For many years, Tweetbot from Tapbots has been my favorite Twitter app and definitely my most used app on iOS. The application includes several powerful features wrapped up in a quick, smooth interface. However, the design began to look dated with the launch of iOS 7, Apple’s revamped iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system, last month. For several months, the Tapbots crew has been hard at work on a complete, end-to-end redesign of their flagship app, and it is available now via the App Store. Check out my complete review…
If you use the current version of Tweetbot and understand the transition from iOS 6 to iOS 7, you will feel right at home. Tweetbot 3.0 works virtually the same way and has mostly the same feature-set as its predecessor, but an entirely new design. Like many of Apple’s core iOS 7 apps, the interface is very content-focused, includes some transparency, and has lots of white space. However, the app is not without graphical touches from Tapbots. Every icon, shape, glyph, and user-interface elements appears to be custom designed, and I find the the app’s design gorgeous.
For those unfamiliar with how Tweetbot functions, it is simple, yet efficient and powerful. The app includes five tabs across the bottom: Timeline, Mentions, Messages, Favorites, and Search. The first three tabs are static, but the second two are dynamic and can be changed. To change the fourth and fifth tab, just tap and hold down. The tabs can become a list of retweets, your profile, mute settings, or lists. Personally, I have the last two tabs as my Twitter profile and search.
In Timeline, you can scroll easily through the Tweets of those the other users that you follow. This works mostly like any other Twitter app on iOS. However, Tweetbot 3.0 includes a new physics engine so that scrolling feels smoother and more accurate.
To perform an action on a Tweet, you just tap the tweet. From here, you can reply, retweet (native or quote), favorite, share, view details, view Retweets, view the Tweet in Favstar, and Translate the Tweet’s text content from another language. To view a single Tweet, just swipe to the left. The right-swipe gesture to activate the conversation view has been removed, but is returning in a future update, Tapbots tells me.
Again, this works just the same way, and navigating through your Timeline is snappy and fun. To load new tweets, you just pull down your Timeline. You can also view a custom Timeline that only shows Tweets that contain images, along with larger thumbnails of each image. A search bar to filter through loaded Tweets is also present at the top of the Timeline view.
The Mentions interface looks and is handled in the exact same way as the Timeline. The only difference (obviously) is that this is a Timeline solely of Tweets mentioning your Twitter username.
Twitter Direct Messages in the new Tweetbot is handled exactly like Messages in the previous version, but the interface is all-new. The chat bubbles look similar to the Apple iOS 7 Messages app, but the graphics are more squared-off. Nonetheless, fans of the iOS 7 Messages app will feel very comfortable with this interface. Messaging is fast, and users can share their messages via email.
The Profile view in Tweetbot has seen the most transformative overall of all functions. The top of the Profile view places your Profile Picture, full name, username, and biography over a transparent, blurred version of your cover photo. The effect is very nice, clean, and easy-to-read. Users visiting your profile will see a very similar interface to how you can see it. Below your profile information are easy buttons to access your website and view your provided location. Under your location and website are tabs to view your Tweets, your Followers, who you Follow, and which Lists you have been placed on by other Twitter users. You can also access your posted photos, your Twitter user number, and the month/year you joined Twitter via this Profile tab.
Search works just like previous versions of Tweetbot, allowing you to pull up Tweets, Users, and Nearby Tweets. You can also browse Trends, People lists, and Saved Searches. Nothing new here other than the interface, but it works just as well and looks cleaner than previous Tweetbot releases.
The Favorites, Retweets, and Mute settings tabs work just like the tabs in earlier versions of Tweetbot, but, of course, just look cleaner.
Tweetbot has always provided an easy way for users to jump between their Twitter Lists. Lists are custom Timelines of people that you do not necessarily need to be following. Lists used to be accessible by tapping the top of your Timeline, but the feature has been moved to be solely activated via a tab at the bottom of the app.
Aside from the dramatically new redesign, Tweetbot 3.0 is light on new features and functionality. There a few great additions though. One feature that I often use in Tweetbot for Mac is saving links to my Safari Reading List. This feature is now present in the iOS version thanks to its API in iOS 7. The app has also reduced how many taps are necessary to move around the different features. iOS 7′s Background Fetch functionality is also present, and this iOS 7 feature truly shines in a Twitter app. Also new to Tweetbot 3: text size is controlled by iOS 7′s Dynamic Type.
Tweetbot for iOS has always been an absolutely fantastic Twitter app for both casual Twitter users and power-users. It has great features, it’s fast, and easy-to-understand. The minor feature enhancements and completely new design of Tweetbot 3.0 make the app feel more at home on iOS 7 devices, and the new interface allows users to focus more on Tweets, images, and other content rather than on heavy interface elements.