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Free Twitter apps for Android: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

According to the recent ‘State of the Mobile Web’ report from Opera, Facebook is now the most used social network on the mobile Web, which saw a worldwide increase of more than 600% throughout 2009.

Twitter might not be able to command a similar share yet but last year it saw a huge growth of more than 2800% on phones last year. We’ve taken a gander at some of the more popular Twitter clients available on the Android Market.

The Good

Twidroid – The free non-Pro version of Twidroid boasts a really simple and streamlined layout that’s very remnisicent of the basic desktop version of Twitter, offering instant familiarity. With Twidroid you can share pictures and videos taken on your Android phone direct from the gallery as you’d normally upload them – by long-clicking on the pic or video icon in the gallery and selecting ‘Twidroid’ from the share menu. The ‘jump to top’ command does what it says, directs you to the top of the page when you’re scrolling down through piles of older tweets.

SwiftSwift is our favouirte Twitter app for Android. The layout is clear and crisp and everything works really well. Scrolling through your timeline is effortless even on a weak connection. Whenever you start writing a new tweet you have the option to attach pictures and videos for uploading by tapping on the upload icon on the left. Swift gives you the choice of TwitPic, Twitgoo, Yfrog and Img.ly. While writing a tweet you can also take a picture from the same menu and directly it attach to the tweet – perfect for snapping odd things and uploading them when you’re out and about.

TwigeeTwigee has a nice design and a practical interface. When you tap on a user’s tweet you get a menu from which you can reply, retweet or send a DM. Font sizes can be changed from 12 to 22 points in size and you get a pick of three different colour schemes. Similar to Swift you can upload images using TwitPic, Twitgoo, Yfrog and Img.ly. You attach pictures by tapping the little camera icon inside the text field which is a nice touch. Unlike Swift, the home page takes ages to refresh even over Wi-Fi. We like Twigee but have to concede that it’s not as nimble as Swift.

The Bad

Tweetatorium – It might sound like ancient Latin for an aviary but Tweetatorium is actually a picture and video uploading service for Twitter. After taking a picture or shooting a video on your Android phone you can upload your efforts by sharing in the usual manner. It works really well but seeing as that’s all it does and you can upload pics from within Swift and Twigee we don’t really get it. It’s worth noting though that only Swift allows you to upload both pictures and videos.

Twidgit Lite – Twidgit Lite might be a decent widget. Shame we’ll never know – it kept crashing every time we tried to run it. Not a great incentive to fork out for the Pro version then. Fail.

The Ugly

TwiPhone – We really don’t get TwiPhone. It allows you to “share calls and text messages with your friends on Twitter” which is pretty much like inviting the entire world into your address book. You can either tweet a single text message or statistics about the number of texts and calls you’ve received over a certain time period. A search for the hashtag #TwiPhone yields results such as: “Today I had 0 calls (0 sec) and 0 text messages (0 chars)”. Who needs an app to tell you that you haven’t had any calls or texts? Every time you get a text from someone that you don’t particularly feel like sharing, you have to manually click ‘no’ each time. It would be better if you could manually upload texts from your inbox via TwiPhone.

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