Twitter officially announced its tablet-optimized app for Android devices today, finally giving users with large-screen Android devices a better experience than just the enlarged version of the smartphone app that's been available for years. The app offers a two-column landscape layout to better take advantage of the greater screen real-estate provided by tablets, and looks quite similar to the interface that Twitter uses in its app for the iPad. Unfortunately, the company is limiting access to the new app to Samsung tablets — initially the new Galaxy Note 10.1, and other Samsung tablets in the near future.
The app is compatible with Samsung's multi-window multitasking feature, which lets you use two apps side-by-side, and includes an updated homescreen widget. Users can now also use the Note's S Pen to draw and doodle on photos and post them to Twitter, all from within the app.
It's strange that Twitter is not making the app available to the Nexus 7, which is one of the most popular Android tablets on the market, though the company notes that it worked closely with Samsung to enable the specific multi-window and S Pen features in the app. The company plans to make the tablet version more widely available for other devices in the future, but it did not give a time frame for when that would happen.
Exclusives like this demonstrate Samsung's power in the market
This isn't the first time that Samsung has nailed an exclusive app debut for Android: last year, Flipboard launched its long awaited Android app on the Galaxy S3 smartphone before making it widely available a few weeks later. These kinds of exclusives demonstrate the power that Samsung has as the dominant Android device maker in the market — it's likely that the company will continue to get exclusives on other highly-anticipated apps, short term as they may be.
Unfortunately, exclusives only stand to benefit Samsung, not users or the ecosystem as a whole, which in the case of apps for Android tablets, has been in want of good apps for years. It probably won't be long before Twitter's Android tablet app can be enjoyed by all, but as it stands now, only owners of the 2014 Note 10.1 can download the new app from the Google Play Store today.