Twitter for iOS review: New video and group conversations are cool, but slow rollout means you'll probably have to wait

What's really cool here is that Twitter's video sharing uses a method similar to that of the Vine app, letting you touch to record a clip, then let go to stop (Twitter bought Vine in 2012, by the way). Using this method, you can shoot several scenes before you reach your limit. What's more, you also can rearrange the clips after the fact to make your video flow better.

Group conversations will be a useful addition as well. Now, when you start a message, you'll be able to select multiple people to pull into a group conversation. The conversation is private to you and whoever you add, so it will be useful for discussing things that show up in your feed. The conversations will only appear in the conversation window so you don't need to worry about uninvited users seeing your discussion.

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Start a group chat to discuss with other Twitter users privately. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Searching for content

The Twitter app's search feature gives you a magnifying glass in the upper right of the interface for quick searches. Searches show relevant results, with people, tweets, and photos that are in line with your selected search terms. Your search history lets you view your last five searches, repeat the same searches to get more-recent results, or you can start fresh by clearing out your search history entirely.

Tweet from anywhere

Sending tweets from your iPhone is even easier than doing so on the Web, thanks to the global Compose button that is always accessible, no matter where you are in the app. Autocomplete makes mentioning multiple friends a snap, and you can quickly attach photos, videos and location stamps to your tweets. In fact, the photo attachment button pulls up your device's Gallery right within the Compose interface, making the process faster than ever. You can even switch between multiple accounts from the Compose screen.

Great with photos

Twitter also offers a handful of editing tools for polishing your photos before tweeting them out. You have tools for scaling and cropping and the app has an auto-enhance function that does an admirable job of balancing colors and light. Lastly, Twitter offers eight different photo filters, which is convenient. Unfortunately, though, I think they need to dial up the intensity a few notches, as their effects seem a bit mild. All that said, I appreciate the photo filters and tools, but I still prefer processing photos in other apps and then sending them over to Twitter for posting.

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Check your Twitter profile to see replies to your tweets and your current stats. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Keeping your account secure

As security is a concern in all of our online activities, Twitter also has two-factor authentication to give you better security for your Web browser-based Twitter account, though you can set up the feature on your iPhone as well. Whether your password has been hacked via some phishing scheme, or someone found out a common password you use for other Web accounts, the would-be hacker will not be able to log in to your account without your iPhone.

When you log in to your Twitter account from desktop computer using your regular username and password, Twitter will send a text to your iPhone with a code you can enter to log in to your account. You'll need to turn this feature on in your account security settings either through a Web browser or on your iPhone. Though it is an extra step, it's worth the trouble to make sure your account is always secure. Twitter also gives you a backup code you should write down in case you lose your iPhone so you can log in and protect your account.

Conclusion

While the official Twitter app for iPhone offers a few advanced features and continue to improve with each version, they still need a bit more work under the hood to please their most active users. List management, saved searches and the new video capabilities and group conversations are all very useful, but the app could stand to incorporate other features, such as scheduled tweets and more dramatic filters.

Still, Twitter seems to be improving with every update, and continues to add features that will be useful for all Twitter users. But until it makes the jump to scheduled tweets, power users will probably want to explore third-party apps for the time being.

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    Twitter (iOS)

    Part Number: iid333903271

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    Quick Specifications See All

    • Category Communications
      Social networking
    • Compatibility iOS