Tweetbot is the favorite iOS Twitter client of many of the TUAW bloggers, and some of us have jumped on the App.Net client -- Netbot -- from developer Tapbots as well. Tweetbot for Mac has been in beta for quite a while, and now the app is available on the App Store for US$19.99. In this post, I'll provide a first look at this long-awaited Twitter client.
To start with, let's get the app price out of the way. Yes, $19.99 is a lot of money to spend on a Twitter client, especially when Twitter makes one available for free and there are plenty of other clients out there that are less expensive. Well, Paul Haddad of Tapbots puts it this way:
Because of Twitter's current "token limits" [discussed here], we only have a limited number of tokens available for Tweetbot for Mac. These tokens dictate how many users Tweetbot for Mac can support. The app's limit is separate from, but much smaller than, the limit for Tweetbot for iOS. Once we use up the tokens granted to us by Twitter, we will no longer be able to sell the app to new users. Note, however, that Tapbots will continue to support Tweetbot for Mac for existing customers at that time.
Because of this limit and our desire to continue to support the app once we sell out, we've priced Tweetbot for Mac a bit higher than we'd like. We know that this will disappoint some of you, but it's the best thing we can do for the long term viability of the product. If you've used the Alphas/Betas and decided not to purchase please do us a favor and "Revoke access":https://twitter.com/settings/applications; that frees up extra tokens for potential customers.
If you'd like to encourage Twitter to raise or eliminate Tweetbot for Mac's token limit, feel free to let them know here:"https://twitter.com/support".
So, how does the app stack up? First, comparing it to the official Twitter app is basically unfair to Twitter. Tweetbot for Mac responds quicker than the Twitter app and provides many features:
- Mute filters for keywords, hashtags, people, or clients
- Retweets by others
- The ability to shoot a new avatar photo in-app
It's the user interface of Tweetbot for Mac that makes all the difference. To look at the detail of a tweet, you do a two-finger swipe to the left on a trackpad. To view a conversation, it's a two-finger swipe to the right. With Tweetbot, picture thumbnails are shown in tweets where possible; in the official Twitter app, all you're going to see is a link. A click on the Tweetbot picture thumbnail brings it up in full size for easier viewing, and the images load very quickly.
If you're currently a fan of Tweetbot for iPhone or iPad, getting Tweetbot for Mac is a no-brainer. Yeah, the $20 price tag is steep (our colleague Chris Rawson notes that it's the same price Apple charges for upgrades to Mountain Lion), but if you're a hard-core Twitter user you deserve this app. While you're at it, send your note to Twitter's support people to have them eliminate the token limit for Tweetbot for Mac.