Twitter for Mac

16th Mar 2011 | 11:00

Twitter for Mac

Tweetie returns as the official client

TechRadar rating:

3.5 stars

It's decent enough, but feels a missed opportunity to beat the competition

Like:

Stable and fast; Threaded direct messages

Dislike:

Questionable interface design; Needs more preferences

Tweetie by atebits was once the Mac's best Twitter client, but a lack of updates meant it fell behind in supporting new Twitter features. To make matters worse, atebits was bought by Twitter and developer Loren Brichter set to work on iOS Twitter clients, without a word on the progress (or lack thereof) of Tweetie 2. That app's now here, but as Twitter's official client – and it's a mixed bag.

Positives first: Twitter for Mac is faster, less bug-ridden and more stable than leading Mac Twitter clients Kiwi and Echofon. Setting up accounts is simple, notification types are easily defined, and the ability to turn off live streaming is welcome. The threaded direct messages are also great.

Unfortunately, the interface is sub-optimal, and will – like the iPad app – prove divisive. Niggles abound: controls aren't easily discoverable; tweet text can't be zoomed; short URLs can't be expanded; Twitter's window can't be dragged off-screen or omitted from Spaces; and the window isn't easy to grab and move.

Twitter for Mac feels like the 'appisation' of a Mac product; worse, whereas Twitter for iPad works nicely on Apple's tablet, the Mac client feels weak by comparison, lacking its extra 'context' column and optional integrated browser.

Don't get us wrong – this is still a good product, but perhaps had a little more time been spent on having the interface fit in (or at least be a bit more flexible) rather than forcing it to stick out on the desktop like a sore thumb (visually and in terms of usability), it could have been great.

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