The Bird is the Word: Part I (Twitter Reviews)
Welcome to part one of the official AndroidGuys Twitter application face-off! During the course of the next four days we will review four of the top Twitter applications for Android, beginning with the fourth best application and ending with the best Twitter application for Android. Stay tuned to AndroidGuys.com!
Seesmic 1.3.1 is a popular free Twitter client that is available in the Android Market. Although the Seesmic experience extends beyond Android, those aspects of the Seesmic experience will not be discussed in this review. This review will focus solely on the mobile Twitter experience presented by Seesmic.
Seesmic opens directly into your timeline and features a very simple tab-style interface. Tweets from other Twitter users that you follow appear in grey, your tweets are highlighted in yellow, and mentions are in blue. The tabs are separated into four categories: Timeline, Replies, Messages and Profile. The interface is very simple and straightforward. Clicking on Timeline will show you the most recent tweets for the individuals you follow, clicking on Replies will show you all of you mentions, and so on. On the top of each page is a long refresh button, which makes it easy to update your timeline. Clicking on your profile tab grants you access to your favorites, a list of people you follow, your followers, and user-created lists.
Although Seesmic does not have threaded messages like Touiteur, it does have a way to follow and read an entire conversation on Twitter. Clicking on an individual tweet will show who posted it, when it was tweeted, and who it was in reply to, if applicable. If a tweet is a reply to an earlier tweet, a box will appear that allows a user to view the aforementioned tweet, and ergo follow a conversation. It takes a while to load replies and the system is not ideal, but it is a nice feature nevertheless. Clicking on a person’s name will bring you to their profile. From there you can reply to their tweet, send them a direct message and perform a few other tasks.
Features that are included in many other Twitter clients are noticeably absent from Seesmic, such as user customization and multiple widget sizes. Trending topics are hidden under the search menu, but they are a welcome addition to the application. Composing a tweet in Seesmic takes one extra step than other Twitter clients. In order to compose a tweet you have to hit the menu button on your phone and then select “Compose.” Composing a tweet should be a speedier process, and many other Twitter applications only require one step to write a new tweet.
Like all other Twitter clients, Seesmic affords you the opportunity to choose when you receive notifications, your URL shortening service and your photo uploading service. Where Seesmic falls short is its widget. Seesmic offers one widget, and like the rest of the application, the widget is light on features. You can only view one tweet at a time, and scrolling between multiple tweets becomes tedious.
Seesmic is a nice free Twitter offering for Android. On occasion, loading can be slow and even unresponsive and the application’s feature set is bare. Seesmic excels as a basic Twitter client, and although it shares many features with the top Twitter applications, it is clear that it is a free application. Where Seesmic really falters is its widget. If you want to do anything other than compose a tweet, it is aggravating to use. Seesmic 1.3.1 is free and can be installed on any version of the Android operating system.