How It Is

Review: Twitter vs Twitter

Some thoughts on the two twitter desktop apps I’ve used, and why.

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Like most people, I use Twitter. I don’t always use the official Twitter tools for that, though. For example, I rarely use the website itself as it’s slow and annoys me. I’ve almost always used Twitter apps on my computers, too.

In July I decided to try using the official Twitter app again. I’d stopped when, at some point, they stopped working on it. Since they’ve picked it back up, I felt I should try it out. As a whole, I like it 90% but … well let me explain.

Tweetbot Tweetbot

This is my normal, go-to Twitter app. I’ve used it for a couple years, and it meets nearly all my needs for a Twitter app. I can have multiple accounts, which is a must-have for me, and it separates my @-replies from my likes/retweets. I really like that. It also makes those @-replies a different color in my timeline so they stand out.

But… It only tracks likes/retweets for while the app is open. So if I log off, get a million retweets, and log back in, I’ll never know. Also it lacks some of the basic Twitter features like being able to report users and seeing if my other accounts have messages etc I need to pay attention to. I have to click to expand the other accounts to see what’s going on.

Interestingly, all third party apps, be it iOS or MacOS, seem to have this issue with the notifications. They just can’t keep track if you’re not logged in. I’m guessing it’s a matter of the API and limiting calls. Most annoyingly, recently Twitterific has just stopped showing me @-mentions from people I don’t follow.

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Twitter Twitter

Currently it has a brain and does everything you can do on the web. Multiple accounts, which I can see at a glance who has an alert or message, and it’s easy to switch between them. One click. I can see

Downside? Sometimes when I log back in, the Live Stream is messed up. Also the notifications and mentions and replies are all jumbled up, in the worst ways. I can’t just see replies or likes or mentions. There’s no indication that a message IS a mention in my main-timeline. And the alerts that tell me I have an unread are for notifications and mentions combined.

That I can’t easily find my mentions, which I want to reply to, sucks.

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So Which Wins? So Which Wins?

Right now, Twitter’s app is winning for the simple reason of easy user status, easy user switching, and actually being able to see all my likes/retweets. Which is important in some cases. It certainly sucks that I can’t easily identify my replies, and I can’t separate mentions from notifications like I can in the web-app, but the reliability of the API is (currently) worth it.