Twitter has just released an update for both its iOS and Android apps and it comes with new features, an improved interface, as well as the removal of a few features that many active Twitter users will miss. The interface change, in Twitter’s own words, gives you wider timelines across the app. This interface change is for the iPhone only, and not the iPad. More functional changes to both iOS and Android app include viewing a thumbnail of the image you’re sharing instead of the cropped-out top half only, along with the ability to preview your tweet before sending it, toggle location information on/off for it, and switch between accounts as you compose a tweet. For users running Android 4.1 or above, the updated app also brings richer notifications, complete with user avatars and markers that tell you if it’s a reply, a retweet, a DM etc.
Tweeting images from your camera roll/Gallery is much easier; the compose tweet screen splits in half, with the bottom half dedicated to images on your device. You can scroll through the thumbnails and tap the image you want to tweet when you’ve found it. Once the image has been added (and you’ve optionally edited it), you will see the full image instead of the cropped out version that the app previously showed.
If you tap the location button, the app will update to your current location on the map and a new ‘Turn off location’ button will appear on the map as well, allowing you to remove the information for that particular tweet only.
A big change for the iOS app, and not in a good sense, is that the the hash tag button and the @ button have both been moved to the on-screen keyboard next to the space bar. These two buttons have replaced the ‘return’ key that you would normally see here which is weird since Twitter only recently allowed paragraph breaks in tweets. To say that the buttons are now poorly positions might not be correct since it’s subject to a user’s own preference but the change seems unnecessary. Neither of the three buttons in the compose tweet screen were starved for space making this change more than useless.
The Android app has similar changes when it comes to the new Tweet composer, along with one extra feature: rich notifications. Provided you’re running Android 4.1 or above, your notifications will now instantly tell you if your tweet has been replied to, retweeted or favorited. In addition, you’ll also see the other person’s avatar in the notification, though that works for single notifications only, and if you get multiple notifications before you open the Twitter app, they’ll be grouped together into a single, expandable one (except for DMs), and the avatars removed. Also, avatars don’t seem to be shown for DMs, for some reason.
Apart from it now being easier to tweet an image, there isn’t anything big in terms of new features for the iOS app, though the rich notifications are a significant improvement in the Android version. All in all, these changes make updating to the newer version worthwhile. You can update the app from their respective app stores, or download it from the following links if you don’t have them installed already.