What is a Twitter addict? Would it be one who is in and out of it all day long? If you answer Yes then I confess I am addicted to Twitter. I am equally addicted to Twitter apps on other platforms, and can’t resist trying them all out. There are no shortage of Twitter apps on the Android platform, and by far my favourite is Plume (Website).
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 spell and type.
Plume is optimized for the Android platform, and works equally well on my HTC One S, SG2 smartphones and the Motorola Xoom. It looks similar to many other Twitter apps but its attention to detail make it work better. Plume 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.This indicator turns RED and shows the number of un-viewed updates exist in each column.
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, re-tweet 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 dialogue 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 taskbar, 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 tweets 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 premium version is reasonably priced at £3.73
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.
One thing I do like is the layout on my Xoom, when looking at a web page link it opens the in-built cui-cui browser or you can open your own browser.