Surprise: Twitter released its update for iPhone and Android on Tuesday. OK, not really, but it’s real now and not just expectation.
As expected, both platforms are getting expanded tweets that show content previews, images and videos for tweets with links to partner websites. If you update and don’t have it yet, hang tight. Twitter notes that it’s “rolling out gradually.”
Also coming to Android’s version 3.3 and iPhone’s version 4.3 are push notifications from your tweets and tappable avatars that take you right to the profiles. Plus, autocomplete has been tweaked and improved.
And yes, the bird has been flipped, so to speak — Larry has a new look on the apps now.
Initially when Twitter released a unified app experience across platforms, some of the individual coolness that came with a particular experience was wiped out.
That’s something that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo mentioned in 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.”
The tweaked notifications are more ambient — in other words, less annoying — enabling you to see the update in the status bar while you use the app.
Another expected update is the discover feature. It no longer waits for you to ask, apparently, since we don’t always know when to ask. Discover has become proactive, giving you a heads-up indicating when new stories are available.
Improving the product is something the Twitter folks “obsess” about — something the company takes pride in, Costolo said. It’s 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.
Going 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.