Hands-On: TweetDeck Beta for Android
Following today’s announcement from TweetDeck that the public beta is open for the Android version, I have just installed it and here are my first impressions of TweetDeck Beta for Android.
First up the interface is very clean, utilising the same grey background as its default desktop client and has a whole selection of accounts that you can connect to:
- Google Buzz
You can even log into your own TweetDeck account so that all your previous settings are also synced to your Android phone which is a neat touch. Logging into your selected services is all handled very cleanly and pretty quickly indeed, letting you to get on with the fun of using social networks.
Jumping straight into the client you will instantly notice how large the default font size is compared to other clients. Personally I think this is quite a nice change as I am testing it on a HVGA device but I’m sure it will divide opinion. I’m sure in a future revision there will be an option to allow the user to change the size of the font. At the very top, the name of the current homescreen and time alternates and at the bottom there are four large buttons corresponding to such functions as Tweet, Profiles, Search and Location. The name of the current homescreen or column turns yellow when there are new status updates available, as does the screen “dots” at the top and the scrollbar, which is a neat touch. It also seems to poll the internet quite often, perhaps every 5mins or less and there doesn’t seem to be an option to configure this.
Pressing Tweet brings up the text box along with nice large and clear buttons to Add a Picture, Location and Add Contact. At the top all your currently signed in accounts are listed so you can toggle which services you want your Status Update to be published from. Long pressing on a Tweet reveals a sub-menu where you can Reply, Retweet or Fave a Tweet
There is a small graphical glitch when pressing the Profile button on HVGA devices as the Avatars are stretched vertically and do not possess the correct aspect ratio, but I was assured that it will be fixed in a future revision along with the alignment of the individual Profiles or Contacts.
While on the topic of the Profiles or Contacts, there is a grid of 4 x 3 which will be populated by your linked accounts. By pressing on an empty contact, TweetDeck will then list all of your contacts from all of your linked social networks so you can individually select your favourites. Long-pressing on a contact will give you the option to Edit or Clear it. To make it even clearer TweetDeck should add a large “+” icon, alongside the generic “person” icon so users will know instantly what it feature does.
The speed of the client is worth mentioning at this stage as it does not feel bloated when switching between columns. The setup on the Android phone is the same as your desktop client and swiping left or right between columns is fast.
There are quite a few pluses for TweetDeck Beta on Android, the main one being the speed and synchronised account setup thanks to their own sign in along with inline image previews. There are some negatives though such as lacking further options to define polling intervals, coloured labels, List support, Inline Browser (arguable if required), Twitlonger support, URL shortening options and possibly more.
It would be too much to ask for such features on Beta software but I’m sure things will improve from here on in. As soon as the app updates, be assured that eMagi will be covering it!