Twitter Multi-Account Mobile Management, Hootsuite for Android

hootsuite android

hootsuite android

It took me a while to get aboard the Hootsuite application. My interest towards this application really emerged once I was in a position of handling more Twitter accounts than one man can handle. I have tried a few among the most popular apps, but Hootsuite got the most of my attention because

  1. You have a master account
  2. It’s integrated to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Ping.fm (among others), and
  3. The application has an Android app.

The Android app costs $2.99. There’s a free version but it limits your experience to three Twitter accounts, which is nonsense in the context of using Hootsuite. Beware, this might be a temporary thing, but when I tried to log in the first time, I had to retry something like 15 times: It’s depressing, mostly since you pay for the app, but just keep logging again and it will come.

As I mentioned above, the first plus of Hootsuite for Android is that you only have to enter your master account logins, and all your Twitter profiles pop up instantly. Scroll up and down to browse all of your profiles. Each profiles (tabs) show streams (home feed-replies-DM-pending-…) that you can individually edit or remove.

You can add new Twitter to your master account from your Hootsuite mobile application. The application also lets you schedule any tweet you composed via your phone. This can be convenient when you open Twitter 30 minutes every 6 hours, but you don’t want to send all your tweets on the spot. With Hootsuite, you can spread them evenly if you want.

The sweet spot is around tabs and streams. Typically, each tab is a Twitter account, and their containing streams are the ones I mentioned above. You can add-edit-remove any stream you want. A stream can be a home feed, replies, DM, pending (scheduled tweets) stream of any of your own Twitter account. Streams can also be a Twitter search result, or a Twitter list. The interesting thing you can do is create a new tab entirely focused on all the DMs of all your Twitter account for example. Or one with various search results. Tabs are groups, and streams are the components of this group.

In the end, what you find on the phone is a reduced version of the Hootsuite’s Web app. The app is 75% stable, it often won’t show lists of following/followers, it will often display a force close message, it will sometimes take minutes before sending a message, the loading time is a bit slow… In other words, Hootsuite is not the best app to

tweet on the go, but it’s definitely the only and best app to manage all of your Twitter accounts on the go! For those of us who are used to tweet while waiting for the bus, Hootsuite is the best complement to your mobile microblogging.

I found a few features missing: Couldn’t find how to retweet as another user, couldn’t connect to my Facebook pages, couldn’t add a RSS feed to a user’s activity. There is a built-in Web browser that’s kind of fast, but it’s too simple to compete with your regular Web browser, and it doesn’t have enough tweeting integrated features. Also, Hootsuite’s most likely biggest issue is the screen’s real estate: Very often, not all of your Twitter accounts will be suggested for use because they can’t all fit in.

G1 Apps: Newsrob, Google Reader on Android

newsrob google reader android

android rss

UPDATE: Since Google closed down Google Reader, Newsrob became useless.

Accessing Google Reader on the g1 has always been a low-on-adrenalin experience, which is surprising since the Reader should be a central product that Google should push forward in their app ecosystem: It connects people to content, and it also connects people around content. The best Google Reader alternative for me until recently was the mobile site accessible through the browser. This option had a few flaws:

  • If you leave the greader mobile page to open a new browser window, you will lose the items you were reading because newer feeds will be automatically loaded when you come back on the reader’s page. It is a barrier to visiting a blog to leave a comment on an article for example.
  • The loading time (loading new feeds, browsing feed folders…) is extremely long and irritating when you are on the go and you need to feed your brain with as much news as possible. Also, it only loads 15 items at a time.
  • You cannot use your phone social sharing features to select which social network you want to share a specific feed item with. I use Friendfeed to share my shared items with my Twitter followers, but sometimes I want to share content with my Facebook friends, and that’s a pain to do from the greader mobile site.

newsrob google reader android

And then Newsrob came along. Newsrob is a free app for Android to access and interact with your Google Reader account. Here are all the great features of Newsrob:

  1. It synchronizes automatically (and in the background) with your Google Reader account.
  2. You can load content and read it while offline.
  3. You can download the feed content, but you can also set it to download the actual Web page where the feed was sourced. You can customize this feature on a per-feed basis.
  4. You can set where the content is cached (saved temporarily) on your phone, and how much should be cached.
  5. You can enable notifications on a per-feed basis (notification, flash LED or vibration settings).
  6. You can star, share, view in the browser or mark unread.
  7. You can also share feed items through your phone’s social sharing features (send to Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, send as SMS…)
  8. You can jump to the previous or next item simply by pressing on the right or left side of your screen, where arrows appear if you long-press first.

I think Newsrob just nailed how people should access and interact with their feeds online. While subscribing to feeds remains an art of the geekdome (maybe Facebook will slowly change that), reading feeds with Newsrob is accessible to just anyone. In terms of app usability, I love how easy and fast it is to jump from one folder to another.

G1 Apps: Loquacious, Best Multiple Accounts Twitter App

loquacious

loquacious

On my quest for a seamless mobile Twitter experience, I stumbled upon Loquacious and started playing around with the free version. In less than 2 minutes, I was sold! Definitely the best alternative to interact with my Twitter streams.

Loquacious is a multi-account Twitter client for Android. I think Tweetie is the iPhone equivalent for this app. It has a very elegant interface, large font, easy sign-in, easy access to search and easy to tweet on the go.

Loquacious also has 3 killer features that makes it really different!

  1. Actions: Long press on an item opens a roll down menu that offers all the actions you need: reply, favorite, go to http, search #, d user or retweet this.
  2. Filters: Filter out all tweets that come from a specific source. For example, get rid of the junk and filter out all tweets coming from Twitterfeed and Tweetbots. That will clean up your stream and allow more interactions to happen. You can also filter out tweeps, a way to clean up the junk even more.

    loquacious sources

  3. Toggle Users: Have more than one Twitter account? Well you’ll finally be able to handle that on the go! Loquacious is the first Twitter app on Android to support multiple accounts. Pioneering is always respectable. It only takes two clicks to switch accounts!

loquacious multiaccount

I am really enthusiast about this app, but if you want a more balanced point of view, you should read this article by Matthew Stevens on the Android And Me blog. Also, for those interested in discovering more multiple account Twitter apps, read this.

G1 Apps: Google Analytics on Android

android growth

android growth

Even on the go, I need to get a detailed overview of my traffic at any time. I am a Getclicky user (with a g analytics account as a backup), but the Clicky site is not really optimized for a mobile experience. I turned to the Android app market to see what was available to explore my traffic, and two free apps (I have that free lunch philosophy) popped up that offer to track your traffic through Google Analytics: Droid Analytics and mAnalytics. I tested how both perform, and here is the result of the battle:

Droid Analytics vs mAnalytics

mAnalytics

mAnalytics has a very simple and intuitive user interface. You start with the list of your site; after selecting one, select your date/date range; see your traffic in terms of visits/pageviews/pages-visit/bounce rate/average-time-on-site/%new-visits.
Unfortunately, that’s about it for mAnalytics. Maybe online marketing beginners will find a benefit to such a simple application, but the app isn’t attractive enough to compete with a browser-based experience.

Droid Analytics

Droid Analytics also starts with the list of your sites. Once inside a site’s analytics, you can press the “view as graph” button to see your page views, visitors, visits, bounce rate, average time on site or page views per visits on a graph. You can see hourly stats, weekly, monthly, yearly, or use the date range selector.
The visual experience that Droid Analytics offers takes the analytics experience up a notch. mAnalytics is already down, but Droid Analytics keeps kicking its opponent with this feature: For each Website tracked, you can also view their top keywords, top countries, top sources of traffic, top search engines, top referring sites, and top browsers. I personally really like the top keywords option. It’s a nice way to remind you how people find your site while you are waiting at the bus stop, and reflecting upon your online marketing strategy.
Droid Analytics also has a paid version (0.99 euro). Eventually, if you like the app, you will have to pay as the free version is only a 24-hour trial. The app has a 5-star average rating, and the comments are all very enthusiastic.

The alternative is Mobile GA for Android, but the app is $2.99, it only has 3 stars, and the comments are not really positive, so I didn’t even bother to try it out.

Top 10 G1 Apps

android

android

Back in January, I wrote about the best g1 apps that could be found in the market. Since that date, a lot of new apps came up, and the Cupcakes update also changed a few rules. So what are the essential apps you need on your Android phone to get the most out of it ?

App Manager

The first app you want to install from the market is the App Manager. From this app, you can launch, uninstall, copy to SD or search the app in the market. You can also backup all of your applications to the SD card in a few clicks. Most importantly, you can easily install apps from your SD card, which is the gateway to downloading any app you want online and putting it on your phone.

Scoreboard

The simple app was developed by Google. This app allows you to keep track of all of your favorite sports team through your phone’s notifications system. It takes about half an hour to set it up, but then you don’t have to worry about it ever again, and sports results come to you live automatically.

Babble

Babble is the only Facebook app I know for the g1 that runs smoothly. From Babble, you can easily access your friends’ feeds, and drop comments on your friends’ updates. Uploading photos and videos to your profile are also part of the experience. The developer also added a quick ‘log out/log in as a different user’ button, which is quite smart !

MyTracks

I just love this application. Through your phone’s GPS, MyTracks will record your position while you are on the go. I personally use it to compare how I perform when I rollerblade to work. I think most people use it for their biking or walking hikes. Once you are done recording, MyTracks creates an KML file and a map on your Google’s MyMaps account. You can then easily share this map’s URL or embed it anywhere you want.

Glympse

At first sight, Glympse is very similar to MyTracks (or Latitude, Google geolocation-based social network). Glympse is different because it lets you easily share your location live with the person(s) you want, during the amount of time you want. The persons who receive the Glympse can see your location in real-time on a map, from a computer or on a phone.

Twidroyd

I am not a super active Twitter user, but anytime I want to interact with the Twitter platform only, Twidroyd has been the best app to let me easily tweet and read tweets. From my friends’ feeds page, I can ‘reply’, ‘show profile’, ‘favorite’, ‘retweet’ or ‘send direct message’ to any item displayed. You can also search Twitter for fresh content about a specific subject, see what’s hot on Twitterverse.com and access your favorite items. In the settings (and this is what I like), you can enable notifications for different kinds of events, chose your photo hosting provider, chose your url shortener, and much much more…

Androzip

Androzip is the best and easiest way to bundle documents in a ZIP file (ZIP, GZIP, TAR). From within the app, you can easily select several documents, ZIP’em, and send it to whoever you want. Must-have if you want to manage a lot of documents through your phone.

S3Anywhere

If you have an S3 Amazon account, you will love this app. It lets you easily access any bucket of your account, and provides the upload/download functions to share files between your cloud hard disk and your phone. It becomes interesting when you consider that you can access your documents on S3, ZIP them with Androzip, and send them from your gmail app to anyone you want.

MyAccount

It’s the app from T-Mobile to keep track of your account’s balance. It’s very simple, but I think it is the first time you can access your account balance info from your phone in one click. Must-have!

Metal Detector

The metal detector… detects metal. It acts like a magnet and guides you to the closest source of metal around you. From the settings, you can define the sensitivity of the detector (more sensitive also means more battery used). This is not an essential app to have, but the technology it is built on is pretty interesting. By putting a magnet in a phone, it is the first time that we have a phone that can directly interact with your surrounding environment. It is the cornerstone to a generation of smarter phones (yep, even smarter than what we already have today).