Welcome to my full review of Hootsuite, a rock solid, ridiculously full-featured Twitter client for all versions of Android. Hootsuite has undergone a lot of updates in the past few weeks and months on the Android platform. I chose this application to review this week because of one special thing – It’s now free. Hootsuite’s full version used to be a paid application (I paid for it) a while ago. It’s recently been moved to the free section of the Android Market. I can’t be sure how long it’ll be free, but you can keep up with the Hootsuite blog to say on top of updates. Let’s get straight into the review.
Hootsuite features a tab interface at the top, similar to Seesmic, but uses a different style, order, and layout for its buttons. The whole app has a nice blue and white feel to it, no matter where you are in your timeline, settings, or anything else. It is also similar to Tweetdeck for Android because of the multiple column view and the ability to swipe between columns. In Hootsuite, these columns are called ‘streams.’
Hootsuite streams are similar to Tweetdeck columns, and are also found in Hootsuite for the desktop platform. You can swipe left and right through streams and for every stream there is an indicator circle at the bottom of the timeline. If there are no new notifications, the circle is white. If a new notification appears, the circle corresponding to that stream will turn red. When you scroll all the way to the top of a timeline, a ‘Refresh’ button will appear, for pulling in new tweets and letting you know how long ago you last refreshed.
Composing a Tweet
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this review, Hootsuite is full of features. Many of them are apparent after you hit the ‘compose’ tweet button on the top right hand side of the application. Some may say this is similar to Tweetie on the iPhone, and I can’t disagree. At the top of the place to tweet, you can select which of your accounts you want to send the tweet to. That’s right – Hootsuite is one of the few Android twitter clients out there for free that offer multiple account support. At the bottom of this window you can choose to attach a photo (taking a new one or choosing a previously taken or downloaded one). You can also schedule a tweet for any date and time. The tweet is stored on Hootsuite servers so it will be sent out at the appropriate time even if you don’t have Hootsuite open or your phone is off. There is also a link shortening button, which will use Hootsuite’s ow.ly url shortener to keep track of clicks and analyzing where they came from later.
Hootsuite has a few extra features and settings that haven’t yet been mentioned. One of which is the underrated ability to come back to the timeline where you left off. This is a feature that is sadly missing from the official ‘Twitter for Android’ client, but Hootsuite delivers! You can also change settings like notification interval, so you can control how often it checks to see if you have any new replies or messages. Links and embedded pictures in tweets will all open in Hootsuite without leaving to go to your default browser, which is a handy feature in any media consumption application. You can also copy tweet text and save tweets for later. Overall Hootsuite is an amazingly full-featured client that provides a lot of bang for your buck… Get it while it’s free!
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