It might have taken longer than expected, but Microsoft’s promise of bringing better apps to Windows Phone 8 is finally coming true. After the WhatsApp overhaul last week, Twitter has received a significant update as well. Until now, Twitter’s Windows Phone client resembled the service’s web version rather than its smartphone counterpart, but finally the situation has been rectified, with the new update bringing a tabbed interface and better notification support. The ‘Connect’ and ‘Discover’ tabs have finally been added to the app. You can also configure lock screen notifications on WP8 devices quite easily. No Windows Phone app update is complete unless it improves the live tile, and Twitter is no exception. The app now supports a double-sided tile that shows alerts for mentions and direct messages.
Although the new interface of the app is quite similar to the iOS and Android versions, the Windows Phone client retains a distinctly Modern flavor. Rather than displaying the icons for each tab at the bottom of the screen, you get the new options in the top bar. The compose and search buttons are in the bottom bar though, where they have always been. Whenever you open a new tweet with an embedded photo, the app shows the images below the text. Stats for tweets are nestled between the tweet body and sharing options. The app feels a lot smoother than it previously did, and you are sure to notice the improvement while going through your timeline.
The change in the interface is pretty big, but that’s not all – the new notifications system is impressive as well. You can get push notifications without any manual effort; however, won’t be able to enjoy lock screen notifications straight away, since they have to be configured manually. To see a Twitter moniker for pending notifications on your lock screen, head to the Settings menu in your device and enable the Twitter option under the ‘Lock Screen’ section.
When it comes to live tile support, Twitter for Windows Phone has just gained a secondary live tile. Not only can you pin particular profiles to your Start screen, but the primary live tile now displays the total notification count and the beginning of the notification text as well.
The notifications worked flawlessly during our little test run, and the new interface turned out to be really easy on the eyes. The app is compatible with both WP7 and WP8. Give the new and improved Twitter a try by updating it on your device, or installing it from the following link.