As the battle lines between smartphones appears to be drawn firmly between the Apple and Android platforms -- and that's it -- pushing as much social media on these devices is an obvious goal of the Facebooks and Twitters of the world. So when the Android environment receives a Twitter update that increases functionality, it should come as no surprise.
Over at the Twitter blog, details about the Twitter for Android app update are available, and it promises features like push notifications and the ability to keep track of multiple accounts. The push feature will alert users about incoming Twitter updates, even if the phone is being used for something, like, say, calling someone. While this may be a foreign concept to many children of the text message age, it does sound like a useful inclusion, provided you don't mind being interrupted by app notifications while using your phone to actually communicate.
The blog entry explains:
Push notifications let you instantly receive Twitter updates – no matter what you’re doing on your phone. In your account settings, select "automatic refresh" and choose to receive updates for Direct Messages, @Mentions (from the people you follow or anyone), and Tweets.
The ability to turn off these notifications will be greeted with relief, undoubtedly. The idea of interruptions for Twitter updates can't appeal to every Android user. The multiple accounts feature allows the Twitter app users to do exactly what it suggests. You can check multiple Twitter accounts without having to alter current log in status:
You can also now use multiple accounts on Twitter for Android without ever logging out. It’s easy to switch between accounts to discover and share what’s happening in the world.
This is a great idea for those of you who have a Twitter account for your business and one for personal life. Now, you no longer have to log in and out of both to keep track of Twitter interactions. Judging by the description, users can simply alternate between however many accounts they are keeping track of. Such ease of use updates are always welcome, especially when they remove frustrating aspects that reduce the appeal of such applications.
Other updates mentioned on the Twitter blog include an interface update, which can be seen in the lead image, and various bug fixes. The updated Twitter for Android app is now available from the Android's own version of an app store. Apparently, however, Apple's desire to keep the phrase "app" for themselves has resonated with Android, hence the "Android Marketplace" title.