Appletell previews Tweetdeck (public beta)

Sections: Mac Software, Reviews, Web Applications / Development

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Tweetdeck iconProvides: Social Networking (Twitter client)
Developer: Iain Dodsworth
Requirements: Adobe AIR, Intel Core Duo 1.83GHz or PowerPC G4 1GHz processor, Mac OS X v10.4.11 or Mac OS X 10.5.4, 512MB RAM
Price:M Free (public beta)
Availability: Out now

Think of it like this; in terms of options, management, and scope, every other Twitter client is iPhoto. Tweetdeck is Photoshop.

A free application that runs on the Adobe AIR platform, Tweetdeck, a Twitter desktop client, is a monster of a program. I don’t mean that it’s difficult to learn, but the sheer scope of its features and ability to sort through the massive amount of Twitter posts make it the most complex tool I’ve yet seen.

Tweetdeck interface

Tweetdeck organizes itself into columns starting with the basic three: your Twitter feed, replies, and direct messages. But you can add as many columns as you like after that, sorting the poeple you follow into groups, like businesses, friends, or celebrity feeds. If you regularly search for a term or phrase over and over, you can create a column that will store that search and regularly update the results. And keep in mind you’re not limited to one group and one search column—you can have as many of these as you’d like.

Other presets include feeds from 12seconds where users can create 12 second long videos (Twitter for video, if you will), or, if you use Twitter to follow discussions of your investments, you can also quickly create a feed for following StockTwits. The final preset gives you a column for TwitScoop, a data cloud showing popular words that are being used on Twitter at the moment.

Now, let’s say you actually want to post something on Twitter. Believe it or not, Tweetdeck does that, too. But, not only does it allow you to post your 140 character thoughts, it also includes a URL shortener that works with thirteen different services. There’s also provides a button for uploading your photos to TwitPic. If your post is just a little too long, you can click another button to translate your post into SMS abbreviations with Tweet Shrink. The last button gives you quick access to the hashtags you use—terms with a pound sign in front of them (like #apple or #ipod) that make it easy for users to search and find the Tweet as part of a larger conversation.

tweetdeck notificationsThe Twitter API allows you 100 “uses” per hour, which includes posting and refreshing. Tweetdeck displays the number of API checks you have left, and you can set how frequently it updates so you get the maximum amount of refreshes without running out before the end of the hour. You can also turn automatic refreshes off. In terms of notifications, it uses small pop-up windows, similiar to Growl (but not using that service), to notify the user of updates.

If you’re a hardcore Twitter user, someone who follows a lot or users or has a lot of followers, or just a data junkie, Tweetdeck goes above and beyond the call of a Twitter client; it’s practically a Twitter Browser, or a Twitter OS. It’s not small (in terms of desktop real estate) and it’s not discrete, but it is extremely powerful and very flexible in terms of the data you receive and how its organized.

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