Twitter is the social network of choice for many an iPhone user, and it is particularly near and dear to our hearts here at iDownloadBlog. The popularity Twitter has in the world of iOS is perhaps the main reason that the latest update to the company’s app has been so controversial.

Some users of the official Twitter app for the iPhone and iPod touch (the iPad app has not been redesigned just yet) clearly appreciate the changes that Twitter has made to the interface, while others hate it so much that they have sought out other, 3rd-party apps.

Three weeks after Twitter made these big changes to its flagship iOS app, how is one of iDB’s biggest Twitter users, namely moi, finding life with the much-changed, much-maligned Twitter 4.0? That’s a very, very good question…

Before I share my thoughts on the updated Twitter app, allow me to give you, dear reader, a little background.

I’ve been a Twitter user for a good few years now — long enough to remember using Tweetie when it was first introduced. By that, I refer to the original Tweetie app, the one that was a jailbreak app long before Apple decided to start the whole App Store movement, and before Android was even a twinkle in Eric Schmidt’s eye. I’ve used plenty of third-party Twitter apps across a variety of devices, including the popular Tweetbot, our own Sebastien’s favorite, SimplyTweet, and a few I’ve forgotten the names of. I use Twitter a lot.

All that said, I’ve been using the official Twitter app on iOS since it changed its name from Tweetie. Yes, I used Tweetie before that.

Over the time since then, Twitter’s developers have set about taking Loren Brichter’s (Tweetie’s original developer) Tweetie apart, changing parts here and there, adding new bits and removing others. I’ve never really cared that much, because nothing really changed how the app worked.

That all changed with Twitter 4.0.

Without a doubt, the biggest change this time around was the removal of the entire “Replies” tab, which was subsequently replaced by the new “Connect” tab. Inside you’ll find all your mentions in a new sub-tab, along with your mentions, retweets, and new follows in another.

For the last two weeks I have hated the Connect tab. No, not hated; despised it. The overwhelming question I found myself asking of Twitter’s iOS developers is a simple one: WHY!?

But the interesting thing is, as time has gone by and as Twitter has also updated its web app, I’ve grown to like the idea of the Connect tab. The reason is also a simple one: I like having everything in one place, inside one app. Now I can see who has begun following me without the need to have the notification emails switched on. It might seem like a minor thing, but if you like to see who is following you, then knowing who your new followers are is an important part of the Twitter experience. Being able to get a few less emails in my email inbox is always a welcome thing, too.

The new Connect tab also shows your tweets that have been retweeted, along with who retweeted what. Again, it might not seem like much, but unless you really need push notifications, this can replace apps such as Boxcar or anything else you may use to keep track of retweets. It’s a simple change once you get used to it, and one I am not sure I would want to leave behind by moving away from the official Twitter app.

One change that has really got on my nerves over the last three weeks is a change to the main feed of tweets, and one that I use on a very regular basis.

Why, Mr. Twitter iOS developer, did you see fit to remove the swipe gesture that allowed users to quickly reply to, retweet, or email tweets? We’ve also lost quick access to adding URLs to Instapaper, too, which is another feature I used a lot. Now, to save a link to read later, a user needs to click that link, let it begin loading in the built-in browser, and then ask the app to add it to Instapaper. Why make your users jump through hoops to do something that should have taken two taps?

If Twitter just reinstated the slide gesture — and with this the old way of adding links to Instapaper — then I would be a very happy bunny. With Twitter 4.0, the app’s developers have both added a feature that will grow on users the more they use it and taken away a few that power users will struggle to live without.

Well, one out of three ain’t bad.

  • Noman Shahidul

    I agree with you, though some other things need to be mentioned. Does anyone else feel like the update has made your Twitter on iOS experience slow and sluggish?

    • I used twitter because Facebook became slow and sluggish.. Now I’m back to Facebook because:…
      1) notifications are slower than FB
      2) Mentions not loaded fast
      3) swipe to refresh lags
      Basically twitter became slower than FB
      I still prefer twitter by choice but it’s new app spoils the twitter experience.

      • I prefer twitter over Facebook for the fact it’s better to talk to random strangers than the whole family knowing what you really think at all times lol!

    • It took some getting used to but now it seems faster and easier at least for me.

  • A lot was left out of this article like the removal of Copy & Paste! Landscape view removed, Ability to see if a user is following from their profile, Color coded mentions removed, Ability to use twitter names instead of real names in timeline! List goes on..

  • Donavan Asmawidjaja

    I also like to use the official Twitter app, I missed also the slide gestures. It’s just get used to it.

  • Anonymous

    I have also used Twitter a lot – and the lack of slide gestures do annoy me, but I’ve gotten used to it, it ain’t that big a deal.

    Whatever your peeves are with this app, it is so beautiful it makes up for all of mine.

  • Anonymous

    My favorite option is gone, the re-post option. You could do the slide, tap re-post, it would automatically shrink the link and let everyone know that you were posting a link via@whomever. Why the hell did they take that away?!

    • Anonymous

      Because they just take everything away…
      Also the swype-gesture to reply, retweet, email, dm etc.

  • I switch over to tweetdeck, best possible solution..

  • I downgraded. They made it so much less accessible. And copied tweetbots interface

  • Anonymous

     “long before Apple decided to start the whole App Store movement, and before Android was even a twinkle in Eric Schmidt’s eye”

    Not sure if you’re aware, but Google purchased the initial developer of the software, Android Inc., in 2005. So Android was ‘twinkling’ in Eric Schmidt’s eye prior to iPhone/Apple’s  AppStore. At the time you were referring to you could probably more accurately say, “long before Apple’s AppStore was a twinkle in Steve Job’s eye. I don’t know if you’ve read it or not, but according to the recent Steve Jobs biography at first he was fiercely against appstores and wanted all iPhone apps to be web apps. He actually had to be convinced the AppStore was a good idea because he was so against it. 

    • Wow I never even knew that! Rebuttal?

      • Anonymous

        Oliver Haslam ain’t got no damn rebuttal.

  • Seems as though Twitter is taking the Facebook approach. AKA, build terrible apps.

  • This has nothing to do with twitter but please read
    And as I’ve had no reply to my tweet to him , i’am going to update my i4s to said iOS …

    • I’m thinking the a5 jailbreak is rapidly approaching!!!

  • I don’t get why this app doesn’t have the option of adding people to lists. I think lists are a great way of curating one’s networks. I actually almost never use the main timeline, it’s too cluttered and random. The Echofon app is great for creating and managing lists.
    I got interested in the “official” twitter app when I heard @briansolis say so many nice things about it but until they fix the lists issue I’m sticking with Echofon

  • I was always getting annoyed at the various free twitter apps. I ended up buying Tweetbot and its the best 3 bucks ive spent on my iphone.

  • I liked the fact that you can search through your timeline and through your following/followers lists. They removed that too. Annoying.

  • OK.. Some feature were removed, but what about the bugs? did not you find difficulties to click links inside the tweets?? it is really annoying, especially if there are some hash tags with, too.

  • Anonymous

    Ever since I upgraded to Twitter 4.0, I have been trying to figure out how to add a user to an existing list. Now I’m not sure if it’s just me or there are others who have been experiencing the same thing, but I sure as hell have come to terms that the latest version is a disappointment, despite the fact that it had seemed like a huge improvement at first. Another thing that bugs me — why the eff can’t a user view follow-requests on the iOS/mobile version?!?

  • Catherine Ousselin

    I use Twitter with my students on a class set of devices. In order to protect privacy, the students need to be able to log in and out. In the previous app version, it was possible to do this through(inside) the app. At this time, I cannot find this option. It seems as though the account must be deleted in order to be logged out. Any suggestions? Please share. @catherineku1972

  • Anonymous

    And not to mention why it takes so damn to long to load now and when it opens, still has to refresh tweets. What the hell were you doing during those 10 seconds of opening?! Huh twitter??