For whatever reason, the BlackBerry PlayBook does not yet have a native Twitter application. Just Facebook and YouTube when it comes to social media – and YouTube is a stretch to put it in that category.

Yes, the new Mail app in 2.0 handles Twitter. But that is only direct messaging. That is the least used feature for me.

The best option one can get from BlackBerry App World is to pay the $1.99 (USD) and download Blaq.

This is actually the first app I ever paid for, and I haven’t regretted it because I have kept using it for nearly eight months now. The thing is, I keep using it because I just can’t anything better overall. Blaq has its shortcoming.

Replying

Last night I saw some people replying to someone else I follow. The individual was asking everyone who their favorite cell provider was. I couldn’t find the original tweet. Just the responses. If I pressed on the response from another person I followed, a panel slides in from the right, and reveals the conversation. However, there doesn’t seem to be any way that I can click on the originaler tweeter to then reply to.

When I clicked on the original poster’s name from that panel, nothing would happen either. When I went to her profile from within Blaq, I found the tweet, but again, no option to respond to that.

Yes, I am aware I can just type in “@username” and give my response. But for those on proper apps, or using Twitter online, that would break the conversation. I ended scrolling down in in my main feed until I found the original tweet, hit reply, and responded.

Links

Something very, very inconsistent are the links. I’ve lost count as to how many times I’ve clicked on a link from within someone’s tweet and nothing happened at all.

Other links, open within Blaq’s browser, which is just a tiny window within the panel that slides in the right. Some links, open up in the PlayBook’s default browser. Finally, the remaining of clicked links open within Blaq, but if it’s just an image, it will pop up as an overlay, front and centre.

Are you confused? I know I am. It’s frustrating.

Portrait View

I fear I am within a minority, which is why I feel I’m being overlooked. I absolutely love using the PlayBook in portrait mode. It’s the size of a book, and the spacing on the keyboard when holding the tablet on it’s side is just awesome to me.  The spacing and size of the virtual keys couldn’t get any better.

It took Blaq f–o-r-e-v-e-r to bring out the ability to use their app in portrait mode. When it did, I near dancing around the living room with glee.

Then I used it. Oh man, what a train-wreck. If you went to portrait, and then to horizontal, and back to portrait, the UI would break. Everything would go Piacsso. Then Blaq took it away!

For months I went without. Now with OS 2.0, they did some pretty major updates. Along with them, was portrait mode. And it works pretty good! …But only in the Home and Mentioned feeds.

The moment you go into a search to find something, or see what’s trending, you’re screwed again. It kicks you out in horizontal mode, and going back to portrait won’t always work.

Ugh. So close.

Search


I have no idea yet how to see what is trending just locally. Be it in Canada, Manitoba, or Winnipeg. If I’m missing something, by all means tell me. I’d love to know. Pavelec from our Winnipeg Jets was once trending after an amazing 7-0 game. I missed out because the trend never showed in Blaq.

Huge deal? No. But it would have been nice to have the option to switch.

Other Twitter Apps and why Blaq is still the best option


I have tried other options available. The other apps from BlackBerry App World just don’t seem to compare well. They all have their shortcomings, and Blaq holds the least.

I side-loaded the official Twitter App for Android. I would say that app blows Blaq out of the water and is near perfect. However, it seems to be resource heavy, slower, and has often frozen my Android player, causing me to have to restart the PlayBook.

TweetCaster for Android (side-loaded) is also really, really nice. But I had run into the same issues with performance.

Conclusion


I’m hoping Blaq catches this blog post in the wind. I haven’t seen many reviews for the app, so I figured I’d make use of my blog and share my two cents.

Despite my long post about the faults, this app is very good and has wonderful features. I’m just hoping the main aspects that bother me are patched up sooner than later.

If that official Twitter app for Android were to be ported over properly… Blaq is in trouble.

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