I remember when I first signed up for Twitter. I really was not that impressed and I only did it because my friends had. Well, a number of years have passed since that day and I am officially hooked. Of all the social networks, Twitter is the one that I use the most.
Twitter is great for instant, breaking information. I probably get 80 percent of my news from Twitter. Twitter is great for sport fans and of course Android gamers. Over the last few years, I have tried a number of different Twitter apps for Android and have found some work better than others. Depending on what you want to use Twitter for, it will influence which app you chose. This is not a complete list and there will be new ones coming down the road soon.
Alphascope Free (closed beta)
Alphascope is Socialscope’s initial Android twitter app. If you do not know, Socialscope is a Blackberry app that is being designed to handle multiple social networks. The app has never officially launched yet and one has to sign-up to get an invite. One of neat things of Socialscope is its user interface. It is clean and very easy to use. Alphascope follows in its footsteps by providing a very clean and intuitive interface.
With Alphascope you can have your Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram accounts all in one app. It does not appear you can have multiple Twitter accounts at this time. The app has one main view with all the networks integrated in one column, but does provide a pop-up menu on the bottom of the screen where you can choose which network feed you want to focus on. I did not see a way to monitor Twitter lists. The app also allows you to invite your friends to join Alphascope.
UberSocial also had its origins from a BlackBerry app that was once called UberTwitter. UberSocial (formerly Twidroyd) is a free app, so there are ads. You can purchase a subscription for $4.99 that will provide unlimited updates and no ads. The app has a large number of customization options such as app themes, photo and video services, URL shortening, and geo-tagging.
In UberSocial, you can have multiple Twitter accounts and a Facebook account. A nice slide-out menu will allow you to choose which columns (such as replies, favorites, direct messages) you want to appear in the app and their order. You can easily switch columns by swiping across the screen. If monitoring a Twitter list is important, you can assign it a column also. UberSocial also has specialized themes and curated content in UberChannels which you can install.
Plume for Twitter Free
Plume for Android is a free Twitter app that was formally known as Touiteur. In addition to the name change, Plume recently was updated for better Honeycomb and tablet interfaces. The free version is ad supported; the premium version is available for $4.99 and will remove all sponsored content.
Plume is only for Twitter and allows multiple accounts to be viewed. Plume also allows you to set the column(s) content and order. The standard settings such as URL shortening, picture hosting, font size, and app notifications are all adjustable. In Plume, you switch columns by swiping across the screen. The app has a number of different-sized widgets you can install on your home screen.
TweetCaster is a free, ad supported app just for Twitter. The app has been optimized for both phone and tablet users. You can upgrade to the pro version with no ads for $4.99. The app will allow you to post to Facebook, but they have a separate Facebook app called FriendCaster, too. TweetCaster allows for multiple Twitter accounts but they are kept separate from one another; there is no merged timeline. When the app opens, you choose which Twitter account you want to view. Switching between accounts is very easy.
To access different items (such as timeline, favorites, messages, etc.) TweetCaster displays a menu listing. Select the item and it will appear in the main viewing area to the right. You can change the font size, and background colors of different tweets. As with the other apps, you can modify notifications, external services, and number of messages to display. TweetCaster also allows you to compose a tweet and then schedule when it is published.
Seesmic is one of the more popular Android Twitter apps available today. This app allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts and Facebook. This is the free, ad-supported version of the Seesmic. You can purchase the pro version of the app, which has no ads and other features like merged timelines for $2.99. In the free version, you can only view one Twitter account at a time. To switch, you will need to hit the menu button and then hit the accounts listing.
The layout in the Seesmic is set, you cannot modify it. You have four columns (timeline, replies, messages, profile) and to switch between them you need to tap the column name. If you want to see a list, you will need to hit the menu button and then select the list option. You can schedule tweets via their separate Ping app. Finally, in addition to the mobile app, Seemsic has a desktop- and web-based Twitter client you can access.
Another very popular app for Twitter is HootSuite. With HootSuite, you can mange Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare accounts. The free version allows for up to five accounts and one member of your team to access the account. The key to HootSuite is that you link the mobile app to the web version. By doing this you can sync your settings between platforms.
In the HootSuite mobile app, each account is shown individually. If you do not sync with the web version, within each account, you can setup each column’s content. To change columns, you swipe across the screen. To change profiles, you will need to hit the back button to get to the Home or Streams screen and then pick the profile you want to view. Finally, HootSuite also allows you to compose a tweet or update and then schedule when it is published.
There are a good number of apps available to manage your Twitter account(s). And from what I have read, there will be more. The best Twitter app really depends on how you use Tweeter. Do you tweet a lot or just read for news? Do you have multiple accounts? Do you want to schedule tweets? Do you follow a lot of lists? Which Twitter apps have you tried or would recommend?