My BlackBerry PlayBook has served me nicely for months now. However, one of the frustrations that I have experienced with it is the lack of an official Twitter app. Also, while there are third party apps to fill in the gap, I have not liked any of the free ones, and have been unable to purchase any commercial app from the App World, thanks to GTBAnk MasterCard messing me up again and again.
I am an adventurer at heart and also technically competent enough to carry out flashing, custom ROMs and side loading without breaking a sweat. I have been flashing ROMs and messing around with my devices since the days of Windows Mobile back in the Jurassic age. However, I have been very reluctant to go in those directions in recent times. Don’t ask me why. maybe I don’t know myself.
Anyway, I think that sometime last week, I finally felt frustrated enough with the less than pleasant twitter experience on the PlayBook, and so decided to side load a couple of Android apps to it.
What Is Side Loading?
Side loading basically means installing an app to your device that was not downloaded from the app store. In the context that I am using it for the PlayBook, it means installing apps that were developed for the Android platform to your PlayBook.
Twitter for Android
In a few minutes, I had the Twitter for Android app running on my PlayBook. The experience is much better than what I had with any of the free Twitter apps that I previously tried out. The app loads full screen, and I am able to tweet, read my Timeline, follow interactions/mentions, manage Direct Messages, retweet, and mail tweets. Access to settings is there as well.
There is one snag that I have run into: I find that links are not working. I’m reading a tweet with a link to a website, but when I tap the link to launch the website, nothing happens. If you tap a handle, the app works fine, but external URLs don’t work. I am not sure exactly for how long I can tolerate that.
Performance-wise, the Twitter app works fine most of the time, but there are times it behaves a bit…what’s the word now…erratic. At such times, scrolling isn’t smooth, and taping to load more tweets, for example, is a pain as you keep stabbing at the screen to get a response. Typing a tweet, especially when you need to edit text, can also be a bit quirky.
TweetDeck was initially an option, but the version that I found required a TweetDeck account, something I am not interested in creating. So, I uninstalled it promptly. Just in case you have a fully-functional Twitter app that you side loaded to your PlayBook, holla at me please. I would love to give it a try.
In the meantime, here is hoping that BlackBerry OS 10 gets official support from Twitter and other services.
PS: Of course, you do realize that if you are not already following Mo on Twitter, you are completely outdated; don’t you? 🙂