Twitter updates mobile apps, goes to Kindle Fire

Posted by Mark Raby

Twitter has just rolled out updates to its official mobile apps, and as part of the process has released a Kindle Fire-optimized version of its Android app.

The updates create a more optimized user experience, fix a few glitches here and there, and take advantage of touchscreen functionality such as swiping gestures to reply or tag your friends' tweets.

It has also joined Facebook and a growing crowd of app developers in creating a special Android app that is designed specifically to be optimized on the Kindle Fire, the #1 Android tablet on the market right now.

But let's get serious; there's one major reason why Twitter needed to update its mobile application - privacy. It came to light recently that the microblogging site's mobile app has a propensity to store complete contact info on someone's phone, not only of the person using the phone but every single one of his or her contacts.

In other words, even if you've never been to Twitter before, your name, phone number, and e-mail address could be on Twitter's servers just as long as one of your friends has a smartphone and used the Twitter app's friend-finding feature, which scours the phone's entire contact list and copies pertinent information about those contacts.

Now, as part of the app update, when that feature is used, users are warned, "We will securely upload your contacts to help you find friends and suggest users to follow on Twitter."

Previously, there was no such indication that users would be uploading their entire contact list to Twitter. It's still not ideal, but in this world no one really cares about their privacy anymore anyway.

The updates apply to both the Android and iOS versions of Twitter's official apps.