With the new Series 4, Apple finally has its act together when it comes to the Watch running apps. The Series 3 brought the speed up to par, and the latest evolution brings even more in that department and pairs it with a dynamite screen. Unfortunately, the situation for developers was so poor in the Watch’s infancy that many of them bailed before things got interesting.
There have been notable departures from the Watch side of the App Store, including Google Maps, Amazon, Slack, Instagram and Twitter, as these companies chose to remove their apps from the platform. There has also been attrition on Apple’s part, as they now require all developers to support native apps. Any developers who released early Watch apps and abandoned them have seen their zombie wares put out of their misery by Apple.
Despite this, there are some really strong Apple Watch apps that work well on the platform and show that the small screen can still deliver big-time usefulness. Chirp, a fairly recent addition to the App Store that has filled the gap left by Twitter and Twitteriffic, is one such app.
Chirp delivers a surprisingly full experience on the Watch, serving up your Twitter feed, trending, mentions, likes, and profile in the free version. Messages, Lists, and Search are available with a very reasonable $1.99 upgrade fee.
I used the old Twitter app for the Watch back when it was still available and found it lacking. I later switched to an app called Wrister that served up more information and was easier to use, but was abandoned by the dev and recently killed off by Apple. Chirp is a different matter, as it has already been updated six times in the three months since it was released.
As for what Chirp gets right, first off, it’s fast. Super fast. Scrolling with either touch or the Digital Crown is smooth, images and icons load quickly and refreshes are snappy.
There is little to no lag, no matter what you are doing. We’ve come a LONG way since the Series 0 Watches running watchOS 1.
Second, I love how capable this app is. You can quickly Like or Retweet right from the bottom of any Tweet.
You also have the capability to reply to Tweets using either Voice Dictation, Scribble, or the Emoji keyboard.
You aren’t going to want to write the great American novel using the Watch, but it’s nice to have the option to use it to make short replies to Tweets in a pinch. For a Watch app to be truly useful, it has to be able to do more than just look at information. In this case, Chirp delivers the goods.
Chirp also has a feature that I look for in every Watch app now- independence. If you use your Apple Watch alone on cellular, Chirp will still deliver your Tweets without missing a beat. So many apps on the Watch are still bound directly to the iPhone, so I always appreciate when a developer designs theirs to take full advantage of what the Watch can do today.
It’s nice to finally have a full featured Twitter client on the Apple Watch that is worth using. Chirp absolutely fits the bill for me, and delivers a best in class Apple Watch experience that is one of the best ways to take advantage of the Series 4’s bigger, better screen.
Even though the free version of Chirp works great, consider throwing the developer a few bucks via the iPhone app to support future upgrades if you like it.