Falcon Pro, a Twitter client for Android, represents the platform at its very best. It has futuristic, sleek UI with nice slide menus at either side, as well as a built-in browser for media playback, longer-form reading, and image viewing. It has an extension for Android 4.2′s essential Dashclock Widget, a cool widget of its own, and no iOS equivalent. On wifi, it can even livestream your timeline. Moreover, it’s a perfect flag-bearer for premium Android-first apps.
All of which makes recent news about it reaching Twitter’s draconian token limit (and having to price itself into the stratosphere) all the more frustrating. Now that Twitter’s new APIs limit 3rd-party apps to 100,000 tokens each, the shelf life of even the best Twitter clients feels like it is constant jeopardy. The problem is even worse on Android than on iOS or OS X. Falcon Pro hit 100,000 tokens with ~50,000 downloads, implying either a host of multiple-device authentications or an alarmingly high piracy rate.
Last year, the excellent Dead Trigger shifted from $0.99 to free in Google Play in response to high piracy. Meanwhile, it iOS version continued selling at $0.99, despite not having the Android-exclusive features like Tegra 3-enhanced graphics. Other games have claimed similarly high piracy rates of over 80%. But whereas piracy simply dented the fortunes of some larger cross-platform game developers like Dead Trigger makers Madfinger Games, the piracy issue for Falcon Pro is graver, having jeopardized its existence and by extension the unique value it adds as a rare premium Android exclusive.
In a sense, the threat that piracy poses to Android is a microcosm of the platform’s problems. Its openness and flexibility, as well as its ties to geekier hacker cultures, give it enormous strength and reach while also exposing it to the pitfalls of fragmentation, inscrutability, and piracy. In turn, it sometimes struggles (in public perception) to keep up with the more unified and more premium-feeling facade of iOS. That’s too bad, since apps like Falcon Pro, devices like the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, and revelatory releases like Jelly Bean have together proven that Android can, at its best, seamlessly wed form and function.
Luckily, a new version of Falcon Pro is now back on sale, for a higher price (albeit way lower than the roughly $132.13 USD it briefly charged while it had access to no new tokens), apparently to dissuade a repeat of the token overload. If you use Twitter in any seriousness, are into legitimately paying for Android apps, and want to strengthen the platform’s general health and viability, then this app comes with my highest recommendation.
-The ScreenGrab Team