Twitter Smacks Its Partners Again: Hands-On With the New "Official App" for iPhone

05/26/2010 03:05 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Do you hear that? That's the sound of a formerly benign partner become a rapacious predator. Twitter used to encourage an ecosystem to bloom, and it brought forth Twitterific, Echofon, TweetDeck, HootSuite and many more clients designed to make Twitter easier, better and more fun to use.

No more. In early April, Twitter acquired an independent Twitter iPhone app -- the most popular of its kind -- Tweetie.

That's good news for users, because now that Twitter owns Tweetie, we won't be spending money to buy and download other 3rd party apps for our iPhone, Android and Blackberry phones. Tweetie will be free, according to Twitter, and that's good for users. But it's not so good for the other companies trying to make a buck on the platform.

But is this really a problem? Just how good will Twitter's "official app" actually be? We had a chance to find out late last week, as Tweetie, now known as "Twitter for iPhone," was officially released. But how will the app stack up to its 99 cent competitors? Check out our hands-on review below for the answer to that, and other questions.

One question we don't have an answer to yet: Now that the official app puts Twitter in direct competition with 3rd party developers, will they still try to turn a profit when compared to a free app with all the insider benefits that the Tweetie development team now has?

You be the judge. See all the new features for the old Tweetie in our hands-on review from AppJudgment below.