Twitter overhauls Android app

Twitter's not-so-great app for Android is now smoother and sleeker

Twitter's not-so-great app for Android is now smoother and sleeker, thanks to an upgrade available Wednesday on Google Play.

Twitter's updated Android app

The app is now native to Android if your device runs version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later. Twitter has finally embraced the Holo design guidelines first introduced with Ice Cream Sandwich, giving the app a very flat and modern look.

We downloaded the new Twitter app onto a Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD to see how it stacked up against the previous Android version. Organizationally, the app isn't all that different from its predecessor: The navigation bar is still there, giving you access to your messages, mentions, and tweets of people you follow, though you can now navigate between tabs by swiping left or right. Text is also larger and easier to read, and the app makes better use of screen space when viewing a single tweet.

The one downside of the new navigation scheme? You now have to click on a tweet in order to do anything--adding an extra step every time you want to retweet or favorite something. The app also seems slower at updating when you switch between tabs. On the plus side, it looks from our initial testing that those annoying Sponsored Tweets have been done away with--we hope that continues as we log more time with the updated app.

Twitter on Android now makes better use of screen space when you view an individual tweet.

Twitter also added new features to its iOS app and mobile site, including the ability to view more content in expanded tweets as part of the new Twitter Cards introduced on Tuesday. Now, you can view outside apps, photo galleries, and products within expanded tweets instead of being kicked into another app or browser.

Twitter's expanded tweets now let users access or download outside apps right from the tweet.

The new Cards help app makers integrate more closely with Twitter and show content in more direct ways.

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