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Summary:

Reactions to the design of Twitter for Mac have been mixed; some love it, and some hate it. Luckily, the official client isn’t the only game in town, with a number of third-party clients available. Here are three good alternate choices.

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Reactions to the design of Twitter for Mac have been mixed; some love it, and some hate it. Luckily, the official client isn’t the only game in town, even if you’re just limiting yourself to what’s available in the Mac App Store. Here are two other options available from the store, and one hidden gem you’ll have to grab from the web.

Twitteriffic

Twitteriffic for Mac was recently updated to 4.0, and it features a new interface inspired by the iPad version of Twitteriffic. When you click on someone’s picture, you get an iPad-style pop-up that shows that person’s profile. Twitteriffic is full of neat flourishes like that. When you compose a new tweet, a text field slides down from the top. When you get new tweets, a small purple notification bar appears at the bottom. It’s a great-looking client.

Unlike Twitter for Mac, you can hide the sidebar and the toolbar so that all you see is the tweet stream, providing an uncluttered view. Strangely, the controls to hide those elements are under the Window menu, and not in a separate View menu where I’d expect them to be. Also strange is that there’s a keyboard shortcut to hide the sidebar (Cmd-L), but not one to hide the toolbar.

Twitteriffic is available in the Mac App Store for $10, but you can download a free, ad-supported version from their website.

Echofon

Echofon has been around for a long time on the iPhone, and its user base is loyal. The Mac client offers a simpler alternative. It’s not as flashy as Twitteriffic, but it has more features, such as Highlights, which notifies you whenever a specified word appears in your stream. If, for example, you want to track what’s going on in Egypt; you could add the word “Egypt” to the Highlights pane in Echofon’s preferences, and a Growl notification would pop up every time Egypt is mentioned.

Echofon is available on the Mac App Store for $10, but there’s also a “Lite” (ad-supported) version for free.

YoruFukurou

YoruFukurou (“Night Owl”) can best be described as the power-user’s Twitter client. It has a tabbed interface, and you can add your own tabs, which can either be filters, searches or lists. It’s also very customizable. You can change the colors of every type of tweet, say if you wanted to change the color of selected tweets, you could do that, to any color you wanted. One of the neater features of YoruFukurou is the ability to easily paste the currently playing song from iTunes or the current page from Safari into the compose field.

It’s not as simple as Echofon, and not as good-looking as Twitteriffic, but it has the most features out of the clients mentioned here. YuroFukurou also has the most native look to it, so if you’re a HIG kind of guy, you should give this one a go.

YuroFukurou is available as a free download from its website.

What’s your favorite alternative to Twitter for Mac? Or do you think Twitter for Mac the best Twitter client out there?

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  1. Quick note. It should be “Yorufukurou” instead of “Yurofukurou”.

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    1. Thanks! Should be fixed now.

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  2. Adium rocks for Twitter and all your other IM accounts.

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    1. I second that – Adium is the best Twitter client I can imagine because I use it anyway for Jabber, ICQ and IRC

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  3. I have been a user and fan of Nambu (http://nambu.com/) for over a year. It supports either a simple tweetstream or with full sidebar. I especially appreciate the URL site identifier to improve confidence before selecting any links.

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  4. An even better reason not to use Twitter for Mac is the fact that they introduced a bug where it doesn’t respect the space assigned to it and haven’t fixed it over multiple updates. It worked on day one but the first update broke it. They’ve updated their icon but not fixed actual bugs, just bad software at this point.

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  5. I’m a echofon fan, and the killer feature for me is the ability to sync ‘last read tweet’ status across all echofon apps (osx, iPhone, iPad) so I don’t have to figure out what the last tweet I read was all the time.

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  6. I am a huge fan of echofon. I got it on my iphone first and then mac, very good product

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  7. I use Kiwi because of the filtering features. That means I don’t have to unfollow friends that use FourSquare or TradeNations or whatever stupid, trendy thing that pops up. I can just filter out that crap.

    It’s only $.99 in the app store right now: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kiwi/id404217182?mt=12

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  8. I like Adium. It’s an IM client (so it’s running all the time for me) and Adium 1.4 handles Twitter.

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