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Android shows up late to the Vine party (but looks very nice)

Android users jealous of their iOS brethren's six-second Vine masterpieces can now shoot their own looping video clips. But there are a few key differences in the two apps: Android users can zoom in while filming, but can't shoot front-facing selfies.

Vine is visually similar on both platforms. The Android app has a top toolbar that lets you toggle between your feed, profile, and new or recommended Vines, while the iOS version's tabs are located in a drop-down menu.

The real differences lie in the features. We tested zoom in Vine for Android while our 3D printer was hard at work--there's a slight learning curve in figuring out how to zoom in (volume up) and out (volume down) while shooting, but experimenting with the feature should yield some interesting clips from more artistic Vine users than us. (Quality filmmaking below.)

Shooting and sharing videos is a snap on Android, though processing took longer on our Samsung Galaxy S4 than on our iPhone 4S.

Good, but not great

The long-awaited app is a solid one, but it's missing a few core features. Twitter says it plans to frequently update the app to bring the two versions of Vine in line with each other in the next few weeks.

"The two apps are not perfectly in sync, but that won't be the case for long," Android engineer Sara Haider wrote in a Monday blog post.

Front-facing camera capability is on the way, as are search, hashtags, mentions, and Facebook sharing. The social network also hinted at Android-exclusive features. It's unclear if any capabilities will remain iOS-only, or if iOS users will be able to zoom while filming.

More than 13 million people have signed up for Vine since it launched on iOS in January--expect that number to explode now that the app is on Android. Much like Twitter itself, Vine is used by everyone from teenagers shooting self-portraits to celebrities sharing backstage footage. Vine was used heavily to share on-the-scene clips in the Boston Marathon bombing aftermath. The app's possibilities are endless, and the pool of users just got exponentially larger.


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