The official Twitter app on Windows Phone received an update this week, bringing with it long-overdue support for notifications and live tiles. This, in and of itself, isn’t all that impressive. What is impressive, however, is the way in which the support for notifications has been implemented. It’s been more than a year-and-a-half since the app was originally released on Windows Phone, but this is almost worth the wait.

Frankly, Twitter for Windows Phone has the fastest notifications of any app I’ve ever seen, hands down. So fast, in fact, that there is virtually no delay between pressing “tweet” and having it appear on your phone. For years, I’ve praised the notification speed of AlphaJax, an entertaining Scrabble clone, but even this app seems to have been bested by Twitter (if only barely). There are many great Twitter apps on the Windows Phone Marketplace, such as Rowi (my go-to Twitter app) and Mehdoh. Up until now, Rowi had the best Twitter notifications, but even it is minutes slower than the lightning-fast official app.

Twitter for Windows Phone also allows you to choose how notifications are displayed on a granular level, with options for notifications from people you follow, anyone, or none at all for each of the major categories: mentions, favorite tweets, retweets, direct messages, and new followers.

Granted, the unofficial Twitter apps often have many more features than the official app, but I think Twitter for Windows Phone has raised the bar for notifications of any kind. It’s as fast as desktop applications that support streaming updates from Twitter, and most certainly faster than regular old text messages. Microsoft, the developer behind the app – Twitter doesn’t handle it in-house yet – deserves to be commended. If only all apps on the Windows Phone Marketplace had push notifications this fast. I highly recommend giving Twitter for Windows Phone another shot. You’ll be impressed with the latest update.

[Windows Phone Marketplace]