This one could have passed by you without you noticing because it seems to have passed a lot of people by it seems. Twitter, sometime late last year, rolled out Notification Channel support for those running the social networking app on Android Oreo. The problem is, they never announced it or put it in the release notes so it isn’t clear when the new feature came into the app.
Notification Channels, in case you don’t know or remember, allow you to set more granular toggles on the types of notifications you get from an app. It is supported in Oreo but not every app has support for it yet. Usually when a developer adds support, they advertise it. Apparently not Twitter.
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Twitter has finally begun allowing users to use 3rd party two factor authentication apps to verify their identity. The new feature is rolling out to users accounts online and you can now select the default SMS authentication or a 3rd party authentication tool.
In April, the social micro blogging site rolled out SMS authentication that allowed users to have an authentication code texted to them when they were logging into their account. That is still enabled by default but you now have the option to use a 3rd party app like Google Authenticator to verify your identity. The feature requires that you log into your Twitter account online, then go to Settings & Privacy in your account settings. There you can setup an authentication app.
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Following up on their iOS and web updates, Twitter has now begun rolling out a new Popular Articles feature in their Android app. The update requires that you have the latest version of their app but this new feature is a cloud-side change that is rolling out to users.
The new Popular Articles feature is based on the interaction with articles from those that you follow on the service. In other words, if a handful of those that you follow on Twitter like or retweet an article, it will show up in this new section.
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After being in beta testing for several weeks, the Twitter for Android app has been updated with a new automatic night mode for all users. The latest update to the app, version 7.2.0 for those keeping score at home, gives you the option to enable a darkened UI anytime or when the sunset happens in your location. The new feature is found in Settings>General>Display and sound.
Twitter for several releases of the Android version of their app has had a dark UI mode that could be enabled. This would turn the app from having a white background to a dark blue-grey background. This, of course, lowers eye strain when you are viewing your screen in low light.
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In an effort to meet the need of subscribers with slow connections, Twitter has introduced a new web-based Twitter Lite solution. Twitter Lite is aimed for those on unstable or unreliable networks as well as those on slow connections. Indeed, based on a report from GSMA, 45% of smartphone connections are on 2G speeds or slower. Using data compression and other techniques, the Lite version of Twitter can launch about 30% quicker. It is also more resilient on slow speed connections.
The new Lite version is accessed by going to mobile.twitter.com from your mobile device. Once there, you will see that it looks pretty much like your normal Twitter feed. Now tap on your profile avatar to go into Settings. About halfway down you will see a new Data Saving feature which you can enable. This further reduces the load of Twitter to your phone’s browser, by up to 70%.
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Twitter continues to tweak their service to give you more space in your replies on the service. Starting today, the company is rolling out an update to users that eliminates the username of those to whom you are replying to from your 140 character limit. This means you will have those characters to formulate your reply and, hopefully, not have to do so in multiple Tweets.
How this works is pretty straightforward. When you reply to a Tweet, the @username part is removed from the tweet but you are shown who you are replying to at the top of the page on your Android phone. While this isn’t a big deal for individuals you are replying to, for large groups, it is a big space saver.
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Twitter has announced changes to their app and policies with the specific aim of cutting down on online abuse and bullying. The changes will be rolling out over the course of the next few days and will bring a much enhanced mute feature. This new feature will not only allow you to mute a particular account (which you can already do) but also allow you to block keywords and emoji too. Notifications can also be muted after this update so if you are a victim of bullying or abuse on the service, you can quite literally turn that person or those words completely off in the app – and make your life a little bit easier.
Bullying and abuse has been a seemingly constant problem for Twitter. Many individuals have left the service for a wide range of abuse issues from gender, orientation and political views. Twitter in their update today stated that they know these changes won’t end it overnight but is working to try to cut it down.
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