Twitter announced on its blog yesterday that the company is finally rolling out an update to its mobile web application which will integrate HTML5 and introduce some nice new features, meaning it will no longer suck so much under mobile Safari.
The updated web app introduces a fancy new menu bar that will allow users to switch between tabs for easy access to their timeline, mentions, direct messages (in conversation view), searches, and their profile. Scrolling the timeline will also be a less painful experience, and users will be able to view pictures within tweets without being sent off to a whole new page.
In its blog post, Twitter wrote:
We want you to be able to access Twitter no matter where you are; regardless of what device you use; or, whether you prefer to access Twitter through a mobile application or the browser. Today, we’re starting to roll out a new version of twitter.com for mobile devices. This web app allows us to provide a high-quality and consistent Twitter experience on high-end touchscreen devices – whether or not an official Twitter application is available. It was built from the ground up for smartphones and tablets, which have more advanced browsers that support the latest web technologies, including HTML5.
A small percentage of users will already see the update live when they visit the Twitter web app today, but the changes will be rolled out to all iPhone, iPod touch and Android users over the coming weeks.
From Twitter’s screenshots the new web app looks like a vast improvement over its gimpy predecessor, and a far greater experience in mobile browsers. However, it stills seems as though users are missing out on a bunch of great features that can be found in dedicated Twitter applications. The official Twitter app for iOS is free, so I can’t see any good reason why anyone would choose to use the web app over the proper app on their own device.