This is a Twitter entry. So if you are not a twitterer then go here and educate yourself and let the rest of us have all the fun. If you want a few reasons to start using twitter there is an entry down there you can read called “Are you Tweeting yet?” or you can go to Twitter and see for yourself what all the fuzz is about.
After a short discussion on Twitter about Twitter desktop applications (and groups) I’ve been wondering what I want my application to look like and what I need from it. So I’ve scoured the net for different apps, installed what I thought sounded good, I gave each a chirp and sadly dismissed most.
There are a few things I want in a Twitter client:
- It should look good (great even)
- It should have columns, but I don’t care if I need to push a button to get to the next column, the columns should minimally have my main feed, my @replies and my DM’s. I’d also like to be able to put in one for searches and groups, which brings me to next point.
- I like being able to group my tweets. Twitter is a good url catcher and I like to have one group for the people who repeatedly give good information and good url’s. I also like one group for the witty twitters. I like one group for the people I know in person (not many yet sadly – they don’t seem very tweeterific yet) and so on. It makes it easier for me to see what’s been happening and I don’t have to scroll to do so. Groups make tweeting a lot easier.
- I don’t want to have to push a button to get new tweets. That should be automatic. (This sounds like a given but it’s not.)
- It should have certain stability. I can handle a crash now and again but I don’t like it when buttons don’t work repeatedly and it keeps hanging over and over.
- Links should be clickable.
- Twitter things like twitpic and shortening url should be easy to handle from the application.
- I like to be able to change the looks of it – but if it already looks great that’s not a requirement. It bothers me when I can’t change the font’s though.
- I want to be able to see the avatar in front of a persons tweet.
- I like to have a spelling corrector which highlights the wrongly spelled word for me before I send the tweet out.
Aren’t I demanding?
So far I haven’t found a client that fills all these criteria. TweetDeck comes closest with its functionality but it looks like someone spewed in a bucket, to tell the truth. So I set out to find something. I installed Spaz, digsby (which is good if you want to handle your IM, Twitter and Facebook in one app – it’s not very Twitter friendly though), Twitulater, Seesmic and several AIR based clients.
Seesmic came closest to TweetDeck. It had functionality and it was better looking than TweetDeck. What made me dismiss it was two things. First it felt a little stale to use and second – I have a screen that doesn’t allow for a very high resolution 1280×1024 max. Which means that Seesmic looks HUGE and there is nothing I can do to change that. So out the window it went…
Twitulater had a good idea – it gave you a pre-made option of seeing only links and other things but the client felt buggy and never worked well on my computer.
Several of the Adobe Air based clients had great potential I thought but in the end I dismissed most for some tiny thing. One crashed too much, one looked awkward, none allowed me to make groups. But when I saw Posty (it’s allows you to handle several social networking sites at the same time) I thought I had finally found it. A great looking application which felt right even if I would have to give up the idea of groups to use it.
Then I realized it didn’t actually update your tweets. It checks them every 3 minutes if you want and shows you the tweets in a tiny window but it doesn’t actually update the window where you like to read your tweets.
So out the window it went and I’m back in TweetDeck.
What bugs me about TweetDeck is just the look. Nothing else. I can’t change the fonts (there are two types to choose from but both look wrong to me) and the entire program looks like it was built for a PC in the early 90’s.
Twitter guides you to a page with a few applications, some of which look alright. But none I could install on my PC looked good enough or felt functional enough to entail me to keep them installed, except TweetDeck.
Do I really need the groups? I like them. I like to have a view over my twitter without the scrolling but no I don’t need them, really. I had easily given them up for an application that was easy to use and looked pleasing.
But it is possible to have both because I’ve seen it. I tried installing Nambu on His Mac, which I rarely use but it happens (I like keeping to my own computer!) and since Mac has a basic look that is somewhat more pleasing to the eye than basic Windows application (Ugh!) it looked good and it had everything I wanted and needed. But Nambu is a Mac only client, so… (if you are in search for the perfect mac client, read this).
So far I haven’t found a great client for my PC. TweetDeck is good but not great, although I probably have it along with some friends to thank for the fact that I stuck to Twitter. I just wish they’d style it up a little.
If you have a suggestion on a client to try out – please let me know. In the meantime I’ll stick to TweetDeck and keep my eyes open. And if I find something better – I’ll let you know.