Twitter 2.0: Brand New Birdie!

There is no lack of Twitter clients in any platform. Many of the Twitter clients are cross-platform and available across major platforms. Cross-platform apps help to maintain the familiar interface and make user experience as smoother as possible. Last year, Twitter bought popular third party apps and consolidated its position in the mobile apps market by making them free.

Android got a very official client too. While the experience was bearable, it was still sub-par in comparison to the official iOS client. Twitter for Android got a major update few days ago; let’s take a look at whether the new version meets user expectations.

Availability

The official Twitter app is available for Android versions 2.1 and above. Not much of a change there and, as earlier, the app is is available for free in the Android Market.

User Interface

The previous version of Twitter for Android a bit rushed to get the official app into the stores. It was in no way feature rich or attractive enough in comparison to the iOS app. It was more like a souped up version of the Blackberry app and we all know how functional Blackberry apps are. But all that has changed with the release of the new version from couple of days ago.

The update is a huge leap both in terms of features and the user interface. Once you launch the app, the sign in page shows up. There is no option to sign up from the app itself so if you are looking to create a new account, you must visit the Twitter homepage.

Timeline & Pull to Refresh

Timeline & Pull to Refresh

After signing in, a welcome screen briefing you of the new updates in this version. When I say brief, it is really brief and if you are looking to learn more about the new features, you will have to continue to read this review.

Those who have seen the iOS Twitter app will immediately find that both apps are strikingly similar except for the placement of a few icons. The row of icons for the Twitter Stream, Mentions, Messages and Settings have moved to the top. The Search icon now finds itself to the left of Compose and is really an inconvenient placement. I found myself opening the Compose window while I actually intended to open the Search window on a number of occasions.

Your username is not displayed on top of the app like in iOS; instead we have Twitter’s name and logo. This could be because there is no support for multiple accounts in the app. On the homescreen, Twitter’s logo is not the bird but the same old lowercase t. It’s a bit curious since Twitter apps in the iOS and Mac App Stores have the bird for icon.

Twitter Stream

The first thing that deserves a mention is the implementation of Pull to refresh in the timeline view. It is extremely slick and fun to use. Up for another cool trick? Just swipe across a tweet and you will see options to retweet, reply and add the tweet to your favorites. You can view the profile of the one who sent the tweet too.

Swipe Motion & Sharing Options

Swipe Motion & Sharing Options

The Profile page design is nowhere near the rest of the revamped user interface and looks like it has been put together as an afterthought. But you will find all the available information abut the account in this page. Use the navigation icons at the top to view the account’s tweets, mentions etc.

Where this app exceeds its iOS version is with the number of ways one can share a tweet, thanks to the stock Android Share menu. From Bluetooth to social media sites, you have all the options in the world to share the tweet you liked with your friends. However, it would have been nice to have a built-in option to send a page to services like Instapaper or Read Me Later, for reading from a desktop at leisure, when you swipe across a tweet containing a link.

Profile Page & Tweet Window

Profile Page & Tweet Window

Not a fan of using gestures? Tap a tweet to bring up the tweet in a brilliantly designed layout.

Composing a Tweet

Tweet Compose & Address Book

Tweet Compose & Address Book

A clean and simple design makes Tweeting a breeze. All standard options like adding images, accessing camera and geo-tagging tweets are available. URLs are shortened automatically (depending on personal preference, this could either be useful or annoying). You can also bring up the address book of your followers to save time typing their usernames.

Threaded Tweets

Threaded Tweets

Threaded Tweets

Be it email, IM or tweets, threaded conversations gives a clear perspective. When you tap on replies, you will see the familiar In reply to button. To see the entire conversation in its full glory, hit it and you can see the entire back and forth of tweets.

Final Thoughts

QR Code

QR Code

Version 2.0 is a really huge update and takes Twitter for Android to the next level. The hard work of the Twitter team is evident in this release and brings the app on par with other third party alternatives. Absence of multiple accounts and options to read links later brings the app a notch lower. But witnessing what has been accomplished in this update gives me hope that we will see them soon enough.

Twitter fans and early adopters should rejoice as the app blows a lot of competitors out of the water. In my opinion, it clearly trumps the fiercest competitor, Tweetdeck and it will be interesting to see how they fight back. Twitter for Android is a complete Twitter client that is ideal for adoption for the masses.


Summary

Twitter for Android is the official Twitter client for staying on top of the happenings of the popular social network.

8
  • http://www.myunv.com/ Sunny Singh

    Received the update, and I’m really liking what they’ve done. I haven’t had the problem of pressing the wrong button when it came to search or tweeting, but I do hope they come out with multiple accounts soon. For now, I’m using HootSuite for my Twitter needs.

  • Eric J

    as great as qr codes are could you also include market links as well? Thanks!

    • http://michaeljameswilliams.com/ Michael James Williams

      Hey Eric, the link’s in the Summary :)

  • Connor Turnbull

    I love how you used the iOS icon for the preview image.

    • http://michaeljameswilliams.com/ Michael James Williams

      *whistles*

      • Connor Turnbull

        :)

    • Justin Stravarius

      Thanks for dropping by (again)! :)

      I love how you ignore the bigger picture (no pun intended). 😉

      • Connor Turnbull

        Hope you didn’t take that the wrong way. Just that two of the three top posts (had) iPhone-based preview images 😉

        • http://michaeljameswilliams.com/ Michael James Williams

          They do look nicer, in general 😉

        • Justin Stravarius

          As Michael mentions below, iOS icons look better and there is hardly any difference in their logo/trademark.

          BTW am not sure what you mean by top posts. Are you referring to traffic/hits they receive?

          • Connor Turnbull

            Sorry, should have used a different term. I meant the three latest posts on the homepage.

  • Connor Turnbull

    Does Twitter have plans for a Honeycomb app? I’d like to see the comparison between that and the iPad one.

    • Justin Stravarius

      No issues. I thought you had access to Google Analytics and planned to get one for me too. 😉

      There no mention of a Honeycomb app in their blog. But a comparison would be great.

  • http://www.markdijkstra.eu MarkDijkstra

    I like the new UI, its better than before.

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