04
Jun
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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.

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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.

2013-06-04 15.26.10 2013-06-04 15.26.59

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.

2013-06-04 15.33.51 2013-06-04 15.29.14 2013-06-04 15.29.48

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.

2013-06-04 14.59.10 2013-06-04 15.31.10

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.

2013-06-04 14.23.02 2013-06-04 14.23.08 2013-06-04 15.17.32

I cannot stress this strongly enough: if you do not first join the beta by following the instructions above, the new version won't show up for you.

[Joaquim Verges on Google+]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

  • joe

    Is the TL unified with multi-accounts? Kinda like Plume, Tweetings, UberSocial and Seesmic?

    • Hothfox

      No, you have separate time lines / mentions / messages for each account.

    • rick

      I would like them to be separate

  • Matt

    I wonder what percentage of twitter users actually have multiple accounts to manage. I imagine among the tech blogs it's pretty high, but among regular Twitter users? Even 5% would seem high to me...I guess that's why I don't think it's going to really affect the token limit for Falcon Pro, but I don't know if there are any definitive stats on shared email addresses or something to that effect.

    • mechapathy

      You might be surprised. Anyone who owns a business, is a musician/content creator, or really anyone who has some kind of brand to promote and maintain may have multiple Twitter accounts.

      • Matt

        I can see that and I'm not arguing that there aren't other people (such as those you mentioned) that may be using multiple accounts, but I still don't feel like those numbers would constitute a >5% proportion of twitter users. Then again, I don't have the stats to back it up.

  • Lupe Fiasco

    I asked the dev if he had plans to incorporate Google's new Navigation Drawer. Sorta disappointed that he didn't reply back. Falcon Pro is good and it will be even better if it incorporated the new Navigation Drawer.

    • Matt

      If you join the beta and leave a feature request, users can +1 your feature request and he'll have a greater chance to see it.

    • Satish Odedra

      I did ask the same question to the dev. He responded that he'd need to check whether the new guidelines would support double sliding menus. If it does work then I don't see any reason for him to adopt to new guidelines.

  • dylan84

    Really like the black theme and the new, smoother, transitions, and the updated UI. Great work again from the Falcon dev.

  • TornZero

    Solution to the token problem: Twitter grows the hell up and gives some freedom back to the apps that made it such a social beast in the first place.

    Too bad it won't happen. They've got their heads too far up their asses to see they're screwing things up. Give ADN some time and Twitter will go the way of MySpace, just as it deserves.

  • Rami

    I have been waiting for multi account support since long time, and finally it is here.

    I know that this will cause an issue for tokens, but I LOVE Falcon Pro and don't want to use a different client to post on my other 2 accounts.

    I read about the token issue last time, and I have an idea that can help:

    Can an app allow users to create their own tokens and insert them in the app settings? like this the tokens for the app will not decrease.

    This is not easy for every body, but there are users who are technical enough to be able to create an app on the Twitter Dev console and insert the tokens in an App.
    I already did this when I tried the TweetLanes client, which is open source on GitHub, I created my tokens and compiled the app with them.

  • bp101

    It definitely needs separate settings for each account. Looks good otherwise, though

  • Bretton Key

    Falcon Pro is the most solid Twitter client...but now the official Twitter client is making great strides to be top dog...I hope Falcon team continues to innovate. I have requested myself a few new features such as ability to subtly color code your timeline rather than use the star method, remove extras, and widget to have same color coding ability...

  • anerik

    you MUST update with a hands-on on 2.0 RC1! Swypeable tabs!!!!!