Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Twitter for Mac back from the dead

Screenshot of Twitter for Mac 2.2.0You may remember in October last year I wrote about the probable abandonment of Twitter’s official OS X app. At the time, it had been almost 18 months since Twitter for Mac had been updated and there were already signs of ‘bitrot’ – features which no longer worked correctly.

That situation would have become even worse this summer when Twitter formally turns off version 1.0 of its API, which would have meant that the whole app would cease to work. Twitter therefore had two options – update the app, or abandon it.

Fortunately, they went for the first option and so, almost two years after it was last updated, version 2.2.0 was released today. Not a huge amount has changed; the app still looks basically the same, although it will now use high-resolution icons on those fancy Retina Display MacBook Pros. It finally supports Twitter’s native image-hosting service, although at the expense of dropping support for third parties like yFrog and Twitpic. The icon now matches Twitter’s new logo, and the app is available in 14 new languages besides English. And, presumably, it will work with version 1.1 of Twitter’s API and so it won’t have problems when this is closed in a couple of months time.

But that’s about it. Sure, it covers the basics and I’m sure this will be fine for 95% of the people who use Twitter. However, power users like me will still be happier with the likes of Tweetbot, which adds things like list management (Twitter for Mac just lets you view your lists, not edit them), thumbail previews of images, videos and apps linked in tweets, and greater third-party service support. Of course, Tweetbot and the like generally cost money, whereas Twitter for Mac is free.

On the one hand I’m pleased that Twitter hasn’t abandoned their official Mac OS X app. But, on the other hand, I’m a little disappointed that its improvements are minimal. I’ll be sticking with Tweetbot for now; at least for as long as Twitter still permits third-party clients on its network.

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