By Harry McCracken | Friday, April 30, 2010 at 11:43 pm
A couple of weeks ago, when Twitter announced that it would soon release an official Twitter app for Android phones, I fantasized that the company was going to port Loren Brichter’s miraculous Tweetie Twitter for IPhone to Android. It didn’t. But it’s done something pretty pleasing on its own terms: It’s released a really nice original (and fre) Twitter app for Android. For now, it’s replacing the very-respectable-but-not-spectacular Seesmic as my Android Twitter client of choice.
The best thing about Twitter for Android is the user interface. It’s arguably a little on the twee side: the Twitter bird is everywhere, there are animated clouds, and trending topics joggle up and down. But overall, it looks really attractive, it’s nicely intuitive, and everything’s legible–virtues which are never a given on the Android platform. (Twidroid Pro and TweetCaster are powerful Twitter clients for Android, but they make my eyeballs hurt.)
Twitter for Android’s most interesting feature is its contact syncing: You can meld your Twitterfriends with your Android contact list, merging photos and other information and putting links to tweets in Android’s contact list. (The program lets you choose between bringing all the people you’re following on Twitter into the Android contact list, or just syncing the people who are already there.) The client also supports geolocation and lists, has a widget, and is generally pretty full-featured with one notable exception: It doesn’t support multiple accounts.
I’m still getting my head around Twitter releasing its own client apps rather than leaving that challenge and opportunity to other folks. But this is a good one. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that existing third-party Android developers will respond not by giving up but by trying to beat Twitter at its own game.
A few screens after the jump.