Hands on: Falcon Pro swoops in as a legitimate Twitter client

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We’re pretty sure at least 50 percent of the hundreds of thousands of apps in the Google Play Store are Twitter clients. There are so many choices to handle your 140 characters, from Twitter’s official offering to the plethora of third party developers that promise improvements to the social experience. Falcon Pro is the new kid on the block and, although it’s a little late to the game, it does it’s best to make a strong case to be a go-to for Tweeters.

From the very start, it’s clear that Falcon Pro is sleek. Once you’ve logged in to your account the first time, you’re greeted with your feed of tweets from accounts you follow. Using a fairly dark color palate that features a gray background that allow the white text to pop, the focus is right on the content that is coming through your feed. Having the name listed above the tweet with an accenting dark gray bar around it makes it easy to see the user and access their page if you’d like. Links and account handles are in a teal-ish blue that looks nice within the theme as well. The settings menu has a Display option that promises theme and color changes and while that doesn’t appear available yet, there’s really no reason to change what works.

Above the feed are three icons with counters next to them. The numbers next to the icons represent your unread tweets, mentions, and direct messages. If you get a lot of any of these the numbers become fairly meaningless, especially if you follow a lot of accounts. Regardless, seeing the number tick down as you pass by each tweet is nice. It’s a little like checking your email inbox except far less burdensome. There’s no lag or slowdown in the scroll, so you can blaze through tweets at a fast pace and the countdown keeps up. Even flipping your device to go landscape layout instead of portrait loads rather quickly, though there is this creepy subliminal flash of the Falcon Pro logo that occurs every time you do it.

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Moving outside of the feed occurs when you tap on a tweet with a link or touch on a Twitter profile. When you go to view a tweet with a link, it takes you to a new page in the app with the original tweet displayed above and the content of the link available in a web browser box below. There’s no leaving the app, which is nice but can also be disabled if you prefer. Replies and other interactions with the tweet are also displayed clearly but unobtrusively. Profile pages are themed similarly to the news feed and looks as good as you expect, with a stream of the user’s tweets scrollable below. It’s intuitive and simple in areas where lots of Twitter clients manage to fall short.

Checking on your personal Twitter setup is just a swipe a way from the feed. A swipe to the left gives access to all of your account basics. A listing of how many followers you’ve accrued and users you follow is listed below your account handle and image. Under that gives you access to your timeline, mentions and direct messages, just like the icons above your normal stream. You can only sync a single account with Falcon Pro at the moment, so you’ll only see this information for your primary account. Also housed on this side menu, though, are your favorites, the search function, and the settings.

If you’re one to tinker and tweak the way your app works, Falcon Pro does it’s best to allow for it. You can change your refresh rate – which defaults to every 30 minutes – so your tweets come in faster. If you’d prefer to just get the information while tapped in to a Wi-Fi connection, you can. Notifications are also customizable, allowing you to be notified when you are mentioned or receive a message. As mentioned before, the internal browser is optional, as is a TweetMarker that will hold your position on your feed across devices so you’ll maintain your spot no matter where you view from. If you’re a Twitter addict, you can let Falcon Pro keep you in touch with tweets at all times. If you’re more of a battery-conscious consumer of tweets, it can accommodate for that, too.

hands on falcon pro twitter client falconpro4Swinging over to the right of the stream displays a couple more features. Your lists, saved searches, and trending hashtags are all visible on this side. These are all easily explorable with a tap so you can see what the folks in your lists are up to or check out what people around the world are saying about specific topics. Doing so brings up a scrollable feed that looks just like the standard one so navigation is simple.

Then there’s that whole actually tweeting thing. That’s probably important to you if you’re looking for a solid Twitter client. Composing a new tweet is done with a talk bubble icon on the righthand side of the menu bar above your main feed. It’s almost always present no matter where you go in the app so if someone catches your attention and you need to share your thoughts immediately, it’s right there for you. Users can also easily attach a photo from their phone’s gallery, take a new picture to go along with a tweet, and add their location with a quick tap of the icons under the new tweet’s text box. It’s all right within reach and easy to do.

For a relatively small price tag of $1, Falcon Pro sure does a lot. (There is a weird “donate” option in the settings where you can pay another $2 for a widget, but you can pretty much ignore that if you want.) While it would be great to see support for extra account and some color and themes added in as the Settings page promises, those are pretty small complaints compared to all the good you get for a buck. Falcon Pro is definitely worth handing your Twitter interactions over to.