Summary:

First the good news: Twitter just got better on Android slates. Now the bad news: The new version is launching on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition tablet for now. Other devices will see the new software by end of year.

Galaxy Note 10.1
photo: Alex Colon

The leaked improved Twitter app for Android tablets that appeared last month is the real deal: Twitter announced the new software on its blog Thursday. The app is optimized for larger Android devices, which is great, but there’s a small catch: It’s launching on the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition tablet, which just became available today.

Twitter says that other Android tablets will see it by the end of the year, so most of us will still be waiting for another month or two before getting to use the newly optimized Twitter app. Here’s what Twitter says are the base improvements:

“The landscape view fills your screen with Tweets, conversations, Trends, accounts to follow and more. With a single tap, Tweets expand on the right side to show photos, videos and article previews. Dive deeper with another tap to see photos, play videos or read links from the web in fullscreen mode.”

So why go with a launch exclusive on the newest Galaxy Note tablet? Very likely because it highlights the capabilities of Samsung’s latest slate. We noted in our review that you could run two apps at one time on the Galaxy Note 10.1, but only with apps that Samsung allows. Of course, the new version of Twitter is one of those apps, allowing you to view tweets on one side of the screen while surfing the web, watching YouTube or checking email on the other side.

twitter 2 screens

The new Note 10.1 has inking capabilities and Twitter is taking advantage of them. Instead of just tweeting a picture, you can use the S-Pen to annotate or draw on the images before sharing them on Twitter. There’s a new widget as well, which Twitter says “lets you engage with Tweets, photos, and videos while also delivering country specific breaking news, music, sports and photos.”

Twitter was long overdue for Android tablet optimization, so the wait of another few months isn’t too bad. It’s just a shame that top-tier apps used on hundreds of millions of devices get improvements that only a select few can use at first.

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