We review Touiteur, an Android social networking application
Twitter has been around long enough to have seen its fair share of Android-based clients. We’ve had numerous programs all boasting a superior degree of control over your 140-word social “tweets” but up to this point we’ve been staunch supporters of the excellent Twidroid, which has gotten progressively better with each subsequent update.
However, with the release of Touiteur we’re tempted to switch allegiance; this slickly-produced Twitter client comes from LevelUp Studio - the talented chaps behind the popular Beautiful Widgets application - and is so polished you can practically see your reflection in it.
From the outset Touiteur showcases incredibly high standards of presentation.
The layout and design is eye-catching and attractive with neat little embellishments – such as animated menus and transitions – to help maintain that captivating allure.
Unlike other Twitter clients Touiteur allows you to quickly and effortlessly view entire conversations within the timeline itself.
Other apps may offer a link which shows you a stream of messages but this usually involves hopping to another screen. In Touiteur, the chain of tweets simply appears below the current tweet, and the timeline simply expands to accommodate this.
You’ll also notice that the timeline expands when you’re picking an option – such as replying to a message or retweeting it.
This design feature allows Touiteur to remain compact and streamlined, and it also avoids bogging down the user with pages and pages of different menu choices.
Another impressive element is the “drag-down” tweet menu, which operates in the same way as the Android’s standard notification bar.
You simply touch and drag the top of the screen and a box appears which allows you to swiftly post a new tweet. You can also toggle between multiple accounts from this menu, too.
The usual features are present, of course; you can instantly view any tweets which mention your name, you can view your private messages and there’s even a quick option to refresh the timeline to load in new tweets.
Touiteur also includes the new and revised retweet system – as seen on the official Twitter website - but you can also access the old-fashioned method by holding down your finger on the retweet button.
To round things off there's also a homescreen widget which displays the latest tweets from your timeline. From this widget you can cycle through content, refresh the chatterings of your followers and even quick-post something yourself.
Naturally all of this glitz and glamour comes at a cost; Touiteur is noticeably slower than rival clients like Seesmic and Twidroid. This is understandable when you consider just how much is going on in the background, but it’s worth bearing in mind if you prefer speed over appearance.
Another problem we encountered was the way in which Touiteur handles multiple accounts. It’s possible to toggle your view so you only see the tweets associated with a particular account but the app defaults to a “combined” view, with each different tweet being marked with a colour which shows that username it’s directed at.
This can result in a rather crowded timeline and we noticed that Touiteur slows down to a crawl when it’s trying to compile more than two different accounts. It’s not a deal-breaking problem but there’s no denying that rival apps handle this kind of thing better.
It's also worth noting that many of the key features in Touiteur – including URL shrinking, the homescreen widget and multiple account functionality – are all exclusive to the premium version and are not present in the free edition.
It seems harsh to throw too much criticism in Touiteur’s direction because it’s still very much finding its feet, and clients like Twidroid have had several months to get to the stage they’re at now.
LevelUp Studio is a highly respected developer and has taken immense pride in making its Beautiful Widgets app one of the most successful sellers on the Android Market, so we have no doubt whatsoever that the developer will take the same approach with Touiteur, and in a few short months we could have a new Android-based Twitter champion.