A Quick Review of Tweetie for Mac

I have a secret to share. Up until now, I've gone out of my way to not use a dedicated Twitter client because I wanted to have a natural barrier between me and another distraction. But Tweetie for Mac has changed my opinion. The joy of using it so clearly outweighs the risk that I'm officially in.

Tweetie Timeline

Since that I haven't used a dedicated client on either iPhone or Mac, I'm coming into this with fresh eyes. If you want a comparative review, I'm guess there will be quite a few shortly.

Tweetie New Tweet

The tagline on the atebits site is "suspiciously simple software" and that's exactly what we have here. Tweetie asks you for your account info, then you're off and running. You can see your timeline, mentions/replies, direct messages and search — all in a very compact, exceptionally elegant window.

Tweetie Timeline with Buddies

There may not be a single standard control used in the main Tweetie window, but it doesn't feel out of place in the least. If anything, it's forward thinking in its minimalism and subtle touches. Everything here is essential.

And maybe the stripped-down feature set is really a reflection of the larger iPhone influence in the user experience. Aside from the window orientation and animated transitions, the scroll bars are near replicas of those in UIKit. This actually woke me up the fact that I so rarely (if ever) use the single-step arrows in the standard Aqua scrollers that they're just taking up space most of the time.

Tweetie Search

Things work as you would expect: double click on a reply to see the conversation, double-click on a user's icon to see their profile, and hit Command-N to create a new Tweet. You can also set system-wide global shortcuts for creating Tweets and bring the app to the front. Drag images directly into the new tweet window to have them upload to an image service, and convert URLs to shortened versions right inline.

Tweetie View User

The UI is filled with a number of subtle effects which set a mood and give the app its character. Tweetie is exactly what most Mac and iPhone developers want to make: an app that simply works as you'd expect, stays out of your way, and does it all with style and fun. If you have a Mac and use Twitter, you will probably thoroughly enjoy this app. If you don't use Twitter, you may find yourself creating an account just to try this thing out.

Tweetie for Mac comes out on Monday.
Design Element
A Quick Review of Tweetie for Mac
Posted Apr 19, 2009 — 14 comments below


StuFF mc — Apr 19, 09 6690

Can't wait to get my hands on it and speak about it on Pomcast.com - Hopefully it'll have the feature set of my current "Adobe Air-based" :( Twitter client!

Maxime — Apr 19, 09 6691

Can you share with us the options available in it?

Like the ability to hide the dock icon... or Growl support?

Thanks :)

Rob Morris — Apr 19, 09 6692

Thanks for the writeup. Can't wait to give this a spin. They had me at "Suspiciously simple software".

Tweetdeck has served me well thus far, but it feels a little out of place on a mac and rather clunky in bits.

Harley Turan — Apr 19, 09 6693

You make a good point about the arrows at the end of scroll bars. I can honestly say that I have never used them whilst running Mac OS X, especially since two-finger scrolling using a laptop is so intuitive. In fact, I think that the future of the scroll bar will probably end up looking like the one Tweetie uses. It would be great if they opened it up and released their NSScrollView subclass for others to use.

Micmoo — Apr 19, 09 6694


You normally can make any app hide its Dock icon by setting the LSUIElement to 1 in its Info.plist file

You can add it right above the closing </dict> like this:
<key>LSUIElement</key> <string>1</string> </dict> </plist>

Micmoo — Apr 19, 09 6695

Well looks like it stripped my XML...

Scott Stevenson — Apr 19, 09 6696 Scotty the Leopard

@Maxime: Can you share with us the options available in it? Like the ability to hide the dock icon

I think they may be adding some last-minute features before launch. That said, there are a number of display-related options to do things like control scrolling behavior, whether to display user name or full name, font size, that sort of thing. You can also select the image sharing and URL shortening services.

Carlos Fonseca — Apr 19, 09 6697

Can't wait to try it out! Will it be paid?

Christian — Apr 20, 09 6698

Applescript support?

Rafael Bugajewski — Apr 20, 09 6700

Like someone said at the NSConference: differences between Mac OS X and the iPhone OS will slowly fade away. I think Tweetie marks the first step on this long journey.

Oriol Ferrer Mesi — Apr 20, 09 6701

I have to say, the input dynamics look suspiciously close to my tiny client, Scalaris.

Ted Todorov — Apr 24, 09 6719

Anyone else have trouble using Mac Tweetie with multiple accounts? It logged me in fine to my first account, but kept claiming it couldn't into the second one (and yes I verified that the same username/password worked via the web).

The iPhone version of Tweetie doesn't have this issue.

Cyprian Gwd — Apr 29, 09 6724

I havenít used Twitter as well till now. OMG. I will not do it. Please donít convince me ;-)
I donít know why, but I taking it as really time stealer.

aquaibm — Jul 11, 09 6827

The scrollbar design is brilliant.I am eager to know how did they do it in code.


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