Twitter for iPad: A review

Back in April Twitter acquired Tweetie, one of the myriad of Twitter clients for the iPhone. One of the main reasons why they chose to buy an app was because many people were searching for ‘Twitter’ in the iTunes App Store and never knew which of the hundreds of choices was the right one for them. Twitter decided it was time for an official app. I’m sure there were some who were wondering when a Twitter app for the iPad would arrive. Well, that time has come.

Twitter has released their Twitter app for iPad. Technically it is an update to the existing Twitter application that provides universal capabilities. As many would expect, the iPad follows the same suit as the iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as the polish within the application.

The Twitter iPad app utilizes the real estate provided by the iPad to create some rather interesting user interface choices. Instead of doing ‘modal’ views, modal being a separate window that overlays a vast majority of the screen, Twitter has chosen to use sliding windows to present information, as shown below.

You, of course, have access to your timeline, mentions, lists, direct messages, profile and searching. All of this one would expect from almost any Twitter app.

One aspect that the Twitter app includes is the ability to sign into multiple accounts. This can make life a little bit easier for those who need to lead a double, triple or even quadruple life.

There is one little feature that can be quite useful. On the left hand side of the sections you may notice a little blue dot, like in the picture below. This indicates new messages since the last refresh. This appears for at least the timeline, mentions, and messages, but does not appear to work for lists or search.


The biggest feature that Twitter on the iPad has going for it is the embedded website loading. Instead of having to leave your application, clicking on a website link within a tweet opens the website in app as an overlay.  The original tweet remains visible, along with the typical Twitter tools (reply, star, retweet), above the website.

There are a couple of annoyances though. The first is the lack of ‘in reply to’ within the timeline. On the Twitter website you are able to see when somebody replies to an item that somebody posted. Within the Twitter app, you can see the entire threaded conversation once you select the individual Twitter post. This makes it easier to see the provenance of the reply.

The second annoyance, which is more of an issue, is that once you select an item there is no easy way to deselect the item. The only way I have found to deselect the item is to switch to another section and switch back to the timeline.


The official Twitter app is something every iPad owner should check out. The app is not just a Twitter client. It’s an easy way to keep up to date on Twitter. The app is free and available in the App store now.

I'm into everything technology related, particularly anything Apple related. I enjoy programming and tend to lean towards server-based technologies over client-based. You can contact me on twitter, via e-mail, or follow me on friendfeed.