Tip for Android owners who use Twitter

Ditch Peep.

I went hunting for alternative Twitter clients the other day because I came to the conclusion that Peep wasn’t up to much. It’s terribly slow and unresponsive, selecting a web location in a tweet is hit-and-miss, and one of the most irritating problems is its lack of proper support for URL shortening services. Basically, it won’t shorten them at the outset, so a long URL will still take up a huge chunk of your tweet space. (It will shorten them only afterwards, so the tweet looks a bit neater when it’s in a column, but that’s not much use when you’re composing.)

I went online and Googled “peep versus twidroid”, the other well-known Android Twitter client. It turned out that Twidroid has a free version and an ad-free paid version, and I wasn’t willing to lose screen space to adverts. So I downloaded Seesmic, a client which is also available on other platforms (it’s called Twhirl on Windows, for example), and installed it and terminated Peep.

My phone now works like a completely different machine; just about all the problems I had with lack of responsiveness are just gone (and they affected the whole phone, not just that one app). Seesmic is also more featureful, with better direct message support, multiple account support, and a menu that lets you choose who to name in a reply to a tweet which mentioned Twitter users other than the sender. The only downside seemed to be that you couldn’t just click on the “What are you doing?” space and compose — you have to press “Menu” then click “compose”, but that just works — you don’t have to wait for them, unlike with Peep. I’m not sure it does auto-updates, though, and its notifications are a bit flaky (buzzing you to tell you “new replies” when you’ve already read them).

Peep may be the thing that’s making you hate your phone. You don’t have to — you just have to clear out that one bit of dead wood.

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