Twitter is setting trends and starting conversations, which is just one of the reasons you need Twitter in your life now. It’s a medium and a social network that is perfect for the mobile phone. But the official Twitter for Android app has plenty of problems.
For starters, the Twitter app lets you mute annoying people while still following them, but you can’t mute specific keywords or hashtags. Anyone who has had to sit through a trend they aren’t interested in, or a Twitter campaign or contest, will know what this is like. The app also won’t save drafts, won’t auto-expand Instagram photos or Imgur links, and much more.
It has its plus points, of course, and I wouldn’t recommend uninstalling Twitter for Android. Having the app installed makes it easy to sign in securely with two-factor authentication, no matter which third-party app you use. Plus, the official app is the first to get updated with new features like photos and unlimited word count in Direct Mentions (DMs).
But for your everyday tweeting, forget about the official app. Like with the best Twitter apps for iPhone, use one of these alternatives instead.
Fenix for Twitter
Best for: Phones
Fenix is the premium Android app for the Twitter power user. It supports everything you would want, and more. Plus, the app is drop-dead gorgeous, even more so than the fluid and free Carbon and several others.
There is lots to love about Fenix, whether it’s seamlessly switching between accounts, muting users and hashtags, auto-loading Instagram links, and much more. Fenix is also among the only apps to offer you the ability to see who has favorited, retweeted, and followed you — you can check all that in the “Activity” tab.
Fenix is also super customizable, letting you tweak the theme to how you like it, set your notifications when and where you want them to show, and so on. One of my favorite features of Fenix is that you can tell it to update your feed in real-time while on WiFi, but set a refresh interval of a few minutes while on mobile, thus saving battery and data while on the move. The app supports several gestures and has a built-in browser so you never have to leave the app.
And yes, Fenix is completely free of ads. That $5 is worth your phone’s battery and your peace of mind.
Best for: Tablets (and Phones too), Widget
Price: Free ($4.99 for Premium)
Ads: Yes (Unlock Premium to Disable Ads)
For a long time, Plume was my preferred Twitter client. It’s simple, it’s quick, it’s good-looking, and it just gets the job done. If you’re used to the default Twitter app, you will have no time in adjusting to Plume. Honestly, considering you can try Plume for free, I’d recommend you give this one a shot if you are moving away from Twitter for the first time.
Plume’s default interface is quite similar to Twitter anyway, but you will notice there is a lot more you can do with it. For instance, your columns can have a lot more than just your Timeline, Mentions, and DMs — you can also add Lists to unclutter your feed, Favorites, Saved Searches, and more.
However, unlike Fenix, you won’t see when someone has favorited a tweet or followed you. This can be inconvenient as more and more people are using “Favorite” as the equivalent of the “Like” button on Facebook (You know, as a way to acknowledge that they read your tweet).
Plume is also among the few Twitter apps for Android with a great tablet interface. On tablets, Plume makes great use of the extra space available, especially when you want to read a conversation without losing your place in your timeline.
Best for: Scheduling Tweets
Buffer is now the best way to schedule tweets for the future, so if that’s what you want, just get this app and stop looking elsewhere. The service’s claim to fame is how it analyzes your timeline and your tweets to figure out when your tweets will be read by the most people, and automatically schedules them accordingly.
Of course, you can manually set a time for the future too, and you can even add multiple accounts. Buffer’s analytics tool will also help you figure out which tweets were read the most, so that you have better insight in what your followers are looking for from you.
Best for: Non-Regular Twitter Users
I love the concept of TweetsPie, even though it’s not for a power user like me. This app is meant for someone who doesn’t check Twitter regularly. When you start it, TweetsPie will scan your timeline for the 21 top-retweeted tweets from the last 600 sent by people you follow. It’s perfect to sift through the Twitter overload.
For any tweet, you can favorite it, retweet it yourself, or choose to hide the user if you’re uninterested in their tweets. You can’t reply though; for that, you’ll need a separate Twitter app, like the ones mentioned above.
In the app’s options, you can also change the settings to show RTs by friends; that means the app is scanning the most retweeted tweets sent by anyone (even if you are not following them) as long as that tweet was something your friends interacted with.
Tweetcaster’s incredible feature set almost got it picked as one of the best Twitter apps. The interface is dated, but the robust search engine and the trends tracker are reason enough to give this one a try.
Unfollowers shows you people that you follow who aren’t following you back and vice versa, as well as those who followed or unfollowed you recently. It has several other filters and features that basically turn it into a recommendation engine for who should be on your Twitter timeline and who you need to dump.
Twitter’s basic search on mobile is pathetic. If you want to accurately find a tweet, TwiEgo is the closest you’ll get. It has all the search parameters of Twitter’s Advanced Search feature, and you can even save those search keywords to refer to them later.
What’s Missing in Twitter?
What one feature is the default Twitter app missing that you want to see included? For me, it’s muting any keyword or hashtag. What about you?
Image Credits:Android vs. Alien by JD Hancock via Flickr