Twitter-Off

I have been using Twitterific for a while on my Macbook, but have gotten sick and tired of the constant errors, how it loads, lack of tweet history, and the overall feel of the application.

So I went on a hunt. The first application I found was Snitter at http://snook.ca/snitter/. It is an Adobe Air application similar to the Pownce App. So you need to install Adobe Air first to run this application. I would encourage everyone to install Adobe Air because of the many good multi-platform applications being developed.


 



Upon installing and running Snitter, it is the familiar interface you get with these types of applications. Looking at the basic interface, there are a few things of note. First is the small link icon in the lower right of the text entry portion that you can click and make a webpage url smaller. Although Twitter itself has this ability, it makes me think I have to use this button in Snitter vs. relying on Twitter itself. Since I don't like "test" tweets, I am not testing it, but will find out one way or the other via my everyday use.

From the drop down menu, it gives you direct access to alot of choices including Following, Followers, Search, Profile, Options and help. So I selected Options. Here you can control Snitter's polling of Twitter, Whether you want to view the Public timeline and something called Search Tracking. The options under Search Tracking is time based and there is a Keyword search field. Not sure what this is yet.

You also have the ability to change the display of Snitter with a number of built in colors (I picked Terrific Gray), Always on Top and determine transparency %. You then have Desktop notification preferences and General preferences that includes sounds, emoticons, and "fortune cookie" tweets. Interesting.

Last it gives you the ability to use user-defined styles and edit user styles. This makes it quite interesting. You can view some of these at a flickr site. http://flickr.com/groups/snitter/

I did have a few issues. When I tried to select Always on Top, it would not let me. Nor would it let me change the transparency from 0%.

Snitter also loads at the bottom of the tweets you view about 20 replied tweets to you which leaves about 25 current tweets. I would rather have the last 45 tweets to view. When you hover over a tweet, 3 options pop up to make it easy to reply to that tweet, do a direct tweet or to mark as a favorite. I call the "favorite" button the Merlin Mann button.

So far overall, I do prefer Snitter to Twitterific. I wish I could get some of the user defined styles I have seen. Specifically Brian McNitt's Glass of Milk theme.

 



As soon as I posted on Twitter that I was giving Snitter a try, I received a tweet to try twhirl. http://www.twhirl.org/

Twhirl is also an Adobe Air application such as snitter. Upon launching the program it looks like you can have different accounts loaded in Twhirl, so those that pose as themselves and as their pet, or even as Darth Vader, can have one interface in which to log in and out from. Twhirl also allows your to change the interface color (I picked Into the Dark), as well as Twhirl allows you to select a language. Currently it only allows English, German, Italian & Spanish.

Wheres Snitter has the input section on top, twhirl has it on the bottom with a rollup screen to view timeline, replies, favorites, archive, directs, friends, followers, lookup and search. I am not sure what Archive does. I selected archive and it showed both my tweets and replies to my tweets for that day. There is also a shorten URL link as well as a filter button to filter the tweets you are viewing.

Within the configuration section there are 3 tabs, Appearance, Notifications and Connection. Under the Appearance tab it has options for opening this account when twhirl starts (why is that here?), always on top and hide when minimized, auto-hide tweet input area (like this), and prefix tweets with sender name. It has defaults for profile lookups, what opacity and when (such as when inactive), font styles and Retweet format. ON the notifications screen it has the sound, notification windows etc... And under the connection section is where you can set the number of requests sent per hour and fine tune your auto-refreshing.

When you hover over a tweet, it gives you 4 options - Reply, Direct, Favorite and something called Re-tweet.

It as wells shows the last 20-25 tweets in addition to about 20 reply tweets to you. I do not like this that much, but it looks to be in all applications.

One unique thing twhirl does, is when you do send a reply to someone, it shows both your icon as normal with a smaller icon of who you replied to in the lower right of the icon space.

Overall, an excellent app which I like better than Twitterific as well.

Bottom line, one of the things I dislike the most in Twitterific is not fixed in either of these applications - the ability to view more history instead of older tweets that people replied to me regarding. If I do not use any of these apps for longer than a day, I can not go back far enough to catch up. I must go to the Twitter website directly to do this.