I’ve long been looking for a Windows-based Twitter client that can delight me as much as its native Mac counterparts. Too many clients for Windows depend on Adobe AIR, something which isn’t an ideal arrangement, in my opinion. TweetDeck and Seesmic are both powerful tools, but why can’t someone make a Windows-native app that works just as well?
Seesmic apparently saw the wisdom in that idea, because it recently revealed a new Windows-only Twitter client that doesn’t require AIR to run. I jumped at the chance to take the software, which is currently only available as a preview edition, for a test run.
Seesmic for Windows has just about every bell and whistle I could ask for in a professional Twitter client, but without a lot of the unnecessary frills that I feel get thrown in with something like TweetDeck. It seems closer to Tweetie for Mac, which is still my favorite client, independent of platform concerns.
You can use multiple accounts, and customize your columns in the main window however you like. By default, your Home feed will display tweets from all the accounts you have registered with Seesmic, which is a great thing for people who use different Twitter accounts to organize the people they follow, like groups. For those who don’t, Seesmic includes support for Twitter lists, so that you can organize those you follow that way instead.
My personal favorite feature of Seesmic is how the compose window uses your first-entered account by default. That means regardless of what post I reply to, and in what stream I find it, the reply originates from my main account. This is ideal for me because it’s my primary publishing identity, while the others are mostly for monitoring.
Searches can be initiated at any time using a field intuitively placed at the top right-hand corner of the Seesmic window, but I couldn’t find any way to find trending topics. While I don’t generally have cause to check the trends, not having the ability to do so does rankle a bit.
Good-looking and Functional
This is the best-looking Twitter app I’ve seen on Windows, and possibly one of the best-looking Windows apps I’ve seen, period. Especially using a dark-tinted Windows 7 glass visual theme, it just looks designed to fit its surroundings, which is more than I can say for any AIR application.
The tabbed sidebar and light-colored stream backgrounds make it a very usable interface, in addition to helping with aesthetic effect. I would appreciate an option to turn on color-coding for @ mentions or conversations between two people you follow, but with columns designed for the purpose, I guess the Seesmic team figures that isn’t necessary.
Advanced controls for each tweet can be brought up by hovering over a user’s portrait, or by right-clicking on any individual post, so you have options in terms of replying or retweeting. You can also create user lists on the fly from anyone in your stream, or add people to existing lists, which makes it very easy to create functional groups quickly. You can even drag a user’s profile pic to the group of your choice to add them to it.
If there was a feature I’m missing most with Seesmic, it’s the ability to follow/unfollow people from within the client. It’s something I use regularly with my iPhone Twitter clients, and something I enjoy being able to do at a moment’s notice without visiting the web-based interface for Twitter.com.
Client of Choice for Windows
I won’t mince words: Seesmic’s dedicated Windows app has become my go-to software for using Twitter on a PC, even though bugs are present in the preview version. It’s just that good, and it’s not Adobe AIR. In fact, it might be reason enough for me to spend a little less time in OS X, and a little more time working in Windows 7. I’ll stress the might in that last statement, though. If you want a copy, for now you have to sign up for the Seesmic newsletter at Seesmic.com, but turnaround time for a download link seems to be less than a day for most.
Have you tried Seesmic for Windows? Let us know what you think of it below.