Android Ecosystem — This Week in Android


Welcome to our newest Monday feature — Android Ecosystem! My Nexus One (s goog) gained a new friend in the form of a Desktop Dock over the weekend and although I thought it couldn’t stream music over Bluetooth with the phone un-docked, it actually does. What threw me is shown right in my video review — taking the phone out of the dock ceases music streaming over Bluetooth. The exception I’ve found to that is if I manually pick the Bluetooth connection prior to docking the handset. In that case, you can place the phone in the dock or remove it and it will continue playing music through external speakers connected to the dock.

Why did that throw me? For the simple reason that you don’t have to manually connect the phone and the dock via Bluetooth — just placing the phone in the dock can enable the connection automatically. I thought it would keep that connection when removing from the dock, but that’s not the case. I guess it’s an auto-disconnect feature? I’d like to see this become more customizable, or if it is, make it more obvious to the user. I saw other video reviews this weekend indicating similar issues, so I’m thinking this feature could use a little adjustment. Or maybe I need the adjustment — the jury is still out on that. ;)

Another Android device review crossed my path this weekend — ARMDevices ran the Hivision PWS700CA through the paces. Since PWS700CA is a little less than descriptive, I’ll clue you in. It’s a Android-based netbook running on a 600 MHz ARM926 processor.

After watching the video, I’d say that Hivision has done a little better than I have in trying to get Android on a non-phone device. But this is still a work-in-progress from what I can see. It doesn’t appear to have access to the Android Marketplace so there’s an alternative app store, and YouTube isn’t working yet either. However, the device appears to be made for around $100 and it offers a glimmer of the Android experience in a netbook form factor. I’m still a little more partial to the forthcoming ChromeOS, but to each his or her own.

Finally, this week, I need to make major Android decision. Yes, I’m debating on which Twitter client to use. OK, so that’s not major, but if you want to spark passion in someone, just make a bad comment about what they use to Tweet. You’re sure to get an earful on why they use the client the use. I started with Twidroid but later moved to Seesmic. Now, I’m taking a look at Handmark’s Tweetcaster.

At first glance, it’s pretty solid and has all of the features I like to use: picture uploads, background notifications and more. It even supports multiple Twitter accounts, which is appealing to me and something not yet offered by Seesmic. But the deciding factor for the moment is evident in these two screen shots: I can see more information on the screen with Seesmic. As pretty as Tweetcaster is, I get less information at a glance. You can tweak the theme and font, but the only font options are see are bigger ones, not smaller ones. And the theme change is only the “light” theme shown and a contrasting “dark” theme, from what I can see. I haven’t made this “major” decision just yet, so if you can convince me one way or the other, I’m all ears.



TweetCaster is the best among those you mentioned, but the most usable and powerful for Android is one not much advertised neither famous: Twicca.

It provides an impressive (I repeat, IMPRESSIVE) set of features none of the others offer. Way ahead of all the competitors. I highly recommend it, and it’s free!

Kevin C. Tofel

Thanks for the suggestion, Luca. Twicca keeps coming up in various conversations, so I’ll have to give it a look. I’ll offer some impressions in next week’s Android Ecosystem column.


I’ve been using the beta twitter client, twicca for the past few days.. you get a lot of info and it’s pretty fast


Tried a few, including Twidroid and came back to Seesmic. Clean, lost of space as you mentioned, and most professional looking client. And I’m coming from an iphone too.

Now, if they could just get a decent Facebook app on Android. Current app seriously blows.

Sean Brady

This Twitter app reminds my of the Handcent SMS app. Takes up a lot of space looking pretty, but does not really give much in return. I am going to stick with Seesmic for now as well.

Jeremiah Owen

I’m using Seesmic, coming from an iPhone and Tweetie I feel it’s the most polished Twitter app for Android. Yes, there are a few shortcomings (lack of multiple accounts etc.) but they’ll resolve them soon enough.

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