Twitter: Shortcoming of Windows 8

Twitter: Shortcoming of Windows 8

Summary: Windows 8 does many things well, but Twitter isn't one of them.

Win 8 dead Twitter
(Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet)

Twitter has evolved from its early days of tweets about what folks ate for breakfast, and for many of us it is now a valuable source of information. From breaking news to tweetversations about tech, Twitter plays an important role for some. Sadly, the limited choice of apps to work with Twitter on Windows 8 are not very good.

I am a heavy Twitter user, as the fact I am closing in on 50,000 tweets demonstrates. I am on the network all day so I have heavily tested many apps on all mobile platforms. I have favorite apps, sometimes more than one, on all platforms save Windows 8.

See also: Windows 8.1: Makes the ThinkPad Tablet 2 even better

Plume Android
Plume for Android (Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet)

There aren't a lot of Twitter apps on Windows 8 and I'm sure I've tried all of them. I find glaring problems with each of them, severe enough to make working with Twitter unpleasant on my Windows 8 tablet. Even Twitter's own app on Windows 8 is annoying, with slow operation and less than optimal design choices that make it so.

I don't want to pick on the Windows 8 Twitter app developers so I'm not going to point fingers at them one by one. It's sufficient to say that for me, none of them are very good. Some of them are buggy on top of that, rendering them almost unusable.

Either they don't stream updates consistently, don't handle lists well, or have direct message access poorly implemented. Some apps don't handle several of these functions well. On top of these issues, often the user interface on most of them is not simple and clean, with some odd designs that don't display lots of information at once.

I will point the finger at Twitter and its Tweetdeck web site on Windows 8. It's not the smoothest interface but it's decent, until you hold the tablet in portrait. Tweetdeck is almost unusable in portrait, making it no good on a tablet. It also doesn't handle snap view in Windows 8 very well either, another deal-breaker.

You can access Twitter using the browser but it's not as good as using apps on the iPad and Android. Tweetbot on the iPad and Plume on Android epitomize what defines good apps that makes working with Twitter a joy. And these aren't the only ones on those platforms, there are plenty others. There is a desperate need, at least for me, for an equivalent app on Windows 8.

I love using my Windows tablet but this lack of good Twitter operation is making it hard to head out each day with this tablet. Both the iPad and my Android tablet serve me well on daily work outings, including Twitter use, so the Windows tablet will sit at home more often until this glaring Twitter deficiency on Windows 8 is addressed by just one good app. It's a shame as I'm finding Windows 8 to work well for me in every other way.

See also: 

Topics: Mobility, Android, iPad, Tablets, Windows 8

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Well said. W8/WP provide the graphics capabilities and dev and design tools

    to make the best ux with the least amount of work of any of the mobile platforms. There's no reason the twitter apps on W8/WP shouldn't be better than any where else. Go back and take a little more pride in your work people. Work to impress us, not just skate by.
    Johnny Vegas
    • That's a bit of an exaggeration

      The tooling is fairly good for Windows 8's UI. Visual Studio is certainly better than Eclipse, and probably about even with xcode (more powerful, but also more complex.)

      However, the UI frameworks for each of the platforms is about equal. XAML is more flexible but less focused than CocoaTouch.
    • 1 reason...

      Twitter restrict the amount of users that an app can have. For established apps, the number can be relatively high, for new apps it is almost a non-starter and not worth developing for.

      As Windows 8 is a new platform and came out after Twitter put the user limit on developers, it isn't really surprising that there aren't many apps and that not much care has been put into them. If you can have a maximum userbase of a few thousand users, where is the incentive to invest time and money into getting it "perfect"?

      For a new app, it can never reach 100,000 users, let alone the hundreds of thousands or millions that those on established platforms, before Twitter changed the rules.
    • Windows 8

      Can I remove my forgotten Windows 8 password?
      • remove my forgotten Windows 8 password

        Get tutorial from
  • GovComm 8g

    Use the
  • Meh, never got into Twitter.

    Meh, never got into Twitter. Have an account, lies virtually unused. Never really got why people love it.
    • Same here...

      it just seems like a place for celebrities to peddle their wares.
    • ditto

      can't grasp the concept that I must share every detail of my ordinary life with a flock of 'followers'. This messianic view of oneself looks ridiculous to me. How many living messiahs are currently on twitter these days?
      LlNUX Geek
      • B/c you don't use it

        You dont get it b/c you dont use it. Yes, there are people who are tweeting mundane stuff all day .. and its an avenue for corp to promote their products, but its also... an avenue where niche type news gets around much faster to you then you waiting around and sitting around waiting for a search bot to crawl a page.
        Darko Gavrilovic
        • Used it, still didn't get it.

          I've tried it half a dozen times, none for less than three weeks. Just too much 'noise to signal' / 'chaff to wheat' for me. I guess it depends on how urgently you think you need to get that news. I've found there's little that can't wait until the next time I browse a web site or even until the ... next day's newspaper.
          • That can be said about just about anything

            It took me a while to figure out what the hoopla was all about. The default accounts and stuff twitter adds to your account when you first open an account makes for a lot of useless stuff. Just delete them and just follow the things you are specifically interested in or concern about and then compare the experience of following it via a web browser or rss feed or email alerts. It makes a world of difference when dealing with the info on a smartphone and also makes a world if difference, as others have pointer out, when you use a full featured twitter client. (Note: It also depends what you do for a living and do you actually care if you get info 2 or 3 days late - i.e. think people that are tracking bank interest rates or tracking government alerts or company news releases for financial reasons or stocks...there is a lot more on twitter than Mylie cyrus, CNN and ZDnet opinion pieces... ;-) )
            Darko Gavrilovic
    • Use it as a replacement for RSS and a semi-replacement for texting...

      ...celebrities/companies/professionals, all without the need for their phone number.
  • what a ridiculous claim

    to say that windows 8 does many things right lol

    oh wait it does!!!!

    stealing money for insanely expensive failure of an OS, than more money for hardware that is still not capable of running it at decent speed, than killing your security and privacy by allowing EVERYONE to spy on you big time, making idiot out of you with new interface...yeah those are the thing windows 8 does right.
    • ...

      Ok, I'll bite.
      Expensive OS? For the consumer market, currently the only competitor out there is OSX. Windows is not cheaper than OS X, otherwise OS X machines with comparable hardware would be cheaper than Windows machines.

      Expensive hardware to run Windows at decent speed? The cheapest machines that run Windows at decent speed are below 300$.

      Killing security and privacy by allowing everyone to spy on you? Next time you have a cleanly set up PC, refrain from downloading and installing porn viewers or java.

      Making idiot out of you with new interface? It takes anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 days to learn the new interface. Anyone is free to decide to not learn the interface and still use it, while looking like an idiot.
      • Don't kid yourself

        You are obviously very blind, Linux has a growing marketshare, Windows doesn't. SteamOS running on Linux is set to remove the need for a Windows machine for gaming. Also Steam is on Linux natively now with new games added daily. Game developers like valve are disgruntled with Windows 8 so they have set their sights on Linux, many top game companies have. Everywhere you look there's Linux.

        Chromebooks are the number 1 selling product on Amazon.. They run on Linux, The Kindle range is the 2nd best selling product on Amazon, they also run on Linux.. Android has 75% of the mobile market, it too runs on Linux.. Many computer stores now sell systems with Ubuntu option which cuts £100 off the price tag.
        • Laugh every time I read this...

          "Chromebooks are the number 1 selling product on Amazon"

          So everyone purchases their computers from Amazon these days?
          Mac's, Dell's, HP's, Lenovo's, Acer's, Asus's, etc...

          Just what percentage of total computer sales is this great number 1 product?
          • Followup

            Just to put you straight with something simple.. The Kindle range was the most bought digital product 3 years running.. That isn't just on Amazon, that is across the board, it sold more than ipads, more than 1 million per week for the Kindle fire alone. Can you imagine how many are sold from their entire range per week?? Given those sales figures and that the Kindle range is number 2 on Amazon, What do you think the Chromebook figures look like??
          • Just what percentage of..

            Not only are Google's Chromebooks a success, but they are now the fastest-growing segment of the PC industry, according to market research firm NPD Group.

            "While we were skeptical initially, I think Chromebooks definitely have found a niche in the marketplace," NPD analyst Stephen Baker told Bloomberg.

            Baker says that in the past eight months, Google's browser-based devices have managed to capture 20 to 25 per cent of the US market for laptops that cost less than $300. This, amid an industry-wide downturn that has IDC analysts predicting a 7.8 per cent decline in overall PC sales in 2013.

            I'd hardly call that nothing, would you?
        • Chromebooks are the number 1 selling product on Amazon.

          What? You mean that most people buy their Dell Notebooks from Dell? And HP systems from HP?

          Funny, Chromebooks don't seem to be the number one selling OS at Best Buy.

          Why would that be...