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A look at Twidroyd and TweetDeck Twitter clients on Android

ZDNet UK takes a look at the latest version of the now-venerable Twidroyd and its upcoming rival from the popular desktop Twitter client TweetDeck
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By David Meyer on
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On Wednesday, PostUp released Twidroyd 4, the latest version of its popular Twitter client for Android smartphones. The big new feature of Twidroyd 4 (pictured) is LivePreview, which provides a way to quickly look at the things linked to by Twitter users.

Meanwhile, the popular desktop Twitter client company, TweetDeck, also has an Android version of its product in beta.

Using a Motorola Milestone — known in the US as the Motorola Droid — ZDNet UK put both Android-based Twitter clients through their paces to see how the microblogging service is now being used on Google's smartphone platform.

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Twidroyd, one of the longest established Twitter clients for Android, now provides a live preview of the content linked to by Twitter users. The service was known as 'Twidroid' until July, when it was bought by PostUp. The new owners changed the service's name due to Lucasfilm's "droid" trademark.

LivePreview kicks in when the phone is rotated to the landscape position. It shows the news stream in a left pane and the linked content — in the case pictured above, an image — in the right. However, the functionality is only available to people using Android 2.0 or higher.

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The other major new feature of Twidroyd 4 is its new unified grid menu, which makes it easier to see the client's many features than was previously possible.

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TweetDeck has long been one of the most popular desktop Twitter clients.

The Android version of the client looks as if it might become widely used too. Like the desktop version, it is based on columns. These can be swiped across to change the view between the general feed, mentions and replies and direct messages.

The client's beta nature is still apparent, as it is missing features such as the ability to jump to the top of a feed. Unlike Twidroyd, TweetDeck for Android displays all followers' tweets since the last viewing, so this can mean a lot of scrolling is required to see the most recent.

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Selecting a tweet in the Android TweetDeck presents the options of replying to, retweeting or favouriting the post.

As with its rivals, the client also shows previews of some content, such as images and videos.

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TweetDeck allows for the incorporation of a multitude of profiles, including those for Twitter, Facebook, Buzz and Foursquare.

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The TweetDeck client can be customised using sliding controls.

The one pictured changes the frequency of updates — a frequency that can slightly improve battery life if lowered — while a similar control changes text size in order to fit more tweets onto the screen.

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This shot shows the post entry screen on the Android version of TweetDeck. As with rival software, photos, location and usernames can be easily added through the interface.

TweetDeck for Android is still in beta. The company has not put it in the Android Market yet, but the current build can be downloaded via a TweetDeck account.

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