Provides: Twitter client
Format: Download (1.2 MB tarball)
Developer: Flock, Inc.
Minimum System Requirements: Mac OS X v10.4, 3.6MB hard disk space, Twitter account (free)
Processor Compatibility: Universal
Version Reviewed: 1.7.19
A Twitter client lives or dies by its features. They can try to pile them on, adding support for pictures, URL shrinking, and location reporting. Or, they can go the opposite way, stripping away features to make the client small and fast. But very few bother to create truly original features—those that other clients don’t have, and that no one has ever thought of.
Enter TwitterPod, a desktop Twitter client which focuses on the user experience rather than making the posts robust. TwitterPod has the basic features, posting to your feed and entering location info, automatically updating. There’s also a limited search function, which can help you sort through the most recent Tweets you’ve received. There are also three buttons that allow you to show either all the posts in your feed (including your friends), only the posts you’ve made, or only Tweets that contain URLs.
The last one is important because when you double click them, it’ll open your browser to the page referenced. Or, you can take advantage of TwitterPod’s sidebar, a built-in mini browser. If a Tweet contains a URL, it gives you a preview of the page (and expands shortened URLs from services like TinyURL and Is.Gd). If a Tweet doesn’t contain a URL, it shows you the Twitter page for the user. The problem with the browser is that even fully extended, it clips the edge off the page, hampering the readability and meaning you’ll have to open it in a browser anyway. And if you’re going to go to the trouble of opening the sidebar, why not just use Twitter from a web browser? If you decide to save desktop space by only opening the sidebar part way, it doesn’t dynamically resize itself, you just see a small sliver of the web page. A thumbnail view might be more useful, since then TwitterPod wouldn’t have to take up the whole page and you could decide whether the page is worth opening in a your regular browser.
TwitterPod’s other unique feature is the QuartzComposer view. Kind of like the iTunes Visualizer combined with an RSS feed, it’s a window of swirling colors with your Twitter feed displayed over it. The names and pictures of the users rotate underneath it. It’s fun to look at and a nice piece of eye candy, but hard to read; more like a screensaver than a new way of looking at Twitter.
What doesn’t TwitterPod do? It doesn’t have a feature for shortening URLs longer than 140 characters, and you can’t delete posts. It does have Growl support, as well as the ability to control the window opacity. For people who need to conserve space, it’s also extremely small: 3.6MB, and it’s free.
TwitterPod should appeal to those who use and get a lot of URLs in their Tweets. The sidebar is the most useful of its features, and the QuartzComposer is the most eye catching. But it’s compact design and interface make it easy to read without dominating the screen…until you need it to.