The iPhone app formerly known as Tweetie has a new name and a new owner.
Twitter hit the iPhone market Wednesday with its first official app, dubbed simply Twitter for the iPhone. But the new app is actually just the 3.0 update of Tweetie 2.0, which the company got hold of after acquiring Tweetie developer Atebits in April.
Though it's hardly a revolutionary upgrade, the new 3.0 version sports a few small changes over Tweetie 2.0. First off, it's free--Tweetie 2.0 set you back $2.99, even if you upgraded from a previous version.
You no longer need a Twitter account to check out certain features--you can browse the top trends, scroll through the hottest tweets, and search for tweets from nearby Twitter users, all without logging in. Newbies can also sign up for a Twitter account directly in the app without having to go to Twitter's Web site.
Twitter also enhanced the search feature in general. You can now search for specific tweets and people all from the same page. The Suggested Users feature helps you find people to follow based on different categories. Select a topic like Business, Entertainment, Politics, or Technology, and you'll see a list of popular tweeters that might interest you.
Why launch its own official app? Twitter said it found that users were searching the Apple App Store for an app specifically from Twitter and got confused when they couldn't find one. So acquiring Tweetie, a popular Twitter app, must have seemed the smart move, especially since Tweetie head developer Loren Brichter went along for the ride to join Twitter's mobile team.
Though Twitter for the iPhone had a limited release when it initially launched Wednesday--it was only available in certain countries, it should be downloadable for everyone by now. Like Tweetie, the new app works on both the iPhone and the iPod Touch.
On the other side of the smartphone fence, Android users also have their own official Twitter app, which debuted earlier this month, while Blackberry fans got their app in April and received a much-needed update this week.