Twitter App Updated for iPad

Until now, the state of Twitter on the iPad hasn’t been great. There were a few pretty good apps (I’ve been using Tweetdeck), but the field needed a champion. Enter the official Twitter for iPad app.

Early this morning, Twitter for iOS was updated as a universal app, bringing a new iPad-specific format to the existing iPhone one. Loren Birchter, the man behind the Twitter app, and Twitter itself has long heralded its arrival. So is it worth the wait?

Well, Twitter definitely has the right idea with this app at first glance. Unlike some other third-party clients I could mention, Twitter for iPad takes full advantage of the iPad’s generous screen space, and does so creatively. You won’t find the same sort of columns that Tweetdeck uses, but you will find a modular, multi-pane layout that pushes new content to the right allowing you to navigate through threads of tweets without losing the thread of where you’ve come from and how exactly you got there.

You can also use two nifty new multitouch gestures. Pinching a tweet will show you the user profile of the person who tweeted it, and pulling down with two fingers will open up a view of the entire conversation related to that tweet, if there is one. Video plays inline, or you can expand it to take up the whole screen. It also continues to load in the background if you want to keep navigating through your stream or open panes.

In terms of the differences between landscape and profile view, there really aren’t any, other than getting to see more of your history in landscape, and more of your timeline in portrait. Users of the OS X Tweetie desktop app will recognize the left-most account overview column, and it works equally well on this platform for switching between multiple Twitter profiles.

So, while some power-users might still prefer Tweetdeck’s columns, Twitter’s iPad app is a much better choice for the rest of us. It’s clean, simple, but powerful when it needs to be, and I’ve yet to run into any bugs. Plus, it’s free. This is by far the best Twitter app out there for the iPad platform.

Users who haven’t yet updated to iOS 4 on their iPhone devices might want to hold out updating for now, though, as many negative reviews in the App Store indicate that the new version crashes on iOS versions 3.1.3 and earlier.