TapBots launched v3 of it's signature twitter client, Tweetbot tonight. The first thing I noticed was that it was not a free upgrade but $2.99. The second thing I noticed was that it was iPhone only - not universal. That means an iPad app in the future is also going to cost you ~$2.99 - $4.99. Their current Tweetbot app for the Mac is $19.99. That's a pretty expensive ecosystem of apps for a service Tapbots has no control over. It doesn't help that Twitter itself has a set of pretty nice apps for FREE.
All that aside, the main thing I noticed was how similar in design Tweetbot v3 is to Twitterrific's v5 client, which BTW, is universal.
Now, there's a TON of differences under the hood and in the user experiences - little touches each one brings to the table that make each one special to it's set of users. Both apps are fantastic twitter clients and both companies have worked their asses off to produce a fine product - no doubt. BUT…what concerns me is how much Tweetbot has toned down it's core design language to fit into iOS 7. Here's what Tweetbot v2 looked like on iOS 6…
I understand that iOS 7 presents a whole new set of design rules for UI, but I worry that apps are going to begin to loose their originality in order to fit into this predisposed notion of "flat design". I hope this doesn't signal a trend. Say what you want about skeuomorphism but at least designers were free to explore aesthetically.
This Tumblr site "iOS 7 App Redesigns" has been documenting apps as they switch their UI's over to iOS 7. One could argue that all these apps look as if one designer worked on them. Almost as if it was this one designer's signature style and every company wanted it. We've seen this in on-air motion graphics many times. One design trend begins to dominate the marketplace and every client wants their next spot to look just like it. Maybe we're not so different after all.