Twitter recently launched a beta program for its Android app, and now users who opted in can see the first fruit of their interest. A major redesign rolled out to the beta channel, bringing a suite of welcome changes that will probably trickle into the stable version in the close future.
The biggest change brought by the new design is the replacement of the four section menu at the top of the interface with a text-based navigation bar that is more consistent to the app design guidelines set by Matias Duarte and his team of UX wizards.
Moreover, the new app features a sidebar, that is accessible by clicking on the Twitter logo button, though, for some reason, you can’t open it by simply swiping from the left, as you would expect. That will probably change though by the time the redesign graduates to the stable version. The sidebar contains the four sections that were originally hosted on the top menu bar, along with three new ones: Activity, Trending, and Find People. Users can rearrange the order of the sections in the menu by dragging them. Interestingly, the sidebar sports a translucent frosted glass effect, with your profile picture as a background (doesn’t work on my phone for some reason).
Aside for the big design changes, Twitter for Android v5 beta displays images and videos inline. Previously, users had to click a link to see media embedded in a tweet.
This Holo-friendly redesign is clearly a step in the right direction for Twitter for Android, especially considering the excellent competition put up by third party apps such as Plume or, my personal favorite, Falcon Pro, token limitations aside.
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I wish I heard about beta program earlier, though, so I could join. :(