Twitter banishes annoying blue dot with direct message syncing

It haunts you, that blue dot next to the Me tab when you sign in to Twitter. It follows you from the app to your desktop, then from your desktop to the mobile site, across devices. The dot signifies an unread direct message is waiting for you, but Twitter doesn’t recognize when you’ve read a message on another device—until now.

On Monday, Twitter rolled out updates to seven of its apps and sites, with the biggest change being direct message syncing. It’s a small feature, but eliminates such a headache that it’s a wonder why Twitter didn’t think to add it before now. Make sure you update all of your Twitter apps (Android, iOS, Twitter for Mac, or TweetDeck) to start syncing right away.

Twitter for Mac also got a much-needed update: the Connect tab now shows interactions like favorites and retweets. This feature is already available on every other Twitter property, so now the Twitter for Mac client is up to speed.

The updated Twitter for iPhone app lets you reply to TechHive's tweets more quickly than ever.

Twitter also tweaked its search results to display user bios. In a Monday blog post, Twitter senior software engineer Josh Hoyt gave a search for Major League Baseball as an example of the new feature—your first result is the verified MLB account with a bio, then swiping to the left will turn up results for MLB-affiliated accounts. This new discovery tool is useful, especially because it displays a new tweet indicator bar at the top of your search to help you stay on top of the speeding train that is Twitter.

While direct message syncing was the only notable Android update on Monday, the iOS app got a few extras. One, which was already available in the Android app, is a People button in the navigation bar so you can discover other accounts that Twitter thinks you might like. Another is a tweet composer that appears at the bottom when you tap on a tweet (before this update, you had to tap the reply arrow to respond—that step is eliminated).

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