I don’t like to say it, but some iPhone apps set the bar pretty high. With smooth animations and loads of functionality sometimes Android’s apps have to play catch-up. You can point the finger at whoever you want but the thing is, it still happens. The main apps that this happens with are Facebook and Twitter. Yes, Android’s apps are still functional, but they can be lacking when compared to *erm* …others. Thankfully, this has changed today. Facebook for Android and Twitter for Android were both updated this afternoon and let me tell you, they weren’t just some minor bug fixes.
I’ll start with Twitter for Android. Twitter has always been a good app. Pretty slick and clean UI, most functionality was there, and overall it was a good app. However, it still left some room for improvement. One of these areas being not being able to “quote tweet” when re-tweeting. This is huge in the Twitter-verse and to a lot of people is a deal breaker when apps do not include it. Today this was added, Hallelujah.
Along with that are some pretty sweet animations. This includes the swipe-to-reveal gesture from the popular Twitter app on Apple’s device and also a release-to-refresh…sort of. The swipe-to-reveal gesture works nicely and I really like it, however the release-to-refresh is sort of clunky. It doesn’t have a smooth, bounce effect to it; but it is still better than what we used to have.
In my opinion, all of these features are awesome but Twitter for Android will not be my default Twitter app until it saves scroll position. I have said this many, many times. SAVE MY SCROLL POSITION!
Next I will go to the Facebook for Android update. Let me start off with thanking Eric Tseng (@etseng) for taking some of the things the community was asking for and making them a reality.
Recently, I wrote an article about how Facebook for Android could improve and it got around to Eric via Cameron Wright and thankfully, a lot of these issues have been resolved. This may also have to do with the fact that the developer for the app is back in-house working with Facebook, so hopefully more updates will be coming at intervals a lot closer than 6 months.
Because I want to end on a positive note I will note now that the app still does not have chat support… yes, I know. However, the rest of the app has some awesome improvements. Two of the big things that Facebook has recently announced are Groups and Places, and they have finally been added to the Android app. You can do just about anything you would like in these features and luckily they are native to the app.
Speaking of native to the app I will move on to another big feature which is my personal favorite. Myself and many others have been asking for some time now for the notification system to remain in the app instead of taking you out to the browser to view them. Today my prayer was answered, and every notification I have viewed since has kept me in the app. I thank Facebook for doing what should have been done a long time ago.
Today was sort of a big day for some in the Android community, so thank you, developers, for hearing our cries. Check back with TDG for more updates and make sure to follow The Droid Guy and myself on Twitter!
about the writer: Elijah Ketchum is a 15 year old sophomore in High School in Cincinnati OH. His Android experience started with the Motorola Droid. He enjoys everything about Android and convincing his iPhone fan boy classmates to switch. He recently convinced his father, a long term Blackberry user to switch to a Motorola Droid X. Like Elijah’s writing? Have advice? email firstname.lastname@example.org