Honestly, it must be difficult to compete against free. Imagine how difficult it would be for Apple to compete if someone gave away a similar OS for mobile phones. No. Wait. Bad example. What if there were a free app that did mostly everything Adobe’s Photoshop did?
That’s just not fair. So it’s with puzzled bemusement that I watch as one company delivers a free app that almost everyone uses, and another company competes with a similar app that’s also free.
Free vs. Free: What’s The Point?
Let me take Twitter as an example. Tens of millions of people use Twitter. A few hundred actually tweet, and everyone else just follows. But that’s a separate issue.
Twitter has an official Twitter app. It does almost everything. It’s also free from the Mac App Store.
Syrinx is a Twitter app that does almost everything. It’s also free. That’s an odd business model. What’s the Point?
As it turns out, Syrinx has a few things going for it. The Bookmarks are colored and customizable, therefore easier to use. Search is two fold; either all of Twitter or tweets in your timeline. Here’s a good one. Pause. Why? Because incoming tweets can be distracting. It’s a pause that refreshes.
Syrinx also has Growl notifications so you can be notified without bothering (trust me; you want Growl, so check our How To Get Your Mac To Notify You When It Happens).
Keyboard shortcuts abound in Syrinx so if you’re a Mac user who hates all that extra effort and expended calories just to use the mouse, you’ll like the power user way.
All the basic Twitter functions are built-in, of course. Filters for keywords you want and usernames you don’t. URL shortening (need more options).
Fonts can be customized. Guess what? Syrinx deletes tweets. Do you know how valuable that is? And it’s free.
The Syrinx Friends window is like a timeline just for specific Twitter users you follow. And, you can choose the incoming tweet notification sound. All in all, Syrinx is a pleasant alternative to the official Twitter app.
Regardless, both apps are missing the one feature I covet. Scheduled tweets. I want my peeps to think I’m tweeting all the time, instead of 20 tweets in a row, 20 seconds apart. One per hour and I’d be a Twitter goddess. Scheduled tweets. How hard can that be?