Mac Twitter Apps Showdown: TweetDeck, Nambu, Tweetie for Mac

Beyond the post Oprah-on-Twitter hype, the majority of folks I know and chat with on a regular basis are tweeting business as usual. So while Ashton, CNN, and Oprah were getting headlines and new Mac Twitter app was being chatted about in my Twitter stream.

Tweetie for Mac is a desktop app brought to you by the same folks who brought us Tweetie the iPhone app. The first public beta dropped today, and despite my attempts to get it early, I had to wait until today to give it a try. I figure I’m not the only one since there was a good amount of “Tweetie for Mac” related chatter on Twitter. Not surprising after reading several pro-Tweetie posts: louisgray.com: Tweetie Desktop for Mac Is Clean, Simple and Robust-Tweetie’s Desktop App for Mac Has Potential, Integrates Conversation Tracking | SheGeeks-First Look: Tweetie for Mac | Take A Plunge

The first thing that I knew would be a problem is the lack of support for grouping people you follow. This was no surprise given an earlier post from the Tweetie developers-Twitter Groups-which douses some seriously cold (and snarky) water on using groups. Personally, “unfollow people” doesn’t cut it as an information management strategy. Even if I only followed 100 people, I’d still want to group my tweets into News (CNN, BNO, ZDNet, etc), Friends, and maybe one other category. This is just smart information management. Yeah I could have say four accounts to manage my info streams this way, but frankly that would be a royal PITA.

When I launched Tweetie for Mac this morning I tried it with one of my work accounts that I use to push posts out into Twitter. Few followers, few updates, so the info demands would be small.

I will say that Tweetie didn’t disappoint in terms of UI and slick style. It certainly looks great. As expected, no groups, but well I pretty much banked on that so okay. I ran into a show stopper when I tried to add my primary Twitter account. Yeah I guess it doesn’t like long, complex passwords. After making sure that I had the password right after the first authentication failure, I chalked this up to a first-release bug.

My verdict: I’m going to wait for the next release so I can give it a full-on test. So what about my other preferred desktop apps Nambu and TweetDeck? I’m flipping between the two of them right now. Both of them have a groups feature and are multi-column layout enabled which are two key things for me as a heavy Twitter user, the problem I’m having is that Nambu is still a might buggy and has a memory leak somewhere because when I leave it open for a while, it can gobble up a gig of ram after a few hours. TweetDeck has a similar problem, which has been squashed for the most part I’ve found.

As far as UI I like Nambu better. Even though I can’t move columns in Nambu like I can in TweetDeck I can set up a four column layout and use the pull-down menu to change what is displayed in each column. Verdict: too close to call.

For me the lack of groups is something that kills a Twitter app for me. I just need them to organize info. Does everyone need groups? Of course not, not everyone follows 4800+ people. At this point I don’t know how I could cull the list, short of using UnTweeps, with that many pages to go through.

[Took a break for a meeting]

By the time I got back to my desk there was Tweetie 1.0.1 and I could use it with my primary, and ginormous, account. Again, it looks lovely and is very responsive, but without groups it’s not the app for me.

The question then becomes, are Twitter groups in a client a must-have option for a Twitter app or just for the edge cases?

Comments

  1. says

    I would certainly jump on to the Nambu bandwagon if they had support for Twtpic. I love the look and feel of it. Yeah…not being able to move columns is a pain. It's something that I can live with until the fix that.

    For now, TweetDeck is still the ruler in my roost. So to speak.

  2. says

    I would certainly jump on to the Nambu bandwagon if they had support for Twtpic. I love the look and feel of it. Yeah…not being able to move columns is a pain. It's something that I can live with until the fix that.

    For now, TweetDeck is still the ruler in my roost. So to speak.

  3. Rodrigo DeJuana says

    My vote goes to nambu. They seem to be fixing the bugs pretty regularly. It has more functionality than tweetie. And it doesn't use AIR

  4. Rodrigo DeJuana says

    My vote goes to nambu. They seem to be fixing the bugs pretty regularly. It has more functionality than tweetie. And it doesn't use AIR

  5. says

    Groups for me is not a must. I'm not sure you're the average twitter user by following 4800 tweeps. I, who only follow about 50, have no problem with out groups. However I did find a feature that is annoying not there… a notification system!

    When you get a new tweet, there is no sound, no pop-up, no nothing. Just a tiny blue dot and a blue menu bar icon all the way at the top of your screen. While I figure that they'll put it in later, I do wish it was there.

    That being said, I think I can toss tweetdeck aside for now. As a mac user I'm all about ease of use and beauty. Tweetdeck is ugly and clunky. Yes it has features Tweetie doesn't, but none that I miss enough to go back just yet.

    • says

      Great points Patrick. Yes, following 50 people I think Tweetie would be ideal. Lack of notifications or even Growl support, yeah that's a bigger gap than lack of groups. Now while TweetDeck might not be the most elegant app, I think Iain deserves serious props for innovating in a way that makes Twitter much more useful. Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerryFrom: IntenseDebate Notifications

  6. says

    Groups for me is not a must. I'm not sure you're the average twitter user by following 4800 tweeps. I, who only follow about 50, have no problem with out groups. However I did find a feature that is annoying not there… a notification system!

    When you get a new tweet, there is no sound, no pop-up, no nothing. Just a tiny blue dot and a blue menu bar icon all the way at the top of your screen. While I figure that they'll put it in later, I do wish it was there.

    That being said, I think I can toss tweetdeck aside for now. As a mac user I'm all about ease of use and beauty. Tweetdeck is ugly and clunky. Yes it has features Tweetie doesn't, but none that I miss enough to go back just yet.

    • says

      Great points Patrick. Yes, following 50 people I think Tweetie would be ideal. Lack of notifications or even Growl support, yeah that's a bigger gap than lack of groups. Now while TweetDeck might not be the most elegant app, I think Iain deserves serious props for innovating in a way that makes Twitter much more useful. Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry
      From: IntenseDebate Notifications

  7. says

    I've tried Tweetdeck, Nambu and Peoplebrowsr for a while and find Peoplebrowsr most effective for me. It's the Swiss army knife of Twitter apps for very active users like me. Auto complete for Twitter IDs, groups, lives in the cloud, less of a mem hog, Twitpic integration, etc. You can even add notes to profiles you follow.

  8. says

    I've tried Tweetdeck, Nambu and Peoplebrowsr for a while and find Peoplebrowsr most effective for me. It's the Swiss army knife of Twitter apps for very active users like me. Auto complete for Twitter IDs, groups, lives in the cloud, less of a mem hog, Twitpic integration, etc. You can even add notes to profiles you follow.

    • says

      Hootsuite and Fluid are a great combo. Though I really like and prefer TweetDeck, I know the people at Hootsuite and they make an excellent Twitter client. If I have to use Twitter through a browser, Hootsuite is my choice.

    • says

      Hootsuite and Fluid are a great combo. Though I really like and prefer TweetDeck, I know the people at Hootsuite and they make an excellent Twitter client. If I have to use Twitter through a browser, Hootsuite is my choice.

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