Thoughts on Twitter for iPad

My home screen as it looked this morning:

My home screen now: 

This has to be one of the most regressive updates I have seen to an app in a long time. We went from a UI that made masterful use of the iPad’s larger screen real estate to this:

As I have mentioned before, there is simply too much wasted “white space” in landscape mode. It looks like a blown up iPhone app. Twitter had one of the BEST apps in the App Store, and its innovative panel UI (as I unofficially call it) was an example of great tablet UI design, which many apps adopted (see Spotify on iPad). That design enabled a certain degree of multitasking within the Twitter app, making it a much more seamless user experience. You could browse tweets while reading a link or watching a video, within the app. This functionality is no longer there. 

John Gruber writes:

They threw away Loren Brichter’s groundbreaking UI and replaced it with a timeline where you can’t tap anything — URLs, usernames, hash tags, images. Instead, you have to tap to “open” the tweet first. I can’t remember the last time I saw a Twitter client in which you couldn’t tap URLs from the timeline.

Between this, killing the Mac client, and how Twitter has been handling its API and developer community (and cutting off Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram), I can’t say I like where Twitter is heading. If you are going to screw over third party clients and developers by locking up your API, you better make sure your first party client is not just competent, but excellent. This is simply not the case with the iPad client today, and that is why I am ditching it for Tweetbot (and you should too). The problem is that there is a lot of uncertainty associated with third party apps:

Matthew Panzarino writing for The Next Web:

There’s no way to sugar coat it. These changes effectively kill off the growth of the third-party client ecosystem as we know it. Twitter wants people to be using its official apps and seeing tweets exactly as they’re displayed both there and on the web version of Twitter. This has a lot to do with features like Twitter cards and advertisements, which in turn have a lot to do with Twitter’s partnerships with media companies and brands.

The silver lining, if you can call it that, is that your favorite clients that currently exist will likely stick around and there’s nothing that is going to stop you from using them or the developers from continuing to work on them. The caps are sizable and there is room for many, like Tweetbot, to continue to grow.

But it likely does kill off the desire for others to get into the client game, which is just fine with Twitter. And, at some point, those clients will hit their maximum limit. That’s when their developers will start having to ask some hard questions about their business.

The future is all about Twitter and its official apps, you might as well get used to it.

That was written and posted a month ago. With today’s iPad update, I’d like to amend the last sentence:

The future is all about Twitter and its official apps, you might as well get used to shit.