04 May 2018

Twitter Blog: “A new Twitter experience on Windows”

With this new app, we leveraged Microsoft’s support for Progressive Web Apps to bring users a better, faster and improved experience they’ve come to expect from Twitter. This new app has been optimized for the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. Once you install the latest update you will notice that we streamlined the in-app experience with a more consistent look and feel. And, we’ve added several highly-requested features, like:

  • Extended character limit to 280 characters
  • Access to the Explore tab to find topics relevant to your interests
  • Ability to bookmark Tweets to be read later
  • Improved accessibility for screen readers
  • And much more
Charlie Croom

Sadly, this update also means losing some features, from support for multiple accounts to the experimental tabs of the abandoned native Windows app. The PWA doesn’t show notifications yet, but that may be because I haven’t updated Windows 10 yet; some features depend on the Edge rendering engine running inside the PWA.

One thing that annoys me in the update is the ‘Retweet’ menu: on the mobile site it pops up underneath the tweet you are retweeting, but in the PWA it springs up at the bottom of the window, which feels disconnected from the content and makes me lose focus. Hopefully this can be fixed soon. And, after going through the Windows update, this little annoyance has disappeared: the ‘Retweet’ menu appears in it’s proper place, below the tweet.

Twitter PWA on Windows 10

I’ve had some trouble getting the new app to work. After the update, the Twitter app pinned in my Windows Start Menu refused to launch; instead it just showed a short animation as if it was trying to install, then nothing happened. I just assumed it would start working again after installing the Windows 10 April 2018 update. A couple of days later, I noticed I could launch the app from the Windows Store though. Turns out I needed to remove the old app shortcut from Start and pin the new one.

Regardless of missing features, this consolidation of versions should be a good opportunity for Twitter to make features more consistent across platforms. And hopefully the PWA integration on Windows will lead to lots more ‘native’ apps in the Store. TweetDeck would be a great choice, at the same time filling the gap left in the main Twitter app for multiple accounts. I would like to see a Store app for Instapaper for example, it would make it more comfortable to read long articles on my tablet – presumably with offline support as well.

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