Twitter is one of the most popular services on the Internet today. Twitter on Android is no less popular, every week a new Twitter android application is added to the Market. Loquacious has the distinction to become the first paid Twitter app, but does paid mean better? In the case of Loquacious it’s a mixed bag. Some of the features are unique yet some of the obvious (to me) and basic Twitter functions appear to be missing.
First let’s look at what Loquacious does right. The interface is clean and visually appealing with no annoying colors or icons. There is no excess fluff just an interface that reacts smoothly and is intuitive. Friends icons are downloaded and displayed along with their tweets, as most Twitter apps have done. Tweets are easy to read on the white font over grey/black background. Loquacious looks and works well in both portrait and landscape modes. I’ve seen so many applications that don’t handle both views as well as they should.
Filters – Finally a Twitter application to incorporate filters. Tweetdeck users will especially appreciate this functionality. Filters work two ways: first filtering based on twitter client used to post to twitter. For example if you don’t want to see tweets sent using Twitterfeeds or Blip.fm simply uncheck them and they aren’t displayed. Second filter option is filtering by friends. Scroll through the list and uncheck anyone you don’t want to see in your Twitter stream and its done.
Loquacious is a mixed bag in other areas. Loquacious claims to support multiple Twitter accounts, what that means is it caches tweets from each login since the last login. The application doesn’t store the passwords for each twitter account, furthermore you have to type in at least the first few letters of the Twitter accounts used to select it from a dynamic drop down. On one hand none of the other Android Twitter clients even offer this much functionality for multiple Twitter accounts but at the same time why not store and allow for easy switching between Twitter accounts without retyping the username and password each time.
Twitter Commands – Some may find this a plus, others a minus, I’m indifferent. Unless you long press a contact there are no Twitter command options. The Tweet window depends on the basic Twitter commands used for text messaging and what Tweetdeck inserts for you. I’ve been using Twitter long enough to know all the commands but less experienced Twitterers may find the lack of Twitter command icons more difficult. A simple solution without adding additional code could be a list of the basics under the tweet message field.
@replies & DMs – Replied tweets may pop up on the screen when received but what if I’m not looking at Loquacious or not even connected at the time? There is no way to view all @replies or DMs. This is one of obvious features lacking from Loquacious.
Twitter names vs. Real names – Most Twitter clients display Twitter names but Loquacious goes against the trend to display Twitterers’ entered name. Being used to seeing Twitter names, seeing real names may be difficult for some, it is for me.
Settings – There are none beyond your log-in, no option to auto-refresh, keep updating/running in the background, set number of tweets to store. Without an user configurable settings Loquacious has a love or leave it feel to it. You either like manual refreshing your Twitter stream or you don’t and therefore don’t use Loquacious.
Not a negative just something that struck me as odd. Do the developers expect a lot of complaints or feedback from users? Years of working in IT has taught me people will voice their opinion when things aren’t working but you will hear little to nothing when everything is working as designed. The contact icon on the small menu bar is fine but I’d rather have some additional options and use the contact developer option in Android Market.
The bottom line Loquacious is a good Twitter application but with several others I’d be just as happy using that are free I’m not inclined to keep this $2.99 application. The developers obviously put some work into Loquacious and they deserve some return for their efforts but it isn’t enough to convert me from Twitli.