Why Does Every Twitter App for Android Suck?

Since I picked up the Galaxy Nexus I’ve spent more time on Android. The Nexus delivers one of the best Android experiences yet, but it reminds me of my biggest complaint with Android — the poor quality apps.

There’s no lack of apps on Android, but when you compare the quality of apps from iPhone to Android there is, more often than not, a noticeable difference in the visual appeal and usability. I could even live with ugly apps if the was easy to use, but those are also few and far between.

For the past few weeks I’ve tried to find a Twitter app for Android that doesn’t suck. Sadly, I’m still looking. Here’s what I’ve found and what I want.

Twitter Apps for Android I’ve Tried

Twitter app for Android

Twitter – The basic Twitter app does a decent job, but at the end of the day it is just too basic. I feel like I am using a dumbed down version of Twitter when I try to use this.

tweetcaster android twitter app

Tweetcaster – After seeing Chris Leckness using this app at CES I had high hopes, but Tweetcaster is too cartoony looking for my taste and it doesn’t help that tapping a tweet presents so many options you need to scroll.

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Plume Twitter app for Android

Plume – I use this app most often. While it is the best I have found, I still find that it isn’t easy enough, or intuitive enough, to see what someone was replying to. It’s also very annoying that when you want to share a photo, the link is at the front of your text box, making the text entry annoying enough that it is better to avoid using the share functionality from most apps.

Tweetdeck for Android

Tweetdeck – I like that you can swipe between multiple columns, including lists, but overall this app still has issues for me. One that I always run into is the time it takes to ge to the top of my timeline. Even with the ability to jump to the top, it scrolls through all the tweets and will occasionally time out because there are so many messages.

Of those I have used, Plume and Tweetdeck have been the best, but both of them are still short of perfect for my use.

My Perfect Twitter App for Android

I want a Twitter app for Android that doesn’t require extra clicks and overload me with information I don’t want. Tweetcaster is the worst, but it is not the only offender.

It’s especially frustrating since this should be common sense, and because Google provides guidance on design for Android.

People get overwhelmed when they see too much at once. Break tasks and information into small, digestible chunks. Hide options that aren’t essential at the moment, and teach people as they go.

What I want a Twitter App to Do

  • Make it easy to see the message someone replied to.
  • Support for easy access to multiple lists.
  • Sensible presentation of buttons and actions.
  • Fast access to blocking and spam reporting.
  • Easy way to jump to the top of the timeline.
  • Ability to view native retweets.
  • Use of gestures and swipes to access functions.

So far, the best Twitter app I have used is Tweetbot for the iPhone. I love that I can reach the conversation be swiping to the right, replies by swiping to the left and the sensible options presented then you tap on a tweet. I also like that I can set any list as my main timeline with two taps. This makes it easy to jump between topics and groups.

Tweetbot app

I use twitter a lot, so I am perfectly fine with paying for a great Twitter app for Android. I bought Tweetbot on the iPhone for $, and would gladly pay the same amount, even a $5 or more, for an awesome Android Twitter app.

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Help me out. Is there a perfect Twitter app for Android waiting out there? Let me know in the comments.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Twitter clients are very personal choices of course. I actually keep coming back to Seesmic on Android. For iOS, I use Echofon, mainly because it syncs tweets between the iOS and Mac clients; I never “re-read” tweets that way. ;)

  2. Ewa Lalik says

    Did you try Twicca? If not, don’t say every app sucks. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4YA54WOZgw4/TVr5_WMbAGI/AAAAAAAAAHE/WRL3QAhtvAc/s400/Etykiety%2Bi%2Bpodglad%2Bzdjec.PNG 

    Your welcome;)

      • Danmaran says

        I have to agree with Twicca as the mainstay app of choice, it does what i want with minimal fuss and notifications cn easily be configured. Best of all it just works, oh and 100% free with no ads :-)

      • Danmaran says

        I have to agree with Twicca as the mainstay app of choice, it does what i want with minimal fuss and notifications cn easily be configured. Best of all it just works, oh and 100% free with no ads :-)

  3. Anonymous says

    A webOS Twitter app, Carbon, is making its way over to Android because of Ice Cream Sandwich. I’m looking forward to using it on Android, as it was one of my favorite webOS Twitter apps. Great UI.

    • Mike says

      Yeah I’ve been following this one closely and can’t wait to try it I have high hopes as its the first twitter app I’ve seen for mobile that doesn’t seem like it has a really dated UI.

  4. K. T. Bradford says

    I have the same issues as Josh. Can’t find a completely satisfying Twitter app for Android to save my life. I’m also super unhappy that apps developed for iOS by the same companies are so much shittier on Android.

    The biggest culprit I’ve come across is HootSuite. I use their web interface every day and enjoy it. I can manage all of my Twitter and Facebook accounts easy, schedule posts, read just my lists, etc. But try doing that on Android and you get heartache.

    The app crashes a lot and is generally unstable. There’s no tablet version. It often fails to send messages for no good reason. and it’s just not as attractive or smooth as the iOS versions. As a paying customer of HootSuite I’m frankly insulted they think the Android app is okay.

    I agree with everything on Josh’s Want list and I’ll add one more: the app needs to handle notifications well and it needs to offer the user control over them. I can’t tell you how many times I get notifications 20 – 60 minutes after I’ve received an @ reply or a DM if the notification happens at all. And no, I do not want to know every time someone I’m following posts. Really now.

  5. Ivan says

    I think the TweetCaster is the best Twiiter application for Android currently. Maybe you just need to get use to it.

  6. Anonymous says

    I really like Twicca aside from it only supports single account unless you keep renewing paid license ($45/yr) as supporter. I agree with Josh that Tweetcaster is bit like cartoon, I like their features and can live with some of the annoyance but the themes are pretty awful and not much customization can be done. Plume is acceptable but list management is nonexistent, you can’t even delete saved searches. 

  7. Donnie says

    I couldn’t agree more, Josh. I love tweetbot and would love to see something like it on Android. The closest I’ve found is Plume (after customizing the UI like crazy) But like you, I want to have the list functionality that tweetbot has.

  8. Jxing75 says

    I also agree with u regarding what I want in a twitter app. If been trying them out & haven’t found one that I’m satisfied with. I have a Droid x, and I love the mobile twitter.com when I’m on the internet. But my app is completely different, doesn’t have the same features which I don’t understand. Any advice would be appreciated ツ

  9. Harry Fail says

    What’s wrong with cartoons???

    Some of you adult nerds take Twitter FAR too seriously ….

  10. Amie Brouillard says

    Twitter just has that problem sometimes.. not even the iPhone app is that good :/ I’ve been just using http://www.Formvote.com lately instead, even though they don’t have an app just yet :l I can’t wait though!

  11. Tarzan says

    I use Tweetcaster pro and i agree it is overwhelming and extremely poor layout. The themes are pathetic TBH. Apart from the layout, Tweetcaster has a lot of useful features, like a quick selection if you want to send your tweet/post to FB or Twitter or bothm which is handy. The best interface at the moment is Falcon Pro – the layout if setup correct, is clean and all video and image content if fully displayed in each tweet, without the need to press a link or a tiny thumbnail. Best Layout goes to the official twitter imo. However, it has nearly to no settings to play around with. Tweedle is kinda new, reminds me of Plume – ad free also as of now and very nice layout like the official twitter and swipe columns. The best Twitter APP yet has to go to NOKIA’s Gravity. Does everything one could ask. Be nice if Gravity make the app for android too.

  12. Ali Fuat says

    JAnetter is the best one I’ve ever found for Android. I was also a TweetBot addict on iOS and tried all the apps you’ve mentioned. Try Janetter.

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