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Twitter, The Official way to follow your tweets : Android App Review

May 17, 2010 - Written By Chris Yackulic

Possible Title: Twitter’s Official Android App

App Name: Twitter (by Twitter, Inc.)

Description: This is the official Twitter Android app from the company. It lets you tweet, re-tweet, share tweets on other platforms and reply to tweets and direct messages, plus post pics, all from one convenient place.

How it works: The Twitter app works as the official conduit for sending and receiving tweets on your Android device.

Opinion: Using the official Twitter app (OTA) was very helpful this week as I realized that Seesmic stopped working on my Moto Droid. I don’t use a task killer and I usually reboot a couple times a week for various reasons, so you’d think Seesmic would stay active but apparently not! So, instead of reopening Seesmic, I downloaded the OTA and have been very pleased.

The OTA is similar to the rest of the Twitter apps out there with good synchronization, the ability to post pics from your gallery or from fresh photos taken through the app itself and an easy way to follow trending topics, either through the pop up bubbles on the main screen or through searching. On top of all the standard Twitter goodness, the OTA also integrates with your contacts and has two nice widgets to keep you up to date without constantly opening the app itself. One disclaimer about the widgets: The large widget allows you to scroll through a limited number of tweets in your feed and to reply to any of those tweets, while the small widget is more of a placeholder that shows only the most current tweet.

Another great feature is active links and pics in tweets, which saves a step compared with apps like Seesmic where you have to open the tweet to get to the link. It’s also easy to follow someone just by clicking on the link to their profile and clicking the little stylized person with the “+”. Nice.

One thing you cannot do easily with the app is unfollow someone. To do so, you have to be sure your search is set to people (step 1), open the relevant link to the person you want to unfollow (step 2), press on the little person with the “x” to the right of the name (step 3), and then press “yes” to unfollow (step 4). A little convoluted to say the least, especially if you’re not “tech savvy” and do not like to delve deep into software to get the desired outcome for whatever task you are trying to perform.

And did I mention that the OTA is free? Yes, free. You get all this functionality and features for the price of a good (or bad) opinion.

Ratings :

  • Speed (4/5) –   Transitions are fast, as is tweeting and updating
  • Features (4/5) –  The OTA is feature-packed and has a ton of great functionality
  • Theme (2/5) – You can’t change the look beyond choosing to have an animated background and the colors are shades of blue and white. While pleasing, it would be nice to have at least some customizability.
  • Overall (4/5) – For the price and the feature set, it’s a great app that every Android user should consider for their Twitter fix, as long as they have a phone with 2.1 or higher.

Pro:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Fast
  • Many cool features like posting photos directly from the app and the ability to use links in your feed (as opposed to opening the post to access the link)

Cons:

  • Runs only on Android 2.1 and higher, leaving out a lot of phones
  • Doesn’t take you to the last tweet you viewed just the most recent tweet
  • Can’t tweet directly from widgets

Conclusion: Overall, the Official Twitter app is a great piece of software that combines form, function and ease of use into a great little package that, hopefully, will grow with Android and stay current, or ahead, of the competition to stay relevant.