Talon is my favorite Twitter client, since it offers many more features than the official app all while looking prettier — it also helps that I happen to like the developer, Luke Klinker, and his work. But earlier today, he announced that he had open sourced one of the most popular Twitter clients, just like he did with the previous version a few years ago.
For the longest time, the Twitter Android app just wasn't very good. Sure it was functional, but it was clear that Twitter was focusing more on its iOS client. Third-party clients were, for that time period, the absolute best way to use Twitter on Android devices. Even though the official app has improved drastically over the past year or so, especially with the Material makeover, there are still plenty of excellent alternative clients.
Many Twitter clients have been abandoned after hitting the API token limit, and since it can be hard to keep track of which apps are still in active development, I figure a comparison might be a good idea.
Talon was one of the first apps to embrace material design when Google announced Lollipop a few years back. However, even a material app from that era would look a little old by today's standards. Talon has been updated consistently over time, and today it's moving to v6.0 with some notable UI improvements.
Talon swooped in a few years ago to fill the void left by the departure of Falcon Pro, and it was one of the first apps to get ready for the big Android 5.0 redesign. Now, Talon is getting an update to v4.0.0 with a number of notable changes. Plus, there's the option to give the developer more money because you just kind of want to, or whatever.
A week ago, Twitter announced that it was updating its browser and mobile apps with support for embedded retweets — a new way for you to repost what someone else has said, while keeping their original tweet intact and adding your own comment without wasting a lot of characters. At the time, the iOS app got the update immediately, but Android users had to wait (or use Talon, which doesn't like seeing Android treated as a second-class citizen) to be able to send these new retweets.
The update is now live for the Android app on the Play Store, but we've got an APK Mirror link in case it hasn't rolled out to you yet.
Twitter has been giving Android users the cold shoulder repeatedly over the last few weeks: first with the new Periscope app, then with improved Vine video quality, and finally with the new embedded retweet format. All three came to iOS first and are only "coming soon" to Android. Developer Jacob Klinker ain't havin' none of that: the new retweet format is now active in the popular Talon for Twitter client, well before the feature has been rolled out to the official Twitter app.
The old retweet formula re-broadcasted an entire tweet into your timeline with the little retweet badge.
The Klinker brothers have hit today in the face with a one-two punch. First, they've brought Source out of beta, where it's been for several months. This material-y app gives users a way to consume news from a variety of sources, including Feedly, RSS feeds, and Twitter lists.
Fans of Klinker Apps will find that theming options are present here like in the development team's other apps, and careful attention has been paid to making sure that everything looks nice. There's also Android Wear support.
As a second treat, Klinker Apps has added KitKat support to Talon for Twitter (Plus), the updated version of an app that originally launched for Android 4.4 but moved on after Lollipop was announced.
Talon for Twitter (Plus) has received its biggest update since its (re-)release in October, bringing with it a host of improvements. Today's update includes a new activity page, which aggregates mentions, retweets, follows, and favorites into a single timeline view. Also new is the "muffle user" feature, which is a midpoint between muting somebody and fully following them.
In the screenshot above, you can see what happens to a muffled user. Their tweets aren't invisible to you, but they appear as just a single condensed line. If an account's tweets are redundant or annoying, you can have them minimized rather than gone entirely.
The latest Twitter client to fall victim to Twitter's token limits is the classic version of Talon, which is rather fitting seeing as the new Android 5.0 version of Talon was just released this weekend. In response, the developer has pulled the app from the Play Store so no one else will buy the app and be unable to use it. Maybe now the reasoning for the separate Talon Plus version is starting to make more sense.