The Significance of Tweetbot for Mac


Marco Arment:

But when Twitter bought Tweetie from Loren Brichter, I think it’s clear now that they only cared about the iPhone client. They’ve severely neglected the Mac and iPad clients, effectively killing some of the best Twitter apps ever made. (Given their updates to the iPhone version, maybe we’re better off.) Twitter for Mac in particular is in severe disrepair, with significant bugs going unfixed for over a year and major recent features still missing, such as native photo uploads. And now that Loren no longer works at Twitter, it looks like nobody there is willing and able to keep these apps healthy.

[…] I’m happy to report that Tweetbot for Mac serves the same role already, even in its incomplete, semi-buggy alpha state. (Anecdotally, it doesn’t seem significantly buggier than Twitter for Mac.)

Given Twitter’s evident desire to stem the usage of third party clients, Tweetbot for Mac certainly makes for a resounding point of pause.

The alpha release of the app, in many respects, reflects upon the increasingly hostile nature of the Twitter ecosystem. In hurriedly pushing the app to the masses, Tapbots not only addresses a desperately hungry crowd of Mac-toting Twitter users, but it also provides for a statement of utter poignancy toward Twitter.

Tweetbot for Mac serves as an apt reminder of the niche in which long-time Twitter users reside. Slighted by Twitter’s recent developmental endeavors, there is a significant portion of Twitter’s user-base that is utterly invested in the sustenance and maintenance of a good Twitter experience. Insofar as Tapbots’ fame largely results from its movements in the Twitter arena, Tweetbot for Mac — and the clamoring for even its alpha release — demonstrates the relevance and importance of this community.

Although I doubt Tweetbot for Mac will alter Twitter’s long-term plans for the platform in any manner, I tend to think that it may — at the very least — serve as a catalyst toward the improvement of the official Mac app. Considering the app has existed in veritably embarrassing disrepair for over a year, the raucous shouts of happiness for pre-release third party software should perhaps instill a sense of renewed urgency toward ensuring a sound unilateral platform experience.

Preaching for the seamless unification of Twitter is certainly an understandable endeavor, but such calls will fall upon deaf ears if Twitter makes no gestures toward its core, long-standing user-base — regardless of how much of a minority it might be.

Thus, regardless of the level of completion, Tweetbot for Mac already accomplishes a duty of the utmost importance and consequence: it reminds users of their relevance.

Tweetbot 2.0

Following the absorption of Tweetie into the official Twitter app for iOS, many clamored for a more versatile alternative. For most, Tweetbot satisfied that desire. Offering a unique UI, quirky sounds, and phenomenal attention to detail, Tweetbot 1.0 provided a brilliant, multi-faceted take on the Twitter app. Despite competition, Tweetbot remains the best iOS Twitter implementation and, today, it has reached a milestone: Tweetbot 2.0.

Boasting a revamped timeline, smoother transitions, faster behavior, and many subtle fixes and improvements, Tweetbot 2.0 takes the best and manages to improve upon it.

Shawn Blanc, Matthew Panzarino and Federico Viticci each have rundowns of the latest iteration. The consensus is universally positive: it's a fantastic update.

Even in the short time since its release, Tweetbot 2.0 feels great. The changes are not imposing, but there is a tangible and welcome difference. Things feel far more fluid and intuitive in places I hadn't quite realized needed fixing. Whether it's the pace or the auto-updating timeline, Tweetbot 2.0 highlights the relevance of third party development in an increasingly restrictive environment and I, for one, am grateful for that.

Federico offers the apt summary:

Tweetbot 2.0 accomplishes the difficult goal of dramatically enhancing Tweetbot 1.0 while keeping everything familiar and accessible, proving that Tapbots can still make the best Twitter client around.

Tweetbot is available here.