In case you haven’t heard, Twitter is all the rage in social networking. Today. Tomorrow might bring something new, better, different, funner. But today it’s Twitter.
That means there’s a gold rush to produce Twitter apps for Mac users, and there are plenty of contenders for the crown of easiest and funnest time waster ever (pardon me; is my Twitter bias showing through?). Move over Twitterrific and Tweetie. Here comes a Twitter app of a different color.
Twitterizing The Mac & PC World
At first glance, it would appear that Twitter is everywhere, and everyone uses Twitter, and tweeting is the future of personal communication.
What is Twitter and why is it important to you?
I can answer the first question. The answer to the second question is more subjective.
Twitter is a free social networking-cum-microblogging service on the internet. Users tweet what they’re doing at any time using only 140 characters of text. Followers read the tweets.
Is everyone tweeting? Yes. And no. Twitter has only a small fraction of the number of users as Facebook. Movie stars use Twitter, and their fans follow their tweets. It’s shameless self promotion. Most Twitter users are mere followers, and only a few people tweet regularly. Even Mac360 is on Twitter.
To follow tweets, or to tweet, isn’t really the question. It’s, ‘What Twitter app do you use?’
Birds Of A Feather Don’t Flock Together
No offense is intended to the Mac software developers who slave over a hot keyboard to produce Twitter apps, but there isn’t much difference between any of them, Mac or iPhone.
I’ve tried about a dozen different Twitter apps on my Mac and like two. Tweetie, which is a bit more expensive than Twitterrific. Otherwise, what’s the difference? They’re easy to use, they display followed tweets, they search, they repost, they even annoy with alerts.
Kiwi is a new entry into the crowded and noisy zoo of Twitter apps. There are some features I like about Kiwi. And some I don’t. Remember, Kiwi is a flightless bird. Despite the differentiating features, Tweetie and Twitterrific have nothing to fear.
Kiwi does the basics. Tweet. View tweets. Search for tweets. Use multiple Twitter accounts. Group accounts. See? What’s not to like? But what’s different?
Themes and Rules and Badges, oh my!
That’s right. Kiwi has different themes, or looks, which you can choose. Nine themes come with Kiwi, others are available online.
That’s one way that Kiwi differs from the other Twitter app birds (and kiwis don’t fly). Still, themes are, well, nice. And they’re different. But all my tweets still look the same to someone else.
Kiwi looks and feels like nearly every popular Mac Twitter app. I’m not a fan of pallets; those floating windows that some Mac apps love. I like windows in one place—attached to the tools, the way God intended.
Kiwi scatters itself over your Mac’s screen. One window for this function. Another window for that function. Yet another for some other function. Hello? It’s 2010. Tabs are all the rage. Unless you’re a flightless bird. Why do I need four windows and a Menubar (floater, Kiwi app, prefs, welcome) to tweet?
So, what’s to like? Features are similar to other popular Twitter apps. Themes are nice, but that’s eye candy, right? Remember, as Sarah Palin tells us with every television appearance, eye candy sells.
What else? Geek alert! Rules and Theme API. Kiwi comes with themes, yes. But you can create your own themes using the Kiwi API (application programming interface). And, Kiwi comes with a sweet set of filters.
This is the way to get your geek on. Kiwi uses a basic Search and Action function. Search finds those tweets you’re interested in. Action is what you do once Search finds something. You build rules by stacking filters much the same way as you do in Mail. Kiwi does the rest.
Themes and Rules/Filters set Kiwi apart, but not much. After all, it’s a flightless bird, so it doesn’t really fly with Tweetie or Twitterrific. If you’re looking for a different Twitter bird, Kiwi is worthy, costs a little less than the most popular Twitter apps, and can be fun—Kiwi is it.