TweetDeck for Android beta preview doesn't dazzle

Though Android users can now tweet and Facebook from TweetDeck, some of the application's bugs can be annoying.

TweetDeck for Android is finally here. You can download and preview the new Beta by signing up on its Web site, and TweetDeck will e-mail you instructions on how to install it, according to an announcement TweetDeck made on Thursday. As TweetDeck mentions in its announcement, the application is still a work in progress; there are still multiple kinks that it needs to work out. Though the glitches are annoying, the application has an attractive and semi-intuitive interface that features cross-platform syncing and easy status-message updating.

To install the app onto your Android device, sign up for the preview through TweetDeck's Web site. It will e-mail you a link to download the software. Its installation is fast; however, when we tried to sign into our accounts manually, the app told us that our password is incorrect.

The application is sleek and easy to use. The home screen streams color-coordinated updates with Facebook posts in blue and Twitter in gray. The app displays each update fairly large, making it easy to like and comment on a status from this screen. By tapping on an update, you can easily retweet, reply, like, comment, and all other social networking practices you are used to. Clicking on a link or photo will redirect you to the content in a Web browser, but perhaps this is something TweetDeck will change as it updates the application.

A small bird appears at the left-hand side of your screen when you have a notification alert. Clicking on it and dragging the bar down will show you your alerts page. Alerts is one area where the app needs some improvement. For example, when a friend comments on a photo of you, there is no way to tell which photo they are commenting on. This is slightly vexing. From within the app, you can easily move between your home, notifications, and direct messages screen by flicking left or right.

At the bottom of the application are four icons: post, friend gallery, search, and map. Through the post option, you can update one account or multiple accounts simultaneously. It is easy to disable or enable particular accounts by simply tapping on its icon. The friend gallery is a list of shortcuts to specific friends that you can customize. The search looks through Twitter for specific words, and the map is a map. To manage columns, accounts, refresh, and to quit the application, tap your Android device's menu button.

TweetDeck for Android fails to do some basic Facebook functions; for example, it would be helpful to know which pictures other people comment on. Although it lacks amazing Facebook support, the Twitter functions are simple and offer all of TweetDeck's desktop perks. It is important to remember that this preview is just that--a preview. Until TweetDeck releases the final version, we will be optimistic and hope the company improves upon the application's cons.