There’s nothing I hate more than watching my expensive smartphone struggle just to display a simple SMS — you’d think manufacturers would have figured out how to get this to work smoothly by now but unfortunately, even on an HTC One X, the story remains the same. Thankfully, one of the great things about Android is that you can replace just about every app for specific functions with another of your choosing. If you’re in the same boat and want to get to your texts faster, check out Textra.
Designed to be as quick as possible, Textra combines simple design with a short-and-sweet list of features that allows the app to make light work of displaying and composing messages, even on older phones. It does what it says on the box, and not a whole lot more. Best of all, though, is that it’s free. Let’s take a look at how fast Textra is, and how soon you can ditch your stock messaging app.
Text messaging – or SMS – is one of the most fundamental functions on any mobile device. Over the last few years, it has arguably taken over voice calling as the single most used feature on a phone. Sure, there have been numerous threats from internet-based multimedia messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber, Line and more, but the sheer ubiquity of good ol’ SMS text messages has been hard to beat and has kept the technology alive and kicking.
Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of good dedicated options when it comes to SMS apps on Android. A few stalwarts like Handcent SMS and Go SMS Pro aside, competition has been pretty scarce in this arena. That’s why it’s exciting to see a new contender in Sliding Messaging. I took the app for a spin to check how it fared against Go SMS Pro – which is what I’ve been using for years now. Here’s what I found.
With the recent mushrooming of Twitter apps like Falcon, Carbon and Tweetings, it is becoming hard for developers to differentiate their apps and offer unique features. Many focus on power users and implement advanced functions, such as multi-account support and Tweet Marker compatibility.
TweetLine, however, takes a very different approach and emphasizes simplicity and customization: no more complicated screens, overcrowded timelines and hard-to read tweets. It’s all numbed down to an easy-to-use interface that requires very few taps to get something done. The interface is also designed to fit your personal needs, as columns and colors are fully customizable.
I just moved into my own apartment for the first time, and it’s been hectic dealing with all the additional responsibility of holding down the fort by myself. I find myself spending a lot of time in the kitchen — cooking, doing the dishes and putting things away — and I’m glad I have a tablet to keep me company. I follow recipes on YouTube and BBC’s incredible recipe guide and of course, keep tabs on friends on Twitter. Now I can chat with them all too, thanks to the recently updated imo.
Imo - which we have reviewed earlier – lets you link your IM accounts and chat with your contacts on 11 networks, including MSN, Skype, Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, AIM/ICQ, Jabber, VKontakte, Hyves and Steam. The app has been updated to take advantage of the extra screen real estate offered by larger devices, and now not only looks great, but also throws in two new features that are worth a look.
Twitter clients for Android have tried to sell their tricks over time — some more successful than others. When Falcon came out as a widget, it earned a positive review from our own Abhimanyu Ghoshal. Now, it’s a fully functional Twitter app and it looks to be picking up from where it left off. There’s nothing new to Falcon Pro’s tricks, but it’s how it does it that makes all the difference.
Whether I’m on the move or retiring for the night, I appreciate being able to check in with friends and family on my Android devices. I constantly carry these conversations over from my desktop to my phone to my tablet depending on where I am and what I’m up to. That’s why I was glad to come across Talk.to, a simple app that brings all your Facebook and Google Talk contacts together so you can chat with ease.
From a micro blogging space to a breaking news medium, a product publicity portal to just a good old space for like minded people to engage in discussions and critiques, there are many facets to Twitter. With over half a million subscribers, it’s one of the fastest growing social networking medium and definitely the most relevant. Another number growing pretty fast is the number of 3rd party Twitter clients on Google’s Android ecosystem.
While the popular heavyweights like Plume, Uber Social, Twicca, Tweetcaster still remain relevant, there is a newer breed of feature rich, lightweight Twitter clients which are making their mark on the landscape. One such app is Twidere, a beautiful Holo-themed application which, while being lightweight in size, is a breeze when it comes to speed and functionality.
There are many Twitter applications on the Play Store, from the official Twitter application, to Plume, Tweetdeck or Seesmic. All of these have their own style and functionality. In Tweetdeck, you can customize the font and the number of columns in the application as well as connect to other services like Facebook and Foursquare. Seesmic has a similar feature set but uses a different UI style. Plume follows a Holo-like look and offers an impressive — and slightly daunting — amount of features.
The only major downside in most of these applications is that they lack UI color customization. Tweedle is a Twitter application that tries to close this gap with full UI theming freedom. However, it’s still in development and major updates are slightly sparse as the developer considers this his side-project.