Twitter now provides more data than the Large Hadron Collider, and the results are examined by more people. It’s also just as hard to extract worthwhile data from the endless mass of random brainless little things bashing off each other. There are so many bots infesting the server you’d swear it had been invented to distract Terminators. Even your real friends will drown you in data, and if you’re using Twitter to stay informed about business or technology, God help your feed when big news breaks. Because you’ll hear it four thousand times.
That’s why we’ve searched out the best Android Twitter apps to do the grunt work for you. Streamlining the interface, searching for relevance in a sea of pretty much everything, and making it easier than ever to mine the endless information everyone in the world seems desperate to share. You’ll find similar lists from PCWorld, ZDNet, and Mashable, but here are our seven top twittering tools.
Plume for Twitter
Plume for Twitter by LevelUp Studio is a great-looking app, but it can be a little confusing to navigate at first. Panes slide in and out of view, and you can easily click a link by accident, when you meant to reply to a tweet. Still, once you master the unusual layout, getting around the app is a snap. Like TweetDeck (reviewed below), Plume separates your Twitter account into various columns: Newsfeed, @Replies, and Direct Messages. Plume allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts, but unfortunately it doesn’t support other social networks. Free and paid versions.
TweetDeck is an official Twitter app, and it’s hard to beat that level of understanding of the service. Being free helps too. The strongest feature is sliding screens to move between your standard display, @ mentions, and your inbox. Your browser’s standard interface leaves you stuck between feeling obsessive as you constantly check for mentions, or missing an exciting @ because you forgot to click the activity tab. Simply sliding between the columns (in any customizable order) feels like what the touchscreen was invented for. It’ll also hook into your facebook and Foursquare to keep you in the loop. Free.
HootSuite is one of the most popular Twitter clients, largely because of its incredible browser-based app that lets you manage multiple social media accounts. Notice we said “multiple.” That means we’re not talking just Twitter– it can be used for Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Ping.fm, WordPress, MySpace, and mixi. HootSuite for Android replicates that same great browser-based experience right in the palm of your hand. Free.
TweetCaster comes from OneLouder apps, and it’s clearly been made by people with more tweets than an Alfred Hitchcock movie about pecking people to death. They’ve fixed all the problems with the standard service, fashioning high-volume for twitter tools for those of us who can’t go to the bathroom without a smartphone. Twitter lists allow you to sort different groups into different timelines, allowing you to catch up with your real friends without being bogged down in all the other fun accounts you follow. Search Party lets you target searches for certain people and mentions, instead of returning everything that everyone in the world ever said on the subject. Free and paid versions.
UberSocial is an upgrade to one of the most popular Twitter apps, Twidroyd. You can sort of see the Android connection there. UberMedia‘s eponymous app offers unique features like Live Preview, so you really know what you’re going to look like (and don’t have to commit the Twitter faux-pas of deleting a tweet after it starts to spread). UberChannels offer a filtered content stream on any subject, meaning you can stay up to date on the day’s issues without having to follow twenty new people just for their coverage. Free.
nanoTweeter from the simplicity-oriented JJCgames isn’t so much an app as an upgrade to your Android notification system. nanoTweeter allows your phone to scan Twitter for important updates, and then notify you as if was an email or missed call. This means you don’t need to start the app to find out what’s going on, though the increased bandwidth usage means you’ll only want to enable it in free Wi-Fi zones. Free.
Twicca is all about simplicity and speed. Developer Tetsuya Aoyama knows that you don’t even want to see his name (we only included it for completeness), because the app’s job is to get out of the way and get you to as many tweets as possible, as fast as possible. Slim and sharp is the name of the game, and that’s exactly what the app delivers. An array of plug-ins allow you to customize the experience, and respect how he started from the bare minimum required to get the service working. He didn’t clog the feed with unwanted features, but makes them available for when they’re needed. Free.
TweetComb from Locomo Labs brings Twitter into the next generation of Android devices, tidying it up for Android tablets. All the open source in the world doesn’t make up for how most alternative tablet owners have to stretch silly little cellphone apps to fit their glorious large screen. Luckily open source also provides the answer, an app with a beautiful HoneyComb-themed presentation allowing you to breeze through pages of tweets at a time. Free.
Image credit: AODdesign.com