Twitter unveiled an iPad application that takes advantage of the interface and features built into Apple's tablet computer.
Twitter for iPad brings together tweets with web pages, videos, and photos. When users tap on a tweet, a related content pane opens, displaying linked content from the tweet. This information could include web pages, hashtag searches, similar users, and profile information, Twitter said. The panes slide from side-to-side on the iPad.
"When you tap a video link or open a web page with an embedded video, you can play that video inline. And, let's be honest, video is great but sometimes it can take some time to load. The panes in Twitter for iPad let you look through your timeline while a video is loading, and then you can just swipe back to the video when it's ready to play. You can also pinch on a video to watch it full screen," said Leland Rechis, product manager for mobile at Twitter, in a company blog.
The free application also lets users pinch on a tweet to speedily reveal related actions and information, and use two fingers to drag on a tweet to show any replies.
"You don't even need to sign up to get started with Twitter for iPad. We've selected great Twitter accounts that you can see in various categories, such as Art & Design, Sports, and News. You can also search, view trends, and find breaking news. Sign up at any time to create your own timeline and start tweeting," Rechis said.
Given the success of Apple's iPad, it is not surprising that Twitter unveiled an application specifically leveraging the device's capabilities. The iPad will make-up 74.1% of the global tablet shipments this year, according to an August report by iSuppli. Next year, Apple is expected to retain 70.4% of the market, despite increased competition, the market research firm predicted.
"Competitors face some serious obstacles in their efforts to match the total iPad package, most notably competing with the growing suite of iPad-specific applications," said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research at iSuppli, in the report. "Apple's interface and many of its applications are geared to the pixels per inch (ppi) and screen configuration of the iPad, optimizing their appearance on that device. Developers designing applications to work across the broader base of new offerings from the various competitors are facing a mix of pixel densities, screen sizes, and touch technologies."
The Twitter for iPad application is available worldwide in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish from the iTunes App Store. Twitter for iPad is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. It requires iPhone OS 3.1 or later, according to Twitter.
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