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Social upheaval on Android, with Facebook, Twitter and Zynga takeovers

by Kristen Nicole

Some of the biggest names in social media and social gaming have had dedicated Android releases in the past 24 hours, including two new apps from Facebook, an update from Twitter and a Zynga debut.

New & improved Android apps

Facebook’s major mobile platform announcment yesterday emphasized the social network’s desire to exist as a gateway across all mobile platforms, including rival Google’s (GOOG) Android OS. It’s been a sore spot for Facebook, as the bulk of its mobile efforts were previously directed at the iPhone, but Facebook has updated its Android app, and included sections for Groups and Places.

Social gaming is another area of huge potential for Facebook’s mobile strategy, and Zynga has teamed up with Facebook for its initial Android app offering. Zynga’s bringing their Texas Hold’em Poker game to the Android Market first (no Farmville yet—sorry), streamlined with Facebook’s single sign-in integration.

Social streamer Twitter has also updated its Android app, adding a tweet details page, accessed by clicking on a given tweet. This feature is already included in Twitter’s app for the iPhone, iPad and Windows Phone. In addition to the new details update, Twitter for Android has been given a speed boost as well, with changes being made to the tweet retrieval process for smoother timeline loading.

Smile for the tablet

To check out all these new apps and features, how about the latest Android device from Archos? The Archos 70, an inexpensive tablet priced under $300, has a 7-inch screen, runs Android 2.2 and has a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor. Of particular interest is the front-facing camera, a feature still absent from the iPad.