Twitter has just dropped a new update for the iPhone, which is a complete redesign of the app. Twitter 4.0 for iPhone uses a new quadrant system, with the four divisions including Timeline, Connect, Discover, and Me.
Overall, the new version is extremely easy on the eyes. The clean styling really gives it a fresh new feel, like you’re running a completely new app as opposed to an update to the legacy version of Twitter for iPhone. I particularly like how they structured the Tweets so that they are set atop a background rather than take up the full width of the screen. As a geeky developer, I always love when a company customizes their UITableView cells.
There are a few things that are annoying though, such as Direct Messages being degraded and hidden within the Me tab as opposed to being granted their own space. Managing multiple accounts also got a little more complicated, requiring you to enter the Me tab and scroll down to “Switch Accounts,” though you can also quickly access direct messages using a swipe gesture. This should have been made clear from the get go, but if you swipe up on the “Me” tab, you go directly to your DMs.
The above issues are the direct result of the creation of the Discover tab. Newly introduced, this tab presents you with links and trending topics throughout Twitter, and not simply your social graph. It’s important to point out that this very well could become an entire tab full of promoted tweets and trends, which is forced into the faces of unsuspecting iOS users. Lastly, and yet possibly the most crippling of the issues I’ve found, there doesn’t seem to be a search in the Timeline box anymore. That one will take some getting used to, and hopefully someone finds some gesture to bring it back to life such as sliding seven fingers in a Z shape while snapping three times. Those are really the only negatives I saw in the app after test driving it for a few minutes.
Switching to a brighter point, the Connect tab is pretty great. I love seeing more than just @mentions on this tab, as it’s also useful at times to see who followed you vs their interactions with your content in timeline form.
All in all it’s a pretty solid update, and rather impressive. Personally, I wasn’t even aware a complete redesign was in the works, so I was caught off guard. Foregoing the above mentioned issues, I say upgrade away. The new UI is crisp, clean and you gotta love that new car smell. Not to mention these features are also already rolled out today to Twitter.com, so you’d better get used to them!
Quick look at the app