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Vine for Android updates with camera tools and widget

Twitter brings parity to its cross-platform video app but throws in a special extra for Android owners.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

As promised, Twitter-owned Vine updated its Android application Thursday with a slew of improvements to simplify the process of shooting, sharing, and finding 6-second clips.

The latest Android release carries over the "revining" functionality (Vine's version of retweeting), helpful camera tools, and content channels that were introduced on iOS last week. The update also comes with a unique-to-Android capture widget that lets application users launch the camera and start recording from the home screen.

Six-month-old Vine, which touts 13 million registered units, pioneered an artsy start-and-stop video capture feature, later emulated by Instagram, that has helped the young app attract creatives, celebrities, and brands. Thursday's Vine for Android update, along with a pending release on Windows Phone, should go a long way in exposing people's loopy video machinations to larger audiences, which is essential if Vine wants to keep growing in the face of stiff competition from Instagram and its 130 million active users.