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Twitter Makes Small But Useful Updates

Many of the improvements move Twitter closer to equity across mobile and desktop platforms.

10 Twitter Power Tips
(click image for larger view)
10 Twitter Power Tips
Twitter on Monday announced a handful of improvements to its service across several (and in some cases all) the platforms on which it is used. None of the apps is earth-shattering on its own, but they will all make Twitter more useful and usable, and they go at least some way in aligning Twitter capabilities across iOS, Android and Mac platforms.

A coordinated update, rolling out gradually, will enable users to sync direct messages (DMs) across different devices and Twitter accounts.

"People use Twitter to connect to the things and people they care about," according to Twitter senior software engineer Josh Barnes-Hoyt in a blog post. "Today, we're making that even easier with a coordinated update for seven different apps: Android, iPhone, iPad, Mac, twitter.com, mobile.twitter.com and TweetDeck."

The update is based on user requests, according to Barnes-Hoyt. It will enable you to, for example, "read a DM on your Android phone or iPhone, [and] it will be marked as read in your browser, your desktop apps or your tablet. And vice versa."

[ Twitter is taking heat for its tax filings that don't seem to make sense to observers. See Twitter's Tiny U.K. Profits Raise Eyebrows. ]

Users will need the latest version of each app to ensure that it works on all of their devices, according to Twitter. (All updates are available now from the App Store, Google Play and the Mac App Store.)

Twitter has also announced improvements to search results, and to user interaction on Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Mac:

-- Getting to know you: Twitter will give users expanded search results on its Android, iPhone, iPad and mobile.twitter.com platforms. Searching for someone on Twitter may include a preview with a full bio (making it easier to discern among people with, say, the same or similar names). Swiping the preview to the left will present similar accounts, and a new indicator will show you when there are new results for your search queries.

-- Have your say (in an easier way): On the iPhone, a built-in composer makes it easier to reply to Tweets.

-- People who need people: Bringing the iPhone app more in line with its Android cousin, a new button on the nav bar shows a list of accounts that may be relevant to you.

-- How YOU doing? On Twitter for Mac you can now see favorites, retweets and @mentions, giving you an idea of how your own posts and content are resonating.

-- It's a small world: Twitter for Mac now supports additional languages: Danish, Filipino, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish and Thai.

Are any of these improvements worth running to the app store for updates? What is still on Twitter's to-do list? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.

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David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/9/2013 | 7:38:10 PM
re: Twitter Makes Small But Useful Updates
That thing about DM's turning up as "new" messages every time I switch to a different device has been driving me nuts, so glad they got that into the new release.
Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/11/2013 | 1:20:30 PM
re: Twitter Makes Small But Useful Updates
I think the preview with a full bio is a very useful tool. In the past, while searching for someone in my industry by name, I have had to click on a number of profiles to determine whether each username that came up in the results was actually the person with whom I wanted to connect. This saves some time.
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