Loren Brichter is known for making fantastically designed apps. His most famous work was Tweetie 2, which was eventually bought by Twitter and turned in to what is now the Twitter for iPhone official client. Unknown to many is that he also designed the iPad’s official Twitter client. This client was one of the first apps to use the idea of sliding panels, which could be swiped in and out of view – this type of interface would go on to be used in various ways across platforms.
Today, however, Twitter decided to take some pretty major steps back in terms of the design of their official client. An app that was once a shining example of how a major company could create an app that truly shines on the iPad is now not much more than a direct port of the iPhone’s client. Gone are the innovative and intuitive panels, replaced by the typical button-centric UI.
It does get worse, though – nothing in a tweet is tapable from the list view. Tapping on a link, photo, or hashtag opens up a singular view of the tweet, which then allows for interaction. On an iPad, with 9.7″ of screen real estate, it’s difficult to justify such a waste. There is one highlight, though: profile banners are now available across iOS devices. The iPhone client was similarly updated, though its feature set is limited to the profile banner – there isn’t even support for the iPhone 5′s 16:9 aspect ratio yet.
Folks, this is what happens when a major brand tries to “unify” their look across devices, but doesn’t take time to do each device justice. In other news, Tweetbot and Twitterrific for iPad will likely see an uptick in sales.