Following yesterday's news that Twitter plans an IPO, the even more interesting news was that Twitter has released a totally overhauled v5 Beta for Android. This Beta, which is yet not distributed publicly but to members of the Beta program (Google Play is still showing v4.1.7 as the latest), has massive design changes and feature improvements. First of all, v5 comes with a totally new sidebar menu which slides-out if the Twitter icon in the upper left corner is tapped. It reminds of the Facebook slide-out menu. From here, users can access their stream, notifications, messages but can also see activities, trending topics as well as finding people and accessing the own profile. Here it's also possible to change between different Twitter profiles. This view can be even rearranged.
In the standard view, users will get the same menu items on the top where it's possible to scroll/slide through. So basically one of the two is redundant. Furthermore is the v5 now displaying photos straight in the stream, a functionality I already noticed back in August, when Twitter turned it on for a limited group of users, but turned it off immediately. Now, the photo preview is part of the Beta but it's possible to turn off previews through the menu.
Since the release yesterday, Twitter has released a couple of further v5 Beta updates which seems to include bug fixes only; I haven't noticed any further changes to the original v5 Beta release. As always, there is no official release date given and therefore it's unknown at the moment when Twitter plans to release v5 for Android to the public.
Cheers ~ Arne