Twitter has quickly risen from a new Social Networking tool to becoming an integral part of every day life for people on the go. This is largely due to the vast majority of users Tweeting on the go from various web based clients and applications from their mobile devices. Finding a Twitter client that is suited to your wants and needs can be hard, especially without guidance. So to help you navigate the vast jungle of clients available on the Android Marketplace, I have compiled a shortlist of the ones that are worth checking out. All of these clients are free, and the review is based upon usage on a HTC Nexus One. So without further delay, let’s get Tweeting!
Twidroid is the most popular Twitter app on the Android Marketplace and has a loyal following. The free version certainly has a lot of features, but the paid version will unlock additional features such as the ability to link multiple accounts and to upload video.
What Twidroid Does Right:
- Easy to navigate User Interface. There is never screen clutter with the toolbar down the bottom to navigate to Home Feed, DM, Mentions and search.
- Tapping on a tweet brings up a clean overlay that features the mentioned links, profiles and hashtags. Then there are easy buttons to Re-Tweet, reply and view a tweeters profile.
- Configure Twidroid to do what you want it to. Set the frequency of notifications, font size, the number of tweets in your feed. Set it up how you want it.
What Twidroid Needs To Improve:
- When viewing user profiles you can’t select tweets. This makes it hard when viewing a new followers profile, or tweets that are missed out in your feed due to the maximum size of your timeline.
- Slow and unreliable. I found that Twidroid had performance issues and often crashed. Updates fix this on certain devices but it still is rather sluggish compared to some of the other clients out there.
Swift is quickly picking up a fan base among Android users. While the interface may take some time to get used to, the functionality in this application makes it worth a look.
What Swift Does Right:
- Performance is where it’s at when it comes to a mobile Twitter clients, and Swift has that in spades. Loads quickly and updates feed fast and furiously.
- Unlike other Twitter clients that limit the number of tweets appearing in your feed, Swift keeps a constant feed, allowing you to back track and respond to everything in your backlog. Don’t worry, there is a convenient “Jump To Now” button so you don’t have to scroll all the way back to the top.
- Ever tried to send a Tweet and lose network connection, and have your awesome joke just vanish? Well Swift will automatically resend failed tweets until they get onto the internet! A very handy feature!
- When selecting a tweet with a shortened link Swift will show you the full URL so you can decide if it’s worth loading up on your mobile browser.
What Swift Needs To Improve:
- You can’t view your own profile unless you search for yourself or select a tweet mentioning you, and sometimes you just really need to check your profile out.
- While the user interface is clean and free of clutter, it just isn’t as intuitive as other solutions on the Android platform.
- Sometimes you won’t receive confirmation that your tweet has been successful, so when in doubt check your feed to avoid double posting.
Hootsuite is a robust Twitter application that has been available on the iPhone for a while now, but is relatively new to the Android platform. Offered in a free version that limits the user to three accounts or a full fledged version which offers limitless accounts plus stat tracking.
What Hootsuite Does Right:
- Gorgeous and functional user interface. The screen is never cluttered and each feed is hosted on a separate screen which can be viewed simply by flicking across the screen like the home screen function of the Android Home Screen.
- Fast, speedy and reliable service. Hootsuite is one of the fastest Twitter clients around and I have yet to have it crash on me.
- Background notifications. Even when the application is closed Hootsuite will notify you when you have been mentioned on Twitter. More often than not it notified me before my desktop PC client would.
- When you have a lot of mentions from one person if you click on that tweet it will backtrack the whole conversation for you in one screen. Certainly comes in handy!
What Hootsuite Needs To Improve:
- Getting used to so many screens can be intimidating to some users.
Xeeku is one of the most feature laden Twitter clients I have ever used, some of which seem strange to say the least. If you can get past a user interface that looks like a Witch threw up on your screen, Xeeku could become a deadly tool in your mobile arsenal.
What Xeeku Did Right:
- A comprehensive selection when viewing tweets. You can reply, retweet, go to the user profile, mentioned profile, open up a link or search Hashtags. The best option of all is the Gmail Share option which allows you to share the tweet with your friends and family who aren’t on Twitter via your Gmail account.
- Much like Hootsuite, Xeeku will put all the @replies you have received from one user onto one screen so you can refer to your conversation.
- Opening a user profile will bring up their “Friends Draw” which will show photos of the users they are following, much like the Twitter web page.
- There is a Gallery option which opens up a random selection of featured user photos from the Xeeku website.
What Xeeku Needs To Improve:
- Nasty user interface. A horrible selection of colours and gradients that makes it look like a Witch threw up on your screen. Messy and confusing row of buttons at the bottom of the screen also add to the horrible user interface.
- If you want a customise your Twitter experience then stay away from Xeeku. It has no settings menu what-so-ever, as soon as you put in your account details, what you see is what you get.
- Unreliable and inconsistent comes to mind when thinking about Xeeku. The app often crashes and is quite slow when compared to other clients out there.
The Final Verdict?
At the end of the day each of us are different and we all look for different qualities in a mobile Twitter experience. Some features will appeal more to others, but if you want a good base to start I highly recommend checking out Hootsuite. It’s gorgeous interface and reliability makes it my Twitter client of choice on the Android platform.