With last week's acquisition of techie-adopted Twitter client TweetDeck, UberMedia stepped up as a force in the Twitter ecosystem. Combined with other recent acquisitions of Echofon, Twidroid and UberTwitter, the company now controls 20% of Tweets sent daily. This week, the company is releasing another client of its own - UberCurrent.
So why does one company need yet another Twitter app when it has four already? This one, unlike the others, intends to bring Twitter to everyone.
#NewTwitter (& UberCurrent) Is For Everyone
Ever since the redesign of Twitter.com last September, Twitter has been pushing to redefine its public image. It's not a social network, says the company, and it certainly isn't just for content creators. "You don't have to tweet to use Twitter," is the message we're supposed to come away with. UberMedia has heard this message loud and clear.
"UberCurrent is a uniquely designed Twitter app that caters to users in an entirely different way," said UberMedia CEO Bill Gross in a release. "In addition to offering the Twitter experience to everyone, with or without a Twitter account, UberCurrent creates a unique streamlining process for getting valuable content to the appropriate users."
We took the app for a spin and, much like the company claims in its press release, it indeed has a "slick, easy-to-use design." Unlike other apps, however, the first thing UberCurrent does is explain that it "lets you stay in touch with the people and information that matters to you, whether you have a Twitter account or not."
Given this idea, this is exactly how we test drove the app - as if we were a new user with no idea how to use Twitter and no desire to create an account. Immediately, we were taken to a screen showing a curated list of Twitter accounts, with other lists readily accessible. From "Entertainers," "Sports," "News," "Tech," or "TV Personalities", the app's default lists make Twitter easy to approach as a source of information. This approach to Twitter isn't about making friends or, as is the perennial complaint, Tweeting about what you had for lunch. This is about experiencing a stream of information about the things you care about, diced up into easily digestible bites.
The "Top Tweets" feature takes this idea and really runs with it, turning Twitter into a familiar 3D interface. We're no longer dealing with Twitter accounts at this point, but cultural icons and little nuggets of information that you can flick through like album covers in your iTunes library.
What About Twitter Users?
While UberCurrent is designed with new users in mind, it is also a beautifully designed, fully-functional Twitter client for old-hat Twitter users. Tap on a Tweet with a link and it opens to give a full preview of the linked page. Tap on any other Tweet and you are given all of the standard options to @reply, retweet, favorite, email, quote the Tweet and even see replies to that particular Tweet.
Lists are accessed in the same way as the preset lists for new users, with the categories shown along the top, content below, and members of that list in a scrollable left-hand column. In addition to being able to update Facebook, UberCurrent also allows you to connect your Facebook account and push out updates from the client. It doesn't, however, pull in your Facebook stream, only Twitter.
In all, the app feels like a well thought out implementation of Twitter for the newbie, with the set of features that could bring that same user into the full Twitter experience. "Just sign up and try it out," the app seems to be saying, "and once you're in, we'll take you the rest of the way."