Ever since I’ve been on Twitter, I have always been on the hunt for a good Twitter app for my Android phone. Sure, the Twitter for Android official app is OK and it has improved since the new Twitter is refreshed. There are still little niggles here and there that made me searching for a better app for my needs.
I came across Tweetcasterfor over a year now. Although I have switched to other apps along the way, I always come back to Tweetcaster.
Previously produced by Handmark, Tweetcaster is now a product of OneLouder who also produces other Social Media related apps like Friendcaster for Facebook. Tweetcaster is available on Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry.
Here are a few highlighted features of Tweetcaster that makes me keep coming back to it.
Right off the bat, this is one app that supports multiple Twitter accounts. It’s not until recently that official Twitter for Android has this supported, too.
Tweetcaster handles multi Twitter accounts very well. You can sign in and add many accounts and switching between these accounts and easy and simple. You can also easily tweet to multiple accounts at the same time.
Basic Twitter functions done well
No doubt, you get a basic Twitter client with the basic functions. There is a simple top bar for you to navigate through your Timeline, @ Mentions, Direct Messages, Favourite tweet and Twitter Lists.
Click on an individual tweet will allow you to act on it, either opening the link attached or other options such as @ Reply, Favourite, Retweet, Share, etc.
There are 4 different themes you can choose from; Bubbles is a speech bubble style timeline, where you can choose a dark / light theme. Or the traditional list style with a dark / light background.
Light is the default theme. I like the simplicity of a clean, white background and no gradient on my apps. The colours are not too strong or dark and doesn’t take away the focus on the content / text.
Colour Code @ Mentions and tweets
This is my favourite feature of Tweetcaster – colour coding tweets. When you follow hundreds and thousands of people on Twitter, it is hard to separate the noise. Tweetcaster enables you to set your choice of colours for @ mentions in the Timeline. You can also colour code your own tweets.
As you would expect from any Twitter apps nowadays, the DMs are threaded.
New and Old Retweet
Since Twitter forced a new Retweet for all its users, there’s been a massive outcry. After Twitterverse started going around finding apps that supports the old school retweets, represented by “RT” before a tweet allowing you to add your comment on it.
Tweetcaster was one of the app I could rely on that supported the new (no comments, just share) Retweets and the old school retweet with comments, represented by a “RT” before the tweet.
Twitter for Android official app has since been corrected updated to include this option, too for those who wish to retweet old school adding their comments. However, instead of adding a “RT” before the tweet, they’ve renamed it to “Quote” instead where the old tweet is represented by… well, quote marks “….”
Image Preview in Timeline
This is one of the feature I MUST have in my Twitter app that is sorely missing from the official Twitter for Android app – the ability to preview images within the timeline itself.
Tweetcaster automatically shows you a thumbnail preview of images in the timeline. You don’t have to click on the tweet, unless you want to view the full image either within Tweetcaster’s own browser of your default browser on your phone.
Read ALL tweets
You know what it’s like when you haven’t checked Twitter for awhile (like first thing in the morning) and you want to read all the old tweets? Maybe I’m a minority, but I always feel like I need to read every tweet in my timeline so I don’t miss anything.
Most Twitter app (official one included) will load XX number of RECENT tweets, showing a gap from where you last left off in the Timeline. Clicking on this gap will load more tweets, but you’ll lose the point where you last left off. Tweetcaster allows you to choose how you want to view your Timeline’s gaps – open the gaps fro the top or bottom.
Opening gaps from the “Top” means that when you click on the gap to load more tweets, new tweets will load from that last tweet at the top of the gap downwards. Opening from the “Bottom” which is what I want, allows me to load new tweets from below the gap upwards. Get it?
Most Twitter apps allows you to open gaps from top – assuming you’ve read it all from top down and want to read more. My behaviour is different. I load all the new tweets from where I last left off and read them upwards. This feature has been tremendously useful for me.
Tweetcaster has one of the best simple search function I come across. When you start typing your search, you will see the options provided to you – whether you want to search a TWEET containing the word, a PERSON you’re looking for or LOCATION specific tweet near you.
Many a times, I am either looking for a specific profile of a person whose Twitter handle I can’t quite remember, or a trending topic of a certain word. These options allows me to do that without having a crazy bunch of results that I have to sift through.
Of course, the main screen allows you to just browse through the trending topics, suggestions of who to follow or look at tweets near you. The “Nearby” feature has been quite handy when I’m at events and need to have a quick look at what people around me are tweeting about.
Honeycomb tablet support
Tweetcaster works amazingly in tablet format – be it in portrait or landscape mode. The user interface and navigation doesn’t differ too much from the smartphone layout.
The best feature of the Android tablet version of the app is the link preview within the Timeline. Similar to image previews, you can now view a snippet of the link shared before you choose to click on it to launch it in the browser.
The other great feature is the ability to view your Timeline based on “Photo”, “Video” or “Link” shared in the tweet. If you’re in a reading mode, you can simply view all tweet in your timeline with links shared. Or if you’re in a video viewing mode or on a better WiFi connection, you can view all tweets with videos shared.
A great feature, definitely.
Pricing – FREE
Tweetcaster for Android is FREE.
The ad-funded FREE version of this app shows banner ads at the bottom of your app. This is small and unobtrusive. I have been using the FREE version for a long time and have never once gotten annoyed with it.
If you absolutely cannot stand ads, or if you’d like to support the developer, you can opt for a PRO version for USD$ 4.99. This might seem a little pricey compared to other PRO Twitter apps like Plume, but think of it as a support to the developer and motivation for them to continue to update and keep improving their app.
There are a whole lot of great features that OneLouder has introduced to Tweetcaster including Zip It (temporarily silence certain users), Instapaper support (save links to read later), Long Tweet (allows ore than 140 characters tweets), Username or Twitter handle view and many more.
For more information, check out Tweetcaster website here at http://tweetcaster.com/ or read more about their long list of AWESOME features here or get Tweetcaster for Twitter FREE on the Android Market here.
Tell me – what OS are you on and what Twitter client are you using? I’m always interested to test more apps.