A lot of iPhone and iPad apps have been updated – or are receiving iOS 7 bug fixes and related updates – ahead of the software’s general availability this Wednesday.
And while the micro-blogging service Twitter recently started embedding tweets right into its #music app (along with the ability to reply and re-tweet them), its plans for an iOS 7-focused update have been some time in the making but kept secret, until today.
According to people in the know and some deeply entrenched sources, Twitter is waiting until some time after iOS 7 is out to show off its brand new design, the third major revamp in Twitter’s seven-year history…
It’s going to be a multi-pronged, all-encompassing effort that extends to the main Twitter.com web interface and its mobile apps for iOS, Android and other smartphone and tablet platforms.
Keep in mind it was just recently that Twitter added the controversial blue lines to the redesigned conversation view in its iPhone and iPad app.
So, what’s to expect from the revamped app?
According to Matt Buchanan of The New Yorker, the Twitter of tomorrow will be a surprising departure from the current design with its strong emphasis on media content. The coming iPhone app redesign will “look cleaner and feel more alive,” Buchanan learned from his sources.
The Home, Connect, Discover (a Jack Dorsey innovation) and Me tabs alongside the bottom are gone. Instead, you’ll swipe from stream to stream, much like how iOS 7 encourages you to navigate menus in stock apps by swiping.
Your new views will include the main reverse-chronological timeline, a stream with conversations between other users and another one dedicated entirely to photos shared on Twitter.
“The streams themselves will be both airier and more immersive, consuming more of the screen,” allowing for more content and less interface. This means photos, videos and other media will soon appear directly in your stream – no need to tap a tweet to open the attached media.
Apparently, the company has also figured its apps should be “custom designed for each and every platform, in order to take as much advantage as possible of what each one has to offer”.
This realization brings to mind Facebook, which for far too long used to stubbornly relegate its mobile app to a second-class citizen as it thought folks who didn’t know better would gladly flock to Facebook’s cumbersome mobile web interface.
Mike Isaac of AllThingsD sheds more light on Twitter’s all-new feed dedicated to TV-related tweets:
But perhaps the biggest change will be centered on that which Twitter wants to be connected to the most: Television. Sources say that Twitter is experimenting with another stream dedicated solely to TV-related tweets and conversations, one which will likely find its way into Twitter’s new redesigned app.
Mike stopped short of detailing whether TV-related tweets will only show in this new feed or pollute other feeds as well. Advertising remains the biggest unknown: with Twitter’s IPO and prior experiments with sponsored tweets, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if they started injecting ads more aggressively into users’ timeline.
As for content discovery, Twitter has reportedly been experimenting with “a Twitter account that sends recommendations to users directly, among other things,” Buchannan wrote.
Even though we’ve been raised to accept some advertising in exchange for free stuff like Facebook, Gmail and other web services, I’m no so sure average users want to put up with ads in their timeline.
To me, Twitter is a communications platform rather than a publishing platform. And, I hate ads as much as the next guy.
Be that as it may, the TV-related feed is another sign of Twitter wanting to become the primary media platform for not only news discovery, but social conversations about Desperate Housewives, Breaking Bad and just about anything and everything playing on your telly.
Note: screenshots in this article are taken from the current version of Twitter for iPhone and iPad and as such don’t represent the impending app redesign.