Pre-ICS, finding a good Twitter client for your Android device was no easy feat, but since Google released the Holo UI guidelines a slew of new Twitter apps sporting this futuristic and modern UI have sprung up.
Tweet Lanes aims to lead this pack with its amazing looks, massive feature set and unparalleled ease of use – but does it succeed?
Tweet Lanes requires Android 4.0 or above.
To say Tweet Lanes has a vast array of features would be an understatement. I was (and still am) constantly amazed by the massive feature set offered by a free app with no banner ads.
The Tweet Lanes banner
One feature that I’ve used very heavily in Tweet Lanes is the ability to select multiple tweets. As I follow around 300 people, I almost always have new tweets to read through, and it’s great to be able to select these tweets in large quantities so I can mark them as favourites or apply some other action.
Selecting multiple tweets in Tweet Lanes
I’m also a huge fan of the ability to filter what appears on your timeline. As Twitter users will know, conversation plays a large part on Twitter, but sometimes all you want to see are original Tweets, not replies or retweets. Thankfully, Tweet Lanes has got you covered in this regard, allowing you to hide replies or retweets from appearing on your timeline – a feature that will definitely be appreciated for those of you with a large ‘Following’ count.
Filtering my timeline
As I said above, conversations play a large part on Twitter, but despite this it can be challenging to keep track of them. On Facebook, tracking a conversation is simple – and it can be just as simple using Tweet Lanes: just tap the arrow that appears near any tweets that support this type of view and the tweets are instantly generated below the one with arrow. This is very handy!
Viewing a conversation
Users of Tweetbot on their Mac, iPad or iPhone will instantly recognise the next feature: a bar at the top of your timeline that lets you know how many new Tweets you have to go through to reach the top of your timeline. This bar is present in all columns that receive Tweets, whether it’s the main timeline or your mentions.
The ‘New Tweets’ bar
One of the most innovative features in Tweet Lanes is, without a doubt, VolScroll. VolScroll basically allows you to scroll through your tweets using the volume button on your device, rather than the standard method of swiping the screen up or down. This option will be welcomed with open arms by people who find it a hindrance to work their phone with one hand, as now they don’t have to rely on hitting the right on-screen options.
When Google released their design guidelines earlier this year people were excited to see how app developers would take advantage of these awesome looking guidelines, and if Tweet Lanes is anything to go by – they had every right to be excited. Google christened this new type of interface “Holo” and since than many new apps have launched with it.
The Holo UI Design Principles
You’ll probably be spending most of your time within the app looking at the Timeline, which is basically a list of tweets from the people you follow. This part of the app follows the guidelines to a tee – and not only does this enhance the readability of the Tweets, it also makes it a lot nicer to look at.
The main Timeline view
Navigating the app has also been made much easier by Holo. Gone are the days of constantly hitting the back button your device, searching for your replies column and the like. Instead, all information that the average Twitter user needs is available in a few swipes left and right. As you can see from the above screenshot, the names of the columns are also visible towards the top of the screen. These names are also scrollable and you can than tap on them to open that specific column, saving you a lot of scrolling in some situations.
Although I’m a big fan of the light styled Holo UI that Tweet Lanes comes with, the developers have also included an option to change it to the dark option. This may suit some users better, either for reading at night, or simply to match the theme that there going for with their phones.
Changing the theme
One particular element of the UI that I really fell in love with is the profile view. Compared to other Twitter apps, Tweet Lane’s developers really took a fresh approach to what is normally a stale view. At the top of the column you have the person’s avatar taking up the majority of the space, and underneath it you have all the information that you’d expect to find on somebody’s Twitter profile.
Viewing my profile in Tweet Lanes
Overall the UI of Tweet Lanes is absolutely excellent, allowing the end-user to browse the app easily and with great fluidity. The developers have managed to find the perfect balance between having a great app interface whilst still retaining functionality.
As you have probably gathered from above, I’m absolutely delighted with Tweet Lanes. When you take into consideration that it hasn’t even reached version 1.0 yet and look at the speed of updates that add new features, you too will probably too be amazed!