TweetDeck For Android Step By Step September 2nd, 2010
I have been asked to write a guide for people new to Android explaining how to install TweetDeck. For those who aren’t familiar with TweetDeck, it’s a cross platform Twitter client that only recently become available for Android. A lot of people may well have used the desktop version previously; out of all the desktop Twitter clients, TweetDeck is regularly voted one of the top applications and for good reason. TweetDeck isn’t just all about Twitter however; it allows you to also configure your Facebook, MySpace, Foursquare, LinkedIn and Google Buzz accounts.
The Android client shares many of the features of its desktop sibling; however it will only allow you to integrate Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz and Foursquare accounts. This really isn’t an issue though as MySpace is not as popular these days anyhow and the majority of mobile users will be consumers who probably don’t use LinkedIn (of course there are other LinkedIn applications available from the market if you do require this). Another great feature is that you are able to enter your TweetDeck account details and it will automatically sync the accounts that you use in your desktop client meaning you don’t have to worry about remembering all of your account details individually. Right from the word go the developers over at TweetDeck have given a lot of thought towards the end user experience to ensure it doesn’t become another run of the mill Twitter app (have you looked at Seesmic or Twidroyd recently; both good apps but take away the exterior shell and you are left with very similar and traditional Twitter clients) instead choosing to produce a new, innovative design that’s fresh and exciting.
Installing TweetDeck is simple, although as it is still in beta stage, it is not available to download from the market as yet. To download and install TweetDeck you’ll need to do the following:
- On your device, navigate through Menu>Settings>Applications
- Ensure that the Unknown sources option is checked; if it was previously unchecked you’ll be shown a security dialogue box, acknowledge this to continue
- Open the browser on your device
- Navigate to http://www.tweetdeck.com/go/android/ and your device will download the required .apk file to your download folder on your microSD card
- Next you’ll need an app that is capable of initiating an installation directly from a native .apk file, for novices perhaps the simplest solution is to go to the market and download Linda File Manager
- Once you have downloaded this, open Linda File Manager from the app drawer
- Click the SD Card option
- You should see a folder called download, this is where the browser will have downloaded the TweetDeck installer, click download
- Click TweetDeck-0.9.5.apk (see note below)
- Once the installer has finished installing, click Open to proceed directly to the app to setup your accounts
Notes: I have given you the direct download link from TweetDeck so as new updates are released, clicking this link will download the newer files. You may therefore find that your actual file will differ in version number, this is not an issue; simply install the version that was downloaded.
If you use the desktop version of TweetDeck, you’ll be able to sign in using your TweetDeck account here, this means that you will not have to separately configure Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz or Foursquare as the app will “pull down” your settings and sync your accounts automatically. If you don’t have a TweetDeck account, then you’ll need to add each account separately by clicking on the appropriate option.
That’s about all there is to it. One of the great things about TweetDeck for Android is that there are not many options to configure, making the experience a simple one; it just works! That’s not to say it is short on features. You’ll notice that your timeline has all of your accounts in one continuous list; each colour coded for easy identification. You’ll even notice that as you scroll up and down through the list, the time at that particular place in the timeline is displayed at the top which I think is a nice touch. You can flick right through 2 more screens to see your mentions (which apply not only to Twitter, but anything that is deemed a “notification” in Facebook also) and your DMs; everything is laid out in a simple yet graphically pleasing way.
One thing worthy of mention at this stage is that unlike any other Twitter app I have ever used on Android, the timeline always remembers where you left it. Not just some of the time, but all of time; no more waking up in the morning and having to manually find where you were the night before because the timeline had somehow managed to “jump” to the top all on its own.
There are four buttons at the bottom of the main screen, the first of which will probably be one of the most used; the button to compose a new update (allowing you to choose which of the accounts you want to update). Next you have a favourite’s button, once you press this you are presented with a user customisable screen whereby you can store your favourite contacts for one touch access to all of their profile and update information. Finally there is the Twitter search and location buttons; the Twitter search button allows you to search trends on Twitter, the location button interfaces with Google Maps to show you your current location.
Once you start using the app, you’ll find more too; like the image preview and location map (but only if the posters update was location aware) below any updates you click on, saving you having to click through 2 or 3 pages to get the same amount of information on other clients. There is the simple slider button to change the display font size and a well laid out configuration screen where you can change your notification options and set the duration between updates; last but not least my favourite feature, whereby the TweetDeck notification icon flips upside down and “dies” if it encounters a problem whilst posting an update. I can just imagine the response of the other members of the development team whilst sat around a table brainstorming when that idea came up, pure genius.
Remember also that this is still a beta product (although in fairness, it is the most stable beta I have ever used, not a single FC or issue to date), which means that it is going to more than likely be updated again before the final release, adding more features based on user feedback. The downside of this is that as the app was not downloaded from the market, you will not receive an automatic notification when an update is available; not a huge issue though. The best way around this is to follow TweetDeck (@TweetDeck) on Twitter as they tweet when an update is available for download (then all you need to do once you click on the link and download any update is to follow the last 5 steps of the guide again to update).
TweetDeck for Android is great app; it’s in a different league to HTC Peep.
Tags: android, Desire, htc, peep, tweetdeck, twitter
This entry was posted on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 at 11:51 am and is filed under Blah, Desire, G1, HTC, Technology Related. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.