Tumblr for Android recently updated with a brand new version which blows the iOS version right out of the water bringing what appears to be a full native official experience. For those who don’t know what Tumblr is, it’s a social blogging platform with options to easily participate called “Reblog” and “Like” and is generally used by hipsters (the group of people who also use Instagram).
A few issues you’ll straight away notice with the app is that there is an option to TAB on the Login screen, however it actually doesn’t work. Once you’re logged in there’s only a few issues that are noticable. The main interface is simple, but isn’t ICS styled which is a shame, but the app is a massive improvement over the old one.
As you can see there are a few visual glitches which Tumblr will need to solve for the app to work well. They are not so bad the app is unusable, however sometimes there is a diagonal cut-out of the Like button, which I don’t understand how that’s even happening if they’re natively doing this app (Tumblr staff: just use 9-patches).
The app includes a strange pull-to-refresh mechanism which doesn’t seem to work very well, and should be replaced. However, the loading symbol is nice to play with (just pull to refresh a lot and it’ll spin around like mad).
What’s nice to see in the app is the addition of the Radar. The Radar is a feature for Tumblr to show off posts which I think are really popular or just interesting (I’m not too sure exactly) and the loading is very nice. However, it is designed differently to how it is on the website where only one Radar item is shown at once, meaning that there could be a separate page could be landing on there soon.
On the User tab we see what is usually on the sidebar, with some nice options which were not available on mobile before. We now have access to a Notifications view, where you can see notes on the things you post (like when someone reblogs or likes your posts). This view on it’s own isn’t available on the web which is a plus. Also you can reply to your messages which is new on mobile. Before this version, you would have to use a web browser, however there doesn’t appear to be any notifications of this at all, you have to wait for an email to arrive then open the app which is a bit annoying but do-able.
Last but not least, the ability to post has been dramatically improved to be much easier to do and much more professional. There is no rich text options which is a shame, but at least the ability to post nicely is there. The new dashboard icons which were released a month ago are included and fit the app quite well, although some users still like the old ones.
However, the post editor does not work as well for reblogging items as the image/post you are reblogging disappears out of your view (unlike other Tumblr apps on Google Play), however the application does not force you to reload the dashboard all the time like the old version did.
All in all, if you are looking for a nice blogging system which is fuss-free and works fairly well, Tumblr is for you,
Much needed improvement over the old Webkit based app, however it still has much of a way to go but for most people it is better than the alternatives on Google Play.