June 10, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
UPDATE: THIS IS AN OUTDATED POST. PLEASE READ THE LATEST ROUND-UP AVAILABLE HERE:
What’s the best Android Twitter app?
Twitter has gone from tech playground to a place frequented by Oprah, soccer moms, and openly un-tech-savvy politicians like John McCain (or his aides). Those who have survived the great microblogging hype may ask: what’s the best Android app for Twitter?
Our first Twitter Roundup suggested that Twidroid was the best option. After an influx of new apps and improvements to older ones, that may not be the case any longer. Or is it? Here’s a breakdown of several Android Twitter apps and what type of person is suited to use each.
The “Lite” weights
By design, these apps are the definition of a no-frills Twitter experience for Android. They focus on using less space and functions in order to perform faster than other apps.
Andtweet / twt
In the case of Andtweet and twt (beta), lite means no avatars, no distinctive links, and a focus on text. Some people may find it difficult to easily distinguish between tweets because of that, but staying light makes these apps run faster.
Designed for: Users who care more about speed and less about features or aesthetics.
Twitta is a lightweight app with a streak of heavy. It performs faster than the feature-rich Android Twitter apps, but it retains some big functions like Search and seeing one user’s tweets. Standard features like direct message, @reply, and notifications are also added to a Twitter.com-style interface.
Designed for: Android users who want a simple Twitter without going to Twitter.com.
nanoTweeter is a lite version of lite; so brisk that it doesn’t even let users post tweets within the app. However, it’s a great option if you just want to read Twitter and not have an app full of features. The app adds tweets directly into the Android notification bar (pressing launches Twitter in the Android Browser), making it easier to see what others are chirping about.
Designed for: Android users who just want to read tweets.
Twidgit Lite puts Twitter right on your homescreen. Unlike the other apps, this is a widget that shows the latest tweet from your follow stream. The widget also includes a shortcut to post a tweet or read more tweets posted by others. Like all widgets, Twidgit Lite affects battery life, but its easy-to-use and easier-to-please nature makes this worth having.
Designed for: Android users who want tweets at a glance
Twitter on Android loses features in lightweight clients. The following apps capture the Twitter experience nearly in full; some even add on to it.
The preview version CuTewit debuted on this list as a “Lite” app but it has since evolved into a heavy-hitter with the introduction of several features and a home screen widget. The app has scarified some of that original speed but remains strong enough to offer themes, search, URL shortening, cache on SD card, and the standard Twitter functions.
Designed for: Android users who like change.
Loquacious‘s hook is its filter feature. Users can choose not to fetch tweets from certain friends on the phone, handy for avoiding people who Tweet too much during certain times of day but are generally worth following. It costs $2.99 but a demo version is available.
Designed for: Android users who want control of their tweets.
iTweet has a $2.99 price tag and an organized display designed for easy reading. The bold text is unfortunate overkill, but the overall look is great. Users can take advantage of some strong features, including: manage multiple Twitter accounts, quickly refresh, direct message, reply, mark items as favorites, and profile view are among them.
Designed for: Android users who want lots of features and a cool interface.
Twidroid is another can-do Android Twitter app, but it’s free. Tweet, upload photo, search, see popular topics, retweet, shorten links, follow, unfollow — almost any feature you want to do is all there. Refreshing is an issue because Twidroid is noticeably not as quick as others. It also supports Laconia/Identi.ca users.
Designed for: Android users who want lots of features or use Laconia/Identi.ca.
Twit2Go has a less graphic-intense design, but it performs many of the same functions as the other big boy Android Twitter apps. It also provides an online support forum and website. Long press a tweet and you’ll see many of the options available on the web.
Designed for: Android users who want the basic major features of Twitter.
Twitli is in the same boat since it boast the same features as the other big boys. Twitli stands out because it can also work with Laconia, a microblogging service used by Canadians, and translate tweets into a number of languages.
Designed for: Android users who have an international experience on Twitter.
TwitterRide offers the standard major functions of Twitter. The only thing that really separates it from the others is that it’s a slightly bit quicker at refreshing. If speed and stability are at a premium and you like super bright colors, it’s worth a look. It is one of the most popular and strongest competitors to Twidroid.
Designed for: Android users who want the most important features and aren’t satisfied with Twidroid.
Click image for full-screen version (Guide as of August 14, 2009)