Twitter April 30 released the Twitter for Android application to the Android Market. Google is open sourcing the code for Twitter for Android, allowing developers to augment the app in their upcoming apps by using Twitter APIs. However, Twitter for Android was built for Android devices 2.1 and higher. This means it will currently only run on users' Motorola Droid, Google Nexus One or the new HTC Incredible. The chorus of discontent shall ensue.
Twitter released the Twitter for Android application to the Android Market
April 30, fortifying the company's officially unofficial portfolio of mobile
The theme for this release is sharing. Users of the app will be able to
tweet and share links and photos from the Share button.
Users may also access their timeline with the home screen widget, see a
tweet location on a map thanks to Twitter's geotagging tool, and see tweets in
the Google Talk list or any application that uses Android's QuickContact bar.
Finally, Google is open sourcing the code for Twitter for Android, allowing
developers to augment the app in their upcoming apps by using Twitter APIs.
"This is just the beginning," wrote Leland Rechis, who joined
Twitter from Google, where he was a user interface designer. "We'll be
creating more great ways to read, find, and share what's happening on your
Android phone soon!"
Here's the not so good news. Twitter for Android, which users can install by
scanning the QR code here
with the camera in their Android smartphone, was
built for Android devices 2.1 and higher. This means it will currently only run
on users' Motorola Droid, Google Nexus One or the new HTC
As TechCrunch pointed out
, only 27 percent of existing Android smartphones in
the market can use Twitter for Android today.
Google is expected to release its Android 2.2 Froyo build at Google I/O May
19. However, phones running that software may be a ways away. Unless the build
the five versions of the Android OS on the
market-1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2-Froyo will only extend the fragmentation
Silicon Insider correctly notes
Twitter for Android is a prime example of the
Android fragmentation in action. Users of older Android phones may well be
upset they can't use Twitter for Android.
Moreover, Twitter may find itself once again reassuring third-party
programmers that it's not the end of the world now that Twitter has an official
Android app, even if it's not branding it as official the way it originally did
BlackBerry for Twitter.
BlackBerry for Twitter April 8 and acquired
Atebits' Tweetie app to offer Twitter for iPhone
This caused an uproar among concerned third-party programmers, who feared
Twitter will nullify their existence by building or acquiring competing
applications. Twitter strove to reassure that this is part of the natural
evolution of its business at its Chirp developers' conference, and urged programmers
to work on other vertical apps for the
"To be clear, we are going to work hard to improve our product, add new
functionality, make acquisitions when it's in the best interest of users and
the whole ecosystem at large," wrote Twitter Platform Director Ryan
Sarver. "Each one of those things has the potential to upset a company or
developer that may have been building in that space and they then have to look
for new ways to create value for users."
Still, Twitter's moves concern companies such as Seesmic
builds Twitter apps for BlackBerry and Android. Twidroid
, another popular Twitter app for Android, is also
now threatened by Twitter's latest move.