Twitterrific for Mac First Impressions—The One That Started it All is Just Getting Started

Last week the fabulous app development team over at the IconFactory released their long awaited redesigned Twitterrific for Mac. Codenamed “Project Phoenix” throughout its development period on Kickstarter, Twitterrific 5 for Mac marks the return of the original Twitter client to macOS. Development on Twitterrific for Mac trailed off because of focus on the iOS app a few years ago. As someone who used Twitterrific on the Mac, it was disappointing. Tweetbot did an incredible job filling the gap that was left after Twitterrific’s departure though. TapBots created a work of art with Tweetbot, it’s their crowning achievement. Tweetbot is widely regarded as the best Twitter client and I myself have even said that. Tweetbot has lived in the dock on my iPhone and my Mac for the past several years. I have however owned each version of Tweetbot and Twitterrific on iOS as well as their Mac counterparts. They’ve always been simultaneously installed on my devices. I love Tapbots and the IconFactory, but both clients are completely different. So I’m going to abstain from picking a favorite here. As a fan of The Icon Factory, you can imagine that I’ve been waiting all Summer to get my hands on the new Twitterrific for Mac. After seeing the launch price, I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug on the $20 app. I love these two clients dearly, so I knew I would eventually. Today I finally did.

It’s surreal to see Twitterrific back alongside apps in my dock that have grown so much over the past few years.

Design & Customizations

Twitterrific is a great app both on iOS and macOS, but the lack of focus on the Mac app has led them to release the visually simplest Twitter client possible. You can definitely feel that lots of love was poured into Twitterrific for Mac, but it feels like it’s missing something on the surface. I think that thing is precision. The design of Twitterrific is clearly deliberate, but it doesn’t always feel right. It’s missing several components of the iOS app. There’s too much space in between lines and tweets. The tab bar at the top is oddly positioned too. And while these might seem like minor nuisances, they really bug me after using Tweetbot on the Mac for such a long time. Not all of the design in Twitterrific is questionable though, the icons are friendly and bubbly, the ability to customize the fonts is wonderful, image thumbnails look great, the app icon choices are beautiful and the classic friendliness is still there. You can really make Twitterrific your own. However, I wish they’d take it one step further. Let me tighten the lines, use more fonts, change the shape of profile pictures, and let me change the overall theme colors. I think Twitterrific would be the king of clients if you could create and share themes. If you’re going to market your app on customization, go all in. Lastly, Twitterrific for Mac feels a lot like the iOS version, a bit too much like the iOS version. Tweetbot for Mac is distinct in its design on the two platforms. The line has been blurred too much here. None of this means that I don’t enjoy using Twitterrific for Mac, it’s just designed with a different philosophy in mind. Users of Twitterrific on iOS will feel right at home, which I imagine is the point.

Usability

Twitterrific has always been fun to use. I’ve used every version since it first hit the App Store in 2008 and it still hasn’t lost its personality. There’s something friendly about it, from the adorable Ollie icon to the animations sprinkled throughout the app. You can sync your place on your timeline across platforms too, meaning you can pick up where you left off on your iPhone if you were reading on your Mac. The ability to have multiple windows with different features like your mentions and messages is great. But it’s even nicer to have multiple timelines. So long story short, Twitterrific is still as fun and powerful as its ever been.

Conclusion

If you use Twitter on your Mac, you should think about Twitterrific. It’s an excellent client. But there’s Tweetbot too, which is more polished. However polished Tweetbot is, Twitterrific is just getting started here. While this new version of Twitterrific is technically version 5.0, it feels like a 1.0 release. So expect lots more from The Icon Factory in the future. It might just be worth it to invest in the future of the original and friendliest Twitter client.

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