Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Tweetbot 4

The best Twitter client for iOS — yeah, this includes the iPad — just got better, and Federico Viticci has been testing it:

Tweetbot 4 is a must-have for Twitter power users who work from an iPad. The utility of column view is clear: once you see what Tapbots has done with the iPad’s screen, comparing it to Twitter’s prodigy of wastefulness is not even funny. Column view has redefined my idea of what a Twitter client should be capable of doing on the iPad, and I’m curious to see how it’ll evolve. […]

Tweebot 4 is a nicer, faster Tweetbot in every way. That doesn’t change the fact, however, that what you’ll see in the app is a legacy Twitter, lacking the modern features and integrations of the official product. To get the full Twitter experience, you’ll need to keep the official app installed.

In this sense, Tweetbot 4 embraces its limitations and builds upon them, offering the kind of detail and features that Twitter – for different reasons – is ignoring or overcomplicating. Safari View Controller is a good example of what Tapbots has done that Twitter doesn’t want to do; the Stats screen, with its limited access to the Twitter API, provides a simple way to check on favorites, retweets, and new followers with a pretty chart – precisely what Twitter isn’t interested in doing for their app.

In the halcyon days of computer software, this is the kind of thing that would require a paid update; indeed, the new version of Tweetbot is $5. Unfortunately, the App Store still, inexplicably, does not offer a way for developers to charge for updates. That means that Tapbots had to make a new app package and, due to tight sandboxing, the new version of Tweetbot doesn’t inherit your old preferences. That’s a bit of a bummer, but it isn’t really Tapbots’ fault. The App Store should offer developers the option to charge for updates. It encourages investment in the platform and investment in the lives of indie developers.

If you think the lack of paid updates is stupid, you can buy Tweetbot 4 using my affiliate link, which will take a slice out of Apple’s 30% commission and send it to me. Or you can buy it from this non-affiliate link, if that’s more your jam. Either way, you’re going to want Tweetbot 4. For my money, it’s the best Twitter experience on iOS, and the desktop counterpart is the best Twitter experience on the Mac.