A Not Quite Full Review, of a Not Quite Great Twitter App: Twitterrific

As most Mac Twitter users are aware, Twitterrific 4 was released. I know a lot of people have been waiting for this app, but frankly it is just not a great app.

The Problems

  • After you post a tweet your Twitter stream is not updated, so you see your new tweet at the top of the old tweets. Then when Twitterrific does update, the new tweets jump into position where they should be in the timeline. Your new tweet, that was at the top of where you had read, is now mixed in with a jumble of other tweets. You could get used to this, but you shouldn’t have to get used to non-sense like this.
  • The title bar with all the icons is very imposing and throws off the balance of the entire app. Even with all icons removed it is still just too thick. Twitter clients should always feel like small-apps and not like full-blown apps 1 — Twitterrific fails at this.
  • The sidebar is not attractive. You also can’t collapse saved searches or global trends (though you can remove the trends). Not to mention that you can only resize the window to a certain point before you are forced to collapse the sidebar to continue to make the app a useable size.
  • Light mode’s colors are not so good — particularly the mention color.
  • If you want two accounts you need to pay $9.99 — which is silly given that Twitter for Mac is free.
  • You can’t remove the menubar icon.
  • There is a badge on the dock icon with a new tweet count, I never have been a fan of badge counts (exception on Mail.app).
  • You can’t close image windows (Twitpic and the like) with the keyboard.
  • This is my biggest gripe: the direct messages show up as a random hodgepodge based on the time sent. So I can’t view the entire conversation thread, I just see messages in a confusing and un-helpful way.
  • No live streaming of the Twitter feed, which at this point is basic and mandatory. 2
  • No drag and drop support for posting pictures — I mean I guess sending the file path for the picture could be useful at times.

The Good

  • Instapaper support. I have no clue why this isn’t standard on Mac Twitter apps, like it is iOS.
  • The dark mode colors look nice.
  • The conversation thread is nice. The pop-up window is much less confusing than sliding in a new ‘sheet’ like Twitter for Mac does.

The Undecided

  • The compose window slides in from the top. I like that the window is hidden and not static in the app, but I typically prefer a new window that pops up. This way I can compose many tweets at the same time.
  • The icon: I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it.
  • The ads in the free version are from The Deck, so they look good, but they are still ads.

Bottom Line

The app is stable and works. It does what it says. I can’t help but feel a lot was left out to get the app out. Most of the problems can be easily fixed with updates, but for a version 4 product these issues should have never shipped. Making sure CMD+W closes picture previews and that dragging in pictures to a compose window attaches the image, is basic stuff for a 4th version product.

The biggest problem with Twitterrific 4 is that there is no compelling reason to use it over Twitter for Mac when you factor in the $9.99 price tag for the non-ad, mutli-user version. 3 I have been harsh on this app, more so than I normally would be, but I have been harsh because Iconfactory should be cranking out better apps than this. It doesn’t feel finished — it feels like a version 1.0 product. If this was a version 1.0 then I would be excited for its future, but given the version 4 nature I am hardly impressed.

  1. Who likes the way TweetDeck looks?
  2. In the past I hated the live stream, but now it has really grown on me.
  3. I get that some people don’t like the look of the Twitter app and that is valid, but there are still better free options than this.
Originally posted for members on: February 12, 2011
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