Plume is one of the more long-standing "power user" options for Twitter on Android, thanks to a ton of built-in features, a customizable scrolling widget, and solid notification support. It's also one of the better apps in terms of visuals, even before the latest update. But the new beta available on Plume's Google+ community brings the app into the Android 5.0 era with some noticeable changes to the app's visual layout.
Flashier Twitter apps have come and gone, but I'm still pretty enamored with Plume. One reason is that the developer (LevelUp, of Beautiful Widgets fame) is constantly rolling out new features, and today's update adds a doozie: push notifications. You should get notifications for new tweets, replies, mentions, and messages more or less instantly, and the widget and main feed can now use a "Live Stream" mode.
The service experimented with push background notifications before, but the developer wasn't satisfied with the battery-hungry feature.
So, Carbon isn't quite the Twitter powerhouse you were hoping for. No worries: the old Android standard Plume is still rolling along. The app gets a major update today, after being tried out by beta testers for a few weeks. Plume 5 adds the standard bug fixes and performance enhancements, plus a much-needed visual refresh of its homescreen widget (something that Carbon lacks, and Falcon can't do without a separate app).
Since Android 4.2 introduced native lockscreen widgets, we've seen several devs already push out updates to their apps with support for the feature. The latest to do so is LevelUp Studio, which updated its Twitter client Plume. This is actually my personal favorite when it comes to Twitter clients on Android, especially for tablets. So I was pretty glad to see the 4.2 lockscreen widget show up.
The update also brings a few other fixes and enhancements to the app:
- add a lockscreen widget on Android 4.2
- fix the widget context on Android 4.2
- fix the display of the DM recipient
- fix Facebook timeline not updating in some case
- fix unread list item appearing multiple times
- improve the picture cache coherence
- make Halloween notification sound available all the time
Plume is, of course, a free app in the Play Store, though there's also a $5 premium version available for those who prefer an ad-free experience.
Android, as a platform, has an advantage in that apps designed for phones scale to tablets dynamically, so many are functional without a proper tablet interface. The disadvantage? Some developers take their sweet time making said tablet interfaces. Twitter, for example, is still a giant, stretched-out version of the phone app. Enter Plume, an app that sticks much more closely to the ICS design style guide.
While adhering to the style guide may not always be enough to make an app great, Plume provides a highly-customizable UI that makes use of the best parts of Android's new design elements.