140 on 8: Twitter Makes the Jump to Windows 8


Twitter took to its blog yesterday and made the announcement that its wildly popular app was making the jump to Microsoft's new flagship operating system with Twitter for Windows 8. But the jump isn't just about a new operating platform for Twitter, it's also about a whole set of new features that are coming with the jump.

Many of Twitter's favorite current features are in play with the arrival of Twitter for Windows 8. Most notably, according to the Twitter blog, Connect, Discover, Home and Me are all in play. But there are also several new ones in the field like snap view. With snap view, users will be able to "snap" Twitter into the left or right side of the screen, then quietly switch over to a new app from there, allowing users to carry on with the rest of their day while still being able to keep track of all their Twitter conversations from the app that is now handily parked off to one side of the screen or the other. Snap view even allows for an adjustment on just how much screen real estate the app takes up, going from a third of the screen all the way to the whole thing.

Photos also get the dynamic treatment here, as individual photos can be put into a landscape view for bigger overall pictures, but multiple photos can also be seen from the Discover tab. There's also the possibility to view all photos in full-screen with just one tap.

A pair of charms augment Twitter's Windows 8 presence as well: there's the share charm--which allows users to tweet from any app at any time, allowing things like immediate tweeting from a news article or on just a photo--and the search charm, which allows for rapid searching of hashtags in a surprisingly simple environment.

Finally, a new system of Live Tiles and notifications allow users to keep up with Twitter no matter what else they happen to be doing at the time, making the app just as intrusive as users would want it to be.

Twitter for Windows 8 is now available in the Windows Store, and for those who don't speak English, it's not likely to be a problem as the Twitter blog promises the program's availability in 22 different languages. It's also free, so getting in on all these exciting new changes should be comparatively simple.

This is actually something of a win-win for both Twitter and Microsoft. Not only can Twitter operate on a new platform, and in the process offer up a bunch of new features that will no doubt prove very valuable for Twitter users, but Microsoft gets a shot in the arm for Windows 8.

There were reports, not so long ago, that the overall numbers of PC shipments were down significantly thanks to, in part, the release of Windows 8. Windows 8's focus on touchscreen use, and the comparatively slim supply of touch-based PCs, was driving down PC shipments as businesses and consumers alike were waiting to see how the whole Windows 8 thing would boil down. But with Windows 8 now able to offer a noticeably expanded Twitter experience, that might well change a few minds from "wait and see" to "get out and buy."

Only time will tell just how well the new Twitter is received by its user base, but it's a fair bet that it should be well received, and may even help bolster PCs and Windows 8 in the process.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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