Twitter’s official app has almost always lagged behind the iPhone version when it comes to design and features, but today the company has announced a major update that changes that. Twitter for iOS today has been updated to bring the same iPhone-style interface to the iPad, as well as many of the features that were previously iPhone-only.

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The new Twitter interface on iPad is essentially a scaled up version of the iPhone interface, which isn’t always a good thing. In portrait mode it looks okay, but in landscape mode, there is an abundant amount of blank white space on either sides of the actual timeline.

Twitter explained its reasoning for unifying the design of its iOS app in a blog post. The company pointed out that it has taken a “responsive philosophy” with the new interface and has developed a framework for easily maintaining a consistent interface on multiple sized devices.

Reading your Timeline should be a great experience on any iOS device, no matter the screen size or orientation. For this reason, we must consider different devices and their characteristics. So we built our own responsive system, starting with the typographic elements that make a great reading experience, and built from there.

Characteristics we look at include:

  • kind of device (phone or tablet)
  • orientation
  • canvas (size of the current view)
  • size class (whether the canvas is small and compact or broad and expansive)
  • typographic settings and constraints

With the unification, however, come some benefits. Features that were previously available only on the iPhone are now available on the iPad. This includes Twitter’s new quote functionality which previously was unsupported on the iPad.

The new Twitter for iPad update is rolling out now on the App Store. It appears, however, that the actual interface isn’t included in the update via the App Store and is rolling out slowly on an account-by-account basis.

(Screenshots via Frederico Viticci)

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