Slices is yet another Twitter app for Android but, before your eyes glaze over and roll into the back of your head, it’s one that deserves a second look. Developed by OneLouder, Slices builds on their expertise in UI design while bringing several new features to the table.
Besides giving you the basics that you’d expect to find in any other Twitter app, it dices up your Twitter stream and helps you cut through the noise to get at what you really want. It also provides an easy way to discover live events and new topics on Twitter.
The initial Slices setup is similar to many other Twitter clients. Given that you can’t use the app unless you provide a Twitter account, it shuffles you off to a Twitter authentication web page so that you can authorise access to the app. If you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you can go ahead and create an account from this page as well. Next, you are walked through a brief introduction of what Slices can do.
Slices follows three main themes: Explore, Organize and Synchronise.
While this feature of Slices has received less attention than the app’s organizational abilities, it is arguably the best feature it offers. Twitter is usually somewhat scary except to its most loyal fans and power users. It can be an overwhelming service to use, but the Explore feature of Slices breaks things down into useful categories that anyone can figure out.
You have three main sections here:
- Trends – If you want to know what’s going on in the world according to Twitter, their trends feature is where you want to look. Slices gives you access to Twitter trends broken down by location so you can see what’s trending worldwide, in specific countries, or even in your own city.
- Featured – This is your obligatory list of popular Twitter accounts that many new Twitter users might want to check out. This is where you’ll find Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and ESPN among others.
- Live Events – This is a very cool feature that allows you to see tweets about events happening right now. For instance, I was able to see live tweets about the Atlanta vs. Cincinnati NFL preseason game. I missed the game, but I was easily able to get up to speed. From the heroes of the game down to the play-by-play, the live events feature of Slices is definitely a winner.
There are numerous other sections available here, including: Humor, Tech, Politics, Sports, and Local. Each of these sections is broken down into Categories, Featured, and All. It sounds complicated, but it provides an excellent way to drill down to exactly what you want to follow on Twitter. For example, the Sports section lets you pick your favorite sport, catch the latest headlines, or find sports-related Twitter lists to subscribe to.
Tapping a list simply displays the tweets, but you can subscribe to the list by tapping the “i” next to it.
This is the feature that has most people talking about Slices. It allows you to easily organize your Twitter follows into…well…Slices. This is definitely a game changer even for the most seasoned Twitterer who might find themselves getting overwhelmed.
During the initial setup, the app creates a few default ones for you. Adding and managing slices is surprisingly easy to do, even for someone like me with thousands of followers and friends.
What I like most about the organisation abilities of Slices is that it works on-the-fly. While you can meticulously create a list and put specific people in it, you can also randomly add people to slices from just about any screen. So, if you’re just checking out your @mentions and notice you should probably add someone to your “Potential Collab” slice, you can do so quickly without skipping a beat.
Things sort of go off the rails here a bit because the mobile app says you can get Slices on the web at Slices.me. It also says that your mobile setup is automatically synced with the web. The problem is that slices.me is actually not up and running for most of us just yet. If you visit the website and attempt to sign in with Twitter, you’re met with a message and a sign-up form:
The mobile apps are ready to go now, but the website hasn’t opened to the public just yet. Enter your info below if you’d like to be one of the first to get access!
That’s no big deal since the app is awesome enough on Android alone, but I must admit I was thrown for a loop initially by the conflicting messages. When it launches, the web interface would be a great addition to the mobile client as anyone who has used something like Hootsuite can attest.
OneLouder is known for putting out pretty apps and Slices is no different. The interface takes a bit of getting used to, but does a good job of putting just what you need right at your finger tips. I did run into a few issues with the app’s resource usage and stability. I re-installed the app, but it still seems to become completely unresponsive at times.
Overall, it’s an extremely useful app and worth the download if you’re into Twitter or want to see what the hype is about. So, what’s your slice?