Last June, we made Twidroyd our App Directory pick as Android's best Twitter client. That app has changed its name (to UberSocial) and added some questionable features, while new contenders have entered the field. After reviewing what's out there, we think Twicca deserves the top spot, thanks to its beautiful UI that looks minimal but hides a wealth of features, color-coded filters and lists, and a built-in image viewer that's so useful you'll use it in other applications.
- View your feed, mentions, direct messages, retweets, favorites, lists and user profiles.
- Assign colours to individual users so you can see their tweets easily in your feed, or organise groups by color.
- Supports Twitter lists and favorites natively, also allows you to colour-code your lists.
- Search for tweets, users, hashtags and trending topics, and save those searches for future reference.
- Supports native retweets and "quote" retweets so you can comment before posting.
- Supports "quote and reply" so you can respond to a tweet or someone mentioned in the tweet with your own addition.
- Shows you users who retweeted a specific post.
- Allows you to view and edit your profile (including profile photo) from within the app, browse your followers and the users you follow, and follow/unfollow/managed blocked users from inside the app.
- Shows conversations so you can keep up with tweets between users you follow.
- Automatically saves hashtags you use for future use.
- Allows you to mute chatty users so their tweets won't appear in your feed.
- Allows you to view specific users from your home feed, including their profile and recent tweets.
- Supports sharing tweets, URLs, and images from inside the app, without forcing you to open a browser or image viewer to do so.
- Has a built-in image viewer that supports almost every image host and blogging service, including Flickr, yFrog, Twitpic, Posterous and more -- if images linked end in their file extension, the image viewer will open the image in a transparent viewer over your feed so you don't have leave the app to view images. If you want, you can still open images in a browser or another image viewer.
- Built-in URL shortening (and expansion), photo posting, and video posting from a number of different services.
- Direct sharing from other apps like the gallery, camera, and your browser.
- Geolocation support.
- Customisable notifications for tweets, mentions, and direct messages.
- Supports themes and customisable font sizes so you can tweak the UI to match your tastes.
- Supports plug-ins to extend built-in features.
- Home screen widgets so you can see your stream without opening the app.
The features above are just the tip of the iceberg. Twicca's greatest strength is the fact that it's so feature rich and powerful without being in-your-face with lots of buttons, options, icons and menus. Almost everything can be accessed by long-pressing on a tweet or user's icon. For proof of this, head into the settings menu to see the ridiculous amount of customisation and tweaking options available just under the surface. Even if you don't colour-code your tweets, Twicca makes it easy to organise your stream, see tweets from the people who are most important to you, and perhaps best of all doesn't clutter up the interface with tools so you can open it, read, refresh, post, see your mentions and direct messages, and move on.
If you need that power though, it's right there under the hood. Colour-coding or muting someone is simple, searching is easy, and Tetsuya Aoyama, the developer behind Twicca, went out of his way to make sure all of the icons are clear and easy to understand. You'll never need to wonder what a button does, and you won't need to rely on text labels to do something. Plus, the built-in image viewer inserts itself into Android's built-in list of image viewers, which means anytime you click on an image in any other app, you have the option to use Twicca's image viewe, which loads the image in a translucent frame over your app, so you don't have to leave the app and open a browser to see the image. It's a huge feature, one you'll never realise you depend on until you start using it. Twicca is probably the most intuitive Twitter client I've ever used, which is saying a lot considering how many features it packs. Plus, Twicca doesn't support the built-in Twitter ads and "sponsored tweets" that Twitter has been introducing in other clients, so you get an ad-free read.
Twicca is great, but it's not perfect. If you manage multiple Twitter accounts, you're out of luck right now -- Twicca doesn't support multiple accounts (although this is available in the closed beta, and the developer is working out the bugs before making it live) and attaching photos as you take them can be a little quirky sometimes, but overall there's little to complain about.
If Twicca doesn't suit your fancy, there are plenty of other options. The official Twitter for Android (Free) app has come a long way since we first took a look at it, and is probably more than enough for most people. It offers multi-account support, great shortcuts and easily accessible features, and while it supports all of the official Twitter features, it's lacking some of the more advanced features of independent apps.
Seesmic (Free) is another really great app for Android. It has a lot of the same features that Twicca has, like built-in URL shortening, sharing, profile viewing, lists, and so on, but it doesn't really go above and beyond like Twicca does with its image viewer or muting.
Plume (Free/$4.99 premium version) is another excellent option, and our own Whitson Gordon's daily driver. The interface is great and the app offers a stack of filtering and customisation options, and even has a similar color-coding system like Twicca does. Images are loaded in-line, and the app has support for services like Tweetlonger, even though expanding a Tweetlonger post means you may be scrolling for a while. Plume is great, but it felt a little limiting by comparison, never remembered where I stopped reading, posted notifications even after exiting the app, and the app's ads at the top of the timeline felt intrusive. Even so, it supports multiple accounts, has many of the same features, and looks sharp.
TweetDeck (Free) is still around, and while it's woefully in need of an update, it's clear the development attention since it was acquired by Twitter has gone to the official client. Still, it also supports multiple accounts and multiple social networks.
There are a few others out there, so if you think we left out a rather noteworthy client, let us know about it in the comments.
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