Twitter for Android Sees Redesign Amid User Boost

The Twitter for Android application gets easier sign up and universal search capabilities after usage doubles in the last two months.

Twitter for Android, available in Google's Android Market for Android 2.1 and later devices, received another redesign as the application has rocketed in use of late.

Aiming to make Twitter for Android more consistent with the experience of other Twitter apps, the microblog service has refreshed the app in the name of convenience and efficiency.

To lower the barrier to entry to the app, users can now view Twitter trends, browse tweets and see suggested users in Twitter for Android even if they haven't signed in or don't have an account.

Users who don't have an account can now sign up for Twitter from within the app, immediately seeing their timeline, along with icons for @mentions, messages, and lists. The @mentions tab now includes Retweets, and Twitter has added auto-complete for usernames.

Twitter also added universal search to the new Twitter for Android, surfacing find tweets that include the term users are searching, tweets sent by people near their location, or people whose user names include that term.

Also, at the bottom of the search section, Twitter now lets users search their address book to find friends who also have a Twitter account, provide those users have opted to make themselves searchable.

New users will be able to provision this capability when they first sign up to use the app.

The new features come as Twitter for Android has hit the big time for the platform. Launched last April, Twitter for Android wasn't among the top 10 most used Twitter apps six months ago.

Then came a redesign in November, where the company added a speedier-scrolling timeline and a new tweet details page, among other perks.

Whether it was that redesign or a proliferation of Motorola Droid or Samsung Galaxy S Android handset sales for the holiday season, Twitter for Android usage has doubled in the last two months.

The app is now among the top five most popular Twitter apps, joining, the mobile Website, Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Blackberry.

Despite the upgrades, some more discerning users are looking for more. ReadWriteWeb, for example, wants to see push notifications and multiple account log-in.