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Handheld Devices

Twitter optimizes Android app for one tablet -- the Galaxy Note 10.1

Maybe Android tablets are getting more impressive. Maybe Samsung just has a lot of clout. Whatever the reason, Twitter decided to develop an Android tablet-optimized version of its official app with a few features that are "unique" for Samsung and just one of its tablets.

If you recently snapped up the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition), you're in luck: You're the first users to get a glimpse at the new Twitter client. The app takes advantage of the Galaxy Note's multi-screen view, so you can run Twitter alongside an app or Web browser.

While flipping through the app in landscape view, tapping on tweets with media like videos and photos will display content on the right side of the app. You can tap again to view media or read articles in full-screen. A new widget delivers tweets, photos, and videos to your home screen straight from Twitter, so you can interact with Twitter without opening the app.

When we reviewed the new Galaxy Note 10.1, the lack of optimized apps was a distinct downside--most of the selections were simply blown-out phone apps. This move is great for Note users, but doesn't do much for anyone else. Yet. Twitter said the update will roll out to other Android tablets by the end of the year.

It wouldn't be a Samsung partnership without heavy emphasis on the S-Pen--the company loves the stylus and will not let go. So Twitter added the ability to hand-draw illustrations to accompany your tweets, or you can draw on photos in your camera roll and then share them--all with the S-Pen, naturally.

Twitter in April revamped its Android app to make everything larger and easier to read--and embraced Holo design guidelines--but that app didn't exactly translate well to tablets. Android tablet users were relegated to an enlarged version of the mobile application.

The new tablet-optimized version of Twitter new version takes better advantage of the available screen space--especially on a 10-inch screen--and it makes it easier for you to flip back and forth between conversations and external content without leaving your place in the master feed.

It's about time Android tablets got some love from Twitter. The social network's Twitter for iPad app debuted more than three years ago. That's a long time for Android users to wait.

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