Twitteriffic 4.0: Can It Compete With Free?

As Mac users, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to Twitter clients. With so many choices, and so many good choices, I’ve had to try almost all of them and I still haven’t settled on just one!

Twitterrific has always been a main contender in the native-app arena, with a slick interface, lots of features and constant development. With a multitude of free options coming available recently (notably Twitter for Mac), Twitterrific has had to step up their game with recent 4.0 release, and they haven’t disappointed.

Interface

First off, Twitterrific is gorgeous. It has a sidebar navigation style (sidebar can be toggled with ⌘ + L) with the familiar timeline, mentions, messages, favourites options, and an avatar at the top which allows you to switch accounts.

Twitteriffic 4 nicely balances the addition of new features with a sleek, minimal interface. There’s also a sexier, darker theme you can switch to under preferences.

Multiple accounts are only supported in the full, paid version. However, most other features are available in the free ad-supported version.

Main interface, dark and light themes

The sidebar also has trending topics, which is fun. Unfortunately, Twitterrific doesn’t support location-based trending (I was hoping to see pictures of wind-storm damage in Toronto!) but I don’t think any other twitter clients do either, at the moment.

Twitterrific’s interface focuses on maintaining a single window with only updates, and shows additional information (profile information, linked images, hashtag searches) in unobtrusive little pop-up windows.

I actually love this approach, you never lose your place or have to navigate back to the main feed with a back arrow, you can stay focused on what you were reading. My only minor complaint is the lack of “close” button on the pop-ups, you just close them by clicking anywhere outside the window, which is a little unusual.

Pop-up window

profile pop-up window

New Features

Twitterrific 4 adds a number of features missing from previous versions, as well as some great unique features that set it apart from the pack.

Colour Coding

Twitterrific colour codes retweets, DMs, mentions and your own tweets so you can view everything clearly in one timeline. It’s a useful, obvious feature that I’m surprised isn’t more universal in other Twitter clients.

Colour-coded timeline

Translation

One very handy feature is the ability to translate tweets to your native language from within the app (just click the gear icon when you hover on a tweet). I just tested this with an Italian tweet, and the author says it’s legit!

Translate tweets

Translate tweets

“New Tweet” Options

The “New Tweet” box adds a couple new options including image/video uploading and URL shortening. Twitterrific makes uploading media to twitter as easy as sending an email attachment. Just browse from the “Compose” dialog, and your image is uploaded to your favourite twitter image site. You can also choose to shorten all links in your tweet with the press of a button using bit.ly or cloud app.

Adding a new tweet

Conversation View

Easily view a conversation between tweeters in a pop-up window, without navigating away from the original tweet. Very useful for quickly getting the context of a tweet or figuring out what someone is responding (angrily?) to.

Conversation view

Conversation view

Keyboard Navigation

Twitterrific features extensive keyboard navigation options which are pretty intuitive and very useful. In addition to the familiar ⌘ + N for new tweet, you can perform actions on selected tweets such as reply, translate, and view conversation.

You can navigate timelines using arrow keys, so for you keyboard-shortcut fanatics, you shouldn’t have to touch your mouse. Check out a full list of shortcuts on the Twitterrific Website.

Other New Features

  • Instapaper Support
  • Tweet actions contextual menu: email tweet, show replies to author, copy link
  • View saved searches
  • Multi-account support (paid version)

What’s Missing?

Not much. Twitterrific is about as fully-featured as a twitter client can be, but there are some minor exceptions that hopefully will one day be updated.

One thing that will certainly have users complaining is the lack of auto-completion for twitter user names. The browser version has this feature, and it always saves me when I can’t remember if someone’s user name is first initial, last name, or the other way around!

Also missing is in-app modification of many account preferences, such as list management and profile editing. Again, not a huge deal, but it can be annoying to have to sign in again in the browser to make changes.

Other minor irritations, such as lack of localized trends, the aforementioned lack of pop-up window close button, and limited notification customization, are pretty minor, and likely not deal-breakers for most.

The Competition

I’d say the major competition for Twitterrific is Twitter for Mac, since it has the most similar feature set and seems to be very popular. In terms of features, Twitter for mac and Twitterrific are extremely close. Twitter for Mac lacks the translation feature which is surely key for some users, but has similar keyboard navigation, a beautiful interface, and multiple account support. One thing I much prefer about Twitterrific is the use of pop-up windows for photos, profiles, etc.

Twitter for Mac, Nambu, Kiwi and Twitterrific

Other similar clients include Nambu and Kiwi. Nambu has a similarly beautiful, classic mac interface, has a similar feature set, and unlike Kiwi and Twitterrific, is completely free without ads. Kiwi has the unique feature of browser-like tabs at the top, which I think reflects the way a lot of us are used to using applications. It also has a decent feature set and interface, but I find the unread tweet count to be inconsistent and glitchy.

If you want to know more about the extensive options in this category, check out The Ultimate List of Twitter Software for Mac.

Conclusion

Twitterrific 4.0 is a great update with powerful features and clean, minimal design that will please both casual followers and power users.

In comparison with similar, free clients Twitter for Mac and Nambu, however, I don’t think Twitterrific offers anything particularly unique in terms of features, but it executes these features at least as well as (and sometimes better than) its free counterparts.

Personally, though I enjoyed my few days with Twitterrific, I think I’ll forgo the $10 update to the full version and switch back to Twitter for Mac.

That being said, it’s definitely worth trying out, the ad-supported version is free and nearly fully-featured, so you have nothing to lose. What are your thoughts on the Twitter client war? What do you look for in an ideal Twitter client?


Summary

A user-friendly Twitter client with a slick, minimal interface and a powerful set of features.

9
  • http://thebird-feeder.com Ben Carlsen

    Also, no Growl integration. A big minus there.

    • http://yourworkflow.ca curtismchale

      You mean it doesn’t constantly interrupt productive work with notifications of useless (but fun) notifications of your friends pontificating on stuff? Sounds like a feature to me, I won’t have to turn Growl off.

    • http://firelabdesign.com Aaron Bazinet

      Growl support is in the current beta, so it should be included in the next update.

  • Shadi Mirza

    I have to agree with your conclusions. The feature set in Twitterific is nice – but not nice enough to warrant paying $10 when Twitter for Mac is free.

  • http://drdkl.isgreat.org Dreadedkilla

    “They haven’t disappointed.”

    I beg to differ.

    First off, as another user has put forth, Twitterrific 4 has shaken off Growl support. I don’t know what’s up with that, but doing that instantly turned me down. Thus, the only way I am notified of new tweets is with the chirping sound, Dock icon or menubar icon. Let me tell you about the three: the chirping sound gets annoying when you hear it all day long. If it’s annoying, people don’t use it. If no one uses it, it is considered useless. I have nothing against the Dock icon, but I do when it’s combined with the menubar icon with no option to disable either one. Twitterrific 3 had this option, along with Growl support. I rely on Growl for most of my notifications since that’s what pops out to me. When I have a Dock badge, I would most likely miss it along with all the other Dock badges on my Dock. The menubar icon does little to notify me. It lights up bright and blue and you will notice it if you stared at the menubar all the time, but alas, I have my content centered on my screen. It’s almost out of my peripheral vision that bird.

    While I agree that the new tweet has been awesomely enhanced in its own ways, it’s still quite weak. You cannot simply drag a photo or movie in, you gotta add it manually through another view. Tweetie for Mac could do that with a drag and drop. Echofon can do that, and heck even Twitter for Mac can do that as well. We live in the drag and drop era, not mouse clicking.

    Window implementation is awkward and not conducive. The popups cannot be moved, and they disappear if I click on the window below it. Echofon sports HUD windows that don’t disappear even after the main window is selected. Hell, the HUD windows even have close buttons.

    To me, this step forward seems like a step backward. Also: Twitterrific for Mac has not experienced any constant development, if you look at the version history, updates are few and far between, sometimes upwards of one year apart. But they did have more focus on their iOS counterparts. This version isn’t worth the $8 upgrade fee for me.

    • http://twitterrific.com Gedeon Maheux

      Dreaded, Growl support returns to Twitterrific 4 for the Mac with version 4.0.1 due out today. Stay tuned.

      Thanks.

      • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

        Thanks for the clarification, Gedeon!

      • http://drdkl.isgreat.org Dreadedkilla

        That’s great to hear :)

  • SC

    9/10 ?? I beg to differ but that is TERRIBLY unfair ! All that Twitteriffic 4 is is a copy-and-paste of its iPad app. They flaunt it by calling it “consistency”. There is little (rather no) innovation in it aimed at OSX. All this hype but no real time streaming of tweets, no Growl support and yet they ask for 10 bucks. iconfactory’s been milking the same old cow for one hell of a long time, and much as I love T4′s UI, I loathe its lack of functionalities.

  • Andy Couch

    This review also doesn’t mention the lack of live streaming. Twitter for Mac utilizes the streaming API and you get your tweets instantly without having to wait on a refresh interval.

  • Agos

    a quick note regarding the translation: the sentence in the screenshot is not correct, but evidently a machine translation from english to italian. No wonder the translation back to english was good!

    • http://tessathornton.com Tessa Thornton

      Well I’ll have to tell my friend Savanna that her Italian is not very convincing!

  • http://www.walkingtaco.com Simon

    My favorite client is still Twhirl. “Twitterrific colour codes retweets, DMs, mentions and your own tweets so you can view everything clearly in one timeline. It’s a useful, obvious feature that I’m surprised isn’t more universal in other Twitter clients.” Twhirl has been doing this for years. I have tried the official Twitter client as well as others, but I keep coming back to Twhirl for its wide range of features even though it’s nowhere near as slick as a lot of the newer clients.

  • http://twitterrific.com Gedeon Maheux

    Twitterrific 4.0.1 for the Mac is now out. It contains support for Growl notifications, advanced user preferences to hide the dock and menu bar icons, new command-key shortcuts, a host of bug fixes and more.

    Thanks

    http://twitterrific.com/mac
    http://twitterrific.com/mac/history

    • David Ferguson

      When I use the download button from the site, I’m still getting 4.0, not 4.0.1. Can get 4.0.1 if you just use the Check For Updates option under the Twitterific menu though

  • Tim

    I like Nambu’s layout. I fear that Nambu is no longer under development, as their feedback site redirects to the main page, no recent tweets or blog activity.

  • http://twitter.com/turkchgo Adam Turetzky

    The one giant omission that would have me change to this client on all platforms is NO GPS LOCATION feature!

    It’s the only reason I stick with Echofon. Although Echofon has offered some new features that I’m not sure are API related or not like notifications when people follow you or when your tweets get favored. Puts them right in your timeline on the Mac client.

    It also doesn’t support OS X Cocoa app text services like this: http://d.pr/VdVV which granted is a minor annoyance but something almost all the other Mac clients support.

    Hopefully these features will get added soon in future updates.

  • sas0

    Looks like paid article.

    • Dilbert Ascended

      Huh? By whom?

      The article concludes by saying the app doesn’t offer enough unique functionality to justify the current asking price.

      Maybe you should try a reading comprehension course at your local annex.

      • sas0

        Maybe, dear Dilbert, your people should write more objectively. Twitteriffic 3 wasn’t in any way regarded as “lots of features and constant development” app. Anyone knows that. True competitor to Twitterific at this moment is Echofon, which you guys, have mysteriously left out.

      • sas0

        One more thing. You are telling me that app doesn’t offer enough unique functionality to justify the current asking price and still are giving the release high 9/10 score. So, if the T4 would be completely free, you would probably give it a 10/10?

        LOL

        -

        Twitterrific user

  • Raheem

    There’s too many clients out there to really stand out, unless you have something tht no one else has. So far, the only one that stands out with a unique feature is Echofon, because it has it’s sync feature. Read tweets on your iphone, and no need to read them again or scroll through a long timeline looking for your last read tweet.

    Why no views on echofon?

    • http://tessathornton.com Tessa Thornton

      Because I could not for the life of me get it to work! It wouldn’t accept my login info. From what I could tell, it didn’t have a comparable set of features, but I didn’t get to try it out.

    • CT Shop

      The sync feature is indeed missing on Twitteriffic!

  • http://www.iynque.com iynque

    I still use Adium for Twitter. It’s pretty featureless as far as the Twitter service, but having all my communications in one app and one tabbed window is priceless.

    • Josh

      Isn’t that the point of twitter? Simple updates and responses?

      • http://po-com.com PO-COM

        i think he means, having both instant messaging and twitter in the same app is priceless. and, i can certainly see the advantage to that. they are also quite similar in use. if adium up’s their twitter functionality, i can see it being something special now that it’s mentioned. hmm…

  • tcremer

    I’ve tried every twitter app out there and I personally love twitterrific. It all comes down to personal preferences.

  • Mike

    Am I the only one who uses echofon? I love the mac app but cant stand the iOS version. The ad supported version does the job for me.

    • Raheem

      I use Echofon also. To be honest, I still prefer the Twitter interface to Echofon, but the sync functionality is what’s got me stuck with echofon.

      If the official Twitter app, or Kiwi, or Twitterific started sync between iOS and Mac, it’d be perfect. I have no idea why they leave out this killer feature.

    • http://nataliaventre.com Natalia Ventre

      I use Echofon, too. I tried several Twitter clients, but I haven’t found a better one.

  • http://thomasmaier.me/ Thomas Maier

    Did anyone notice that the font doesn’t have subpixel-hinting? That triggers the question: WHY?*

    * Because everything by default has subpixel-hinting when it’s text on mac OS X.

    • http://twitter.com/turkchgo Adam Turetzky

      Because apparently, if you look inside the app package, they wrote from scratch their own version of the iOS UIKit framework to use with this app on Mac OS. Which is probably why this app feels so weird on the desktop (no drag and drop, etc) because it’s not a Mac app.

  • Johnny Thrash

    Why would you PAY for a Twitter client when the site is free… Twitter is free… it just doesn’t make sense to spend money on this stuff.

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  • Jonas

    Yorufukurou is by far the best twitter client for mac. Especially its conversation view.

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