Just a few weeks after it updated its Android app, Twitter today sent out a major revamp of its free iPhone app to the iTunes App Store. As with most software updates, there are both good and bad changes here. The former definitely outweigh the latter, but Twitter needs to step in and correct one irritating addition. Here's the full list of changes.
- A redesigned Tweet compose screen with buttons for adding usernames, hashtags, photos, and location
- Automatically shortens URLs to 20 characters (I like this, though having the option to use a third-party source would be nice)
- Auto-complete of usernames and hashtags (my favorite addition)
- A cleaner interface for uploading photos
- Find users using your phone's contacts
- A better conversationlike view for direct messages. The interface now is similar to the iPhone's text messaging app (also very cool)
- Changes to preferences
- Bug fixes
What's not welcome
Unfortunately, you'll now find a "quick bar" at the top of your feed that shows trending tweets and hashtags, some of which are promoted. You can cycle through the selection by swiping left to right.
Though Twitter is promoting the convenience of never leaving your timeline, I found the quick bar to be nothing short of annoying. Not only does it resemble spam or a rotating ad, but also I don't really care what's trending at a certain moment. As I said, this is a welcome update, but I hope the quick bar is gone with the next one.