Vancouver based Invoke Media, creators of the wildly popular, web based Twitter client, Hootsuite have announced that December 10th will be the day their iPhone app will be available from Apple. This is something people (like myself) that use Hootsuite have been waiting a long time for.
I've been using Hootsuite for awhile now and really like it because it's basically a single, configurable web page that is a dashboard to all your Twitter accounts (and more recently Facebook, Ping.Fm and LinkedIn support has been added). I use a number of different computers during the course of a day so a client that I have to install isn't practical in most cases. I like being able to log in anywhere and see everything in one place.
Now, Hootsuite has been extended to the iPhone as a dedicated application. It already worked in Mobile Safari but was a little small to be as useful as a native app.
Twitter clients on the iPhone are already plentiful, each with some unique feature or option that seemingly eventually gets copied by the other clients. It's a constant leapfrog effect...especially when Twitter themselves keep changing and adding features (like Lists for example) that force the apps to constantly keep updating.
I've been playing with a preview release of the Hootsuite app for a couple of days now and I have to say, for a 1.0 release, it's pretty slick and polished. It has many of the features the web version has and on my 3GS seems very fast. They've put together a video that gives you an overview of all the features.
One of the features that is unique to this app is its ability to schedule tweets in the future from any of your accounts. You can see the standard iPhone calendar widget interface in the screenshot to the right.
Another unique aspect of Hootsuite for iPhone is the ability to view statistics for links posted via its Ow.ly url shortening service from within the application. Being able to see total clicks and a nifty little graph over time is a nice touch.
The ability to also customize the layout is also refreshing as most Twitter apps don't allow for much in the way of moving things around to suit your needs. Being able to move and reorder your accounts, streams, lists, and create new tabs and columns is great.
The app is missing a few things however (at least my preview version is). The ability to view conversation chains isn't currently there which can be frustrating since it's common in most other clients. Also missing is the ability to view profile photos beyond the small thumbnails. I'd also like to see if someone is following me or not when I click on their profile - something the web based version currently lacks as well. These shortcomings are most likely outweighed by the other features the app brings to the iPhone user and could be added in future updates.
Hootsuite for the iPhone is available on Apple's App Store on December 10th beginning at 9am EST. Pricing has not yet been announced.