25 October 2012

Tips for Twitter’s iOS app

Apparently one of the first apps I installed on my iPhone, I still use Twitter (currently at version 5.0.4) more or less every day; it’s not as good as desktop TweetDeck, especially for managing multiple accounts, but it will have to do until decides to properly update that app for mobile. Even so, the default Twitter app for iOS has some neat features designed for mobile, some even not found on the web site:

  • Clicking on the ‘Compose new Tweet’ button will auto-populate the compose box depending on the current screen: if you are viewing a search page it will add that hashtag to the tweet; if you have a tweet open it will start a @-reply to that Twitter user, the same if you click ‘compose’ from a profile page.
  • Like in the OS Mail app, you can tap and hold the ‘Compose’ button to quickly open the list of drafts. I’m not exactly sure who saves tweets as drafts, but the feature is there nonetheless.
  • You probably already know you can swipe over a tweet in the timeline to see a list a quick actions like Reply, Retweet and Favorite. In case of sponsored tweets, this swipe menu also includes an option to remove that tweet from your timeline.
  • If you use multiple accounts you can switch between them while replying to a tweet: click and hold the section above the text box for a couple of seconds, then the app will bring up the account selection screen and you can choose to reply from another account.
  • You can archive direct messages by email, something not possible on the web: open up a conversation, click the ‘Share’ button and then ‘Mail conversation’.
  • And finally less a feature and more a nice new(?) interface for pictures, showing them full-screen, with the tweet text like a caption on the bottom, along with the usual tweet-level actions – maybe another attempt to look similar to Facebook? It shows up if you open images from someone’s profile and in tweets after you tap on the image twice: the first tap opens the image in full-screen, the second tap adds the tweet text and buttons. And, in case you didn’t know, tap and hold on an image will reveal a menu with the options to save it to your Camera roll.
  • Change account while replying in Twitter for iOS
  • Archive direct messages in Twitter for iOS
  • Image display in Twitter for iOS

Unfortunately some neat features from previous versions got removed; at some point Twitter temporarily displayed notifications about replies and tweets sent in the iOS system bar; apparently called ambient notifications. This is gone now – maybe a new limitation in iOS 6?

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