APP OF THE DAY: Hootsuite (Android)

We think it's fair to say that, as good a service as Twitter is, when it comes to making apps, it's second in line to the dreadful Facebook for making a hash (pun very much intended) of things.

Hootsuite aims to provide solutions to the many problems of the official Twitter app. Multiple accounts are supported - they are in the official app too, finally, but the Hootsuite method is slicker. And you can also post to Facebook, LinkedIn and even MySpace, which is obviously better than Twitter's apps.

Hootsuite

Format
Android
Price
Free
Where
Google Play

Hootsuite's strengths though are in the way it handles multiple Twitter accounts in one seamless app.

If you've used the Hootsuite website and found it to be slow, then the good news is that the Android app is a lot better. It's not burdened with sluggish HTML, so things feel more responsive and less frustrating.

You can swipe through your various columns. These are customisable, but the obvious choices are that you have your home stream, @mentions and direct messages followed by any searches you have saved. Because everything is synced to Hootsuite's servers, you can set your service up on the firm's website, and then access those customisations on your Android device.

Notifications are individual too, so you'll see a separate entry for each account on Android. This can be both good and annoying. It does mean you can ignore "work" tweets at the weekend, and just enjoy the more social side of social networking, but it can also get overwhelming.

The way Hootsuite handles saved searches is particularly good. It means, if you want to keep track of a phrase or hashtag, the company will do it all for you. It's a far more satisfying and productive process than we've seen on other Twitter apps.

Facebook integration is so-so, but if you're looking for a single app to handle everything, it's probably sufficient, although it's really for the news feed and nothing else.

Support for multiple networks also brings with it the ability to cross-post. This means if you have an update you'd like to go out on all your networks, you can select them all at the same time, before sending the message. Use with caution though, as you should be cleverer about what you post where!

Of course, Hootsuite also makes itself useful for collaboration. This is especially true of the website, but if you're involved in a group account, the app can certainly help you manage tweets, with scheduled updates - something that can be very helpful for work-based tweeting.