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Sharp, inside and out

Tweetdeck is off to an excellent start, especially for Twitter addicts using the desktop version, but there's room for growth.

The black-tinted, sharp-looking Tweetdeck boldly challenges more established Twitter apps for iPhone with its smart design and a novel column view, which lets you quickly swipe through the friends, direct reply, and @ mentions screens. You can also add columns, like a Twitter Search term, Twitter trends, or a user group. A handy pop-up informs you of the number of unread messages you have. Behind the scenes, Tweetdeck manages multiple accounts, lets you shorten links via Bit.ly, supports geo-tagging and photo uploading, and further hooks into photo services. TwitPic and yfrog. Shortcuts buttons help you quickly reply, send a direct message, retweet, e-mail a tweet, and mark posts as favorites. It includes an in-app browser for following links without leaving the app. You can quickly look up others to follow, but Tweetdeck is missing a way to view all your friends. If you use Tweetdeck on the desktop, you'll also be able to automatically sync between the apps. Unlike competitors, it does not support video uploads for the iPhone 3G, or even landscape mode. Managerial tasks are almost nil, like being able to delete a tweet. Tweetdeck is off to an excellent start, especially for Twitter addicts using the desktop version, but there's room for growth.

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