13
Jan
Talon-Thumb

Talon is the latest third-party Twitter client to fly into the Play Store, and while the competition may be fierce, there's always room for something new to claw its way in and do things a different way. This particular offering comes to us from Klinker Apps, the makers of Sliding Messaging, and prides itself on having superb KitKat integration. This means users fortunate enough to have Android 4.4 can enjoy a Twitter feed that rolls under translucent system bars, functionality that Google introduced in the latest version of the OS that has yet to make its way into many apps. Is this the only reason to get wrapped up in Talon? Not at all. Tucked away in this bird's feathers are a few other alterations that may just help you cut through your Twitter stream with less drag.

Talon11 Talon12 Talon13

What's It Like?

For starters, yes, the transparent UI works. Your Twitter feed will go fullscreen and slide under both the notification icons and the system bar at the bottom. It works well, though it looks better with the default dark theme than the lighter alternative.

Talon9 Talon10

Aside from that, Talon takes most of the settings crammed into the top of the usual Twitter and pushes them over into a sidebar. This serves two functions - it removes the guesswork involved in figuring out what each icon stands for, and it removes excess clutter. If you never send direct messages, for example, it's nice to have the ability to access them tucked away the vast majority of the time.

Talon1 Talon2 Talon3

The official Twitter app also places the tabs for switching between your Home, Discover, and Activity feeds on a second bar that disappears when you start scrolling. Having them in a sidebar not only makes more sense to me, but reducing the amount of moving parts on screen makes things less disorienting. If you're a fan of Falcon Pro, then you already know the benefits here.

The similarities between Talon and Falcon Pro don't stop there. Both have multiple themes to choose from, with Talon defaulting to dark colors. There are also "light" and "black" themes to choose from if the first look doesn't quite fit your tastes. Deeper in the app's settings you can find toggles for how pictures are handled, whether to display emoji, what to do with notifications (including those sent to a Pebble smartwatch), the ability to back up settings, and other nitty-gritty things.

Talon4 Talon5 Talon6

Like Falcon Pro, Talon also has support for multiple accounts. To add a second one, theoretically, all you need to do is open the sidebar, click the down arrow, and hit the button that appears. Yet awkwardly enough, when I tried it just restarted the original setup process, and I ended up with the same account being displayed twice. Your mileage may vary.

Talon7 Talon8

Other aspects are also hit or miss. The ability to view web pages inside the app is just plain convenient, even if it's a bit cramped (though this can be changed under advanced settings). Notifications are also pretty intrusive out of the gate, as there's always an item in your panel, regardless of how many new tweets there are.

Talon14 Talon15 Talon16

Final Thoughts

This is Talon's initial release, but it's a pretty impressive one. It's smooth, attractive, and, for the most part, functional. This hands-on is by no means a comprehensive look at what it has to offer, as the list of available features is pretty beefy. Take a look.

Twitter features:
  • Live streaming support
  • Support for 2 accounts
  • View your timelines (main, mentions, direct messages, links, and pictures)
  • Favorite users
  • Update your profile picture, banner, location, and user description
  • block, follow, and add users to lists
  • Attach locations to your tweets
  • And the list goes on :)
Customization features:
  • Extremely powerful developer theme engine (https://github.com/klinker24/talon_theme)
  • Choose between either "Talon" or "Hangouts" layouts
  • Choose from 3 beautiful base themes (light, dark, and pitch black)
  • Custom text sizes
  • Night mode
  • Auto-Refresh options
  • Custom notification settings
  • And many other goodies in there as well!
App Features:
  • "Talon Pull" to be always listening for tweets/interactions
  • Expandable, actionable, and dynamic notification system
  • Full app popup
  • Full emoji support
  • View in-line Twitter and Instagram pictures
  • View in-line YouTube thumbnails
  • Native YouTube player
  • In-app browser
  • Complete landscape and tablet modes
  • Advance to new pages in a "windowed" viewing mode
  • Never leave your timeline with in-line replies, favorites, and retweets
  • Hiding action bar
  • "Do not disturb" mode
  • Widget for main timeline
  • DashClock Extension
  • Google style pull to refresh for quick refreshing

That's a lot of functionality that isn't offered by the official Twitter app, and if you've grown tired of your standard third-party client or your preferred option has disappeared from the Play Store, this might just be the replacement you've been waiting for. It supports Android 4.3 and higher, even though you obviously need KitKat for the translucent system bar. There's no free version of Talon available, but for what you're getting, $1.99 isn't all that much to ask.

Thanks, Bill Stebbins!

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Mkvarner

    Buy it before they run out of tokens!

    • ainen

      It's sad that this is one of the first things that ran through my head when I bought it.

    • Mav6

      I bought it and really like it but I'm a bit worried about the token mess, hopefully this doesn't go the way of Falcon because I bought that to and can't sign in now.

  • Harit Singh

    To get rid of the cramped Web browser, go to advanced settings and uncheck the option for "Advance Windows". That will open every tweet in fullscreen.

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      Thanks. I didn't dive too deep into the options for this introduction, but I will update the post.

  • RyanWhitwam

    I don't like the way this app does notifications. If you have the timeline and mentions refresh in the background, you get notifications for both. Super annoying. I really only need notifications for mentions, but the notification options are just on or off for all auto-refreshed content.

  • http://twitter.com/_vinr vinothr

    How long till this runs out of tokens?

    • ainen

      Less than a week probably, it seems to be growing quickly.

  • ainen

    Also check out EvolveSMS by the same developer. I believe it just came out today as well and it is a very good messaging app.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.klinker.android.evolve_sms&hl=en

    • Stacey Liu

      Holy crap that looks good. This might replace Hangouts for me.

      • ainen

        Agreed. I've turned off SMS integration in Hangouts and I'm now using this.

        • ithehappy

          Oh Dear Lord. Android fanboys are not better than that fruit company's in any sense!

          • ainen

            SMS in Hangouts was just a convenience. None of the Play Store offerings were good enough for me to leave it. Stop being a troll, why do you even care what people use to send SMS?

          • Deeco

            United fan...says it all.

          • ithehappy

            Ha ha, say that to million other fans, who gives a fak really!

          • ithehappy

            I honestly don't, seriously. I was just wasting time reading these circus commentary section and just got informed that, that fruit company's fanboys are way more intelligent than Crapdroid fanboys. That's all.

          • Firehawkws7

            Yep, about the intelligence and language skills expected from a United hooligan. Go back to your Motorola Razor and let the adults talk.

          • Cesar

            Work on your trolling form. You need to be more subtle.

          • ithehappy

            Nah I don't. I am not an idiot, tell that to them.

      • Kcls

        Yup, it did for me. It's amazing.

      • ithehappy

        You were using Hangout's for SMS?
        Can't find that facepalm gif of Nic Cage!

    • Nathan Bryant

      Now that's an SMS app! It's not all in your face and cluttered. Organized, modern, minimal look, needs, wants, and fast. It just makes sense. So many apps in the Play Store don't know how to balance these things.

    • Merri Mogridge

      Wow thanks for the link, this looks great! Installed it immediately. I think I'll buy talon when I get paid during the week too. Both apps are stunning!

      • merman1983

        That looks very nice. I've been very happy with the CM-included SM app that includes Google Voice texting integration which is just key for me.

        • Björn Lundén

          The Google Voice integration in CM should work in this app too as it is handled transparently by Voice+. You should be able to use it for encrypted messages via WhisperPush (SecureText compatible) too.

          • merman1983

            That is great information, thank you. I wasn't aware Voice+ worked with SMS clients other than the stand alone CM client (which I like just fine tbh). I may have to give this a try.

    • BRNSMRF

      Attractive but I fear MMS issues like Sliding messenger

      • http://www.vinsonimages.com yamaha83

        ^^^this.... i paid for sliding messenger and its mms feature would never work right for me. now instead of updating the app, they release a new app for people to have to pay for?

  • bungadudu

    So this will also suffer from the twitter's token limit?
    Seems like only Falcon has managed to bypass this.., right?

    • ainen

      If it becomes popular enough it will.

      • bungadudu

        @twitter phuck your stupid-ass tokens policy!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Falcon isn't the only one to allow individuals to enter their own API keys. I forget which others have done it, but I know there have been at least 3-4 that did the same. Since Twitter hasn't really been responding, I imagine the practice will become more widespread over time.

  • khkh

    I really wish the widget looked a bit better.. :/ Oh well, cant have everything..

  • Bill Stebbins

    A workaround for the bug with adding a second account: when you go to add a second account, sign your other account out on the sign in page, then sign in with the new account

  • Seth Merritt

    It's probably just preference, but it seems like the action bar should disappear when you scroll down the timeline, not up. Like chrome does.

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      I agree. This really threw me off at first.

    • Cesar

      Same here. Just seems incredibly weird. It's one of the quirks that made me go for the refund. If this changes in the future (along with more extensive notification settings), I might give it a shot again.

    • Slawootsky

      But you read the text in chrome from top to bottom, while most people read tweets from previous to latest.

    • Shaun Hammond

      I usually read things like Twitter and Google+ from the bottom up, I've never liked that the bars would turn up when I'm reading from bottom to top. There should be a setting in every app to change this.

  • ken147

    Does this app support swiping between lists?

  • Nathan Bryant

    Can you click on the links from the timeline, or do you have to open the tweet and then click on the links? I ask this because Falcon and Carbon do not do this and it's extremely annoying. It's a useless extra step. Plus Carbon doesn't differentiate the colors between the link and the text. You have to have "bird" eyes to make sure you don't overlook a tweet that might have a link to an article you might be interested in. Plus I really dislike the two finger refresh. Keep it simple and relevant.

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      You can't. Trying to click on the link will cause the tweet to open in a pop-up window.

      • Nathan Bryant

        Man that really sucks...

        Thanks for letting me know before purchasing. It would be no different then Carbon or Falcon then without this feature. I think you guys should do a hands on his EvolveSMS app. It's sick. Fast, smooth, minimal in look, and featured packed without being cluttered and overwhelming. Basically what you need and a little of what you want. Modern as well.

  • Shawn Tillman

    Is this app in tablet friendly format?

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      Yup, it is. I didn't try it out on a tablet, but there are screenshots on its Play Store page.

      • Shawn Tillman

        Right on! Thanks man.

  • Patrick Thompson

    That app icon is horrible....It ruins the rest of the otherwise beautiful app imo.

    • Shaun Hammond

      I totally agree, both Talon and EvolveSMS look stunning, but their app icons are both awful looking.

  • http://www.binarytuberculosis.com BinaryTB

    Does this app have Tweetmarker support for the timeline AND lists? I'm tired of purchasing apps just to test this feature out.

    • Michael Heaton

      I just purchased it and it doesn't have tweetmarker support unfortunately. It does have a nice interface. I think I prefer it to Carbon but I'll likely be sticking with Falcon. If this had tweetmarker support I'd be willing to make the switch permanently.

      • Fuego3048

        Thanks for the heads up. It's a no go for me without tweetmarker.

        • http://www.cpcwiki.eu/ Gryzor

          Same here; Tweetmarker is such an essential feature for working with Twitter I don't understand how it's not built into Twitter's API. Without it one is lost unless they follow very few accounts.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Tweetmarker is moving to a subscription model on a per app basis (which means the developer pays, not the users). I'm pretty sure developers will start to clearly advertise support if they are paying for it.

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      Not yet.

  • ArclightX

    I have a Token for Falcon so yay to that...

  • Cesar

    Another new twitter client? Doubtful it will provide anything the others don't already.

    "With support for KitKat's translucent system bars"

    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

    • Deeco

      LOL

    • Cesar

      Update: Translucent bars are nice, but the initial release seems kind of wonky. I'll have to keep an eye on this one for the future, but for now, I went for the refund.

  • jamesfuston

    This looked great and I was really intrigued until I saw the whole "this app won't have push notifications until Twitter APIs change" thing.

    • kevin Buckly

      hi

  • Tíghearnán Carroll

    I can't decide whether or not I like this app, it seems like another Carbon: Pretty, but backward. Example, I asked if you could turn off the new tweets notification and leave the mentions notification on. They said that will "Probably be added in the future". Probably :P

  • Nick

    If it gives you a notification when someone favorites your tweets then I'm in. Until then I'm stuck with the sucky official app.

    • Yash

      Try Falcon pro? It gave me notifications for favs as well as RTs.

      • Nick

        That's funny, I just uninstalled Falcon Pro after testing this. Did I miss a setting?

        • Yash

          It's still hit and miss. I got perfect notifications on v2.1.... 2.1.1 and 2.1.2 messed it up again.

  • Dave Hamilton

    I don't normally comment but hats of to this developer. I may just have a interest in twitter again just to look at the sexy ui. His new SMS app is amazing too.

  • TheWholeWorldLiesSun

    Paying for a Twitter apps is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. They won't be updated after the user token limit is used up. No profits from new app sales and no new people to show ads to on free apps are why third party clients suck. At least Falcon has a workaround for it, it will limit the amount of users still though. We can't even teach people how to click 3 freaking buttons to start recovery most of the time, much less set up and use a seperate Twitter API.

    • Mado

      It is still a freaking huge task of creating a beautiful, functional app like this for the price of a doughnut.

  • Smash41

    What a great app. Two things that could be improved.
    1. The Icon :-)
    2. I wish the top bar would autohide on scrolling down as well as up the timeline.

    This may have just become my #1 Twitter I use daily.

    • Lauren Mangeratti

      I am such a geek this site rocks!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Wow, Holo Orange looks amazing, I need this across Android's UI

  • Liz Mcmanus

    I agree with just about all these reviews, the top bar hiding needs some work, should act more like Chrome's. The app is gorgeous and I love it overall, just needs a few tweaks. @bill stebbins you beat me to it, took me all of 30 seconds to figure out the dual login thing, so was going to post here. One thing I haven't seen mentioned is it has no support for combined timelines for the two accounts it supports. That was one reason I loved Plume, but this is so pretty I can overlook it lol. Have also tried the evolvesms app, and it has gotten me out of hangouts. I love it too! Wish Google would open third party client support for hangouts so I could still use just one app but pigs will probably fly before that happens. Great apps!

  • http://twitter.com/Nigh7mar3 Nightmare

    it's a Carbon copy...

  • Chrissy

    Used the app for a few hours but had to un-install. Phone was silent as i was busy but vibrating like crazy over and over again. Checked my phone and discovered ONE tweet but it was giving me constant reminders about it. Also the vibrate is to strong and long. Just a short simple vibrate is all twitter ever needs.

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