy this are under the assumption that it is native. There is a night and day difference between native, HTML5, and AIR.. The browser is the ONE exception, but that's because they put an absurd amount of resources into it, and they have access to utilities and backend that normal developers do not.

PERFECT example is the settings app in the phone. It runs laggy and delayed, yet it's in the phone.. Guess what? BlackBerry is reworking it in cascades, as guess what it is currently built in? AIR.

As much as I want to support other devs, I support the devs that do it the RIGHT way, like me. I for instance spent a good 50 hours making my app in HTML5, and then realized just how bad it ran compared to native, and spent a good 100+ hours learning cascades and remaking the app.

I can warn someone, and let them know that what they are about to buy is not what it looked like at face value, just as I would have wished that someone had let me know that about the app I purchased before buying it to find out that it was made in AIR, made to look as if it was native.

I'm sorry if my view offends you in any way, but it's my view, and I am trying to help people as there are many other BETTER & NATIVE Twitter clients out there, and I'd much rather those devs be supported than ones who do not want to learn the native coding.

As a dev do you have any insight on why an app shows up in BlackBerry World as a particular file size but upon installation it's generally about 140% larger?

I know if you are updating an app opposed to downloading it, it will sometimes have the current version's size, and normally an update will be bigger, so once you update it will be larger. If you are referring to the first download though, not sure, probably just BBW doing some quick rounding or something. I don't think it has ever been overly accurate.

Wait, so now developers should put things in the description, but when i told you to put explanations for the permissions needed, you said people don't read the descriptions, and when i said to put a screenshot, you said they don't even look at those. And that not every developer is as good as the guy who did cb10, as most of them didn't know about the bbm fix, but for some reason people should buy crappy apps because developers may get discouraged... an intetesting turn of events.

Posted via CB10

You guys are so smart...wish I had learnt all this. still not to late to learn but I need help...i want to create a simple app wherein I can offer /sell cartoon dp's for bbm... can someone guide me as to how I should start...is there a free software somewhere that allows me to build an app and then forward it to BB? thx a tonnnn..one day, you will be discussing my app here :) God bless

Posted via CB10

Can you really confirm that hub notifications are available? That's not what Most users say!

Posted from my Q10 via CB10

I agree about free trials. A lot of these paid apps I'd rather test it first to make sure it fits my needs before buying and supporting the devs.

Posted via CB10

As a developer, I can spot what this is coded in.. although it appears to be cascades, it indeed is not. It is HTML5/AIR, this means it will not be fluid at all compared to a native built twitter client such as the one that came with the phone, or Blaq. There will not be the type of HUB notifications that you want for this app either, they simply are not in the API yet. Just re-watch the video above, whenever something is clicked, there is a big delay, whereas native apps are instant.

I (personally) would never pay that much for a non-native client when there are countless devs going out of their way making native and fluid apps, I would MUCH rather support them, and that is my personal preference. If that doesn't bug you though, then go right ahead and try it out. Just know that it doesn't even compare to a native coded app.

Posted via CB10

HTML5 IS NATIVE, that's what webworks SDK was made for, making native HTML5 apps, BB10's browser is entirely made in HTML5 and I don't see anyone complaining about delays.

HTML5 is NOT Native. Not sure where people are coming to the assumption with that.. Such a big mistake that BlackBerry made the browser in HTML5 as it gives the mindset that HTML5 is native to those who do not code.

No possible developer group can make an HTML5 app as fluid and as functioning as the browser, as no developer other than those who work at BlackBerry, have access to the resources needed to do what they did with it. Also, the amount of work that went into creating the browser using HTML5 was absolutely absurd, and could have been created in much less than half the time if it was created in QML/C++. The issue was, BlackBerry did this big move to show people that HTML5 could potentially function as well as native, eventually, and to motivate more people to develop for the platform.

In order to get a similar experience using HTML5, you have to use open source resources such as BBUI.js, which is NOT native from BlackBerry, the ONLY resources that are NATIVE from BlackBerry are Cascades which uses QML/C++.

People have to stop assuming that HTML5 is indeed NATIVE just because of the browser, because it is 100% not native. It is just as much NOT native, as HTML5 is NOT native to Android or iPhone. The ONLY reason the browser functions as well as it does, is because the developers who work at BlackBerry have access to OS backend which normal developers do not have access to. Not to mention, they had a team working on it, spending an absurd amount of time making it HTML5 rather than Cascades, which would have actually allowed it to function smoother than it does now, and have less glitches. Bugs and glitches that are easily seen by developers who use native Cascades to make their app, but things that are difficult to see by normal consumers.

It's funny too, because there are actually quite a few complains about the Browser not loading pages at times, and many other minor bugs/glitches which would not have existed had they made it in Cascades, but again, they made it in HTML5 to try and prove a point, and motivate people to develop for the new platform.

You're still not giving me any reasons on why HTML5 apps are not, also according to you Adobe Air Apps are not native either.

HTML5 and Adobe Air apps are NOT NATIVE EITHER.. You are TOTALLY confusing the word native..

Here is "proof" if you need it, from the official documentation from BB:


Read them off out loud, please: *C/C++ - NATIVE SDK*, WebWorks, Adobe Air, Android, and Java.. Now that you've seen that, tell me one more time that WebWorks and Adobe Air are NATIVE... Jeeze...

Go a step deeper and click "View your Native options" and you come to here:


Hmm, Cascades, and Core Native.. Those are the TWO Native options, now tell me, where is HTML5 and Adobe listed there? It's not...

I mean no disrespect either.. You asked for proof, and I simply went out and gave you proof, as documented from BlackBerry. As a developer, I know the difficulty and time it takes to learn native coding.. That's why it bugs me when someone tries to say that HTML5 or AIR is native, when it simply is not. There is no gray line there.. It just simply is NOT, can't be any clearer than that.


"In computing, the "native" adjective refers to software or data formats supported by a certain system with minimal computational overhead and additional components. This word is used in such terms as native mode or native code."

HTML5 and Adobe Air are both supported by BB10 without additional components and computational overhead.

What's "native" to you? The same language as the OS was written in?

I'm sorry, but there is no point in trying to explain it to you, you simply believe it as one way in your mind. Go speak to a BlackBerry employee, and say the words: "Is HTML5 or Adobe AIR Native coding for BlackBerry 10?" and they will say that it is not. I am going off of that, you are going off of wikipedia and a very general term of the word "native". With your theory, HTML5 is also native on Android and iPhone, go try and tell those developers that it's native, and they would tear you apart.. Anyone who spends the time learning the native code of the respective platform will tear that theory apart, as its simply offensive to be told that a certain kind of code is "native code" when it just isn't, or else we would have never spent all of the time it takes learning that respective NATIVE code for the OS. I am simply trying to be civil and explain it as a developer, you simply just do not want to hear it.

No developer says "Hey guys, I just made a Native BB10 app!" having the app made in WebWorks or Adobe AIR. That statement is only used when the app is created using Momentics, e.g. it's made in Cascades/QML/C/C++, it's as easy as that.

Flip you are off your rocker.
The current server the QNX kernel is using supports HTML5.....IT IS NATIVE!!
it has exactly the same access to resources as any other supported language. Buggy apps are entirely the fault of the programmers. It's the programmers responsibility to make a proper extension for their application to allow it to run smoothly.

For all your bluster you clearly dont know jack ****

how facetious of you. ..
Native code usually means code that runs at the lowest level. IE no overhead or VM.

QNX is a Microkernel so EVERYTHING runs in a server. the tools are available to make HTML5 run at the lowest level.

You cant compare Android and IOS to BB10. They operate completely differently. You can make any programming language native to QNX with either a modified server or a well written extension.

Based on this comment and the one above it seems like you have some hate for HTML5 apps. Did it rub you the wrong way at some point. I'll start how you do...

As a developer, HTML5 is a great alternative to coding in C++. Both work great although C++ may provide a smoother experience. If built well, an HTML5 app should not lag and will provide the same functionality as the C++ app. The problem is people read what you say and are scared off from purchasing legitimate fully functioning apps that can do better than the C++ apps. What people need to remember is the type of application you are using. For a text based, non-game HTML5 will work wonders and again, if coded well, will be just as responsive as a C++/Cascades app.

The other plus for HTML5 is the barrier to entry is a lot lower which will allow for many more applications - good on BlackBerry for going this route.

Yes, HTML5 does have tons of advantages, but it will NEVER be as smooth as a native app, which is what people are getting confused by. HTML5 is NOT NATIVE to BlackBerry, whereas people seem to think that it is for some reason. I'm simply trying to state that what some people believe is simply wrong, the ONLY native code for BlackBerry is Cascades which is QML/C++. I did not at any point dis HTML5 as a whole, it is more flexible and does have a lower barrier to entry, I agree. At times, some apps could be just fine in HTML5, but even for basic apps that you are suggestion, they will still never be as fluid as a native experience, and that is the point I am trying to get across... A point that you simply cannot feasibly argue.. Someone saying that an HTML5 app can be just as or m ore fluid than a native app is simply wrong, and there is no possible way to fight that statement.

Flip4Bites, can you use your NATIVE super cooler to chill out a bit :D ?
I mean, I'm surprise you post so many comments on a page about a particular software to claim - basically - HTML5 is crap and warn people about an app ... you've not tested yourself ("Also, this app is an HTML5 or AIR app ... looks native").

I'm not arguing about HTML5; glad you choose the native track and that it fits your needs. But - while I have zero clue about this - you really look like someone defending another app ... JMHO.

I never said HTML5 was crap, it has it's uses.. It's just difficult in such a competitive area such as a Twitter app, where hardcore Twitter users are EXTREMELY picky. I have an Ebook app which has the exact same functions as this app, so I know It's WebWorks, just watching the video shows how much lag and delay the app has, it's obvious if you sit and watch the video with a close eye. And I am defending another app.. I am defending Native Twitter clients that you pay for.. There are equally as good FREE twitter clients made in HTML5, for instance "Tweetian", and others. If you are paying for a Twitter client, then I was simply recommending one such as Blaq, Nightly, or a different native one, as again, I know how picky people are with Twitter apps. Just trying to save people from the frustration.

If you are a heavy Twitter user, Willow is not an alternative. Have a look at Neatly instead or stay with the regular Twitter app.

Posted via CB10

Dashed out money for blaq and quite frankly that serves me nicely. I'm not a fan of having 20 apps for one and the same purpose.

Posted via CB10

Will it notify you if you have a new follower? Blaq doesn't do that and I need that feature.? Any help

Posted via CB10

Same here, friends of mine have complained that they don't want an email account on their phone. So I just set them up with an email account used solely for their twitter and it works out beautifully.

Just try doing that.

Posted via CB10

Ooh, I have an android app that send me a notification but it's slow, I use it for work to thank them for following

Posted via CB10

The answer is nope. Looking for native. But since we are BlackBerry users. Not using until.

Posted via CB10

I paid for this a whole ago. I found it very good, until I discovered that you couldn't upload pictures using Willow. Until such time that changes, it's the native app. still for me.

You used HOW much lube?

I really hate the first sentence of this article. It sounds like BGR. I can remember off the top of my head 4 third party clients for twitter. Come on? This is crackberry, right?

Posted VIA Z10 courtesy of CB10

Blaq or neatly are much smoother and more features.

CrackBerry is pushing out way too many app reviews. We need you guys bringing only the top apps out into the open incase we miss it in world.

Posted via CB10

So correct about way Cracker pumping out reviews. Is CB getting kickbacks?

Also agree with others that paid apps should have free trials.

Posted via CB10

There must be another forum better suited to what the bulk of the comments on this twitter app were posted about yet I found the dialogue interesting. Yesterday, after sending my best friend a semi flaming email on the great future of HTML apps (and I know nothing about this - just a Blackberry fan layman) and how native apps would be less and less desired and needed, I tried to load my linkedin mobile web app (used to be touch.linkedin I think) and found my browser on the 9930 would only load the regular web site. That led to an hour of reading the short story on linkedin and the webb - a qzillion articles in 2001 about their monumental HTML5 work and switch to the beautiful mobile web site - then a qzillion more in 2013 about them abandoning HTML5 and reverting to native code. And of course enough blogs and forum posts all over the world of discussions so deep - way beyond me- did they just give in. Who's right. Who's on first. The FB withdrawal from HTML5 coupled w/ this has me both worried and wondering. I liked the HTML5 direction and story.

It does let you delete your tweets. Tap the tweet and tap the overflow (bottom right) then delete.....

All I know is you can't attach a photo yet. The developer says that's for a future update...

Posted via CB10

Developer here: Willow was written with WebWorks and the bbUI framework. I'm actually really impressed with how smooth the bbUI framework works (and it gets better all the time). Check out SiteBook for the PlayBook (It's free) for another example.

Regarding a trial version, I actually put one together at one point... but then abandoned it, as it was cumbersome to maintain two versions, and I was also afraid of annoying people with a less-functional trial version. I understand the desire though, so maybe I'll revisit the idea.

Thanks for the comments, both pro and con... as it's how I learn what to improve/change ;)

It doesn't have to be a featureless version. But one that's built to last 30 days or whatever after which a code needs to be inputted after purchase. Really not hard to do. Just because im a professional dj doesn't mean I didn't grow up with technology. I did. :). First pc. Tandy TRS80 with Waterloo Structured basic. :D. Hahah. Yes I'm THAT old! So simple. :).

Posted via CB10

I currently use Blaq & think it is a fantastic Twitter app....the only thing I can't find on Blaq is the "Option to quote tweet when replying." Anyone know if this is an option on Blaq & if so, where in the heck is it????

Omg we don't need another twitter client! Blaq is okay but I use Neatly. So much easier to use compared to Blaq and you can use the black UI in Neatly which just looks good.

Posted via Crackberry on my Z10!


I'll use this when it has decent TweetMarker support. I've still yet to find a client that does that as well as Rowi on WP did.

All this nonsense between native and non native. Sound like a bunch of crying babies if you ask me. Bottom line is blackberry documents themselves define what they term as native. Grow up with all that my peni is bigger than yours. What matters is how smooth and quick is the app and is it worth it. A free trial on all paid apps would be great. Perhaps a reason why I am picky on what i buy. If a developer wants money they should allow for a trial period. If I like i buy if i dont I don't. Best way. Right now I have only 4 or 5 paid apps. I don't mind paying but I want to ensure its worth my time. So developers get that on your head and stop debating native vs non native. And Air vs cascades. Bleh

Posted via CB10

Oh great, another potentially functional non-Android port that costs money. Meanwhile on iOS...

Posted via CB10