Two years after Google started rolling out its new design guidelines for Android famously known as Material Design, it is only a few days ago that Twitter’s official Android application finally got updated to comply with them. However, in that period, new applications have sprung up that have embraced Material Design ethos fully and ended up winning the hearts of many an Android enthusiast.
While you will still need to go back to the official Twitter app on your Android smartphone from time to time since features like Moments, Highlights and polls are only available through it, you will be very much at home with the applications on this list. They build on the legacy of other famous third-party Twitter apps on the Android platform like Echofon, Slices, Twicca, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Seesmic, UberSocial, TweetCaster, Plume and many others which have been a constant feature since the early days.
Even though these apps have all been conceptualized, designed and developed by different developers, they have at least four things in common. First, they’ve previously been victims of Twitter’s ridiculous developer guidelines which restrict third-party Twitter apps to just 100,000 users after which they rendered useless. Secondly, they are all (except one) paid apps. Many will have an opinion on why they should go out of their way to pay for a Twitter app while they could just use the many available free options or just stick with the official app and they are right. However, for all the great work and thought that has gone into these applications, they are worth their price or even more. Finally, they all provide superior customization options than the official Twitter app (including the dark theme that Twitter hopes to roll out some day) and have Material Design!
Fenix for Twitter is the latest application on this list to fall victim to Twitter’s ridiculous stance on tokens as it tries to push all users to use its own application which has ads from where it makes some of its revenues. That issue has since been fixed after public outcry but it still means that Fenix’s days may be numbered since sooner or later it will hit the ceiling, again.
Still, Fenix is one of the most fully featured, functional and well-done Twitter applications on the Google Play Store. Unlike some apps, it allows users to add multiple accounts at no extra cost. Then again, it is the costliest app on this list.
Unlike the rest of the applications on this list, Finch for Twitter is, surprisingly, free! With a clean, uncluttered interface and a choice of a dark mode, it offers a great experience. It also allows for the addition of multiple Twitter accounts for free.
I like the way I can access my lists directly from the top bar without having to customize the app.
Finch integrates ads directly in the tweets but this is really a small price to pay for such a beautiful application. You can’t even compare the ads on Finch to those in-your-face ones on Twitter’s official app.
Talon for Twitter has been around since early 2014. When it arrived, there was no Fenix to rival it. In fact, only Joaquim Verge’s Falcon Pro had shown that we badly needed well-designed Twitter apps on Android since the developers behind popular iOS and Mac Twitter app Tweetbot decided Android was none of their business.
Today, the old Talon from two years ago is no longer available to new users for download from the Play Store since it already maxed its tokens. However, a newer and better Talon is now on offer. The developer, Luke Klinker, decided to offer Material Design on the new application and not on the old one leaving previous buyers of Talon out in the cold. This move was criticized by some while others simply understood and happily gave away their $4. I’m one of those who’ve stuck with classic Talon instead of paying for the Plus version since the old app still serves me better over two years later.
However, for you, you have no choice but to go for the new app which is as good as you would expect from any Material Design app.
Talon has one key strength: lots and lots of themes. I’ve been using one such theme to sport Material Design on my Classic Talon.
4. Falcon Pro
The Material Design update that hit Twitter’s official Android application in the last few days is being credited to Joaquim Verges, a developer recently hired by Twitter. However, thus far, Verges’ name is etched in the hearts and minds of Android fans and enthusiasts because of one thing: Falcon Pro. Falcon Pro is the oldest application on this list and as such has had frequent run-ins with Twitter for exhausting its tokens. At some point, the developer threw caution to the wind and offered a comprehensive step by step guide to users on how they could work around Twitter’s token limits and use Falcon Pro for free since it had, by then, been pulled from the Play Store.
Today, Falcon Pro is on the Play Store as Falcon Pro 3 and is just as good, intuitive and fully functional. However, thanks to the emergence of newer and may be better alternatives, it finds itself in a situation only older third-party Twitter apps like Tweetings, Twidere, Tinfoil, and Carbon among others have found themselves on the Android platform before.
Its weakness? It needs $2 to add another account. LOL.
Flamingo for Twitter is the newest app on this list. In fact, it is still in beta. It also happens to be the cheapest among the paid apps on this list at just a little over $1.
What has raised its profile so soon after launch is the fact that its maker, Sam Ruston, is the face behind Weather Timeline, one of the best weather applications on the Play Store, and as such many were willing to give it the benefit of the doubt; they were right.
Not only is Flamingo good-looking and colourful thanks to following Material Design, it also allows users nearly endless customization options like being able to toy around with the colour of the floating action button. I like that I can customize my personal account to look different from any other account I’m logged in to on Twitter using Flamingo.
Flamingo has the potential to become the top Twitter app on the Android platform. For now, it is already halfway there even with the many features that still need to find their way to the app before it exits beta.