Editors' note: This review was updated on January 30, 2014, to cover the features added in version 5.0.11.
The official Twitter app for Android is great at the basics, but it might leave power users wanting more. Recent updates have added more features such as extra content at the top of your news feed, photo-editing tools, and two-factor authentication, which make the app more useful, but it's still not on par with other third-party options.
Each time you boot up the Twitter app, it opens to your Home screen and lands on the last tweet that you read. Tap the Home tab to quickly jump to the top, or tap on any individual tweet to pop it out to a new screen. On this new screen, you get options to Reply, Retweet, Favorite, or Share, and in some cases you can view thumbnails images or other rich content contained in the tweet (for links to Twitter's partner sites). What we don't like about this system is that you have to press the Back button at the top of the screen to return to your timeline from an expanded tweet. We would much prefer to see expanded tweets inline (like you can on the Web site), without having to pop out to a new screen each time. Also, it would've been nice to get collapsible previews of links inline as well.
An update on January 27, 2014, added a new feature to your home screen. When you scroll to the top of screen, and there are no new tweets to read, if you swipe down to refresh, you'll see recommended tweets, trending topics, recent activity from people you follow, and suggestions of other users to follow in a "Discover" section that appears above your Twitter feed. If you live in the US, you'll also see TV, sports, and news updates in that space.
The Discover tab houses several items including trending hash tags, an activity stream (what you're connections are doing on Twitter) and suggestions for who to follow. Next to that, there's an Activity tab, which only shows favorites, retweets, and other activity from the people you follow on Twitter. While you likely won't be spending the majority of your time in these tabs, they are convenient for the more active Twitter users.
You can view your notifications, direct messages, and profile from the top menu bar in the app. The alarm bell icon opens your notifications, which shows all of your interactions with your Twitter friends, including when someone mentions you or retweets something your share. You can also see when someone new has followed you or added you to a list.