One of the reasons Twitter has arrived is the rise of the smartphone. Twitter is perfect for the mobile platform, as it lends itself well to quick sessions on the go. There have been no shortage of third-party Twitter apps on all major smartphone platforms, and the recent upgrade of Twitter’s own app for the iPad (s aapl) made it clear mobile was a focus for the company. A new version of the official Twitter app for Android (s goog) was recently released, and I have been tweeting with it ever since.
Twitter for Android keeps the light-blue-and-white theme that has come to represent the social network in the public consciousness. It has an uncluttered display that keeps the focus on the tweets at hand. This version is noticeably faster than previous versions, and scrolling is smooth.
The main timeline display has some nice updates, primarily the ability to pull down on the timeline to force a refresh. This is like the iPhone version, and it’s an elegant, intuitive method to get fresh tweets. The home screen is the base for accessing all normal Twitter functions, and is always accessible by hitting the Back button.
Clicking on any tweet in a list view takes you to the new tweet details page. This is where standard interaction with a tweet happens: retweet, reply and clicking on links in tweets. The retweet function now offers the ability to edit a retweet before posting, in addition to the standard method that has become the norm.
A new gesture has been added that lets you bypass the detail view if you’re in a hurry. Swiping to the right on any tweet in the timeline shoots it off the screen and exposes a simplified list of commands for interaction with the tweet. These include retweet, reply, favorite and view profile. It’s a fast way to do the common functions.
This being Android, two widgets for the home screen are installed by Twitter. They are bare bones, and display only one tweet at a time in real-time. The larger of the two widgets adds the ability to enter a tweet without opening the app.
The new Android version of Twitter may just be an incremental change over the previous version, but it brings the app closer in parity to third-party alternatives. It’s lacking the cool preview version of Twitter for iPad and Twidroyd Pro for Android, but it’s a solid method to use to hit the Twitterverse.
You can find Twitter in the Android Market (it’s free), or just scan in the QR code below.