There is such a mind-boggling range of Android Twitter apps out there that it is extremely difficult to decide between them, even if you download every single one and try them out. Each Twitter client offers a range of different features and interfaces, and choosing just one is hard.
Picking the best Twitter client for you is going to depend on what you want to use it for. If you are a passive Twitter user and simply want to read other people’s tweets, then you’ll want a nice, simple to use client with no fancy features – however if you, like me, are an active Twitter user, then you’ll certainly want a client with a few nice features stashed away under the bonnet.
To save you trawling through the Market for hours on end, here’s a roundup of seven of the best Twitter clients for Android devices, with a bit of information about each one. Let’s explore!
1. Twitter for Android (official)
The default Twitter offering for Android devices is where most people will start and allows you to do everything you’d expect to do from a Twitter client, including tweet, retweet and shorten links.
The interface is simple and clean and your mentions, direct messages and lists are easily accessible using icons from the top. It’s a good client to start on but advanced Twitter users may find it a little lacking in features for their tastes.
Advantages: Simple to use and a clean, uncluttered interface. Disadvantages: A little light on the feature side; other clients are far more feature-packed.
Plume is currently my favourite Twitter client (for a more in-depth look at it, see my review) and is a lot more feature-packed than other clients. Along with the standard Twitter weaponry, you can tailor the application to suit your exact requirements.
For advanced users, Plume allows you to customise your retweet style and add your bit.ly details for URL shortening. You can also easily add hashtags and mentions using the dedicated icons in the tweet box. Plume is a decent Twitter client with plenty of features, but you’ll need a pretty fast phone for the application to run smoothly.
Advantages: Packed full of features and highly customisable. Disadvantages: Old phones struggle to run Plume smoothly. Can be a bit buggy at times.
Price: Free (ad-supported version), otherwise €1.99 (about $2.70)
Market Link: Plume for Twitter
Full Review: Plume
TweetDeck was already well-established on desktops (as well as independent) when they brought out an Android version, which can not only integrate with your Twitter account but also your Facebook, Google Buzz and Foursquare accounts as well. To my relief, the column view has been ported over to the Android version: swiping left and right across the screen allows you to switch between your tweets, mentions, direct messages and so on.
The Android version is quite basic, which makes it good for a beginner user and lets you do pretty much anything a new tweeter would want to do, like tweet, retweet and shorten posted links. The interface, on the other hand, does spoil this client (and you can’t change it!), but for beginner users this shouldn’t be of too much concern.
Advantages: Simple to use. Swiping through the columns is quite neat. Disadvantages: Horrible, blocky interface that looks like it was knocked together in two minutes.
HootSuite is a popular web-based Twitter client and there’s now a version for Android platforms, although it’s certainly not as feature-rich as the web version. Having said that it still features an easy-to-use interface and some nice features that will appeal to both novice and advanced Twitter users.
There are some nice little features built in to HootSuite that make it an Android Twitter client worth considering, such as the ability to search for tweets near you (if they are geo-tagged) and the ability to schedule tweets (as in the web version).
Advantages: Loads of features for a free Twitter app. Disadvantages: The sheer range of features may overwhelm some Twitter beginners.
ÜberSocial for Android (which we previously knew as Twidroyd) was already a well-established Twitter client on Blackberry before it migrated over to the (better) platform
Apart from the standard Twitter toolkit, you can also view channels (such as Mashable and USA Today) direct from the app, saving you the need to download additional applications and thereby saving space on your phone.
Advantages: Lots of features built-in. The built-in channels are a nice feature. Disadvantages: Clunky, difficult to use interface.
TweetCaster calls itself the #1 Android Twitter application on the Market, and it certainly boasts plenty of features to add weight to its claim. One of the most useful features of TweetCaster (and one that isn’t present in any other Android Twitter client) is the ability to temporarily hide tweets from certain users from your timeline – without having to unfollow them – using the ZipIt feature.
TweetCaster also allows you to customise your timeline by adding people or topics to what they call “SmartLists”. The app is available as a free, ad-supported version and as a Pro version, which at €3.62 (nearly $5) is a pricey offering for a Twitter client.
Advantages: Some unique features which can’t be found in other Twitter clients. Disadvantages: I find the interface quite cluttered. The Pro version is a little too expensive for a Twitter client.
Price: Free (ad-supported), otherwise €3.62 for the Pro version (around $4.99)
Market Link: TweetCaster
A couple of months back, I looked at Seesmic in some detail and I really liked it! The app really has everything you’ll need from a Twitter client and doubles up as a Facebook or Google Buzz client as well.
Seesmic’s interface is simple enough for beginner users, yet has plenty of in-built features to satisfy the keenest of Twitter users as well. The app is also completely free, which is just the icing on the cake.
Advantages: Lots of in-built features and the interface is drop-dead gorgeous. Disadvantages: None I can think of!