Boid for Android has been in the works for quite some time. If you haven’t already noticed, the app is now out of alpha and is in pre-beta with a ton of improvements.
While I don’t feel comfortable calling this a review, I will say that Boid is already shaping up to be the premier Twitter experience for Android if you have a device running 4.0 and higher. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer.
A Twitter client I can live with
Boid for Android’s biggest draw is its user interface, naturally. Designed from the ground up for Android 4.0, the developer shows a clear understanding of the design practices Google wants everyone to follow going forward. The user interface uses a number of different elements to provide easy composition, viewing, and navigation of tweets.
The app effectively uses swiping gestures, tabs, the action bar and more. With dark and light themes to choose from you can choose the perfect viewing experience for your eyes. The app simply looks great and feels right at home on Android 4.0+.
Perhaps its greatest achievement is its short list of bugs. In fact, I’ve run into no noticeable bugs in my run of the pre-beta.The jump from alpha to pre-beta zapped all of the issues I had, and the relative lack of bugs right now has me very excited for the future. The experience is so smooth that this is my primary Twitter app even without important features like notifications yet (more on that later).
The app gives you the bare necessities for a Twitter experience in current form. Composing tweets gives you the ability to add photos, shrink links, and attach a location.
You can easily switch between multiple accounts from this interface. The tweet interface will show you the conversation corresponding with that Tweet. You can retweet (natively and via quote), favorite, and respond to a tweet from this view.
You can have as many columns as you want. The default setup is a 4-column cocktail for Timeline, Mentions, Direct Messages, and Trending Topics. The latter allows you to filter between daily, weekly, and local trends. You can search Twitter for tweets and users, and you can save those searches in their own column for constant monitoring.
What it’s still missing
The app may be in alpha but it’s still worth sharing what I’d like to see out of future updates. For starters, basic notifications still haven’t been implemented. In order to get an update you’ll need to go within the app and manually press the refresh button. Speaking of that refresh button, I’d love to see a “pull to refresh” feature.
There are currently no widgets to be had. Android 4.0+ allows you to make scrollable widgets and that would be the perfect style for a Twitter app. We’re sure the developers are looking to add this, but it’s not a priority in pre-beta.
I’d also like to see a combined timeline for multiple accounts. It’s great that we can switch between accounts so early, but being able to view all the tweets from all your accounts in one column would be a fantastic commodity. While we’re at it, color coding each account would put a nice smile on my face.
Once it’s finished…
Boid may not have much competition once it releases. While it’s hard to predict what the developer will implement by the time we’re ready for a full release (or even a beta release), we can’t imagine they’ll skimp out on the features users expect from a Twitter client these days.
With a comparable feature-set, Boid will have a leg up on the competition with its very clean user interface and its delightful experience. The bugs are already minimal for a pre-beta so we look for this to be one of the most stable Twitter applications for Android period once it goes stable.
The promise of “disruptive” Twitter experiences have come from many, and many failed to live up to those promises. Boid has an excellent opportunity to fill the void that still seems to be empty in the Google Play Store, and we’re excited to see what this already impressive application can do once it’s out of beta. Give Boid for Android a go in the Google Play Store here.