Twitter restores popular features to its iPhone, Android apps

New versions of both mobile apps bring back some previously removed but still in-demand features.

Twitter has revived some lost but not forgotten features for its latest mobile apps.
Twitter has revived some lost but not forgotten features for its latest mobile apps. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Twitter has again tweaked its iPhone and Android apps, reviving a few "high-demand" features that were jettisoned from the previous versions, as described yesterday in Twitter's official blog.

Both apps have brought back the swipe shortcut. Swiping a tweet in your timeline now displays the toolbar of icons that let you reply to, retweet, share, or view the tweeter's profile all without having to exit the timeline.

And both versions have added a new alert to the "Find Friends" feature. Now when you tap on the feature at the bottom of the Discover tab, Twitter will specifically tell you that it's checking the contact list on your mobile device to see who's already on Twitter. You can then choose who you want to follow.

Sorry, Android users, but the other tweaks in the new 4.1 version apply only to the iPhone app.

Back in action on the iPhone is Twitter's copy-and-paste feature. You can once again copy and paste the text of tweets and entire user profiles just by pressing down on the content until the Copy button pops up.

The "share" buttons that appear when you view a tweet with a link now offer more options, including the ability to tweet, e-mail, or read the linked story at a later time. Pressing and holding down the actual link also displays a similar menu with options to tweet, copy, and mail the link, or open it directly in Safari.

Managing your direct messages is also easier. You can now mark all of your DMs as read in addition to deleting them one by one. And finally, you can alter the font size by tapping on the Me tab, opening Settings, and then tapping Advanced. Twitter offers sizes ranging from 14 to 20 points.

Oh, and Android users do get another bonus. The new version is now optimized for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich as well as the Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook Color and Nook Tablet.

Twitter's iPhone version can be found in its usual perch at Apple's App Store. The Android app is nested at both Google's Android Market and the Amazon Appstore.

Twitter received a slew of complaints the last time it tweaked its iOS app. Many faithful users were upset over the new design and the removal of certain key features. Twitter seems to have acknowledged at least some of the negative feedback by bringing back a couple of those key features.

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