I mostly use Twitter on my iPad for social sharing of my writing. I can just use my browser but for some reason the the App is a little faster than the Safari Browser so when I went to do something in my account on my iPad, I usually use the App.
Downloading the App
The App is free to download for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. It is also available for Android but since I have no experience I will only be talking about the iTunes version for Apple products. Specifically I am using it on my iPad 2. The download takes a few seconds depending on your connection.
Rating: 4+ I have no idea why the Twitter App is rated for ages 4 and up, considering that as far as I know, you have to be 13 to have an account.
Look feel and using the App
App Look compared to browser: the App looks exactly the same except that if fills the entire screen, with no browser tab at the top. The only other difference is that on the browser there is a little icon to get you to transfer over to using the App.
App Performance compared to the browser: Compared to the mobile version on safari, the App seems to be a little faster and less likely to hang up. I am not using the fastest connection as we have DSL internet at home where I use it. I am not sure if there is a noticeable difference when using a faster connection.
Orientation: The App works in both landscape and Portrait orientation. Just turn your device to the side and if your settings allow it the app will flip. It might be easier to read more tweets in portrait but I use it in landscape because it is the easiest way to use it without taking it out my iPad keyboard case.
Navigating the App
If you have used the mobile version of Twitter on your iPad you will see all the same controls. Everything is pretty much in the same place too but I will cover what the App does. On the left there is a black bar with four icons, Home, Connect, #Discover, and Me. On the top of the screen there is a blue bar and to the right is a search icon and a new tweet icon.
Home: To browse Tweets of those you follow hit the home key. You can scroll up and down to read an unlimited amount of tweets. Pull down on the screen to refresh and pull up recent tweets.
@Connect: This page tells you who connected to you or interacted with your tweets. If you see someone interacting with you in some way you can check them out to see if you would like to follow them as well.
#Discovery: This shows you what is trending on twitter, what people are searching for, and the most popular tweets. It also suggests who they think you should follow. This is the screen you will also find friends through.
Me: The Me Page shows you your profile page. You will see all your tweets listed on this page. Just below your profile picture are numbers of tweets, followers, and those you are following. To view any of these lists you just click on the number. To go back there will be an arrow at the top which will bring you back to your profile page.
To the right of the numbers you will see a settings icon that you can use to change your settings, edit your profile or access a help menu. Next to that is an accounts icon. I suppose you can have more than one account and this will allow you to switch between them. I only have one account so I can not say how that works. The last icon on the right is for direct messages. You can read and send direct messages from that page.
Search: The search icon on the blue bar allows you to search for tweets from all users, not just those that you follow. You can use hash tags but they are not required.
New Tweet: Last but not least to the far right on the blue bar is an icon to write a new tweet so all you have to do is tap that and then type away. You can only post up to 140 characters in one Tweet.
Notifications: Probably the only thing that this app will offer you that you can not get in the browser are notifications. Personally I do not want my iPad beeping at me every five seconds so I turned my notifications off.
Final Thoughts and Rating
I am giving this app 4 stars. I like that it is a little faster than the browser but I really would like to see some content or features on it that make me need it on my iPad. I have to say if you do not use Twitter that much you may not feel the need to download it at all. While it does make browsing a little faster and gets rid of the navigation bar at the top of your screen, the only thing it really adds are notifications which I find annoying so I turned them off. It is a solid app though and I have not experienced any crashes so it deserves at least my 4 star rating.