Custom Navigation

Custom Navigation - Twitter Blue on iOS
Custom Navigation - Twitter Blue on iOS

Intentionally or not, the configuration of Twitter for iOS’ navigation tabs enabled by Twitter Blue membership is a revelation - or it would be, were it the only viable Twitter client on the platform. It’s perhaps the most celebratable feature included in Twitter Blue, if only because it suggests the Twitter team is finally paying attention to Tweetbot. (In case you weren’t aware, I spent a significant amount of time and words writing about just how valuable Tweetbot is, earlier this year.) Unfortunately for Twitter, Tweetbot’s had an incredible year. The biggest possible miss, here, was adamantly missed: one cannot customize away the “Home” timeline from the first nav bar position, which brings up another huge issue with expecting a monthly fee for an experience within Twitter’s iOS app: persistence.

In the clip of the Twitter feedback Space embedded above, my second point of note was that the app had not “randomly logged me out” in the seven days I’d then been subscribed to Twitter Blue. To be clear, this was referring to the experience of opening the Twitter for iOS app to the welcome screen instead of where one left off, which has indeed happened in the interim. The worst bit: after logging back in again, all one’s app preferences are reset to their respective defaults. Without a means of exporting or “backing up” one’s settings - like say, Better Tweetdeck has - this means that one has to methodically explore every single Settings menu and re-select core essentials like posting the highest quality possible images, for instance, all with the knowledge that such a reset could happen again at any time. Suffice it to say, this is not the sort of quality one expects from a premium iOS app in 2021.

As you’ll see in the screenshot embedded above, Custom Navigation offers one a choice of up to 6 tabs from a total of 10, which include some Bluetooth keyboard shortcut considerations I suspect you’ll not find detailed from any other source. To start, ⌘ + F will now reliably open the Explore tab and (most of the time) deliver one’s cursor directly to its search field. However, this only functions when Explore has been selected as one of the bottom nav tabs, which really misses out on an opportunity for the shortcut to be uniquely useful, in my view. Otherwise, ⌘ + 1-6 will open the bottom tabs you’ve chosen in order, which means - brace yourselves - that Twitter Blue’s Custom Navigation technically includes configurable keyboard shortcuts.

Also notable: when viewing the obligatory Home tab, one can navigate between their Lists with just the (unmodified) left and right arrow keys! ⌘ + , is now a dependable way of opening the app’s Settings menu, ⌘ + \` pulls up the account switcher,⌘ + =,-,0manipulates text size, app-wide. Several other commands in [the public-facing keyboard shortcuts documentation]( - like⌘ + M` to switch between light and dark modes, for instance - either have yet to be updated in the document or are iPadOS-exclusive.