Remember the days when there was no decent Twitter app for Android users? Remember how Tweetbot on iOS was leaps and bounds above any app available on Google Play?
Well, I would not go as far as to say that there is any Android app that is quite as awesome as Tweetbot on iOS, but there are quite a few that come very very close.
So here are my top five Twitter apps on Android based on features, UI, and overall user experience.
- Echofon Pro: For a long time, Echofon was the best Twitter app on iOS as well, but then came some new players and took that crown. Echofon is still a pretty big name in the Twitter developer ecosystem and has apps on iOS, Android, and until recently, Mac.
Echofon on Android is one of the fastest and best performing apps on Google Play. All in all, the UI is nice but a little too simple for a power user. For example, one of the best features of the two apps that follow is the ability to replace the default Home timeline with a list. Echofon has minimal customization options. The Echofon Android widget is fast as well but like the app, lacks personalization.
- Tweetings: This app is by far, the most feature-packed of the bunch and the same is true for Tweetings on iOS, Chrome, and Mac. Yes, this independent developer is quite a hard worker. I am also a beta tester of the Android app so I know what to expect from future versions, and let me tell you, this app is super advanced.
You want a list as the default view? No problem. Want people to be represented by their real name or their screen name? Whatever works for you. Like to change your default photo/video sharing service or read later service? No problem. If a feature is supported by the Twitter API, Tweetings has it. And that, unlike most other Twitter apps on Android, includes real push notifications.
- Plume: This was my go-to Twitter app for Android back before the days of Echofon and Tweetings. Plume is fast, customizable, and not bad looking.The notifications on Plume are quite annoying as they are bunched together.
There are also some other things that bother me about Plume but all in all, the app is fast and works as advertised. If we are talking old school Twitter apps for Android, Twicca would have been the sixth on this list, if there was one.
- Falcon Pro: Between the app and the widget, Falcon was, until yesterday, the most impressive Twitter app on Android, judging by the UI alone. It is beautiful. I am talking close to Tweetbot beautiful.
All the standard features are supported, but much like Echofon, it is not too advanced in terms of the customization options. That, to me, is a deal breaker. Then yesterday Carbon went live….
- Carbon: This app takes the cake in terms of the most beautiful Twitter app on Android. Remember when the Pull to Refresh gesture was born and how everyone copied it? Well, Carbon just refreshed it with some beautiful 3D gestures. The app flies and includes notifications but only every 15 minutes, which is a bit of a deal breaker for me. I am still playing around with Carbon, but if you were to pick up an Android phone for the first time today, I would tell you to download this app.
Some of the features include:
- Tilt Timeline to Refresh.
- Tap+Hold on Tweets to make everything clickable right on the Timeline.
- QuickTimeline, home screen quick Timeline for Lists, Searches, Trends, etc.
- Timelines with full inline images and videos.
- Rich and HD style for User Profiles.
- Conversation View.
- Threaded Direct Messages.
- Background updates with quick actions for Jelly Bean, per account.
- Username Autocomplete.
- Filters for Hashtags, Users, and Keywords.
So if I had to choose the winner, it would be Carbon, but again, there is still room for improvement before it reaches the level of awesomeness found in Tweetbot for iOS. As for Android, it is clear that the platform is catching up not only on the quanitity of apps but also the quality of the Android apps as compared to iOS.
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