When Twitter updated its iPhone app many hardcore tweeters who weren’t already using it made the move to Tweetbot by Tapbots. Sporting their classic robot design, the iPhone app offers a feature-packed Twitter client that looks and feels great. The only thing missing was an iPad version, but not anymore. Along with the release of version 2.0, Tapbots launched Tweetbot for iPad yesterday. It rocks.
For iPhone users the change is not radical. The timeline looks better and it now only takes a single tap to open a link. There are image thumbnails and integration with Readability. My favortie change is to Direct Messages; Tweetbot borrowed from Apple’s iMessage design and it works well.
The update, however welcome, was overshadowed by the iPad app debut. Hardcore and regular iPad tweeters, whether they have one account or six, will be hard pressed to find anything to dislike about Tweetbot on the big screen. There is a robotic vibe, but it’s not sterile, just blocky and straightforward.
In landscape orientation there is a sidebar with shortcuts to timelines, mentions, messages, favorties, search, profile, lists, retweets and mute filters. It can be customized to include only the first three or any combination that is most convenient for you. To the right is a wide pane with the timeline. Switching to portrait orientation pushes the sidebar into a narrow margin and replaces words with icons.
Like the iPhone version there are image thumbnails, and tapping on a link opens a fullscreen web view. There’s a switch up top that turns on Readability and it has the same new funky DM view. The iPhone gestures – swiping left and right to see replies and previous comments – are present, along with a customizable triple tap for easy replying and retweeting. The mute settings allow you to turn off someone you follow or a hashtag for a day, week, month or eternally. Two-fingered swiping in the stream let’s you move backward and forward by levels; adding a third finger takes you back to the starting point. If you tend to follow wherever links take you, these gestures become indispensably habitual in no time.
For the wealth of features Tweetbot offers, it doesn’t feel cumbersome. It’s fast and clean. Power users love it and for anyone else the simplicity and styling are appealing.