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TweetDeck Android app beta adds features ahead of iPhone update

Android users will get the chance to beta test the first version of the Android app today and iPhone users should expect an update very soon

TweetDeck, one of the most popular Twitter iPhone and desktop apps thanks to its streamlined interface and blended social-networking functionality, will be available on Android today.

An unofficial beta version of the app was made available for download on the TweetDeck Web site, but was soon removed. The site should be updated later today with information on how people can get involved in the beta program and test it.

"We've built Android TweetDeck from the ground up. Multi-column is still the order of the day but now columns are blended based on the type of activity rather than the service," explains Iain Dodsworth, TweetDeck founder.

Mashable's already had a play around and describes the app as having "breathtaking potential", integrating your Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz and Foursquare accounts into a single app.

Updates are colour-coded and presented in one column, and there's an @replies and comments section for Facebook posts.

This means it has more functionality than the iPhone version of the app, which is free and only integrates Facebook status updates. There's no need to fret though -- iPhone will soon get its own upgrade.

"Android TweetDeck also represents the future of our iPhone and iPad applications," announced Dodsworth. "We'll have a few bug-fix releases shortly (awaiting approval in the app store) but in the background we are working on porting Android to iPhone in as quick a time as possible.

"Finally, it won't be long before most of the new concepts in Android TweetDeck make it to the desktop and Web -- we're also working on this now."

That leaves the question: will TweetDeck ever charge for the app? Many of its Twitter app competitors do, while offering more options such as video uploading.

TweetDeck currently lacks the ability to use location-based data -- a trend we've seen emerging in social media lately.

First popularised as an Adobe Air desktop program, TweetDeck runs on Windows, Mac and Linux, and an iPad version was also created earlier in the year.

Update: The beta is now available to sign up to -- go to the TweetDeck Web site for more information.

Image credit: Mashable