Back in 2006 Jack Dorsey created the monster that is now known as Twitter (It was originally just “twttr”), and the site has since grown exponentially to the point where as of June 2010 around 65 million tweets are posted every day. Due to Twitter’s popularity and openness with their API, a slew of applications are available for every format you can possibly think of… but of course we only care about one. Now like every other tech-orientated geek I’ve tried most, if not all twitter apps available on the Android Market. Fortunately as I also have one of the shortest attention-spans known to man, I’m continuously on the lookout for the next best Twitter application… however I always seem to get drawn back to one in particular: Touiteur.
Touiteur (basically just twitter as pronounced with a French accent) is a creation of LevelUp Studios, developers of one of my other favourite apps Beautiful Widgets as well as FoxyRing. Why do I rate Touiteur above every other Twitter app I’ve tried? LevelUp haven’t just focussed on functionality or appearance – they’ve merged both into what I think is the most gorgeous Twitter app available, and they’ve provided a plethora of customisation options to back it up without hampering performance. Performance Firstly let’s cover the boring stuff – how the app performs. I have Touiteur running on my HTC Hero on Android 2.2, and I have to say, it runs like warm butter (Well, ever since I uninstalled my task killer it does anyway). I never have Watchdog telling me it’s “misbehaving” as far as my battery goes, & it doesn’t eat my battery unless I’m constantly tweeting, or have my polling time set very low – you have the option of setting it to every minute in Touiteur… good for the power users among you. If you have your tweet list count set particularly high (max is 250), then there can be a longer wait time while your list refreshes, but aside from that I really don’t have many gripes about Touiteur at all in this area. Interface In my humble opinion, this app’s interface is second to none. The timeline looks gorgeous, especially with the integrated image view (although I’d kill for a Twidroyd-esque image overlay when it’s tapped) and once you tap a tweet the minimalist menu is a delight to see and use as well as the conversation view.
The timeline has the usual options at the bottom to filter between tweets, mentions & direct messages – you can actually swipe from left to right to navigate these if you’d like, though I find I end up inadvertently flicking the timeline up/down instead. You’ll notice from the images above that there’s no “New Tweet” button anywhere in the interface – that’s because the composition facility is hidden away at the top of the screen – flick it down just like the notification bar and you get the following functional beauty appearing for you (which you can also bring up from the widgets as pictured on the right):
The tweet composer being hidden helps to free up space for other buttons so the interface isn’t too cramped, which is great for those of us with bigger-than-the-average-bear fingers. Unfortunately if you’re anything like me, I find maybe one in every three times I go to compose I new tweet I end up flicking down the notification bar instead of the tweet composer. Aside from the bog-standard options of typing and adding a URL or uploading an image from your device’s gallery, you can insert usernames (great for all your #followfriday needs), hashtags, geolocation and finally shrink URLs. There are a fair few customisation options for the overall look of Touiteur as well: you can change the font size, the gradient colour for alternate tweets and @ mentions, the colour of the toolbar at the bottom, and the theme.
I think I may have to throw down a challenge to anyone who thinks they can find a Twitter app that looks better than Touiteur – the closest contender in my opinion may be Twidroyd though (It’s new LivePreview facility is gorgeous, but I think that’s something for another review). Functions Ok so we’ve got the eye candy out of the way – now down to business. What does Touiteur do? The answer – a lot more than most users will need, but that’s never a bad thing. Firstly we have the now prettymuch industry standard of multiple account support with view filtering, and you get the option to select which account to tweet from by pressing the account thumbnail when tweeting. Adding a new account is simple, and there’s no limit on how many accounts can be added.
You also have the standard landscape view which still looks gorgeous, but I always prefer portrait view myself.
There’s also a built in browser for any links followed in tweets (see the first screenshot) called the CuiCui browser – this is fairly functional, offering back & forward buttons, a share option and a button to reopen the link in your default browser. Cui Cui has multi-touch support so pinch-to-zoom works fine, though you also have the option of the standard zoom in/out buttons available too. Widgets Finally we come to one of the “make or break” aspects of Touiteur, if reading some of the user comments on other twitter apps are anything to go by – widget support. Touiteur has 3 widgets to choose from, but only if you’re a paying customer – however these along with some of the other paid only features make the app well worth the measly $2.73/£1.74. The widgets can be set to automatically scroll through tweets every 20 seconds if you want them to, and using the parts of the widget to refresh, scroll or compose a tweet works very well.
Conclusions I’ve been a very impressed paying customer of LevelUp since Touiteur first hit the market, and I’ve never been let down by the app in general, despite my frivolity with trying other Twitter applications every twenty minutes. The app is updated on a regular basis, soon to be integrating Twitlonger support, and has a very loyal fanbase of over 250,000 if the app’s downloads are anything to go by. There are a few shortcomings (lack of video support, image preview overlay), and a couple of fiddly problems caused by my massive fingers, but other than that, I really can’t recommend Touiteur enough for power users and casual tweeters alike. Rate & Download: Touiteur (Free)