Should You Bother Downloading Twitter for Mac?

The best thing that can be said about the new official Twitter App for Mac (also known as the artist formerly known as Tweetie) is that it’s simple. The next best thing you can say about is that it’s free.

Twitter released its newest official Mac Twitter interface in conjunction with the launch of Apple’s ballyhooed App Store. And while the App Store was cause for much breathy tech reporting about it being the future of software sales, one of its early stars — Twitter for Mac V 2.0.1 was the third most-downloaded free app in it’s first week — was mostly met with a “Ho-hum, it looks like the iPad app.” And that it does, which is fine if you are used to using that app and are comfortable with where everything is on it, or, if you just like to be repeatedly struck with the urge to leave finger smudge marks across your Macbook screen.

What you get with the app is your Twitter streams in one column at a time and a black bar with buttons to switch back and forth between Timeline, Messages, Lists et al. (there are also easy keyboard shortcuts). And basically that’s about it. Well, you also get a little blue Twitter icon that sits in your dock (the change of the icon from black to blue is the most controversial new feature, judging by comments left in the App Store).

The app feels at home on OS X, and looks and works well for what it is. Like the iPad App with which it shares DNA, it does a good job with photos and videos.

What would have been nice, even for those Twitter minimalists out there, would be to have the arrows and dialogue boxes that were added to last redesign of and provide more context to Tweets. Why they aren’t included in the App is puzzling.

But most puzzling is how Tweetie, er, Twitter, wants you to post to it. Antithetical to the minimalism of the design elsewhere, sending a tweet requires that you open a new window, type your tweet and then send (at which point, poof, the new window disappears).

Download it: If you prefer your Twitterface minimalistic.

Don’t: If you are concerned that the 1.8 MB size might not leave room on your laptop for the new Britney single.

By John Capone