Something is amiss in the App Store right now. The best Twitter client, Tweetie 2, is nowhere to be found. So where did it fly off to? Did Apple pull it for some violation? Unlikely. Instead, the app’s new owners, Twitter, probably took it down. Why? Because their own version, dubbed “Twitter for iPhone,” is likely about to be released.
We see this happen all the time. For example, last week, the mobile payment startup Square was removed from the App Store just prior to the launch of its newly iPhone and iPad compatible app. Companies often remove their apps voluntarily to ensure the newest version is released when they choose. What this likely means is that Apple has already approved the new Twitter for iPhone, and now Twitter just has to put it in the store.
And don’t forget that a few weeks ago, the final update to Tweetie 2 had an easter egg noting that Twitter for iPhone was “coming soon.”
Unless Twitter wants a lot of angry iPhone owners on their hands, you can probably expect it to be in the App Store at some point tomorrow. But there’s something else I’m wondering: will it be a universal app — meaning an iPad version will be bundled with it? It’s certainly possible. The last time I spoke with developer Loren Brichter about Tweetie, he assured me that an iPad version was indeed in the works. That was prior to the acquisition by Twitter, but the company has also said that “Twitter for iPad” is coming shortly.
The bigger question is: what exactly will be new about Twitter for iPhone beyond the new branding and new price (free)? Brichter had been hard at work on Tweetie 2 for the Mac when Twitter bought his company, so it seems unlikely that he was far along on a major overhaul. He was also working on a side-project, the just-released, Textie. Still, at the very least, some tighter integration with the Twitter APIs can’t be a bad thing, right?
Hopefully we’ll all find out tomorrow.