Twitter

Twitter apps are funny things. Few Android applications invoke such passion -- furor, at times -- from users. And this coming at a time when Twitter itself is trying to de-emphasize applications for the mobile web. Third-party developers have a few more weeks before stricter API rules go into effect, limiting future growth. And even Twitter's own official app doesn't have all the bells and whistles that have been packed into any number of Twitter clients.

Everyone has a favorite Twitter app. Or two. Maybe even three. Like we said, Twitter apps are funny things. Even deprecated apps retain strong followings.

After the break, we put some 17 Twitter applications side by side in the timeline view. Most have the same basic functionality, and it's interesting to see how one app might have influenced another. We've throw in one outlier as well -- more on that app later.

So have a look, and see how your favorite Twitter application stands up against some other greats.

Update: If you're interested in seeing how some of the more popular iOS Twitter apps stand up, iMore took a look.

Boid

Boid

Carbon

Carbon for Android

Echofon

Echofon

Falcon Pro

Falcon Pro

Hootsuite

Hootsuite

Plume

Plume

Scope

Scope

Seesmic

Seesmic

Slices

Slices

Tweet Lanes

Tweet Lanes

Tweetcaster

Tweetcaster

Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck

Tweetings

Tweetings

Twicca

Twicca

Twitadex

Twit-A-Dex

Twitter

Twitter

Ubersocial

Ubersocial

Interesting, isn't it? 

If we missed anything big, yell at us in the comments.

Update: Rene Ritchie from iMore has put up his version of this post with 15+3 iPhone Twitter app timelines. Makes for an interesting comparison, so head on over and check it out.

 

Reader comments

The best Twitter apps: Comparing timeline views

115 Comments

/makes note of the Twitter employee plumping for his company's feature-free junk app that is why Twitter is trying to run all competing apps out of the market with token limits.

Dark theme? Nope. Ability to control Notifications or Refresh times or anything? Nope. Every other Twitter client I've tried does something better than the official one, which is why Twitter is strangling competition. They're like Apple suing Samsung because Samsung is kicking their butts in the free market.

There ia an official black twitter app follow @B_boytm look in tl amd you'll find the apk.. Its totally blacked out with blue highlights and not that holo blue crap

Twitter would provide unlimited tokens if the developers gave a portion of the money they earn from the apps to twitter, like the mob. Twitter is just pissed they didn't think of this and hate that people are making money off of them with app skins using their work, info, and tech. I always used reg twitter, but am trying out carbon to see what all the hub-bub is about.

I think you covered them all Phil.Ill stick with the Twitter App.I dont do enough Twitting to justify any thing else.But if I ever do,I think Ill get Carbon.

but why would you need to justify? many of them, like carbon, are free. Just get it. The official one sucks a lot, as usual.

I tried most of the popular ones, none of them come close to Falcon pro for a polished feel and minimal number of swipes/taps to get want you want.
Everything I want and need to get to is a minimum of two inputs (a swipe or a tap)
usually two, sometimes three.
Swipe right > tap
Swipe left > tap
Swipe right > Swipe down > tap

lists, search, retweets, setting, whatever. Minimal input and powerful performance.

that's it - three inputs max, so fast and accessible. its like watching an olympic gymnast do everything so gracefully, all the others are like watching a overweight cough potato try a somersault.

I agree! The only thing missing in Falcon Pro is support for multiple twitter accounts. I recently installed every Twitter to find one that supported multiple accounts but there was no other app that matched the simplicity of Falcon Pro. After getting used to Falcon Pro's one click access to open a tweet including the linked content (image, website, whatever) it's hard to go back...

So Falcon, if you're listening: PLEASE ADD MULTI ACCOUNT SUPPORT - and you'll be pretty much perfect!

With Scope, I find it's far too easy to switch columns or refresh feeds. They also over-complicate the very basics of the twitter user-experience and for no good reason. If there was another app that could collate all the images from my timelines twice a day and could share as gracefully as Scope does to WhatsApp, I'd give it up. It's a real shame that development of Scope seems to have stalled.

I keep trying others, but always come back to the official Twitter app. I like knowing when I get retweets / followers / stars / etc, and the official app's Connect tab functionality isn't even close to matched with any of the third party apps.

Tweetings does all of that & better in a more user customized format & theme! With Push notifications too!! and Instagram previews still work as well, if thats what you're into..

Plume just wins it for me. Not sure if it's the only one, but the option to color other tweets makes it that more neat in my opinion. Been using it for almost a year now. Might give Twit-A-Dex, Carbon and/or Boid a try. Wonder which one Phil's been using :o

I, too, would like to know what Phil uses today and why. Also, what has he tried and his thoughts on it. Sounds like a new post or conversation, eh?

i don't think the other clients have enough to honestly make me wanna switch from the officia client. i do like the holo theme of tweetlanes though

Unlike before, the official Twitter client has become robust now, I don't see why anybody would resort to third party apps but for only the looks or for the capability to change the trends.

None of them. Twitter doesn't allow third-party apps to have push notifications. At least as far as I can tell because every 3rd-party client I've tried uses poll notifications.

Tweetings has only Google Cloud push, and only for some things, not realtime tweets from people you follow.
You only realtime on wifi.

Actually you are incorrect. Tweeting a has a push server. It notifies you for new followers, retweets, mentions, DMs, new follows, etc. they've had it for a few years on they're iOS app. It is Push notifications in every sense of the word.

I tried plume, tweetcaster, carbón ... In notifications the only thing I get is Twitter immediately others come with difference of 10 min or more

Official twitter client still the smoothest of all them and the best on the battery

Tweedle great too and free but drain the battery like hell even with notification off

I see no article. I've looked for 20 minutes to find this timeline and to read this article.....wtf? Where is it?

As far as Timelines go, I loved Tweetlanes the 2 weeks it was under active development. Then I switched to Tweetings, but now I'm liking Carbon. Minimalist timelines with more real estate for the tweets.

I have yet to find a Twitter client that works for me. Does anyone have a suggestion of a client that might work for me.

I get my tweets once a day, so I need to have a client that will load about 200-250 tweets at a time. Also would like to have a client that has a built in picture viewer, so that I don't have to use a browser just to view a picture.

I have been using Ubersocial, but it will only load 100 tweets at a time. I have installed and un-installed so many clients and of course there are many that just don't show up in a search unless you know their name.

I really like Falcon Pro, but it doesn't refresh my mentions or DMs very well for me. It might be to the fact that I'm following 4-5,000 people and all the tweets take forever to load. The regular Twitter app works fine.

Still Plume for me. I get instant notice in my top bar for tweets, mentions and DMs, it's clean, fast, updates immediately (no five minute lag) and I've never had a problem with it.

Still trying to figure out the whole Push notification thing, but I'm guessing it's a text message. I was reading about a new app, Tweetification, that does push notification for almost all twitter apps and that's how they explained it.

Why do I need that though when the instant notice comes in my top bar and also on Plume's awesome widget?

Push has nothing to do with text messages. It is instant notifications of your mentions, DM, Retweets, Favorites. No polling necessary. Plume does not have this.

Actually, if you'd read my first comment, yes, Plume does all of that. And it doesn't matter if I have the widget on a screen or choose not to use it. The minute I get a tweet, there is a tweet, I'm mentioned, replied to, DM'd or anything else, I get an audible notification as well as an icon in my notification bar at the top of my phone. So if you think Plume does not do this, then you haven't set it up correctly.

I dropped tweetcaster pro for carbon, and I have no regrets so far. I've never seeen or heard about twit a dex, so I'm going to give it a try. It looks different if nothing else.

I am (as of this minute) using HootSuite for notifications because it now has push notifications and Carbon to read tweets.

I am (as of this minute) using HootSuite for notifications because it now has push notifications and Carbon to read tweets.

Falcon Pro streams via wifi only.
Carbon will be good once it develops more.
The stock app is too hard to find DMs in.
My favorite is still TweetDeck but I use Falcon because of some of its features

Twicca and Ubersocial are my favorites, but lack seeing replies. So I just stick with official app..

Do any of these clients have a live preview feature like twidroyd and ubersocial? I like being able to load a link from within the app instead of it forcing you to go to the browser.

Everyone should check out Slices. Even though it hasn't entirely matured enough, it's impressive how much more it can do than most other Twitter apps. I use Falcon Pro mainly, but Slices could easily replace it with a few updates.

I use a TweetDeck themed version called TweetDark. I love it as it is my Tyrannosaurus Rex and I have no real issues with it except Twitter owns it now. I'm not sure the support will ever be the same since Twitter will push their standalone product much more. I do not like their product and am happy to be in the "we have a choice" crowd.

I tried Carbon and it was not quite as crisp as I would like. 15 minute refresh interval is a no go in the highly paced world of technology. And then I could not figure out how to shut the vibration off. There were a few more things that made me remove it as soon as I installed it but we shall wait and see how developed they become.

I had Plume when there were that OTHER name and uninstalled it when Twitter forced them to abandon it. The app changed for the worse to me.

I just installed Twit-A-Dex and it froze my phone. So fa... not good. I don't see ANY menu options to shut that hideous clicking sound off nor adjust the size of my boxes as I am visually challenged. It's about to get deleted until...

I appreciate this post Phil. You brought out some apps I never heard of and it seems quite a few others agree. Keep the awesome work coming!

I agree about Twit-A-Dex's lack of options. That sound drives me crazy quickly. It's an interesting concept, but until I can make some option changes, I can't actively use it.

cbenet - Agreed. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks this. I actually just left the developers site and I left him an extended note about the app and the problems so far I have encountered. I would rather not use Google Play to share user input, you know what I mean.

I forgot to turn my phone in horizontal mode to see how it looks in that view. I use TD in vertical so Ah well.

Hey All,
I was taken off guard a bit since I had last updated the app. Its been a long time since anyone showed interest.

I will try and make an update tonight to allow you to turn off sound. Then I will work on being able to copy tweets and click links etc...

Thanks for the support everyone.

Also thanks for commenting on my blog LadyDi, I would not have known where to find this article otherwise!

Please keep in mind I am a 1 man dev team here. I will try to post here when I update.

Thanks!

I added a Settings menu on the main screen. Also I added the ability to shut off the sounds. Version 1.4 now has the ability to click through links, hashtags, and user profiles.

What else would you like to see?

I've been waiting for an article like this for a long time. I hate having to jump between Play Store links by myself so it's nice to see all of their home UIs links for us to compare. I've tried most of these but some have drastically changed since the last time I use them. I still use the Official Twitter App but I might jump back to Slices of Twicca and check them out. Highly disappointed in Seesmic after I loved using the app years ago.

I have long been in search for the perfect Twitter app and obviously there isn't one. I tried the official Twitter app long ago and was immediately turned off by it. The next I tried was Ubertwitter which became Ubersocial. It was ok, but I quickly because bored of it. I then tried Tweetcaster, loved it, and immediately got Tweetcaster Pro. I have been using that for about a year. TweetLanes was cool, but now not being furthered by the developer, so I have been playing with Carbon for android and I love it. The layout and the whole ease and look of it. Once it has a widget, I may use it as my primary twitter app. I will say however that just recently I tried the official Twitter app again just to give it a chance and I was pleasantly surprised. With the way Twitter is strangling all other developers and twitter 3rd party apps, I may just stick with them. I wish they had a dark theme though. Other than that, I have no problem at all with the official app. Between Tweetcaster Pro, Carbon, and the Official, I have probably been using the official most lately.

Tweetings for now, it has a few kinks but overall, has the nicest balance of feature/design/customization. Tweetcaster pro has lots of features but the look is just...meh, even with dark theme, the ugly bulge icons are ever present. Carbon is buttery smooth, too bad features are too minimal for power users.

The whole limited refresh thing on third party apps is what keeps me from sticking with official app right now. I am a HUGE hockey fan, and during games and such I am constantly checking Twitter. So, if it stays this way, and it looks like it will, I might just ride with Official Twitter app.

Nastyneil - so agree on the limited refresh option. I'm just into having the tweets come in as they are tweeted, no delayed option for me. Hmmmm... I don't think I've ever used the Official Twitter app. But I like dark yet glossy yet pretty apps. Hey I'm a geek girl what can I say.

Boid is my favorite. Smoothness, auto refresh timeline when i open the app, best conversation view by swiping left in tweet view, a ton of options in settings. In line photo viewing if wanted. If it only had push notifications. I still use Falcon and Echofon too. Nothings perfect.

UberSocial is the best it has lots of extras, opens links without leaving the app, Twitlonger, post to Facebook, just needs a fully dark theme like Carbon.

Is there any app that will both Auto-Update AND Auto-Scroll the timeline as new tweets come in? I don't want to have to 'pull to update'! :-) My HTC Sensation has a built-in Widget that does both and after trying 5 or 6 other apps still haven't found one that does that.

To be a fair comparison, these should have shown the same tweets. You'd think that Carbon, Plume, Falcon Pro and probably others (I haven't tried them all) don't support showing media previews in the timeline.

I totally agree. It's a bit misleading. One of Falcon's strengths is in line preview and internal browser

I must be the minority on the subject, but this is why I always come back to Plume: I use two Twitter accounts and quite a few of my friends overlap between timelines. When choosing to reply/retweet/favorite a tweet, no matter which account I am currently viewing that tweet from, I NEED to be presented with the choice of which account to perform the action with.

So say I'm viewing the timeline of Account A, and read a tweet that I would prefer to retweet with Account B. I should not have to switch account view and manually re-locate that tweet just to perform a simple retweet with Account B.

In my excessive searching through Twitter apps, Plume seems to be the sole app capable of this. Anyone know of another one?? I love Plume but sometimes it's frustrating not being able to dabble elsewhere due to lack of this simple feature.

I'm in the same boat as you. The only other one is UberSocial. Seesmic Pro might be another one if I remember. I've tried them all; Plume is my main and UberSocial is my backup just in case Plumes update gets buggy. (which the 5.01 update can't remember TL correctly)

Whats wrong with the 1st party client exactly?!

If I knew, maybe I'd get interested in all those "news" ?

Looking forward for a week without one of those..

There is an all black official Twitter app.. Follow @B_boytm he also has transparent for official Twitter app.. The official Twitter app will be blacked out with blue highlights and not that holo blue crap.. Like i said follow him and scroll through his tl and youll find the apk

I've tried Seesmic, Tweetdeck, Tweetcaster, the official app, and Plume, and I come back to Plume every time.

Been using it since it was Touiteur...still one of my favorites.

Now if only Android had a decent FB app...

Tweetcaster Pro used to be good until they made you go through readability for web links. Now it sucks! I wish I could get my money back. So many web pages can't be viewed and you have to go through extra steps to open it in your browser. I moved on to Falcon Pro and I urge anyone thinking of going to tweetcaster pro to save your money.

I've tried most of these, but always come back to TweetCaster. It has all of the bells and whistles I'm looking for and includes a variety of themes. To me, Falcon and Carbon don't compare.

Good setup for an article and I'm sure it took some time to put together but I believe a bit more care should've been taken to match up the tweets on all the images. Mainly for being able to see how each app handles pictures in a tweet. Something to keep in mind for the next iteration of this Twitter debate.

The official twitter app is cool except for not highlighting usernames or hyperlinks in blue unless I tap on the tweet so I dont know if theres extra info at a glance. Falcon Pro ftw

I just discovered this guy on twitter and he does amazing things with stock apps. I am enjoying the stock Twitter but wish I could make it dark to match my homescreen. BOOM! He does it for Twitter, Instagram, Skype, Google+, Facebook, and others. Some you need to be rooted for but others you don't. You definitely don't need to be for Twitter. Give it a look and I am sure you won't be let down. http://b-boytm.webnode.com/?m=d

Just click on the link and go to the Blacked out and Xparent link.

Twidere app requires a mention there. tweetings is based on this. I personally like to refresh the timeline myself and don't want the app to keep polling and refreshing every X minutes. Only twidere,twicca,tweetdeck and falcon pro refresh the timeline,replies and DMs for me at the same time. in others one has to refresh each tab separately.

I found similar disdain for the official twitter app a couple of years ago and gave up on it. I've been using tweet deck for a couple years now and I like it but it looks a little too utilitarian. Recently I've been giving plume a chance and now just switched to carbon which I so far like a lot.

Can any of these default to a list instead of the timeline as the main view? Is there a widget that can show a specific list instead of the timeline by default?

I really like the baked in web browsing & video watching capabilities of Falcon Pro but for some reason it only really feels like your using Twitter when using the official app so I find myself back using that. Honorable mention to Chris Lacy's Tweet Lanes have used that and liked it a lot especially the option to use the volume rocker to scroll through tweets. Push notifications were cool for like a day before they became a notification bar clogging annoyance.

Plume gets my vote. It has a great tablet version, uses the Holo design guidelines, and even a lockscreen widget. The killer feature for me, though, is it's use of Tweetmarker to keep track of my timeline position so I can go back and forth between my phone and tablet and always resume reading my timeline from the correct spot.

Die hard falcon pro fan but after reading this article I tried out TweetLanes and haven't looked back. Love the Holo UI and the fact that its gesture based and highly customizeable

I like Tweetcaster because every 30 minutes (thats my setting) it lets me know if there are new tweets from the people I follow. Twitter got rid of this a while back and I was not happy.

I have Hootsuite I like the app but Plume looks good. The Tweetdeck app has a nice unified view of all my accounts. I like way hoot suite has both a web presence and nice app.

I just switched over to Android from the iPhone, and the only thing I miss is Tweetbot. None of the apps on Android even come close to it. It's frustrating, but until there's another app as full featured as Tweetbot, I'll probably stick with the official Twitter app for Android.