Remember when in late August I freaked out about being invited to test the beta version of Twitter for Android? Turns out everyone was. Overreaction aside, there hasn’t been any news about the Twitter beta program since it opened, that is until this morning when my Note II prompted me to install Twitter version 5.0.0.beta-7. So what’s new? Everything.

Let’s start with the most obvious change, the top row. So long icons, hello words. You can now swipe from home to interactions to messages to activities to trends to your own profile. These are all things that used to take multiple taps to reach, especially the messages tab, so I’m thrilled to see things becoming easier to use.

Another thing that stands out is image previews. Third party Twitter clients have had the ability to show thumbnails of images from various services for what feels like forever. Twitter is only now bringing this functionality to their official application. Unfortunately, you can’t view Instagram photos.

There’s also a new sidebar that replicates the top navigation bar. Simple tap the Twitter bird in the top left hand corner, and a menu slides out that allows you to jump anywhere you want to go.