Moving away from the heavy, almost industrial style it's traditionally known for, Tapbots has delivered a lighter and more streamlined version of Tweetbot that puts more focus on content. That means the metallic design of old has gone, with a new minimal white UI taking its place. Square avatars and buttons have been dropped in favor of circular photos and lighter icons, while new iOS 7 APIs allow for multiple transitions and animations.
Tapbots has removed some of the old Tweetbot gestures to speed up navigation and make things simpler. In Tweetbot 3.0, you'll only be able to swipe right-to-left, but this now displays the Tweet Detail view and Conversation timelines, something that required two actions previously. The app also supports iOS 7's Dynamic Type feature, allowing Tweetbot to display your tweets depending on the font size selected in your phone's settings.
It's worth noting that if you're an existing Tweetbot user, version 3.0 for iPhone comes as a paid upgrade (iPad update is still in development). Currently the price is set at $2.99, the same as the app costs new users. However, that'll rise to $4.99 after its initial promotion. "The decision to do it wasn't easy," says Tapbots' Paul Haddad. "We've spent the last three to four months working seven days a week getting everything in place for this app. There's no way a small team like us can afford to put in that much effort and not charge for it."
Because the app is an upgrade, the new Tweetbot app is subject to the same token limit as the older versions. This means that Tapbots can only sell a finite number of downloads before Twitter restricts new user signups. "We're obviously not crazy about the token limit but other than that our relationship with Twitter has been really good," Haddad notes. "They have a great developer relations group and we have always had lots of communications with them on technical issues."
Now that Tweetbot 3 has shipped, Tapbots has a large list of additional features planned for both its iOS and Mac apps and plans to submit a Mavericks-ready version of its OS X app in the coming days.