Yesterday, Twitter extended the character limit of tweets to 280. Unlike some features, Twitter has made the new tweet length available to all third-party developers.
First out of the gate is Tweetbot by Tapbots. Less than 24 hours after Twitter’s announcement, Tweetbot users can use a full 280 characters in tweets. I expect we’ll see additional updates from other Twitter client developers soon.
Tweetbot is available on the App Store.
In an update released today on the App Store, Tapbots has started taking advantage of Twitter's more flexible third-party API to allow users to send images in private conversations (DMs). The feature – which has long been available in Twitter's official app – is limited to static images for now (no videos or animated GIFs), although the Twitter API could make more attachment types possible in the future.
Perhaps more notably, Tweetbot 4.6 comes with a redesigned compose interface for replies. Similarly to Twitter's iPhone app, Tweetbot 4.6 doesn't count usernames against the 140-character limit. To present this change in functionality, Tapbots has opted for a Twitter-like design where usernames aren't displayed in the compose box upon starting a reply. Instead, a "Replying to..." banner at the top of the screen highlights the tweet's original author and other participants in a conversation. Tap the banner, and, like in the Twitter app, you'll be a shown a popup with a list of users you're replying to. The author at the top of the list can't be de-selected; other users in the conversation can be removed by tapping on the blue checkmarks.
While this design is similar to Twitter's, it should be noted that Tweetbot limits this presentation to the compose view for replies. Unlike Twitter's official apps, usernames are still displayed in the body of a tweet in both the Timeline and Mentions views, providing a familiar format that doesn't force you to tap on the "Replying to..." banner from every section of the app. Personally, I believe Tapbots adopted a better solution than Twitter itself: the compose UI is nicer and usernames are easier to remove, but the timeline retains the familiar @usernames that add context to inline conversations.
I'm curious to see how Twitter's new API roadmap will impact third-party clients such as Tweetbot over the next few months. Tweetbot continues to be my daily Twitter client on every platform, and I hope Tapbots will be able to add even more native Twitter features in future updates (I'd love to have support for polls in Tweetbot).
Tweetbot 4.6 is available on the App Store.
When Twitter rolled out support for longer tweets yesterday, we mentioned that Tweetbot – the popular third-party client – would soon support the new format natively. Tapbots has released updates to the iOS and macOS apps today that let you view and create longer tweets (where media, polls, and quotes don't count against 140 characters) without having to rely on Twitter's official app. You can get the iOS update here.
Tapbots released Tweetbot 4.5 today with a few iOS 10 additions.
In the latest version, notifications are slightly richer: you won't be able to preview entire conversation or DM threads in a notification, but at least the sender's username and notification title will have a bold font for better visual separation. I would have liked to see even richer notifications with custom interfaces, and I also wonder if Tweetbot could use SiriKit's messaging intents to send DMs. Perhaps Tapbots will consider deeper iOS 10 enhancements in the future.
Also new in this version, you can now add notes to user profiles. According to Tapbots, the feature is intended to add a brief note to remember why you followed someone; personally, I think it's just as effective to remember why you don't want to follow someone without blocking them. User notes are private, they sync with iCloud, and they can be accessed from the gear menu on a user's profile.
Finally, Tweetbot 4.5 supports smoother scrolling thanks to iOS 10's performance improvements in this area. It's not always noticeable, but I'm glad Tapbots implemented this feature for iOS 10 devices.
Tweetbot 4.5 is available on the App Store.
With an update launching today on the App Store, Tweetbot is adding the ability to filter timelines – any timeline within the app – by specific types of content.
Picture this: it's WWDC keynote day and you're following the event. You want to live tweet as the event unfolds. What do you do?
The answer is that, so far, Twitter the company has mostly failed to provide users with ways to rapidly tweet commentary and have tweets intelligently grouped together once an event is over. Sure, you could append the same hashtag to every tweet, "tagging it" for context, but that wouldn't fix the underlying problem of a bunch of messages related to the same event and yet treated as atomic units with no relationship between them.
Thus Twitter the community came up with the idea of the tweetstorm, a clever workaround based on how Twitter threads work. If you want to post multiple tweets in a row and establish a thread between them from start to finish, reply to your own tweet, removing your username at the beginning of the message, and you'll "fake" a series of topical tweets which Twitter sees as part of a conversation...with yourself. It's not the most elegant solution, and it doesn't work well for rapid fire live tweeting, but it sort of works and a lot of people use it by now.
Tweetbot, the excellent Twitter client developed by Tapbots which relaunched with version 4.0 in October, is introducing an update today that fully embraces the concept of tweetstorms with a feature called "topics".
Topics simplify the process of chaining tweets together with an intuitive interface that makes it look like Twitter rolled out support for topics. Under the hood, Tapbots is still leveraging the aforementioned @reply workaround, but they've been clever enough to completely abstract that from the UI, building what is, quite possibly, one of the most ingenious Tweetbot features to date.
The latest version of Tweetbot for iOS has upgraded its iCloud syncing engine to CloudKit, bringing faster performance for timeline, DM, and mute filter sync. From the release notes:
This update is all about sync. We've switched our syncing engine to use CloudKit which will provide you with faster, more consistent syncing between your iOS devices and Macs. It also sets up a foundation for some cool features we have planned for future releases. We know improved syncing doesn't sound too exciting, but it will provide a better underlying experience.
From a user's perspective, nothing's changed – Tweetbot still uses iCloud and you don't have to change anything in your preferences. However, Tweetbot is now using a better version of iCloud, with near-instant sync of changes between devices.
I've been running this version of Tweetbot with CloudKit sync for a few weeks, and it's a very nice upgrade from the old iCloud sync. I've often left two devices running with Tweetbot in the foreground at the same time, and I've seen the timeline scroll on one device just a second after I stopped scrolling on the primary device. It's impressive.
If you haven't tried iCloud sync in Tweetbot in a while, go check it out again. Tweetbot 4.3 is available on the App Store (my review of Tweetbot 4.0 is here).
Well, that was fast.
A few hours after the release of Tweetbot 4.0.1 with 3D Touch, Tapbots has released version 4.0.2 of the app, which adds a swipeable Safari View Controller.
Thanks to a workaround by Paul Haddad, you can now dismiss Safari View Controller with swipe from anywhere along the left edge of the screen – on both the iPhone and iPad. The gesture works surprisingly well despite its non-standard behavior, and it fixes one major annoyance of Safari View Controller on iOS 9.
I hope that more apps consider this, as it combines the comfort of Tweetbot's old web view with the benefits of Safari View Controller.
Update: Also in this release, you can set Safari View Controller to open in Safari Reader mode automatically for every webpage (if Reader is available). I previously wrote about the feature here, and it works well for Tweetbot if you primarily open articles to read in-app. Very nice.
Released earlier this month, Tweetbot 4 marked an important comeback for Tapbots. After years of stagnation, the iPad app received a fantastic update with a new design and column view, while the iPhone app continued refining the foundation of Tweetbot 3 with power user features and various visual tweaks.
Among changes, however, Tweetbot 4 didn't launch with 3D Touch integration on the iPhone 6s – a choice motivated by developed Paul Haddad with an understandable desire to test the new input method on an actual device first. Today, Tapbots has released Tweetbot 4.0.1, which brings support for 3D Touch in the form of Home screen shortcuts and peek & pop gestures inside the app.