Twitterrific 3: Sharper, Leaner, & Universal

With many major iOS related launches, The Iconfactory is usually present with one of their flagship brands — Twitterrific. Back in July 2008, Twitterrific 1.0 was one of the first apps available on day one of the App Store; Twitterrific for iPad was there for the iPad’s launch; and Twitterrific 3 decided to tag along for the launch of iPhone 4 and the Retina display.

Now if you already have Twitterrific for iPhone, or Twitterrific Premium for iPhone, you can stop clicking “Check for updates” as those versions of the app no longer exist in the App Store. Instead, The Iconfactory elected to combine the new iPhone app with the existing iPad app to simplify development and avoid customer confusion.

This does mean for owners of Twitterrific Premium that this is a paid upgrade if you want the Premium features. I bought Twitterrific Premium 1.0 on day one of the App Store in 2008. When 2.0 arrived, I enjoyed a free update. Now, with 3.0, the universal iPad and iPhone app is free, supported with advertising, and a $4.99 in-app purchase will take away ads and unlock multiple accounts.

If you have an iPad and had previously bought the iPad’s in-app purchase, you simply have to update your iPad app, which now includes the universal iPhone interface, install it on your iPhone, and tap the Buy button for the in-app purchase, and as long as you are using the same iTunes Store account, it will unlock it for free.

Now, why not just stick with Twitterrific 2? Well, Twitter is turning off basic authentication for logging in at the end of August, and switching to OAuth for logging in. This means any app that isn’t using OAuth, such as Twitterrific 2, will no longer work after the cutoff date. But this is just one reason to upgrade.

Here’s a list of reasons to upgrade:

  • Universal application for iPhone & iPad
  • Greatly simplified, easier to use interface
  • Full OAuth support
  • Complete landscape support (new to iPhone)
  • Optimized for Apple’s new retina display
  • Supports fast app switching in iOS 4
  • Increased API calls per hour
  • Supports both official & old-style re-tweets
  • Twitter list support
  • Save Twitter-based searches
  • Expanded media upload services
  • Custom media upload support
  • Improved color-coding of tweets
  • VoiceOver accessiblity
  • Inline picture viewing
  • Reply to all

My impressions? It takes serious stones to scrap all the features from your app and only add back the absolutely necessary ones. But the results are a lean, fast, and easy to use iPhone app. If you are the kind of user who wants everything under the sun including the kitchen sink you may want to look elsewhere.

But if you want a great reading and composing experience you’ll love the new Twitterrific. I honestly believe there is something to be said about a minimalistic app that just brings the essentials to the twitter experience. I think new users will especially love Twitterrific, as a flood of features in other twitter apps can be intimidating. Also, being optimized for iPhone 4’s Retina Display, Twitterrific is absolutely stunning to look at.

I applaud The Iconfactory for taking such a drastic overhaul of their flagship iPhone app, which combines the best and brightest features of Twitterrific 2, and the elegant simple interface from the original iPhone app.

Twitterrific for iPhone and iPad is available as a free download in the App Store, with a $4.99 in-app purchase to remove ads and enable multiple accounts.