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Appletell previews “Lounge” Twitter client for Mac OS X

Sections: Mac Software, Reviews, Social Media

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LoungeProduct: Twitter Client
Format: Download (582 KB)
Developer: Goose Apps
Minimum System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5, Twitter account (free)
Processor Compatibility: Universal
Price: Free (beta testing)
Availability: Beta testing (expires July 1, 2009)
Version Reviewed: 0.3.1

Twitter desktop clients: the field is overwhelmingly filled with Adobe AIR applications. These applications don’t usually look all too graceful, and worse (and far less subjective), have huge memory leaks. There are a few other apps that don’t rely on AIR; Twitterrific (my personal favorite) comes to mind. However, there are no Twitter apps on the Market that fit in with the Mac OS X look and feel, and more importantly run natively. Enter “Lounge.”

Lounge began as an iPhone app, and now is in development of the desktop version. This makes it one of the few twitter apps to have a mobile and desktop counterpart. To me, this is the killer feature of Lounge, because it plans to offer “last read” syncing between the two apps, something that Twitterrific doesn’t.

In addition, Lounge is the first Twitter application to look like it belongs on Mac OS X. It has a very native interface, a fact I think may hurt it a little bit in the long run. (See my article on Native UI appearance for an in-depth explanation.) Overall, the interface is slow and has some flaws, but none are major, and I believe they will all be fixed by the time this becomes a final release.

Window

The first issue I find with the interface is the size. The window cannot be any smaller than about 350 pixels across (not including the sidebar, shown above,) a setting much too wide to sit on the side of my screen as Twitterrific currently does. It can be cheated smaller by opening the sidebar, shrinking it, and hiding the sidebar again, but when the app is quit or the window is closed, it will reset. The interface is also very slow. One of the neat things about the Lounge app is its iPhone-like interface paradigms. For instance, clicking on a tweet will slide down more info about the tweeter (below). Unfortunately, this takes a few seconds in the current betas, which is much too long for a “Quick Info” box.

Info panel

View OptionsLounge offers multiple sections in the app (right). The “Friends” section is the one that most people will likely use most of the time. It shows the “normal” Twitter view of your friends and your tweets mixed together. The “My Two Cents” section shows all of the logged in user’s tweets. “Vanity” shows all tweets that include “@yourname” but don’t have it right in the front. This is a really useful view, but weirdly separated from Replies, much like every other Twitter app. I don’t understand why “@AdamFC hey!” and “hey @AdamFC” shouldn’t both count as replies, but I digress. Lounge also has a built-in Twitter search area, something that is definitely a no-brainer. Some of the views are more than a little redundant, and the amount of them could be pared down, but most are useful, and hey, the list can be hidden, so no harm done.

Overall, Lounge doesn’t offer any huge breakthrough features, but it does aggregate common ones very nicely. It could use a bit of flair in its interface, not to the extreme of Twitterrific, but as of right now it could pass for any Apple app. I have a feeling that once it is out of beta, many people will be flocking to Lounge for a nice, native Twitter experience on the Mac.

Download the Lounge beta.

See more Twitter client reviews.

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