Top Android Twitter App Plume Reviewed

Summary:I am addicted to Twitter apps on every platform I use, and can't resist trying them all out. There are a lot of Twitter apps on the Android platform, and my favorite is Plume.

I confess I am addicted to Twitter, and I am in and out of it all day long. I am equally addicted to Twitter apps on every platform I use, and can't resist trying them all out. There are no shortage of Twitter apps on the Android platform, and by far my favorite is Plume.

You may know Plume better under its original name, Touiteur. This strange name was "Twitter pronounced with a French accent" according to LevelUp Studio, the developer. The real Twitter folks demanded that the Touiteur app be renamed to avoid confusion with Twitter, and thus the name was changed to Plume. I like Plume better as it's much easier to type.

Plume is optimized for the Android platform, and works equally well on my EVO 4G smartphone and the Galaxy Tab. It looks similar to many other Twitter apps but its attention to detail make it work better. The app presents the basic timeline when started, and has three columns to the right of this timeline: Mentions, Direct Messages and Search/List. Moving among these columns is as easy as swiping left and right on the screen, causing the next column to move into view. There is an indicator in the upper right of the screen indicating which column is being viewed. It would be wonderful if this indicator would also indicate (by color) when unviewed updates exist in each column, like in Tweetdeck.

Where Plume shines is in the way it handles common Twitter tasks, especially interaction with individual tweets. Tap a tweet in any column and a menu drops down below it offering common tasks (reply, retweet, etc.). Even better, long-press a tweet and it will instantly open up a link in the tweet, such as a web page, in the default browser. If there are more than one link in the tweet the long-press pops up a dialog with all of the links for selecting one with a tap. This handles web links, embedded images and other links.

When a tweet is selected, in addition to the drop-down task bar, if the tweet is part of an ongoing conversation the last few tweets in the conversation are displayed beneath the tweet, in black to indicate it's a conversation. There is a bar that will "view full conversation" when pressed, opening it in a separate window for interaction.

Creating a tweet shows how well Plume is designed. The editor window opens up for entering the tweet, and there are buttons to trigger common tasks. The # button enters the hashtag in the tweet, and when you start typing the tag a window pops up with hashtags that fit what you are currently typing. Even complicated hashtags can be entered by simply selecting it in the window after typing only a letter or two. The @ button works the same way; start entering a Twitter ID to include in the tweet and the popup shows you all the tweeps you've messaged previously.

Plume is available in both free and paid versions. The paid version eliminates ads (which aren't intrusive) and more importantly lets you open links in an integrated browser. This ends opening web links in the default Android browser, and opens them within Plume. The paid version is reasonably priced at $2.73.

When Plume is installed it includes several widgets for the home screen of various sizes. The widgets are attractive, and provide a great deal of utility from the home screen. I don't use them personally as I do not like Twitter running all the time in the background, preferring to update the Twitter timeline only when using the program.

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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