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The new Twitter interface is plain and sparse.
I am not a Twitter power user. I'm what you would call a lurker--I've sent all of 18 tweets since I created my account several years ago--but I still use my favorite client (Tweetbot) quite a bit throughout the day. My needs are simple: I want to instantly locate tweets I haven't read and scroll through them quickly, explore links easily and effortlessly send articles my Instapaper queue.
Even with such basic demands, I abandoned Twitter's free apps long ago; though I actually liked the iPad's sliding panels, but I grew tired of waiting for some kind of cloud synching service, so I happily paid for one that gave me what I wanted.
Version 5, which updates the iPhone and iPad apps with a simplified, standardized look, does little to bring me back. Even if I overlook the error message that forced me to reset my password before I could access my timeline, this version doesn't feel like an improvement. Everything that was good and unique about the iPad app is gone, replaced with a plain, sparse interface that mimics the iPhone app but wastes large swaths of real estate in the process, especially in landscape mode. Features are incredibly limited--you can't view conversations or sort by your followees' retweets--and the ability to view links and picks without opening a tweet has oddly been removed.
The Discover tab is underwhelming at best.
The few new elements feel like cheap advertising vessels, including the Discover tab, which supplies the latest news and trends, and the art-heavy profile pages. Your timeline is little more than a snapshot of tweets; in order to do anything (retweet, view a pic, open a link, etc), the tweet needs to be opened, creating an unnecessary, annoying extra step. Don't expect to browse your timeline while viewing a link--that functionality was thrown out with the panels. And while they make look identical, the iPhone and iPad apps don't stay in sync with each other.
Twitter is making it very hard for developers to design new clients, but if this is the best it can do on its own, it's in for a rude awakening.