Five things to know about the new Twitter app

Twitter rolled out a clean redesign for its Android and iOS apps today, and while it might seem like only a cosmetic change, there are actually several useful tools buried in the new app.

Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET

Twitter rolled out a clean redesign for its Android and iOS apps today, and while it might seem like only a cosmetic change, some big updates are buried in the new app.

But as you dive in, you might notice that some features are missing, too.

Here's what's fresh (and what's missing) in the new Twitter app for iOS (iPhone only) and Android:

1. Keep tabs on important topics with Discover
Perhaps the most obvious change, the new "Discover" tab is a revamped portal for hash tags and trending topics. Trending hash tags--which were initially created by users--and popular topics are now bundled together in a new tab that provides a snapshot of the hottest news on Twitter.

It looks like news-related trending topics are listed at the top, under "Stories," while the more random trends (like #tigerblook) are listed below.

The Discover portal is also where you can do a general search on Twitter. Simply enter a hash tag or keyword in the search bar at the top. You'll see search results for usernames followed by tweets.

2. Um, where are my saved searches?
Even though Twitter wants you to discover more, it removed the function to save searches on the go. If you head to the "Me" tab and tap "Saved Searches" you'll see your previously saved items. However, there's no way to edit this list.

This option was useful for users who wanted to keep tabs on any given topic without having to search for it each time. Now, the only way to save searches is in the Web interface.

3. Tug down to view more
Check out this hidden, but seriously useful new feature. If you're replying to a tweet and want to reference that tweet while you're typing your reply, just drag down and the original tweet will appear at the top.

Likewise, if you tap on one of your mentions, tug down to reveal the conversation thread.

Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET

4. Your tweets, retweeted
One of the most frustrating things about the previous Twitter app was the inability to see how many retweets you got on any given tweet. Sure, you could go to the "Your tweets, retweeted" page, but even then, you could only see if a Tweet was retweeted--not who tweeted it.

Now it's easier than ever to see when people are retweeting you. Head to Connect > Interactions, where you'll see who's mentioning, following, and retweeting you in real time.

If you want an exact count of retweets, find your tweet in the main timeline, tap it, and you'll see all the replies, number of retweets, and how many times it was favorited. Finally!

5. Twitter really, really wants you to tweet
Like, seriously. One of the most in-your-face changes is the Compose Tweet button, which stays in the top right of the app, no matter where you are.

The objective is obvious: Twitter wants you to tweet without hesitation. So, if you're browsing a trending topic in the Discover section and want to voice your opinion, the compose button is at your immediate disposal.

Likewise, if you launch the app with an urgent need to tweet, you can compose a new message, no matter where you left off.

 

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