Seesmic for Android: Review

Mat Lee reviews Seesmic as part two of his series looking into apps that make dealing with social networks easier. Does he like it? Well …

Like My6sense, which I reviewed here recently, Seesmic is a tool to help you more easily deal with social media. But it’s more focused on consumption than production.  Available for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone, there’s also a desktop client I found to be ultra fast.

But I was eager to look at the Android version of Seesmic. I used to be a Twidroyd user, which was good enough for me until it went problematic on me. Here’s what it looks like on my smartphone.

Seesmic supports Facebook, Twitter and, oddly, the now expired Google Buzz in a social app.  It also includes support for’s Chatter. Assuming your social world consists of Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz, and Salesforce, Seesmic works well. Throw in an extra little Twitter proxy support, which basically allows you to add your own API server into the mix, and it packs a powerful punch.

On all platforms — here I’m showing it Seesmic on Android — the first thing you need to do is add an account. Or two or three. Here you see I’ve added all of mine. Pretty cut and dry stuff.

The plus sign is where you add an account. The account with the green circle next to it denotes your default account.

Whenever you open Seesmic for Android, it’s going to open that account. If you long press on an account, it brings up the options to open, compose, show profile, make default or delete that particular account. Tapping on the raccoon doesn’t do anything in this screen, but I’ll get back to that in a minute.

Tap into an account to get to the main page for that account. So if you’re viewing Twitter, all the normal Twitter-related stuff is there. You can check tweets, @replies, direct messages and view your profile.

The user interface is clean and easy to use. When viewing your Twitter stream, for instance, you just tap your name if you need to pop back up to the top of your scroll. If you want to go back to the main accounts page,  tap the raccoon. Interesting.

Or skip the raccoon and hit the menu key, then tap profiles. It all goes to the same place.

The search function works pretty well. Search for All, look at the current trending topics and search for users. Unlik Twidroyd, it doesn’t let you search by location to see all the tweets in your area.

Not everyone needs location-based tweet-viewing, though. I live in rural Montana — so it’s not as if I’m looking at a lot of activity here.

Seesmic for Android’s Facebook support is front and center. Tap your Facebook account and you’ll see its News Feed. Really straightforward. From here, you can tap Friends, Pages and Wall.

This was a more helpful feature back when the official Facebook for Android app didn’t yet support pages. It does now, but I still like prefer the Seesmic experience here.

On the Wall, view thumbnails inline with your feed —  and see what the picture is before you decide on clicking it. That’s pretty cool if you are friends with people who post a lot of pictures all the time.

Browsing to your favorite page is easy. Once there, just tap on a post so you can comment, share or like it.

Sharing on Android is great — there is such an amazing array of apps to share with. Do you smell that? That’s freedom. Well, at least until you get your phone bill. Or the Android Market removes your favorite NES emulator or tether app. But hey, it’s better than nothing, which is all some people get. The point is now you’re keeping up with everything Facebook and Twitter related, using 50 percent fewer apps.

From almost anywhere in the application, click the Device Option button and tap Settings to control all the things that make Seesmic tick.

Inside Look & Feel, it’s pretty rudimentary to change the settings for number of messages shown, tell it to remember your position in the timeline and change the size of the text in the timeline. Nice touch.

Inside the background updates settings, as with most Android applications, you’re able to choose whether to enable updates and select the interval at which Seesmic will update.

If your battery is challenged as many are over time, try setting the update interval for a longer duration. The  Notifications setting lets you check boxes for tweets, replies and direct messages. Again, all pretty standard fare.

Tap the photo/video option to control how Seesmic for Android deals with the pictures and video you capture. It lets you select what photo service to use, the size of the photo to upload,and what video service you’re down with.

Scroll down and, another nice touch, you’re able to choose your favorite URL shortener. If you choose, as I did, just input your username and API key.

I also like how Seesmic enables YouTube as a video choice. That’s not something you see in most social clients. YouTube is intensely social.

To use it, just hop back to the main Settings screen and tap Misc to tell Seesmic to start up at launch, and to clear all cached data.

Social media consumption is a completely relativistic beast. It packs in a ton of options — necessary these days for app developers to reach critical mass. There are always a lot of features you won’t need, though, as is the case with all software in general. For instance, I never use Lists in Twitter, but I’m sure somebody might want to.

Overall, I find Seesmic works best in tandem with My6Sense. If you use the former for consumption and the latter for production. you’ll like it. I mainly use My6sense to consume and Seesmic to produce. I’ll find something interesting cruising the My6sense feed —  long press, hit share, select Seesmic, then make my post to Twitter, Facebook and my pages. Seesmic for Android is an app I recommend, Once Seesmic adds Google+ support, this app will be complete.