Falcon Pro is the latest app to take advantage of Google's new Play Store beta program, and the developer is testing out some much anticipated features. The UI is flatter and more clean, a new theme is on-board, and there is finally multi-account support. Rejoice, brothers and sisters. Your prayers (complaints) have been answered.
A Little Background And How To Get It
Falcon Pro grew out of the Falcon Widget, which was a scrollable home screen widget so robust it almost stood in for a full app. Falcon Pro saw wide adoption when it arrived in the Play Store. However, since it was released after the revision of Twitter's API policy, it quickly ran into the user token limit of 100,000. Twitter was not receptive to requests for more auth tokens.
The developer was able to stave off doom by resetting the tokens so only active users took up space. That seems to have taken care of the problem, at least for now.
Anyone that already uses Falcon Pro is welcome to join the beta program and get an early look at version 2.0. Interested parties first need to go to the Falcon Pro Google+ Community page and join up. Next, go to the Play Store testing link right here. If you don't do this you will not be able to download the beta. Simply go to the Play Store on your device and update the app. Note that the app description may not be different, but the beta will still be installed. You can also push the beta to a device from the web Play Store, but it will not show you a new version number there either.
What It's Like
Falcon Pro 2.0 is still recognizable as the same app, but the UI is flatter and a bit cleaner on the default theme. If you look at the old UI down at the bottom, there are small beveled edges all over the place, and tweets were more segmented in the stream. It gave the app a mildly 3D look, but no more. I'd say the new UI is an improvement, albeit a subtle one.
Revamped Grey Theme
There is a new theme option in this build, bringing the total to three. We already had the dark and light styles, but now black is in the mix. The dark theme is now called grey, because that's what it is – a mix of light and dark grey. The light theme is a mix of white and light grey. The new black theme will appeal to users with AMOLED screens. The greys used in Falcon Pro tend to look a bit dingy and blotchy on AMOLED panels. The background of the new theme is almost pure black, but there are some dark-grey elements as well.
Transition animations are also different in this revision. Rather than have a fast fade when opening a tweet, the UI slides gracefully to the side, just like the pre-existing slide-out navigation panels. Again, a subtle change, but nice.
The Black Theme
The real headlining feature in the beta is multi-account support, and it's everything you hoped for. Just tap the username in the left slide-out navigation panel to add or switch between accounts. Logging in a second account is identical to first – no hiccups or weird tricks. Switching happens instantly, but you can't set individual refresh timers for each account. Additionally, logging out seems to log out both accounts. The app has no unified timeline for multiple accounts, though. It could do with a little tweaking.
Considering the problems Falcon Pro had with Twitter's token situation, I'm surprised multi-account support is happening. Pleased, but surprised.
Falcon Pro is still the Twitter client I use every day, and the beta seems more than stable enough to continue that. Anyone with more than one Twitter account to manage would do well to check this beta out. The curious should probably consider it too. Just for reference, check out the old UI screenshots below.