Tweetbot 4

Tweetbot 4

Ever since I joined Twitter in 2008, there have only been two favorite apps of mine, apps that I’ve sworn by, apps that I have recommended to anyone and everyone and apps that have given me a lot more in return compared to what I’ve paid for them. These are Loren Brichter’s Tweetie and, of course, Tweetbot. It was sad to see Twitter come in and turn Tweetie into what it is today in the form of the official Twitter app, but Tweetbot more than made up for its demise. Tapbots had managed to craft a stellar app that not only looked absolutely beautiful, it shipped with a plethora of features and offered a lovely UX. Then in 2012, the Tapbots released Tweetbot 2.0 for iPhone and an all-new and separate app in the form of Tweetbot for iPad. Tweetbot for iPad featured the same amazing looks and features of the iPhone app, but in a package that was optimized for the larger iPad screen. Back then, I wrote:

Supporting both Portrait and Landscape modes, every element in the app has been meticulously designed by Mark, giving every pixel its own character. Like its cousin, Tweetbot for iPad also features the neatly crafted animations and sounds that add to the UX of the app.

But the app isn’t only a UI facepaint on a regular Joe. Underneath these delicious pixels is a powerhouse of a twitter client that packs a whole lot of features for all kinds of users. You’ve got multiple timelines, smart gestures, inline image previews, support for Read Later services, Push Notifications and a bunch of other features.

Together, these apps offered pretty much everything users needed to consume their Twitter feeds on their iOS devices and Tweetbot went on to become the favorite Twitter app for a lot of users.

When iOS 7 came along, it left me a bit worried. Everything about iOS 7’s design philosophy was in stark contrast to the whole look and feel of a typical Tapbots app. And for me, Tweetbot 3.0 for iPhone was quite underwhelming. It went completely “flat” with its looks and I almost hated the Dark theme. It still offered some impressive features and at just $3, it was a no-brainer. However, over a few months, I gradually moved to Twitterrific and the official Twitter app (mostly thanks to the Activity feed). On the other hand, Tapbots chose not to release a major update to Tweetbot for iPad, and up until 2 days ago, it still sported a pre-iOS 7 design and feel. This meant that although new features were introduced to Tweetbot 3.0 on the iPhone, the iPad version was severely lacking.

Yesterday, Tapbots released Tweetbot 4.0 on the App Store. Tweetbot 4 is a Universal app, so it replaces not just Tweetbot 3 on iPhone but also comes in as a huge update for all users of Tweetbot for iPad. If you’ve been using Tweetbot 3 on your iPhone, this isn’t a drastic update for you. The app more or less looks the same, but has plenty of tweaks to the visual design and other improvements that make it an obvious update for you.

The biggest change introduced in Tweetbot 4 is a new Stats and Activity tab. The Stats view gives you a quick overview about your account activity for the day with a graph, the number of favorites, retweets and new followers as well as a list of your recent tweets and how they’ve faired. The Activity view on the other hand tries to mimic the Activity tab seen in the official Twitter app. I say mimic because Twitter does not provide an official API for this, so Tapbots have rolled our a custom implementation of their own. This view shows you a timeline of all the activity that has happened so far, including followers, retweets, favorites and even quotes (using Twitter’s new Quote format). I really don’t like the big, bold and colorful icons here though and wish they were more subtle in nature. This version also introduces a Landscape view, a redesigned Profile view, support for San Francisco (the font) as well as some new animations and interface sounds.

If you’ve been a Tweetbot for iPad user, boy are you in for a treat. Tweetbot 4 on iPad is like going from OS X
Tiger straight to OS X El Capitan. The iPad app introduces everything that was shipped with Tweetbot 3 (and 4) for iPhone, along with some stellar new improvements for iOS 9 and the new iPads. It even supports Slide Over and Split View modes on iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 and it’s a joy to use it like this. When in Landscape mode, Tweetbot 4 displays two columns with the one on the right showing you your Stats/Activity by default. You can tap on the column title and view your Saved Searches or Custom Lists here instead. You can’t, however, hide it or use it for anything else.

There are hundreds of other improvements that have been introduced in Tweetbot 4 and Viticci has an in-depth look at everything over at MacStories. I really like the custom photo-picker view when composing a new tweet. Unfortunately, there are quite a few bugs with the app here and there. I especially ran into quite a few visual bugs when Personal Hotspot was enabled on my iPhone.

A few Twitter users have been visibly upset that Tweetbot 4 is a separate paid app, but it doesn’t take a genius to see all the new stuff introduced in this version and see the worth, compared to what the app has been priced at. Tweetbot 4 for Twitter is priced at $9.99, but is available at a 50% OFF launch price of just $4.99.

You are getting a fantastic app with some amazing new features that will work both on your iPhone and iPad, for just $5. Think about it for a second.

Preshit Deorukhkar is the former Editor-in-Chief of Beautiful Pixels. He is now a Freelance Consultant, Principal at iXyr Media & SharpShutter Media. You can reach him on Twitter @preshit