Twitter an awesome service that can be used for many purposes, from telling the world what’s happening in your life to following the latest Microsoft news. So, with over 320 million active users, the social media company needs to invest into an app that could run across various platforms. Sadly, though, the official Twitter app for Windows phones lacks in many areas when compared to it’s Android counterpart.
The first such area is performance. Using the unscientific testing method of simply tapping to open the app, it seems to me that the Twitter app on a Lumia 640 takes several seconds longer to load than it does on a Galaxy S5. The search performance is also slower on the official Windows phone Twitter app. And unlike on Android, search suggestions are not automatically provided.
Granted, the Galaxy S5 is a high-end Android device while the Lumia 640 is a relatively low-end Windows 10 Mobile device, and the latter is still in a preview state. Even so, the official Twitter app seems slower on Windows 10 Mobile than it should be.
When it comes down to the interface, the official Twitter app on Windows phones is also lacking in some ways, and this has nothing to do with RAM or CPU performance. On a 5.0-inch screen device such as a Lumia 640, the icons for Twitter’s official Windows phone app interface are all too large and clunky. For example, the location for the interface along the top ultimately takes away space from actual content on the screen, and with this comes a lot of wasted space along the top edges of the app.
On the Galaxy S5’s similar 5.1-inch screen, however, the interface runs across the top in similar fashion but with smaller icons which run closer to the top and take up less space. This leaves for more room to view tweets.
A similar problem with the user experience occurs also when scrolling through an active timeline. Unlike on Android, the compose and search buttons on Windows phones do not fade away when the user is scrolling through the app. The buttons simply stay put and can easily be pressed by accident.
The same can be said for the areas to compose tweets. On the official Windows Phone Twitter app, a small clunky box is provided when you want to craft a tweet, and the box then grows as the tweet gets longer. As seen below, despite the growing box, there is still an overall waste of space around the box . To add to this pain, the icons to add location and photos are all too small when compared to Android below.
3) Lack of new Twitter features
Although the interface and performance are inferior, the lack of new features on the official Twitter app on Windows phones is even worse. Simply put, the Windows phone version of Twitter seems stuck in the past. As seen above with both the Android app and the official Windows phone Twitter app, Windows phones have not yet been updated to reflect Twitter’s new “heart” feature.
Also unlike on Android, the official Windows phone Twitter app does not reflect other new functionality such as quoting Tweets or pinning tweets to a profile. On the official Twitter for Windows phone app, quoted tweets instead show as a link, and when the user clicks, they are redirected to an internet browser. As seen below, I pinned one of my WinBeta posts to my profile on Twitter, and then quoted a WinBeta Tweet. The pin disappeared altogether in the official Twitter for Windows phone app, and the quote cannot be seen properly.
Lastly, videos, links to Vine, and gifs also do not show up or load in the Windows phone version of the official Twitter app. Unlike on Android where the videos are shown directly in tweets, with Windows phone, the user is rather given a link to view the video instead. But, perhaps the biggest issue of them all, Twitter’s new “moments” and trending pages (as seen on Android) are not featured in the official Twitter app for Windows phone. Rather, the official Windows phone version has an old and outdated search bar that only lists trending topics.
Ultimately, when compared to it’s Android counterpart, the official Twitter app for Windows phones lacks many features and provides sub-par performance. The app is fine to use for basic viewing purposes and in my experience remains the most stable Twitter app on the Windows Store, while providing for the best and most timely notifications. Many other alternatives on the Windows Phone market that fix the issues mentioned here, and you can check some of them out below. Which alternative Twitter app do you prefer on Windows phone?