Tweetbot 3 for iOS 7 loses the textures, adds the physics, and keeps all the personality

When iOS 7 was announced, one of the most frequent questions in the Apple design and development community immediately became - what will Tweetbot do? The thing about Tweetbot, and all of Tapbot's apps, was the way they looked. The personality. That was achieved through heavy, textured design. And iOS 7 was the opposite of that. All the personality was in the physics. And that's just where it's gone in Tweetbot 3 as well.

Bereft of the chrome that so dominated previous versions, Tweetbot 3 is clean and clear. It has iOS 7-style round avatars, of course, and Neue-thin glyphs. But it also has buttons that bounce into place, dialogs that drop from view, backgrounds that blur away, overlays that can be spun around, images that can be tossed away, and other delightful, decidedly iOS 7-touches, that also come off as so very Tapbots.

This is Mark Jardine the designer, and Paul Haddad the developer, having fun again. I remember seeing Paul at a party right after the WWDC 2013 keynote, and instead of dread in his eyes, there seemed to be excitement. Cautious, of course, but palpable.

I've been using Tweetbot 3 since it went into beta, and using it a lot. (I tweet, sometimes too much. I know this about myself.) It has most of the same great workflows that have made it my go-to Twitter triage app of choice for years, but it's opened up now. It breathes. It feels alive. It embraces iOS 7, but architecturally, not just cosmetically.

I would like to see some additional gesture shortcuts to replace the old tap shortcuts that no longer are. A faster way to reply would be great. To be able to see more in the compose window when I reply would be fantastic. The way lists are handled has changed, which breaks list-centric Twitter use cases. Also, accessibility doesn't appear to have been addressed, which is shame.

Tweetbot 3 is iPhone only for now. They've been devoting all their time and effort to achieving what they wanted on the small screen, and haven't looked at the big one yet. But overall, on the iPhone, spectacular.

Twitter isn't making it easy on developers. They have limited tokens, which means one day they won't be able to sell their app anymore. It's artificial, but it's scarcity. Not everyone is going to be willing to pay for a Twitter client anymore, much less an update. And that's okay. For those who want something other than the official Twitter app, something powerful and yet elegant, throw some money Tweetbot's way. You'll be glad you did.

On sale for $2.99 ($4.99 regularly) for a limited time.

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