If you’re a Twitter user, you’ve probably got Tweetie installed on your Mac. The most popular of Mac Twitter clients, there’s been quite a history around it. As you probably know, Twitter has put a lot of time into updating their mobile application for the iPhone and iPad. Therefore, the Mac client sort of lagged behind. However, with the launch of the Mac App Store, that has changed. Already the top free app at the time this was written, Twitter for Mac has now been updated to version 2.0.
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.”
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.
Twitter is the latest thing in social networking. Think of it as a micro-blog. While the Twitter website offers a basic interface for posting “Tweets,” a ton of clients (both for iPhone and desktop) as well as web apps have flourished, and we’ll be taking you through them, letting you know what features and drawbacks you can expect to find.
Twitterrific has a clean design that controls how much and how little information you want, as well as how often you get it. It can be a constant companion for the information junkie, or a polite butler who waits in the corner while you’re busy, coughing politely to let you know a new visitor has arrived. I’m not convinced that the premium version is worth $14.95, especially given the lack of extras, and the intense competition from other, free clients who offer more features.
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.
Twitterrific, the Twitter client developed by the fine folks at the Iconfactory, has been updated to version 3.2. This update is for the desktop client, not the iPhone/iPod touch version. In addition to numerous big fixes, Twitterrific now uses encrypted HTTPS when communicating with Twitter’s servers, old Tweets are marked as “read” when you open the program, and if your computer connects to the internet via proxy servers, Iconfactory has adjusted the program to make HTTP authentication more reliable.