Some of us are regular users of non-official social networks clients. Although it could seem that we’re just a gang of freaks, non-official’s way doesn’t lead to a ghost town, quite the contrary. One year ago, in March 2011, sysomos.com published a study related to this subject. The following graph summarize the results:
Thus, almost half of the total users use unofficial Twitter clients, despite in this specific case, the official app works pretty good. Similar phenomenon seems to happen with other social networks like Facebook. This reveals two facts: first, there’s a market niche for developers who are focused on offering added-value social networks clients, and second, users are way more practical than faithful. This means that there’s no room so far for lovemarks on the apps planet: what really matters is what those apps can offer to the client. Official apps developer team… better wake up!
We wanted to introduce you three of those unofficial social networks clients that are reaching great success not due to their name, but due to what they offer. Here you are: an unofficial Facebook client, an unofficial Twitter client and an unofficial client for managing both. Happy discovery!
Let’s start by this non-official Facebook app that loads activity way faster than the official app: Fast Facebook. Thus, this app is about fast loading of pictures and post on your timeline. Although it isn’t as cute as the official one, it’s set in a ICS-like layout with a top and bottom bar with Gmail-like (or G+-like) icons. You can perform same stuff than in the official app: check profile, inbox, search, see friend’s timeline, take a look at their pictures, update your status, upload pictures, see notifications… But way faster. What’s the trick? It loads the latest activity of our timeline but it doesn’t refresh previous post when we reached the bottom. Anyway, that’s not really a catch unless you have thousands of friends or you don’t check Facebook often. Check it out because just a few hours ago a worth new version with lots of enhancements was released.
Twicca is probably one of the most complete unofficial Twitter client we’ve ever tried. Both official and non-official lack of one or another feature. Twicca’s developers efforts lie on offering all of them: url shortener, notifications, saved searches, trendings, recent hashtags, retweets, lists… What’s more, it’s highly configurable regarding appearance, although its default black layout will help you to save some battery. Light and complete, fast and reliable. What did you expected from a great Twitter client?
Actually, this is both Twitter and Facebook client that “rises from the ashes” of other non-official Twitter client: Tweetdeck. Well, actually Tweetdeck became official when Twitter bought it a few months ago. Since then, its regular users realized that the app doesn’t work as good as it used to. Some speculate that this is a strategy for biggin’ up Twitter official app. Anyway, Tweakdeck developed by MoDaCo dev team, take the code to offer a similar-layout but enhanced-performance independent app. They achieved it. New iconography: the icon is blue as well as the unread bar and the highlights, just like the Chrome version looks like. It includes deck.ly (same as original Tweetdeck). The bug with t.co URLs and the Galaxy Nexus support have been fixed. Modaco says that it was also optimised and compressed for a better performance. We’ve noticed that the app runs smoothly, it takes shorter to load the Time Line. The only catch is that it seems that it drains a bit more battery than the original (1%-3% more, not really important).
Keep discovering, even through unknown paths, you never know you’ll find a precious stone.
Emmanuel Lund, treasure hunting at Androidzoom.com