Twitter: Shortcoming of Windows 8

Windows 8 does many things well, but Twitter isn't one of them.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor
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.

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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.

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