doubleTwist (for Android) review

doubleTwist is a solid music-syncing app, but its premium features—which some may argue should be free—will turn some off.
Photo of doubleTwist (for Android)

The free doubleTwist bills itself as “iTunes for Android” and it’s easy to understand why. The Android app—which works in conjunction with desktop software and optional premium add-ons—makes it very simple to manage video and music, download podcasts, and wirelessly sync iTunes songs and playlists between a computer and Google-powered mobile device. If, that is, you’re willing to open your wallet. Multimedia devourers may like the initial cut of doubleTwist’s jib, but they may not find the app’s premium content worth their cash. SnapPea—a rival app—offers similar features (and more) for zero dollars, but if you want basic iTunes syncing, doubleTwist is a worthy download.

Let the Games Begin
Getting started with doubleTwist is simple. You connect your phone or tablet to a Mac or PC via USB and launch the doubleTwist desktop and mobile software. Your Android device must be set to Mass Storage Mode in order to sync files via USB. That may prove a small stumbling block for some users as tablets running Honeycomb and devices without a SD card running Ice Cream Sandwich lack a Mass Storage mode.

Fortunately, I had a memory card in my Samsung Galaxy Note II, so I was able to sync a few movie soundtracks and playlists from iTunes to my Samsung Galaxy Note II in approximately five minutes’ time. The free features aren’t mind-blowing, but doubleTwist’s more intriguing features come with a price—literally.

Premium Features
Shelling out $4.99 for AirSync lets you wirelessly sync video, and iTunes music and playlists from a Mac or PC to your Android smartphone or tablet. Setting up this feature is easy, too. Simply connect your Android device and computer to the same Wi-Fi signal, launch the doubleTwist software, select the device name, enter the passkey that’s displayed on your Android device, select the files you want to wirelessly transfer, and click the Sync button. The syncing process was easy and fast—and it’s a feature not available on SnapPea which only allows you to sync content over wired connections. This is definitely a point in doubleTwist’s favor.

That’s not the only premium feature. The $14.97 doubleTwist Pro builds upon AirSync by adding two other upgrades: “Music Lover” and “Podcasts.” The former adds EQ settings and HD album art to tracks missing images; the latter lets users download podcasts without syncing to a desktop computer. “Music Lover” didn’t feel at all like a premium feature and should’ve been included in the free, basic version. “Podcasts” proved somewhat more useful as it let me download several episodes of The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe to my Galaxy Note II without the need for a Mac or PC. Still, this comes off as a cash-grab as there are numerous free podcast manager apps in Google Play. A $1.99 alarm clock add-on is also offered.

SnapPea, on the other hand, includes desktop texting, photo slideshows, and more—free of charge.

The doubleTwist Experience
Once content is loaded onto your Android phone or tablet, it’s a breeze to navigate doubleTwist’s interface. It’s made of seven icon-driven, self-explanatory panels: Artists, Albums, Songs, Playlists, Genres, Podcasts, and Radio.

The Playlist section is where you find a duplicate of your iTunes playlists. That’s terrific if you’re an iTunes power-user, but those who want to create playlists from within doubleTwist itself will find that they sadly cannot. The flakey internet radio stations would sometimes take minutes to pick up audio—frustrating. On the upside, I was able to stream music from my phone to an Xbox 360 without a hitch.

The Wrap
Wireless syncing may lure some into downloading doubleTwist, but if you want a more complete iTunes/Android syncing feature, SnapPeas is the way to go. Not only does it offer unusually, but useful features (desktop texting), but it’s absolutely free as well. That said, doubleTwist is a solid Android app, but there are better options available.

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Specifications
Type Personal

Verdict
doubleTwist is a solid music-syncing app, but its premium features—which some may argue should be free—will turn some off.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc