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Twitter for iPhone and iPad Get New Features

Twitter updated its official iPhone and iPad apps Thursday, offering improved and enhanced photo options, auto-link shortening and the ability to easily follow friends via the contacts in your address book.

Twitter for iPhone also gained a new feature called the Quick Bar. The Quick Bar is a way to quickly browse through trending topics at the top of the timeline.

New Photo Options

Our favorite new feature in Twitter for iOS is the ability to quickly and easily attach photos to tweets.

There is now a camera button in the new tweet toolbar, which makes it easy to add photos from the library or to take a new photo using the built-in iPhone camera. Users can switch between the front and rear-facing camera (for iPhone 4 owners) and preview photos before choosing what to attach.

Twitter will then upload the photo to the image host you have set in your preferences and send the tweet along with links to those photos. Media will appear in-line on and in other official Twitter mobile apps.

Quick Bar

The Quick Bar is an interesting approach to viewing trending topics. On the main timeline, users see a notification bar that shows current trending topics. Swiping left to right will cycle through the list.

It’s not a bad implementation, but we know some users are not going to be pleased. Already our Twitter streams are full of complaints. If Twitter would make this an optional feature, that would probably make it better.

To us, the decision to make trending topics more visible in the iPhone app is all about the push to promoted trending topics. For advertisers, buying a promoted topic is a lot more valuable if trending topics are more visible to mobile users too.

Other Niceties

The official Twitter blog outlines the other improvements to the app, which include:

  • Local trends based on location,
  • A new autocomplete implementation that works for @usernames and hashtags,
  • A new direct message conversation view,
  • Refined tweet box design.

We think the new photo options in Twitter are fantastic, but we’re not totally sold on the Quick Bar. What do you think about Twitter for iOS? Let us know.

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