Tumblr Updates Its iOS App To Be “Completely Native,” Features Redesigned Dashboard, Notifications And Gestures

Tumblr, the micro-blogging service that allows everyone to be a creative publisher, has updated its iOS app to become faster and more engaging. Tumblr says it’s “completely native.”

By “native,” the company means that the app feels faster and more integrated into your iOS experience because it’s no longer just a web view. After a few minutes of playing with it, I can tell you that the company has backed up its claims in every sense of the word. Recently, the company built a standalone photo-sharing app that was lovelier than its own app, so I knew that something was up.

Mobile is really important for Tumblr, as it has helped propel the company to an impressive 20 billion pageviews a month. Sadly, it doesn’t look like there’s a native iPad version of Tumblr as of yet, even though this version will work on the device.

The mobile team at Tumblr has been hard at work, to say the least.

Here’s the update, as Tumblr describes it:

We’re so thrilled to tell you that our app is now completely native! Get ready for a faster, smoother, and more responsive Tumblr Dashboard.

– Completely redesigned Dashboard — bigger photos and faster post loading.
– Spiffy new notification previews — see exactly which posts were liked, reblogged, or replied to!
– New blog screens with blog portraits and descriptions.
– GIFs play automatically on your Dashboard! Slide your finger across to view frame by frame.
– New gestures — swipe right on any screen to go back to the previous view; long tap photos, links, tags, and post headers for more options.

When you log in, you’ll see the differences immediately. Everything is prettier, it’s easier to browse content and obviously easier to publish content of your own. This is a much-needed update for an app that hasn’t always had the best experience for sharing.

In addition to new gestures, animated GIFs, a hallmark of the service, play right in your dashboard, or stream if you will. Following people and blogs on the service actually make sense now, as you can easily keep up to date on things when you’re mobile, without hassle or annoyance.

It feels a lot like Google+ for iOS and Android in the sense that it’s really a joy to scroll for days and days. The key for the company is to take publishing to the next level by letting people engage with content in a way that other services, like WordPress or Blogger, don’t let you do. By re-blogging, liking and following, Tumblr is truly a hybrid of a few different experiences, including Twitter.

With a better notification system, that means you’ll spend way more time hanging out in the app, much like you do right now with Facebook’s iOS app. When someone comments or mentions you on Facebook, it’s very very hard not to jump in and see what’s up. Tumblr noticed. Smart move.

Do you like gestures? Then check this out. Simply grab a photo from your stream and move it around:

Recently, Tumblr’s CEO, David Karp, said this about why he started Tumblr: “I wanted an ease of expression where I could up put a video or photo and I wanted it to have my own domain name. I wanted it to be something that I was really proud of.”

Tumblr is “blogging” for the masses, and that’s not a bad niche to be in.

[Photo credit: Flickr]