Software Review Articles

Twitter Apps for iOS, Apple Watch and macOS

Musk originally wanted to charge $20 per month for a Twitter subscription, but then decided upon $8 per month or (or $96 annually) for paid verification and increased tweet reach, allowing users to acquire a blue checkmark. Special note here: iOS subscribers pay an additional $3 a month to cover Apple’s 30% in-app purchase tax. The lack of actual verification of human subscribers, but instead an outright purchase of the blue checkmark, serves only to increase Twitter’s revenue since verification of user identity has been taken off the table (with the exception of government entities and businesses). I can’t imagine that for most people a paid subscription is worth the ability to downvote other accounts or priority listing replies and improved search. But then I suppose there will always be those who are willing to pay for the coveted blue checkmark.

Many third-party applications such as IconFactory’s Twitterrific and Tapbot’s Tweetbot were caught off guard when Elon Musk cut off their API access, basically barring any applications which competed with their own. Both had a large user base who wanted an ad-free social media experience, a “safe haven” from unwanted changes and how and in what order their tweets appeared (or did not appear) in their stream. Twitterrific’s Blue Bird Mascot came to be associated with the identify of Twitter itself and the term “tweet” used by Twitterrific users was later adopted by Twitter. These third-party apps played a large part in how we used Twitter and our mobile apps and is a testimony to the value of outside developers and their impact on a particular service.  It appears that TweetDeck will be offered as an ad-free Twitter Blue exclusive feature contrary to the fact that Twitter Blue isn't ad-free, meaning that only paying Twitter users will have access to the app.

Twitter and the Apple Watch

Apple Watch users noticed in September 2017, that Twitter had disappeared from the Apple iTunes App Store, no longer referencing it as compatible with the Apple Watch. In fact, the Twitter Watch App was removed in iOS version 7.8. In my opinion, the Twitter app for the Apple Watch was by far the best Twitter app for the Apple watch. Although some apps may not be ideal for the Apple Watch, I feel that Twitter’s Apple Watch app was spot on, and for anyone using Twitter, would have been one of their core apps.

Chirp for Twitter Preview
Chirp for Twitter Preview (Apple Photo)

Since Twitter does not support the Apple Watch, enter a third-party web-based Twitter interface app called Chirp for Twitter, which was designed specifically for the Apple watch allowing users to access their timeline, mentions and notifications and retweet or like Tweets. The iPhone version of Chirp for Twitter is simply used to set up your watch app and purchase a Pro version.  Chirp for Twitter operates on a "pay-what-you want" model; pricing of $1.99, $2.99 and $4.99 will get you the same pro product which allows you to: 

  • Post tweets
  • Reply to tweets
  • View and send direct messages
  • Search for users and tweets
  • View more than 5 trends
Chirp for Twitter for Apple Watch
Apple App Store


  • Mac : Requires macOS 11.0 or later and a Mac with Apple M1 chip or later.
  • iPhone : Requires iOS 13.0 or later.
  • iPad touch : Requires iOS 13.0 or later.
  • Apple Watch : Requires watchOS 6.2 or later.

Twitter API is now behind a paywall, meaning that third-party software developers needing to access API data for their own products will need to choose one of the developer platforms offered by Twitter. Developer Platforms include offerings of Free, Basic (@ $100 per month) and three levels of Enterprise (reportedly as high as $42,000 per month).

What are the alternatives?

Some Twitter users stayed; some left to find another social media networking alternative that was less visceral, ad-free, more content rich or simply to follow those they followed on Twitter but who left to join another platform. I doubt we will see Twitter’s demise any time soon, but what we will see is relevant competition with other social media networking platforms such as MastodonPost.News and Tribel, whose subscriber base has substantially increased over the past few months. Keep in mind, that Post.News is relatively new, launched in November 2022 by Noam Bardin, Chief Poster and founder and CEO of Post (previously CEO of Waze at Google).  Mastodon was created by Eugen Rochko, Founder, CEO and lead developer @Mastodon, Germany and announced on Hacker News in October 2016.  Mastodon gained significant adoption in 2022 in the wake of Twitter's acquisition by Elon Musk.  The project is maintained by German non-profit Mastodon gGmbh.

Elon Musk announced Friday, May 12, 2023 that he's hiring Linda Yaccarino to be the new CEO of San Francisco-based Twitter, which is now called X Corp. He said Yaccarino's role will be focused mainly on running the company's business operations, leaving him to focus on product design and new technology.