By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
The BlackBerry PlayBook's small size, portability and touch capabilities make it an ideal device for avid Twitter users and followers. So far, we've been using Twitter on the less than ideal browser version which was scrunched up on the PlayBook's bright but small 1024x600 pixel screen. Thankfully, the developers at Blaq created an app that makes it a breeze to Tweet off.
Blaq ($1.99 on the BlackBerry App World) is well designed in terms of look, feel and functionality. The black interface is stylish and very easy on the eyes while the teal and green colour of the major buttons and icons is bright and attractive without being too jarring.
Not only does Blaq maximize the PlayBook's preferred landscape orientation (it won't flip for portrait mode) but it also manages to integrate the QNX touch controls so swiping to raise the keyboard, unhide the page refresh button.
The layout is traightforward, the screen is divided into two with the left side showing the Twitter stream from all the accounts you follow while the left side is a blank form where you can quickly type up a tweet or add a photo.
Clicking on any of the tweets on the left, brings up a truckload of options. You get the account's name and message, the ability to contact them directly, retweer the message, star the message, send a direct message or copy the tweet.
You also get a preview of any links or websites that might be attached as well as the option to Unfollow, Block or Report the user and you can also see all the pertinent information such as followers, following and number of tweets sent.
We found Blaq relatively quick to use and quite snappy. One thing about this app is that there doesn't seem to be much in terms of settings. One issue some users have complained about is the small font size. There doesn't seem to be a way to change this setting. The developers form Kisai Labs are working on this, a search option and a number of other features in an upcoming update.
We think that Blaq is a completely useful and laudable Twitter client and a great indicator of how good PlayBook applications can be. Blaq just made the PlayBook even more fun to use and we can't wait to see both get even better.
Rating: 4 out of 5