The Twitter client gets an overhaul for iOS 7, but how does it fare?
When iOS 7 appeared, we did wonder what would happen to Tapbots, whose apps are built around the conceit of being individual task- specific robots. Hugely texture-rich, Tapbots apps didn’t feel particularly iOS 6, but they certainly don’t align with iOS 7’s airy type-led nature either. Tweetbot 3 is a major overhaul of the company’s Twitter client, bringing with it a major interface revamp and a rethinking of just what it means to be a Tapbot. ￼
For the most part, the interface changes are a success. Tweetbot 3 makes great use of space, and minimising interface chrome enables the content to stand out. However, Tapbots hasn’t merely ripped out all of the textures and sprayed Helvetica Neue everywhere – spend time with the app, and its playfulness still shines through, albeit more subtly. For example, select a tweet and its colours invert, making it easier to differentiate; as the tweet transforms, the control bar folds out, providing access to reply, retweet and favourite buttons.
Third time’s a charm
However the new interface isn’t always so successful. There’s too much excitable animation, which might affect motion-sensitive people or those with balance disorders, and the new alert sounds are horrible. But when the visual effects are used more carefully, they can be charming and usable, such as when you tap an image thumbnail and the rest of the interface zooms out a little, blurring into the background. ￼
Getting around the app has also been rethought. Triple-tap is gone, apparently to make the app more responsive to single taps (and it is – noticeably). Also gone is the means to switch the main feed for a list, which is frustrating. There is a new List tab, but that’s only available from the two ‘custom’ toolbar slots, and therefore fills one of them if you’re a big list user; also, there’s no way to start a new tweet from the List tab, because the only button is Members, for managing the list. ￼
Rather better is the manner in which Tweetbot almost introduces a kind of multitasking by making each tab independent. You can now tap on a link and open a web view in the main feed, switch to another tab, and then return. For power users, this ability to rapidly flick between web views and feeds is a boon.
The addition of native push and background app refresh transforms Tweetbot 3 into a definitively modern creation compared to its impressive but comparatively heavy and dated predecessor.
Platform: iOS Universal
- Productive new additions, like independent tabs for different screens, make this updated version the best twitter app around
- The interface is clean, simple and therefore more user friendly than its predecessors
- Has lost some of its more useful interface options in the update, like its handy list managing tool
- The hyperactive sounds and animations could make you a little motion sick