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Boid for Twitter is a mixed bag so far

by Phil Owen

I am an avid Twitter user, and so I'm always on the lookout for a great new Twitter app. Boid for Twitter, which is in beta for Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean devices, looks like that next great Twitter app at first glance, but when we dig down deep, we discover we aren't so happy with it.

Structurally, Boid is a lot like Tweetdeck, in that it is made up of columns for your timeline, @replies, DMs, etc., and you swipe between them. Functionally, though, it's very different from Tweetdeck. The big departure, I found, was that there is no way to make Boid periodically load new tweets on its own, at least not right now, and it does not currently offer notifications. When you leave the app alone, it either sits there and doesn't do anything until you hit the refresh button, or it resets everything, and when you come back to it, it puts you at the most recent end of your timeline, like in the official Twitter app for Windows Phone.

A point in Boid's favor, though, is its customizability. If you don't like the way the app looks when you start it up (and you most definitely will not, because the default theme is horrid), just choose a new theme. Wanna see real names instead of Twitter names? You get to choose in Boid. If you hate when people on your timeline talk about Justin Bieber, you can create a filter for that. Also, you can make it so that you can preview tweeted images right in your timeline.

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I encountered a problem with Boid, though, that I'm not sure isn't an anomaly, but I have to share it anyway, because it was rather extreme. See, after about a day of using Boid, I found that my battery in my Galaxy Nexus was draining rather quickly and that it was very hot to the touch. So I plugged it in to the wall and let it sit for a while, but when I checked on it later, I found that the battery was still draining, even plugged in! Restarting the phone solved this issue, but it was still rather alarming. I have not been able to replicate this issue, and it is possible that Boid was not responsible. Still, you should watch out just in case.

Boid might someday be a great Twitter app, but in its beta form it is merely pretty good. And it's going to be a few more updates before I gather up the courage to try it out again.