[App Review] TweetLine, Not Your Normal Everyday Twitter App
While I’ve been using Android for over a year now, I’ve never really been much of a Twitter user up until the last 4 – 5 months really. I’ve been a Twitter app user on my phone even less. Mainly because I’m at my computer so much that I prefer to just visit the website and interact that way. But with my increase of usage of Twitter over the past several months I found myself looking at my Twitter app from time to time on my phone. However, it just wasn’t for me. So I went out and installed and tried several. There seemed to be things in each one that just didn’t do it for me. Then about 3 – 4 weeks ago I some how stumbled across TweetLine by HappyDr0id and my Twitter use on my phone changed, drastically.
TweetLine has been around for a while, and is of course supported by Android versions dating back to 2.1 so it’s safe to say this app will probably work for you. The thing is, TweetLine is in heavy development right now. It’s still in alpha stages. But I must admit, it doesn’t run like it’s an alpha. While lacking a lot of everyday features at this point, which most alphas do, it’s still got a lot of things that other Twitter clients don’t have. It also seems to run very quick for me, at least on my Verizon Galaxy Nexus.
The number one thing I like is that the app has 3 columns, but with only one column visible at a time. It has a column labeled “Messages” which is obviously for you to view your Direct Messages as Twitter calls them. Then there is the “Timeline” column which is your Twitter stream. It’s where most everything you do takes place. Then of course the third column is “Mentions” which is equivalent to Twitter’s “Connect” screen, in the fact that it allows you to quickly view the messages in which you’ve been mentioned by other Tweeters. What’s really nice is that you can Swype left and right between the three columns. And let me tell you, there is little to no lag at all. You can see the three columns in the screenshot below.
One of the nicest features I really like about the app is when you wish to reply, retweet, view links or whatever within a tweet. You simply click on the tweeted message, and a few icons will appear at the top of the screen, giving you several options of what you want to do. It’s much nicer than having inline icons or words to tap on to do what you want. To me, that just adds clutter, which is something TweetLine doesn’t like to do. As you’ll see in the screenshot below, I’ll go over what each icon does when they appear at the top.
The first icon on the left, the arrow pointing to the right, is what you would click if you simply want to reply to the message you tapped on. The second one is if you wish to retweet the message. Now in the settings, there is an option for you to change how this behavior works. You can set it to a native retweet, which means it will simply retweet the message as you see it. Or you can set it to retweet with a comment, or you can even set it to ask you every time which of the two ways you wish to retweet. Very nice feature in my opinion. Simply because sometimes I like to just retweet and sometimes I like to reply and retweet all at the same time.
The third icon within those options is a different one that I’ve not really seen in other Twitter clients. It’s a “Conversation” icon. What it does when you click on it is add the message to another column(a 4th column) labeled “Conversations” and allows you to keep track of any replies and such dealing with that specific conversation. I pretty neat feature if you ask me. That way you see everything together, instead of having to scroll through your stream or even looking at mentions, as it might be a conversation you weren’t involved/mentioned in, just watching. I find myself using this feature quite often.
The 4th button you click on to view any links or images within the message. When you click it, it pops up the little window asking you how you wish to view the URL/Image as in using Chrome, Firefox, the native Android browser or whatever. Then of course it takes you there and allows you to view it. Like with most apps, couple of clicks of the “Back” button, and you’ll be brought back to TweetLine, right where you were when you left it for a few seconds.
The little menu button on the right at the top gives you two options. The first is to visit the profile of the original tweeter and the second allows you to “Favorite” a tweet. If it’s something you like or want to save until later, then click on “Favorite” and it’ll save it for you.
The settings screen has quite a few options, but as stated early on, this is an alpha version at the time so there are things missing. The number one thing missing for me is sound notifications for the app. There is currently no way of setting a certain notification sound for this app that I can find. However, I’m sure that’s coming in future releases.
Another option that would be nice to have included within the app is the use of something like TwitLonger or whatever. Third party resources that allow you to tweet more than the standard 140 character limit. I myself type, and I mean type a LOT! Sometimes I can go on and on about something. LOL. As we all know, Twitter won’t support it in it’s app officially, but I’ve been told by HappyDr0id himself, that the use of TwitLonger within the app is coming very soon. I’m sure he will be giving users the option of which tweet longer service they wish to use. We shall see hopefully very soon.
HappyDr0id, aka Clement Garcia, has a Google Docs page that has some great information such as what’s been changed/added to every version and what he’s working on for the next release. There is also a “Functionalities Implemented” section and a “Planned Functionalities” section of what we can be expecting in future versions. Click on the link below to check out the site.
There are many other options for the user to play around with once you get into the settings screen of which I won’t go into detail about. What I will do is suggest you head on over to the Google Play Store by clicking the link below and install TweetLine if you’re a Twitter user on your phone and give it a thorough checking out. You should find it’s lightweight, doesn’t seem to use a lot of battery life and is very quick and responsive.
Google Play Store: TweetLine Download