Tweaking the New Twitter Update
Last week, a new update for Twitter was released for the masses on Windows Phone. For many, the new look and functionality of the update cleared up many of the complaints of the official app. It’s a clean interface with much needed improvements in presentation and performance. The new app is pretty to look at and its speed retrieving tweets is as swift as a peregrine falcon aiming at its kill.
In one fell swoop the official Twitter app became the alpha to all other social fowls.
Acclaims aside, there are still some head scratching decisions in its execution. Where some of its improvements are in its visual presentation can be commended, there are niggles that keep it from being perfect.
Misuse of Space
Booting up the app after the update for the first time, the clear distraction that bothered me was the rather empty space above the menu bar. This void serves no purpose. It feels awkward and you wish the developers would have pushed the menu bar upward to fill the space.
The problem, of course, is that it limits the amount of tweets displayed on your timeline. If you have the text size set to large, you’ll have exactly three tweets on your screen. Reducing the text size to its smallest setting alleviates this to include one more tweet, but it isn’t ideal for the weak sighted or those with small sub-4-inch screens.
Checking an image of the default timeline setting, you’ll notice how irritatingly superfluous that empty space is. So too are the icon sizes at the top menu. They are so deliberate in their size that it overpowers the top half of the screen real estate.
As far as spacing goes, this one area is a glaring oversight.
What they should have done
While some will argue that less is more, when it comes to Twitter, more is always more. With more tweets on the screen at one time, it eliminates the need to have to scroll down an infinite list to get to older tweets. Adding one or two more tweets to your timeline facilitates easier reading, and it actually gives a much needed visual tweak to that overbearing menu bar at the top.
For example, by removing the small Twitter logo at the top (we know it’s a Twitter app that we’re using, after all), and shrinking the menu icons, we add a considerable amount of space for a few more tweets. With smaller to medium font, the amount of tweets can expand too.
Although, visually speaking, the new Twitter layout isn’t a perfect design, it’s still heads above water from the previous version. Yet there are some things under the hood that were left out that would be primed for a fine update.
In the new update, the nifty features like the personal photo album, lists, and performance adjustments have made the new Twitter a desirable, soaring app. However, we’ve lost some functionality as well.
Things like language translation, which was powered by Bing, and the cool dark theme all went away with the update. Although, not necessary or even essential, the features were useful and added value to and admittedly mediocre official app. Yet, they should bring those back, just to match what they had established previously in their old app. Functionality shouldn’t be taken out when you’re updating something.
And while they are at it, how about the ability to match the accent color of your phone with the menu bar, hash tags and name handles, something that apps like Tweet IT! do very well? With some other nifty little features still missing, like Vine for example, the updated Twitter app for Windows Phone is still on its way to being a true gem. However, with the recent 2.0 update, there is definitely a path that will make it soar high.