The Twitter app's search feature received some love in recent versions, starting with the magnifying glass in the upper right of the interface for quick searches. Searches are more focused, showing more relevant results, with people, tweets, and photos that are more in line with your selected search terms. Your search history is more useful, too, letting 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.
Other features added in recent updates improved the app's overall performance. You can touch a link in your Twitter feed and go directly to its destination, rather than having to take the extra step of going to the full tweet, then touch the link from there. Improvements to the Notifications tab let you change the settings to "view mentions only," rather than being constantly notified when a post is retweeted or new people follow you. I personally like tracking the new people who follow me, but I can understand how some users like to keep it out of the way.
On the iPad, Twitter offers a slightly more robust experience. Instead of individual tweets opening up in a new screen, they are expanded in-line to show linked photos and snippets of linked articles (only from partner Web sites). Clicking on the actual URL then opens the page in Twitter's built-in browser, which you'll have to close in order to return to your timeline. While this experience is certainly more fluid than the iPhone's, I still don't think it's ideal. In fact, the preview window from previous versions of Twitter for iPad were actually better. I liked that you could expand a tweet and instantly see a preview of any linked page (not just those from media partners) on the side of the screen.
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. Auto-complete makes mentioning multiple friends a snap, and you can quickly attach photos 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.
Twitter also offers a handful of editing tools for polishing your photos before tweeting them out. Version 6.1 has new 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 addition of photo filters and tools, but I still prefer processing photos in other apps and then sending them over to Twitter for posting.
As security becomes a bigger 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 login 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.
While the official Twitter apps for iPhone and iPad offer 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 and saved searches are a great start, but the app could stand to incorporate other features, such as scheduled tweets. Also, I love that the app supports multiple accounts, but as it is now, you cannot post to both simultaneously, which is a bit of an inconvenience.