Grant Brünner, July 26, 2012
Just a few weeks ago, Tapbots released Tweebot for Mac in an alpha stage. Since then, I have been using it exclusively as my OS X Twitter client of choice. Even though it is very early, I’ve grown to enjoy using it already. After thinking about it long and hard, a few omissions in the current build have been niggling, and I have created a list of hopes for the final version of Tweetbot.
Maybe I’m just a cranky old man set in his ways, but having a Twitter client that doesn’t have a menubar icon bugs me. With the official Twitter app as well as Twitterriffic, I always opened and closed the timeline window by clicking on the menubar icon. I also really like that the icon can change color depending on the state of unread messages. Built-in notifications are nice for @replies and direct messages, but it isn’t effective for telling me that there are unread tweets in the timeline. Perhaps I’m a minority in this aspect, but it is something I’ve come to expect from a Twitter client. If the rest of the client wasn’t already so good, the lack of this feature would be a deal breaker for me.
Tweetbot’s ability to mute hashtags, users, and even Twitter clients from appearing in your timeline is one of the many reasons it became so popular on iOS. The same feature exists in the Mac client as you’d expect, and it works well. However, it doesn’t sync your mute settings between iOS and OS X. If you mute something on your Mac, you’ll still see it on your iPhone, and vice versa. The ability to sync your mutes via iCloud would make the Mac version so much better. In all fairness, this is almost certainly coming. In the announcement blog post, it was made clear that iCloud support won’t be available in the alpha and beta versions of the app because of implementation details relating to Apple’s rules around API usage.
Interacting with your own tweets in the Timeline
As it stands now, you can interact with the tweets of others simply by clicking on them in the timeline. Sadly, that doesn’t work for your own tweets. If you want to reply to, quote, favorite, or delete any of your tweets, you need to double click and leave the timeline. While it does work, it isn’t optimal. Surely this will change by the time the final build comes.
Better media handling
When an image or video is linked in a tweet, the app will show a thumbnail of the media. When a picture’s thumbnail is clicked, a separate window with just the image is launched. That is fine, but you have to click the close button or press escape to get rid of the window. Because the window looks like a heads-up-display in the vein of QuickLook, I expected it to disappear when I clicked away. When a video’s thumbnail is launched, it just opens in Safari. That’s not horrible, but a pop-up of just the video would be nice.
Usually I just leave my Twitter client running in a thin window pushed up against the side of my display. Sometimes, though, I like to dig in and go fullscreen. It’s particularly useful when I get a large number of @replies that need answering. If the folks at Tapbots can figure out a good-looking fullscreen view, power-tweeters would go absolutely nuts. After Twitter’s purchase and ruination of TweetDeck, a hole has been left that Tweetbot could fill handily.
All of that said, Tweetbot is still fantastic as it stands, and I wouldn’t hesitate buying it because Tapbots has such a great track record. If these small issues are dealt with, it will undoubtedly become the best Twitter client I’ve ever used.Follow @macgasm