Twitter for iPad was released late last night. This is of course the official app from Twitter themselves and, more importantly, the creation of Loren Brichter – the developer of the excellent Tweetie app, which was bought by Twitter.
Like many folks round the web – and seemingly 90% of the Twitterverse – I stayed up late last night once I heard it was going to be released, and played the patience-testing game of near constant App Store refreshing until I managed to download it.
My tweet in the screenshot above was my very first impression of the app – well worth the staying up late and the wait. Here’s some much better words, courtesy of @brandonsteili, that sum up what I was really thinking:
Seriously, @atebits has a mastery of the iOS SDK that just boggles the mind. Incredible job on the iPad Twitter app.
I couldn’t agree more with Brandon’s thoughts. Honestly, I had got to the point where I did not miss the Twitter app on the iPad. I had its little brother iPhone version installed, and Osfoora HD had become my favorite iPad Twitter client. It has a gorgeous UI and is quite good to use.
But … as soon as I’d spent 5 minutes with Twitter for iPad last night, Osfoora HD was kicked to the curb (or at least back to home screen number 7) and my first home screen had a new resident.
I haven’t spent a huge amount of time with the app yet, so I’ll aim to do a proper review at some stage when I have. In the meantime, I thought I’d share just a few quick thoughts on things I’ve noticed, things that make the app so compelling, and some screenshots.
Even before you sign in, Twitter for iPad grabs your interest – by showing you categories (e.g Business, Music, Food & Drink, Technology, Sports, and lots more), top tweets, and trending topics. This is a great feature for new users or even potential new users – a nice way to start discovering what Twitter’s all about.
Everything in the app looks equally good in both landscape and portrait mode, and works just as well in both modes – a sign of a well designed iPad app.
As he has done ever since Tweetie hit the App Store, Loren has presented us with some new and impressive ways to interact with an app with multi-touch gestures. Clever little things like pinching to zoom on an individual tweet to see more info (and a mini profile of the tweet’s author) and pulling down with two fingers to see a conversation thread.
Everywhere you go within the app, it’s easy and intuitive to tap and see more information and more possible interactions.
Another little feature I like a lot is the ‘Similar To’ section at the bottom of a user’s profile. I’m not sure what these are based on or how good they are just yet – but I like the idea a lot, in the same way I like seeing the ‘Users who bought this book also bought …’ section in Amazon.
There are some places where it’s a little tricky getting used to all the new ways to can interact with the app, at the outset. For instance it uses a lot of popovers that create extra panes and go beyond the screen size when you drill down to individual tweets and similar actions – and at first I didn’t realize how to get back to a standard two pane view (which you do by just tapping back on one of the main timeline items in the left-most pane).
That’s about it for the little bits and pieces I’ve noticed so far.
Twitter for iPad is a high profile app that lots of people have been eagerly awaiting for a while now. To say it doesn’t disappoint is a huge understatement. It’s just a brilliant Twitter client. An app that makes it more fun than ever to spend time with Twitter, that actually makes you want to tweet more. And that’s got to be a pretty nice confirmation for Twitter that they picked the right guy to head up their mobile apps team.