So from day one, BlackBerry PlayBook users wanted a Twitter application for their PlayBook, instead of a quick launch icon to the Twitter mobile site. To be honest, up until recently, I couldn’t stand using the mobile site, as it wasn’t as functional (or attractive) as it is now. This left me with continuing to use a Twitter application on my BlackBerry smartphone. Some developers recognized the need and answered the call; one of which was GENOA Net Works. Your Twitter account access is quick and seamless through their application called BlackBird. The application gives you almost as much access to your account as you have by accessing Twitter from your computer. Rather than viewing multiple items on the main screen (timeline, trends, followers/ following), everything is listed as tab; waiting to be opened. I was surprised to see BlackBird being able to offer so much, yet providing a minimal layout to it all. Was it enough to stop relying on my smartphone to access Twitter? Curious how BlackBird brings Twitter to the PlayBook nest? Keep reading.
As I mentioned before, BlackBird was developed by GENOA Net Works; an Austrian company first established back in 1996. GENOA is also responsible for over one hundred applications, including; ‘Find my Phone’, ‘add2contacts’ and multiple checklists (fishing, travel, etc). The current version of BlackBird is 1.3.2 and has a file size of 1.2 MB.
Rating in BlackBerry App World: 3/5
Before getting started, you have to authorize BlackBird to use your Twitter account. With BlackBird, you can manage multiple accounts; though it’s unclear how many (I only have one). The UI is pretty simplistic and easy to navigate; all options appear on the left side of the timeline/content, rather than all around the timeline. Below the list of options, your current Twitter account will be displayed. It’s all about personal preference – some may feel like BlackBird is too simplistic, while others find that the app is not so overwhelming. My only gripe is I have to view my profile in order to look at my followers or who I follow. I still have access to other functions one would normally use on Twitter, such as viewing which lists I'm on, retweeting and sending/recieving direct message.
When you select “New Tweet”, the entry field shows “What’s up”, which you have to be careful with. I accidently pressed the Tweet button, which resulted in me asking every one what was up. BlackBird included an option to shorten an URL, so you had more characters to dazzle everyone with your wit. All I ask for, in future builds, is a spell check option to make sure I'm spelling everying korektlee.
As far as my timeline goes, I can only view 25 tweets at a time, with no option to look at older tweets - you do have a manual refresh button to bring in new ones. Scrolling up and down through the tweets was quite smooth, with no lagging. I can also set the automatic refresh rate to 1, 5, 10, 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes (this doesn’t seem to save if I close the application). You can also check out what is trending but you're unable to change them to view more trends.
Now while I could appreciate how simple BlackBird is to use, and the basic view it provides. One of the perks missing - being able to view a full sized version of a profile pic.
If you want a simple way to access Twitter, then BlackBird is singing your song. Neatly organized, and effortless to master, this application should be considered. There are a few tweaks to look at - an easier way to see followers and how my tweets and profile pic, very sporadically show up when looking at another Twitter profile. If possible I would like to see some sort of notification if I receive a mention or DM as well. You can pick up BlackBird for $1.99 from BlackBerry App World.