Sunday, February 13, 2011

New and Improved Twitter for Android App

On Thursday, February 10, Twitter released a new, updated version of its Android app. The social media giant’s upgraded app not only features a new look but also allows non-Twitter users access to the service and a variety of other interesting changes.

Twitter usage for Android has really been skyrocketing lately. According to a blog post by Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner, more and more people are choosing to use Android-based smartphones, and because of this, Twitter usage on Android platforms has doubled in the past two months. Just six months ago Twitter’s Android app wasn’t even in the top ten Twitter apps, but now it’s in the top five apps. It’s sitting right next to twitter.com, m.twitter.com, Twitter for iPhone, and Twitter for BlackBerry.

Because the app was starting to receive some serious usage, there was definitely a need to redesign and revamp the app. Penner wrote that it now “looks and feels like our other official Twitter applications and provides a more consistent experience across platforms and devices.”

The biggest and most surprising feature with the new app is the fact that users can now use Twitter for Android even if they do not have a Twitter account.

“You can view trends, browse your interests and see suggested users in several categories, including fashion, entertainment and travel, or search to find out what people are saying about topics you care about, such as big sporting events," Penner wrote.

If you don’t have a Twitter account and want to get one, Twitter for Android gives you the opportunity to sign up for Twitter from within the app.

Another great thing about the new app is the “significant” redesign. According to Penner, “When you first sign in, you’ll see your timeline, along with icons along the top that let you view @mentions, messages, and lists. This layout makes it fast and simple to navigate Twitter on your Android device. Also, the @mentions tab now includes Retweets; seeing replies and Retweets in one place offers a quick way to better understand which Tweets are sparking interest and engagement. In addition, we introduced auto-complete for usernames.”

She went on to say, “We’ve also introduced universal search to this version of Twitter for Android. This means that when you search, you can find Tweets with the term you’re looking for, Tweets sent by people near your location, or people whose user names include that term.”

"Last but not least, at the bottom of the search section is one of my favorite new features: you can scan your address book to find which of your friends, who have chosen to be discoverable, are also on Twitter," Penner wrote. "New users will get a chance to do this when they first go through the sign-up process on the app."
Twitter didn’t release Twitter for Android until late last April, and the last time that they updated the app was in November.

The newest version of Twitter for Android is now available on smartphones with Android 2.1 or higher.

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