Hands-on: TweetDeck beta for Android [video]

TweetDeck beta for Android running on a Motorola Droid X for Verizon
TweetDeck beta for Android running on a Motorola Droid X for Verizon

So, now that TweetDeck has pushed out their official TweetDeck beta app for Android OS, we figured it’s about time that we showed you all what the new Twitter client looks like. Downloading and installing TweetDeck for Android is easy, so we went ahead and did that. Then we fired up our trusty HD video camera and started in on demonstrating the look, feel, and features of the new app in full 1080p HD glory. We also show you how the Android app compares to the iPhone version.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the initial start-up screen asks you to add Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and Buzz accounts. You can do so manually or you can just sign into your TweetDeck account and have the app automagically sync your accounts. As long as you’ve setup your TweetDeck account through the desktop application/client, all you have to do is log in to your TD account in the Android app and watch as it automatically verifies all your social networking profiles.

Next, you’ll notice that, rather than serve up a separate column/pane for every single social network, TweetDeck for Android puts all your public timeline updates into a single feed. You get Twitter, Facebook, Buzz and Foursquare updates in a convenient in-line stream. This will either be really annoying or really helpful to you, depending on how many friends you have across your various networks. Check out the video to see how the Android app’s user interface compares with the desktop and iPhone/iPad apps.

The status update tool is one of the coolest aspects of the app. Hit the little “message bubble” button in the lower left hand corner and you are taken to your status update screen. From here, you can toggle the different social networks that you’d like your latest update message to post to. It’s dead simple and very useful. It’s also easy to add an image from your phone’s image gallery, insert a pic by taking a new photo with the camera, add a nearby location, tag the update with your current location, or add a contact to the message.

The app also gets points for integrating Buzz and Foursquare. Very cool.

Unfortunately, the TweetDeck beta for Android app makes horrible use of screen real estate. Even on the 4.3-inch display on the Motorola Droid X, the app shows no more than three or four tweets/status updates at one time. And, since all updates from all social networks are streamed into a single column, slogging through a day’s worth of updates can be a trying experience. The video shows how the iPhone client handles heavy message volume better than the Android client.

All in all, TweetDeck for Android is pretty. It’s really, really pretty. It’s also dead simple to use – especially if you have a TweetDeck account. But, if you are a heavy Twitter or Facebook user, you might want to look elsewhere.

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