Twitter May 19 released its Twitter for iPhone and iPod touch application, the microblog’s third major mobile app since it launched Twitter for BlackBerry and Twitter for Android applications.
Twitter for iPhone and iPod touch is available for free now here on the iTunes App Store. The app lets users search all tweets and find users in the same spot, view top tweets and browse suggested users.
Users don’t need a Twitter account to use Twitter for iPhone. Any iPhone user may download the app from the iTunes store to see Top Tweets, find users and read public tweets as soon as they download it.
Twitter for iPhone is essentially version 3.0 of Tweetie, the iPhone application Twitter gained when it acquired startup Atebits April 9.
The Tweetie buy, announced just one day after Research In Motion launched the public beta of a Twitter for BlackBerry application, caused some consternation among third-party application developers in conjunction with a blog post by Twitter investor Fred Wilson.
Wilson argued in this blog post April 7 that certain third-party Twitter apps, including Tweetie and Twitpic, could be acquired or phased out once Twitter begins filling holes in its young platform.
Wilson’s article, viewed in light of Twitter’s initial referencing of the BlackBerry app as the official Twitter for BlackBerry app and the subsequent purchase of Atebits for Tweetie, caused Twitter platform developers to question the system.
Twitter Platform Director Ryan Sarver April 11 moved to quell concerns that Twitter is trying cut off developers’ lifelines by buying some Twitter tools that would make it impossible for others to compete. Sarver also moved to allay fears at the Chirp developer conference.
Two weeks later, Twitter launched Twitter for Android, calling into question the viability of apps such as Twidroid.
Twitter also open-sourced the code for this app, in keeping with the tenets of the Android platform. In keeping with the iPhone platform, Twitter for iPhone will not be open-sourced.
The mobile application story doesn’t end with Twitter for iPhone 3.0. Twitter is also creating a Twitter for iPad app, but the company hasn’t said when it will release that program.