Twitter's new mobile Website provides a richer experience for users of the Apple iPhone and smartphones based on Google's Android operating system, among others. Twitter programmers used company APIs to build a mobile Web client that works best on WebKit browsers, which come installed on iPhone, Android, Nokia S60 and Palm Web OS smartphones.
Twitter Dec. 3 introduced a mobile Website that provides a richer experience
for users of Apple's iPhone and smartphones based on Google's Android operating
system, among others.
To this point, people have accessed Twitter from their smartphones via
the original mobile site. But this site merely allows users to
tweet and read the tweets of those they follow.
experience lead for Twitter's
mobile team, noted
Dec. 3 that while trusty "m"-m.twitter.com-has
been delivering tweets faithfully, it's a bit light on the functionality front.
Rechis and his team used the Twitter APIs to build a richer mobile Web
client that works best on WebKit browsers, which come installed on iPhone,
Android, Nokia S60 and Palm Web OS smartphones. BlackBerry phones will work
too, but Rechis said the new mobile Twitter is a bit rough for this platform.
Users can access the new mobile Twitter by navigating to mobile.twitter.com.
TechCrunch posts the side-by-side comparison of the old
and new mobile Twitter sites here.
As you can see, the new Twitter mobile
looks a lot more like the desktop version of Twitter than the original. Users
can tap their touch screens to access their Twitter homepages, mentions,
favorites and direct messages.
eWEEK tried it on a Motorola Droid. The Fail Whale
was in effect for the first 5 minutes of trying to
access the site, but eventually the experience was akin to using Twitter on the
mobile phone for the first time again.
Users can mark tweets as favorites, retweet and even see what tweet they are
replying to under the message composition box. Profile pictures appear next to
users' tweets, and trending topics are available at the bottom of the mobile Twitter
page (instead of on the right-hand rail as in Twitter's desktop client).
One big missing feature, as ReadWriteWeb
was the lack of support for Twitter Lists. This is a problem because
many power Twitter users, the majority of whom we might rightfully expect are
accessing Twitter from a smartphone, live in their Lists, which provide
sanctuaries from the masses of followers. At least, that's a major purpose they
serve for popular Twitterers.
This Twitter mobile is still a preview beta. Twitter users can still access
their Twitter content from the m.twitter.com site if they find they are more
comfortable with it after trying the new Twitter mobile. But don't get too
"As this preview becomes ready for prime time, we will start switching
everyone who uses 'm' in phases to automatically receive the new mobile Web
client," Rechis said.
Net-net, this is a nice, welcome step in the evolution of the microblogging
service, which was forged with mobile use in mind.