Twitter apps: Mobile and sync are the keys

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The two primary Twitter applications for the desktop – TweetDeck and Seesmic Desktop – released new versions in the past 24 hours.

Both are the latest salvoes in a battle where one winner could gain supremacy as the app on the desktop for keeping in touch with what’s happening on Twitter (and, if you wish, Facebook as well).

I suspect, though, that the real battle in desktop Twitter apps will be for the enterprise (ie, paying customers) in whatever plans Iain Dodsworth and Loic Le Meur respectively have for their services.

I’m using both apps, alternating between each one to see what they’re like. TweetDeck is the app I usually use so it’s good to compare it with another very good one. I like them both, a lot.

Full feature details here: TweetDeck 0.26.1 and Seesmic Desktop 0.3 RC1.

Rafe Needleman has an excellent early review of both apps at CNET News.

What I find really interesting, though, is what’s happening with Twitter apps for mobile and, in particular, on the iPhone platform as TweetDeck for iPhone launched overnight.

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I’ve installed it on my iPhone and have to say it is, in a word, gorgeous! The most obvious thing to me is how well it integrates with the app I usually use on the desktop (namely, TweetDeck) and the new service that TweetDeck now offers to synchronize your settings and groups across all your devices where you use TweetDeck, via a new account feature.

And therein is the key, I think – a means to easily and effectively coordinate all your preferences and content settings so that no matter which device you use the tool that lets you interact with everyone on Twitter (now multiple accounts) and Facebook, you get the familiarity of what you want when you load it up.

So as TweetDeck and Seesmic Desktop go head-to-head on the desktop, (free) TweetDeck for iPhone engages with the likes of (pay-for) Tweetie – my preferred app so far on the iPhone – (free and pay-for) Twitterific, (free and pay-for) Twitterfon and others.

TweetDeck goes mobile and makes for the clouds, says Iain Dodsworth in a post on his blog last night.

[…] you can now take all your TweetDeck favourites, including columns, groups and saved searches, everywhere you go. Browse through columns with the flick of a fingertip, see what’s new as it arrives with notifications and simply shake your iPhone to refresh. And we’re giving you all of this goodness for free.

Especially with its sync capability for your account across multiple devices, I think TweetDeck has come out of the gate at a fast run with a genuine edge over those competitors.

The iPhone is such an attractive platform, both for users and developers (it really is all about the apps). But if TweetDeck were to also offer an app for the Blackberry, Windows Mobile and/or Symbian, then you’re really talking about stealing the market.

I wonder…

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