Thursday, February 17, 2011

TweetCaster adds speech bubbles, multiple accounts, and more to your professional Twitter experience

Platform: Android

4 out of 5


Takes your mobile Twitter experience from boring to brilliant, introducing many graphical tweaks and a heap of must-have features critical to power users of social media channels worldwide.

Ad-supported in its free version; $4.99 to get the Pro version to drop the ads and make things easier to read and manage. Some added features (balloons) make tweets harder to read, and the app overall seems nimble but takes a serious amount of system resources to keep itself running.

Any Twitter app can display your feed, let you update your status, and follow your friends. TweetCaster (finally!) lets you manage multiple accounts, embeds a URL-shortening service, makes it easy to attach a photo, and much more.

TWIDROYD for Twitter

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.

Truth be told, I’ve long used the official Twitter app to read, manage, and post to my @tmclain Twitter account when I’m out and about. The interface is super-clean, the functionality is equally vanilla, and the app just plain works. The tweets themselves take center stage, with the full width of my screen taken up with each 140-charcter-or-less missive.

For many power users with multiple accounts and bigger content-generation needs, however, TweetCaster is a very necessary upgrade. Whether in its free, ad-supported iteration, or its $4.99 ad-free “Pro” version, TweetCaster stands alone in the feature-rich category of Twitter clients.

First up is multiple account support. If you’re a social media professional, you no doubt have several Twitter feeds in need of monitoring, posting, and following. TweetCaster makes it easy to set up the accounts in a single place. There are also a number of themes available to skin the app to your liking, and when posting tweets a host of integrated tools are just a finger-press away: geotagging, URL shortening, attach a picture, and simultaneous posting to Twitter and Facebook.

The most unique feature of the app comes into play when viewing tweets. Each is displayed as a color-coded speech bubble. Your tweets appear in green, while any mentions of your account show up in pink. This makes sorting through your masses of tweets a bit easier, but the bubbles themselves take up just enough screen real estate to make each entry that much less likely to fit in the allotted space.

Also available is the ability to set up and review Twitter trends, custom lists, and saved searches. If you’re like me, and you commonly search for one or two keywords day in and out, saving these common terms is a godsend.

The icing on the cake? You can click a button to see all nearby Twitter traffic in real-time based on your exact location (or an entered Zip Code). This is particularly useful on a trade show floor, at an outdoor event, or even during times of crisis. (Egypt and Algeria, I’m looking your way.)

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