San Francisco -- In what is perhaps the most symbolic of all its mobile releases, micro-blogging outfit Twitter on Tuesday unveiled a surprised with an overhauled versions of its mobile apps for iPhone and Android, which the company said will “bring you closer to everything you care about.”
As anticipated, both platforms are getting Expanded Tweets, a service Twitter rolled out on Twitter.com last month that adds “interactive experiences” to tweets which shows content previews, images and videos for tweets with links to partner websites. If you update and do not have it yet, hang tight. Twitter mentions that it is “rolling out gradually.”
If you stumble upon a tweet with a link to a Kickstarter project, for instance, you can watch the video associated with the project within the tweet. Links to articles from publications like The Atlantic, meanwhile, will include story summaries, while images or videos associated with Etsy and Vimeo content will be accessible within Twitter.
“This new experience will roll out gradually to web, iPhone and Android users,” Twitter said in a blog post.
On the whole, this fresh mobile tweak, brings equivalence between the company's web and mobile experiences. And this whole consistency thing is becoming quite the big deal in case you have not noticed.
That is something that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo referred to at a lunchtime chat with The Times on Tuesday. Twitter users should expect to see some of that specialness return, he said.
To that end, the iPhone app is getting a little more feature love this update. The app will offer the “richer events experience” Costolo described at The Times. Twitter for iPhone now highlights for selected events the best tweets and photos from those involved for what he called an “inside out view.”
Moreover, coming to Android's version 3.3 and iPhone's version 4.3 are push notifications from your tweets and tap-able avatars that take you right to the profiles -- in other words, less annoying -- enabling you to see the update in the status bar while you use the app. Twitter already allows for text-based alerts when a favorite user posts a new message or re-tweets you, but now those can be done via pop-up, push alerts. Configure those alerts in your account settings.
Apart from this, Twitter also promised improved auto-complete, which will deliver more suggestions when searching for people.
And at last, in an effort to keep the Twitter experience the uniform across all applications, including those developed by third-party developers, the information network put its foot down with a nicely worded but not-so-subtle warning to developers to follow the rules of the road, or else.
Improving the product is something the Twitter folks “obsess” about -- something the company takes pride in, Costolo said. However, it is no simple task “laying down new track while the train is barreling down the track,” he said, referring to the challenge of improving a product while more than 400 million tweets are sent each day.
Moving forward, Costolo said users should expect further simplification of the product, ease of discovery, improved speed and reduced latency, which he said Twitter measures and takes very seriously.