Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest: they all offer official Android apps – but are those really the best mobile experience out there? Many users say no. Good thing there are so many unofficial clients.
It doesn’t matter if your favorite social network is Facebook or Twitter, Reddit or Pinterest – there’s an unofficial client for Android that can make your experience better. Which is right for you depends on what you’re looking for, but here are a bunch to start with.
Unofficial Facebook Clients For Android
Facebook’s Android app is famously terrible. It slows down many a device, constantly tries to use your GPS and insists on showing you random posts it deems “important” instead of the latest news you’re looking for. What’s an Android user to do?
Use something else. My colleague Joel outlined Facebook alternatives for Android – here are the best three apps he found.
Atrium is fast, customizable and offers full support for Facebook chat. It’s the closest thing you can get to the official Facebook app without the show-stopping bugs.
This is probably the unofficial app you should check first, to be honest, because of its combination of efficiency and features. Read more about Atrium, if you’re interested.
This app isn’t aesthetically stunning, nor is it as feature-filled as Atrium. It is, however, fast. If you want to keep scrolling through your timeline without lag, Stream is worth checking out.
With around 3 million downloads, Friendcaster must be doing something right. The interface is clean, and multiple Facebook accounts are supported – quickly switching accounts is not a problem.
Think of this as a compromise between the other two apps, if you’re looking for a balance between speed and function.
Sure: Twitter offers an official client, but it’s not well loved. It’s slow, it doesn’t work well on a tablet, and it occasionally makes changes that infuriate users (blue lines, anyone?) Happily there are a bunch of alternatives out there; let’s check them out.
Erez called Falcon Pro, and it’s not hard to see why. This app simply looks good, and functions even better.
Images are embedded, meaning there’s no extra tap involved to see them. Links can even be read without leaving the timeline. If you want something clean and fast try this first.
The downside: drama. Falcon Pro used up all its tokens, and can no longer be found on Google Play. There are workarounds, but it’s unfortunately a hard program to get working if you didn’t buy it earlier this year.
Try something simple. Twicca (reviewed here) scrolls quickly and is generally pretty easy to use. It’s a favorite of many, and it’s not hard to see why. Don’t let the clean interface fool you: there’s plenty of options to configure here.
One potential problem is the limited number of refreshes available: the app sometimes seems like it’s stuck in the past. That doesn’t mean that isn’t well worth checking out.
Wish you could combine Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus? Ubersocial does just that. This Twitter client also gives you access to Facebook’s news feed, making it a one stop shop for social networking goodness.
If you don’t want to check multiple apps for the same basic function – social networking – check this one out.
Want multiple accounts and columns? Tweetdeck for Android is no more, but Plume just might be the next best thing. Add columns and customize it however you like.
Reddit is famous for its humor, but it’s also pretty serious business. It’s one of the most-used sites in the world, but its mobile support is kind of terrible: there isn’t an official app. Luckily there are plenty of high-quality unofficial clients out there, if you know where to look.
I called RedReader the best Android Reddit client, and I’m sticking to that. It’s clean, lets you browse your timeline or any subreddit and is free and without ads.
I’d recommend checking RedReader out first, then moving on to something else if you dislike it. You probably won’t, though there is one minor annoyance: the need to manually refresh the timeline.
We’ve called Reddit Is Fun a great Android Reddit client, and before RedReader it was probably the best. It’s still well worth checking out, with an interface that’s arguably more consistent with Reddit itself.
Nothing is confusing here: buttons are clearly labeled. If you can use Reddit, you can use this.
Pinterest offers and official Android client, but what if you want to browse your pins offline? That’s the main selling point of Pinhog for Pinterest. This app offers other features, too, from creating Android live wallpapers from pin images to browsing for similar products using Google Glasses. If you love Pinterest you should at least try this out.
There’s more, right?
This is only the beginning. There are social networks we haven’t touched on, and apps for them we haven’t mentioned. What are you favorite unofficial Android tools for using social networks? Let us know so everyone else can explore them.