twicca: The Forgotten Android Twitter Client

When I wrote my roundup of Android Twitter clients, there was a clear trend in the comments that I had neglected twicca, by Japanese developer Tetsuya Aoyama. I wasn’t really aware of twicca beforehand – I had seen it pop up on the Market from time to time but I had never really taken the time to download it and have a look at it for myself.

Since then, I’ve downloaded twicca and given it a good try – and I have to say, the results were pretty impressive, especially for an independent Twitter client. Let’s have a good look at twicca in a bit more detail.

Introduction

In terms of Android Twitter clients, twicca is probably one of the least well-known ones on the Market, especially seeing as it is competing against clients such as the >official client, >Seesmic, >Hootsuite and >TweetDeck. I see it, though, as a very “modest” Twitter client – it’s not trying to show off proclaiming it’s the top Twitter client in 2010 or that it’s been downloaded over one million times (though the latter fact is actually true!) so twicca was already off to a good start: modesty is the key to the game.

twicca Market

twicca on the web version of the Android Market.

twicca is free and runs on all Android devices running Android 1.6 and above. Because the user interface is so simple, you won’t need a really powerful phone to run it or get the full experience out of it. Once you’ve installed twicca and authorized the application with Twitter, you are directed to the timeline which gives you a scrollable view of your tweets.

Features

For a free Twitter client, twicca has plenty of useful features packed under its simple interface. Let’s have a look at them in a bit more detail.

Timeline

The timeline in twicca is more or less what you would expect from any Android Twitter client. Along the bottom you’ve got icons to access your mentions and direct messages as well as to tweet something new and to refresh the timeline.

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The default timeline view of twicca.

To switch between your timeline and mentions, you have to tap the button. I was a bit disappointed to see that there was no side-swiping (as in other Twitter clients), but there’s always room for a bit of improvement.

Tweets

When you tap on a tweet in your timeline, you are shown a window with a variety of options. You can either reply to or quote the tweet in question, retweet it, or view a person’s profile or any hashtags they have included in the tweet.

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The variety of options available with a tweet.

A nifty feature here (which I haven’t seen in other Twitter clients) is the ability to colour-code tweets with a range of different colours. Say you want to read a link on a tweet but you haven’t got time at that very moment and you want to read it later; twicca will allow you to colour that particular tweet so when you’re browsing through later, you can find it easily. This is especially useful if you are following a large number of people.

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Colour-coding tweets in twicca makes them a lot easier to recognise.

The New Tweet box is nice and simple and allows you to attach pictures and videos, share your location and shorten your links via the touch of an icon. twicca also includes a hashtag hotkey here, so you don’t have to search around for the hash key on your Android’s keyboard. Unfortunately, twicca does not recognise your followers when mentioning them in a tweet (i.e. after typing the @ symbol).

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The New Tweet box in twicca.

Hashtags and Trends

twicca supports real-time search results when you search for a particular hashtag on Twitter. As we’ve seen above, if there is a hashtag in a tweet, you can search via that particular tag by tapping on the tweet then tapping on the hashtag in the menu that pops up.

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twicca supports real-time searches for trending topics on Twitter.

twicca will also let you search for trending topics on Twitter easily, by current trending topics or by weekly trending topics. They are displayed in a simple window and tapping on any one of them directs you straight to tweets containing that topic.

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Trending topics are easy to access in twicca.

Customisation

twicca is one of the most customisable clients out there on the Market, letting you modify virtually every aspect of your Twitter experience. Go into the Settings page of twicca and you are greeted with a wide range of customisation options, including tweaks to optimise your timeline and notification settings.

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Customisation possibilities with twicca.

twicca can alert you whenever you receive new tweets, direct messages or mentions via a discreet notification in your status bar. You can also change the theme (between a dark and light theme), the font size, GPS and location settings and so on.

Final Thoughts

twicca is a very easy to use, yet feature-rich, Android Twitter client and I’m ashamed to admit that I missed it out in my Twitter client roundup. Since the English interface has been translated directly from Japanese, there are a few errors; however, this certainly does not diminish your twicca experience!

For an independent Twitter client, twicca is a functional and aesthetically pleasing offering, and is well worth downloading.


Summary

A lightweight yet feature-rich Twitter client for Android phones running Android 1.6 and above.

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