Twitter today announced an update to its Android and iOS apps that adds multiple new features, including a new form of two-factor authentication. You can download the new versions now directly from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

The new optional login verification means you can approve login requests directly from your mobile app. This is separate from the SMS-based login verification that Twitter released in May: this new feature lets you verify logins without relying on text messages.

ninkasi blog image1 Twitter for iOS and Android gets login verification, photo galleries, search improvements, and list management

Here are the advantages of this approach, according to Twitter:

  • No phone number required: By using push messaging and in-application approvals, you no longer need to provide your phone number to use login verification. If you manage multiple Twitter accounts, but only have one phone number, you can now opt all of them into login verification.
  • Broader international support: Now, all you need is an Internet connection and one of Twitter’s supported apps to enroll in login verification. Login verification via SMS has been available through supported mobile carriers across the world, but that didn’t cover everybody.
  • Backup codes generated in the application can be written down, stored in a safe place, and used to access your account on twitter.com even if you lose your phone.
  • More context: When a login request is made, you will see browser details and approximate location in the app. If you receive an approval request from halfway across the world, you may be getting phished.

To enable the feature in the app, go to the Me tab, open Settings, and then tap Security (Android users will need to tap their name before they can select Security). Turn on Login verification, and make sure to store the generated backup code in a safe place (you will need it to access your account when you don’t have your phone). The Twitter app will now show approve requests each time you sign in to twitter.com with your username and password.

Security aside, the search improvements mean that as you type your query, the search suggestions will show how you’re connected to other users (this also launched on Twitter.com last week). A new photo gallery has been added to search results as well.

Here’s a peek:

ninkasi blog image2 Twitter for iOS and Android gets login verification, photo galleries, search improvements, and list management

The full Twitter 4.1.4 for Android changelog is as follows:

  • Now you can protect your account with login verification in the app. This is a new form of two-factor authentication that you can turn on in your settings and manage through push notifications.
  • Enjoy a new gallery view for photos in search results.
  • Other bug fixes and improvements.

The full Twitter 5.9 for iOS changelog is as follows:

  • Now you can protect your account with login verification. This is a new form of two-factor authentication that allows you can turn on and manage directly from your app.
  • View anyone’s photos in a beautiful gallery when you visit their profile and tap ‘View more photos’
  • Photo search results can also be viewed in a gallery.
  • Enjoy several improvements to lists: create new lists and edit your existing lists; manage titles and descriptions; add or remove members.
  • Other bug fixes and improvements.

Twitter mentioned that it has improved the launch performance of its iOS app but didn’t say anything about Android. This is a big release, and while not all the features are available for both mobile platforms, it’s refreshing to see that the important ones are.

Top Image Credit: Thinkstock

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