Like Facebook, Twitter is using HTML5 along with native app elements to unify the user experience of its mobile apps across platforms. We’ve spent some time with the new Twitter for both iPhone and Android.
The Look and Feel
The app opens to a homepage with updates from your stream.
Twitter’s newest design is going to be contentious with some users. The iPhone app has aesthetically remained nearly unchanged since Tweetie 2.0 was first released back in 2009. Even after Twitter acquired Tweetie in 2010, the iPhone version of Twitter remained consistent with its predecessor.
Now Twitter for iPhone and Android includes a new color palette of blues and blacks. There is also much more focus on Twitter’s new “Connect” stream and its built-in discovery engine.
Gone are the designated direct message and search buttons (though on iOS, there are new swipe gestures to bring up direct messages). In iOS, the app now only works portrait mode for browsing tweets, though tweets can still be composed in landscape.
The net result is an Android app that feels more robust and an iPhone app that feels a bit simpler.
Focus on Twitter-Led Curation
A big change to the app — and the entire new Twitter interface — is via the #Discover area. This combines the old trending topic section with top stories and follower suggestions.
The impetus seems to be on curating a certain type of Twitter experience, one that Twitter defines. We’re not really sure how we feel about this, but in the mobile app, the interface is at least easy to manage.
HTML5 and App Parity
The "Home" tab is your Twitter timeline. Like Twitter for iPhone, the Android version has a brand new look with a new color palette.
Perhaps the biggest change in the mobile app is that for the first time, Android and iPhone versions of Twitter now have feature parity with one another. Even before Twitter acquired Tweetie, the third-party ecosystem for Twitter apps was always superior on iOS. Twitter’s first-party Android attempts have never been able to match what former Twitter employee Loren Brichter (creator of Tweetie) was able to build for the iPhone.
With the latest Twitter for mobile release, going back to the drawing board means that both platforms can share the same features and experience.
This is great for Android users — and great for Twitter moving forward, as adding and pushing out new features should take less time.
Still, as an iPhone user, I can’t help but feel like I’m now getting a subpar Twitter experience via the official app. If anything, this may just convince me to use Tweetbot or Twitterlator Neueu fulltime.
What do you think of the new Twitter for Mobile? Let us know.