Twitter broke the only bit of joy I’ve found in its Android app, but you can get it back

Twitter made a product decision as of late to “streamline” its Android app. Twitter wouldn’t know an excellent, monetizeable, cheerful characteristic if it hit it in the face. And I’ve spent the final couple of years hitting Twitter within the face with this option in what has turned out to be a vain effort to maintain it from being pulled. I’m talking about Highlights, the best part of the Twitter revel in on Android.

As a part of our continued paintings to streamline the Twitter for Android app revel in, Highlights will now be to be had by means of push notifications and within the Notifications tab.

— Twitter Enhance (@TwitterSupport) December 19, 2017

Because It was (mainly) Android-only and buried within the side menu, i would like to provide an explanation for Highlights every time I discuss it. So right here goes: it’s an aspect-swiping record of tweets and links, selected through an set of rules, in response to the most productive stuff from the people you observe. It’s a temporary, quick checklist of standard tweets and links from the folk you apply, that allows you to capture up on what you neglected.

In a world the place so much of my main Twitter timeline is also awash within the Outrage Of The Instant, Twitter Highlights has been a unprecedented achievement of the promise of social media: it introduced delightful things that I care approximately from people who I care approximately, in a layout that used to be fast and straightforward to digest.

in preference to construct on it, Twitter went and became it into yet another factor you’ll pass over on your Notifications tab. (it is additionally available on iOS as a random notification.) And that’s only a shame, as a result of this immersive, horizontal-swipe format could have been Twitter’s “Story” format, designed to compete with Instagram and Snapchat. It’s so much like Twitter Moments, but constructed with an algorithm and without any of the convoluted UI required to build a Second.

Twitter could have built on it, increased on it, and (yes) put commercials on it. As A Substitute, Twitter simply buried it. you already know how Tales allow you to really feel such as you’ve stuck up on what your mates are doing on Instagram or Snapchat? Highlights used to be that, but for Twitter.

Twitter just killed my favorite characteristic. that is awful.

RIP the only Twitter feature that made me really feel the enjoyment of catching up on what my buddies care about.

You idiots. You jerks.

— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) December 20, 2017

All is not lost, on the other hand! Highlights still exist within the Twitter app, but there’s not a hyperlink to get to them within the sidebar. Samuel Maskell, a former senior engineer on the Android notifications workforce at Twitter, has taken it upon himself to create a tiny little Android “app” that restores a quick hyperlink to Twitter Highlights. You click the app on the home reveal and it opens up the Twitter app straight away into Highlights.

Don’t thoughts me while I shamelessly plug my app to anyone reading the comments on this tweet.

Easy way to get highlights again ->

— Samta☃️Claus (@samuelmaskell) December 20, 2017

In an e mail, Maskell tells me that Highlighter is “actually 3 strains of code. The app just opens the similar deep-hyperlink that the notification makes use of and then exits. rather than that, the one factor i’ve to mention is that i am sorry for the unsightly icon. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

At a few aspect, Twitter will probably kill this feature altogether, in order that it could possibly devote more engineering instruments to ignoring the issue of creating tweets editable. Till then, in case you’re an Android person, I extremely suggest sticking Highligher in your home monitor someplace, ugly icon and all.

Twitter Highlights admire some time. They mean you can trap up on Twitter with out asking you to handle the principle feed’s latest whims and rants. If Twitter were any roughly smart, it could increase Highlights into a Story layout that lives along your main feed instead of ceaselessly mucking round with the order of tweets on the home tab.

However, as we’ve observed time and time once more over the prior few years, Twitter isn’t any more or less smart.

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