Official iPhone for Twitter, Blackberry Apps
Twitter has just announced that it acquired Tweetie, the very popular and highly polished Twitter application for the iPhone. The application will now be called “Twitter for iPhone” and will drop from $2.99 to free, with developer Loren Brichter (who makes up the one-man startup Atebits) joining the Twitter mobile team.
Twitter also plans to launch Twitter for the iPad, which Brichter will be involved with.It’s a move that manages to be both jarring and unsurprising at the same time. Unsurprising, because Twitter investor Fred Wilson recently wrote that Twitter developers needed to stop “filling holes” in Twitter’s product and instead build entirely separate businesses.
Twitter bought the hugely popular iPhone client Tweetie and will rebrand and relaunch it as a free official application. To be called Twitter for iPhone, the app is expected in the coming weeks, with an iPad version following soon after. Though unmentioned in the announcement, Tweetie could become the official Mac OSX desktop client for Twitter as well.
Twitter also worked with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) for an official app for the platform. The official BlackBerry app, free to download from BlackBerry.com/Twitter, features real-time BlackBerry push of direct messages, @replies notifications and browser integration for tweeting links.
Also on the feature list of the official Twitter BlackBerry app are camera and photo gallery integration, lists, search for users, content and trending ttwitter mobileopics, and customizable interface fonts and tool bars. A cool feature is the inbox integration that lets you read Twitter direct messages alongside your email and text messages.
It will be interesting to see how users respond to free official Twitter apps, considering that at least for the iPhone there are several other free and paid clients, which are not as popular or well designed as Tweetie. Applications developers at least, can’t be very happy about Twitter’s move into the software arena.