Let's face it, the default Android Twitter app just doesn't have the power and flexibility most users need, especially those that depend on Twitter as one of their marketing tools for a startup business (one without an actual marketing budget). The default Twitter app performs admirably for those who need the minimal features, but when you need more, where do you turn? One app is Twidere. This free, open-source app is one of the most configurable and useable Twitter Android apps on the market. Aside from a tool like Tweetdeck, you'll be hard pressed to find more Twitter power for free.
Here are several of the features that you'll find in Twidere:
- Dark/light/transparent theme
- Dual-pane layout for tablets
- Built-in image viewer and map viewer
- Custom tabs
- Profile banner (header) image support
- Direct messages with conversation style
- Filters (mute unwanted tweets)
- t.co link auto expanding
- Multiple account support
- Direct login with username and password
- Custom API Proxy
- GZip compressing for API requests
- TCP DNS query and custom host mapping to fight against censorship
The only feature Twidere is missing (at least for me), is scheduled tweets.
With Twidere, you pretty much create your Twitter app. During first run, you build the interface and configure the following:
- Card items
You can have multiple accounts associated with Twidere, so you can even configure individual tabs for different users (say you want to have a Mentions tab with both Account A and Account B -- with Twidere, you can have that).
Tempted to Twidere? Let's install and use this handy app.
Installation, as you have grown to expect, is simple. Just follow these directions:
- Open the Google Play Store on your Android device
- Search for Twidere
- Locate and tap the Twidere for Twitter entry
- Tap Install
- Read the permissions listing
- If you are okay with the Permissions listing, tap Accept
- Allow the installation to complete
Once the install finishes, you can open the app from the home screen or the app drawer launcher.
When you first launch Twidere, you'll be required to log into your Twitter account. Upon successful authentication, you'll be asked if you want to configure Twidere. Tap Yes to continue. The configuration wizard is simple to use. First, you'll have to select your Twidere theme (which is simple enough). The next section is adding tabs. Let's take a look at how that's done. From the Tabs screen of the wizard (Figure A), tap the Edit button.
Twidere running on a Verizon-branded HTC One Max.
From the Tabs configuration window, tap the plus sign [+] to reveal a tab drop-down. From the drop-down menu, select the tab you want to add (Figure B).
Adding tabs to the Twidere interface.
Depending on the tab you add, you may be asked to associated an account with said tab. This is where Twidere really shines. If you've added multiple accounts, you can select which account to associate with which tab. For example, the Mentions tab allows you to select from an account -- so you can have a Mentions tab for your personal account as well as your business account. To add a Mentions tab (in the setup wizard), follow these steps:
- Tap Edit
- Tap the plus sign [+] in the upper right corner
- Tap Mentions from the drop-down menu
- Tap the Account drop-down, and tap which account you want to add (Figure C)
- Tap OK
Adding a Mentions tab during the initial configuration.
Repeat the process to add a Mentions tab for a different account. You can then add any other tabs you want for the interface. You can even set up a tab to follow a specific users' tweets.
After you've added all the tabs you want, tap the left-pointing arrow in the upper left corner to then complete the Cards section of the wizard.
Configuring card items allows you to set up the look of the individual cards displayed by Twidere. A card can be thought of as a section of the interface used to display a tweet. You can configure:
- Text size
- Display name first
- Nickname only
- Display profile image
- Display image preview
- Image preview scale type
- Link highlight option
- Card highlight option
- Indicate my tweet
- Show absolute time
- Card animation
- Compact cards
After you configure your cards the way you want them, tap Next. The final window will give you a few hints for using Twidere. Read those, and then tap Finish and OK. You're now ready to use Twidere.
As I mentioned earlier, you can add multiple accounts to Twidere. There's no way to do this during the initial configuration. In order to add another account, do the following:
Swipe the Twidere home screen to the right and tap Add account (Figure D). From the sign-in window, enter the credentials for the new account, and then tap Sign in.
Adding another account to Twidere.
With the second account added, you can then add tabs specifically for that account to the interface.
If you're looking for a highly-customizable Twitter client for Android, you'll be hard-pressed to find one with more options than Twidere. If the developer adds scheduled tweets, this app could easily become everything you need to help your business grow its Twitter presence.
What do you think? Is Twitter still a viable option for business marketing? And can apps like Twidere help you take your business to the next level of social awareness? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.