Twidroid surprised us by launching the next version of the popular Android Twitter client here on the last day of November instead. Twidroid 3.0, which is now available in the Android Marketplace, is a major update for this mobile application, introducing new features like geolocation, in-app image previews, threaded conversations, and, most notably an extensible plugin platform.Originally set to launch in "early December,"
According to the release notes, the updated Twidroid app includes the following new features:
- Threaded conversations
- In-app image previews for Twitpic, yFrog, Twitgoo, Phodroid, Posterous and Twitter profile images
- In-app link previews
- Twidroid plugins 1.0 + example on our website
- Action menu design streamlined with icons
- Share option for single tweet
- View large avatar in profile
- Saved searches sync with twitter
- Marker for tweets annotated with geo information
- Report spam
- Remember timeline position setting (default: on)
- Jump to top in timeline button
- Autocomplete usernames for timeline and replies
- Bring up tweet box directly by typing @
- DM list now with avatars
- Friends/Followers now available in free version and moved to profile view
The update also includes a fix for HTC Hero image upload problems, which users of that handheld will undoubtedly appreciate.
As you can see from the list above, the new Twidroid is now a worthy competitor to its iPhone rivals, especially Tweetie 2.0, which also introduced similar features like threaded conversation and geolocation only months ago. In fact, Twidroid may have just one-upped its competitors as it is now one of the first mobile applications to introduce a plugin platform.
Twidroid Does Plugins
Twitter client plugins are just now starting to be heavily discussed, thanks to a post by web guru Dave Winer, which argued for the need for a programmable Twitter client. Loic Le Meur, maker of the Seesmic application, then followed up by expanding upon his vision for Seesmic's development platform. Having just announced his move from Adobe AIR to Windows for the continued development of the PC-based Seesmic Desktop application, Le Meur writes that the app is now ready to become a programmable client. When launched, the desktop version of Seesmic will allow third-party developers to build features or services that can be integrated into Seesmic's core application.
Twidroid's plugin platform offers the same type of promise, albeit on the mobile platform. Thanks to this new functionality, third-party developers can extend Twidroid with features like URL shortener integrations or additional sharing features, notes the website. To kick off the launch, the company has introduced a sample plugin for Google Maps integration which shows a Twitterer's current location on a map and allows them to update or annotate that location as well.Similarly,
Adding a plugin architecture is a major achievement among Twitter client applications -- and certainly among the mobile set -- as it will allow the apps to become highly customizable and personalized creations unique to each and every user's needs. The only problem with plugins is that those you add in one client may not be available in another. That is, plugins added to the upcoming version of Seesmic won't necessarily be available in Twidroid and vice versa. This points to a need for Twitter itself to become the extensible platform and not each individual app. However, in the meantime, regular users of Twidroid will certainly enjoy this added functionality as they begin to customize the app to their liking.