Twitter updates Android app, we go hands-on in more than 140 characters

If you're an avid Twitter user and an avid Android smartphone user, you've been waiting for this day. The day where those developers at Twitter's headquarters man up and release a Twitter app that can seriously compete with the likes of TweetDeck, Twidroid, and HootSuite. Well, fellow tweeters, it appears that time has come -- the official Twitter Android 2.0 app just hit the Market and it includes a pretty drastic UI overhaul, some bug fixes, and a few more key features.

Naturally, we hit the update button as soon as it popped up on our Droid 2 Global, and we have to say the first thing we noticed was the speed increase -- our feed loaded quickly and jumping over to the different columns was snappy. Speaking of those columns, Twitter wiped the previous, overly-cutesy main homepage for four tabs that run along the top of the screen -- there's your regular feed, mentions, direct messages, and lists. It feels more like the iOS app, which definitely isn't a bad thing. You can still pull-to-refresh and swipe left or right over a particular tweet to respond, retweet, or favorite it. So, what's the best improvement? Besides the tidied up interface, we have to say it's the auto-complete for usernames -- punch in the @ symbol and start typing a name and you'll get a list of suggested names. Twitter's also improved the search functionality, but we'd suggest checking that out yourself. It won't cost you a penny, we just hope you're running Android 2.1 or higher. Nope, not even Twitter is safe from the evils of fragmentation.