Kiwi: Another Mac Twitter Client Joins the Fray


Perhaps you’ve grown tired of Tweetie, Twitterific or Socialite. Before you resort to Adobe (s adbe) AIR apps like Seesmic and TweetDeck, give Kiwi, the new kid on the block, a try. Fans of customizable third-party clients for other social services like Adium will probably find something to love in this fresh-faced addition to the Mac’s Twitter options.

Kiwi comes with a number of theme customization options pre-installed, and being primarily utilitarian in my own tastes when it comes to Twitter, I’m not sure what else you could ask for. For those with more imagination and a thirst for variety, though, you can download countless more themes from the web.

You can also customize the toolbar that appears above your time line in the client window, just like you can with Firefox. It’s a neat feature, but so far, there aren’t enough options to choose from to make this worthwhile. It could prove useful later, depending on how Twitter’s growth plays out feature-wise.

Kiwi is simple, in terms of functions, which makes it an appealing choice for the casual Twitter user. You get one window, with your basic time line, and icons across the top allow you to switch the view to @ mentions or DMs. Clicking on a tweet brings up a conversation view, and clicking on a user’s icon shows that person’s time line.

Retweeting uses the new API, and there’s no option to switch to old-school RT or “via” style quotes. Users new to the service, or those who like Twitter’s official implementation, might enjoy this, but it’s a deal-breaker for me. Nor am I crazy about the way Kiwi handles account switching (click on your own profile icon and choose from a drop-down list) but at least multiple-account support is present. It seems to take up a bit more memory than Tweetie, too.

Twitter search is easily accessed by typing a keyword into the bottom field and pressing enter. Once you activate a search, a Loop icon appears where your account picture is usually found, and the results are displayed in the main time line. Going back to your accounts is as simple as clicking on the Loop and switching back, or using the menu or Kiwi’s keyboard shortcuts. It’s a clean and efficient way of managing many functions from a single, convenient location.

Kiwi is free to try, but it’ll cost you $14.95 to unlock the full version. Check it out if you’re looking for something simple, yet customizable and unique. I’d definitely recommend it for new users looking to transition smoothly from the web interface to a desktop solution.



Paul F:

From all I can see, the unlocked version allows you to use more than 2 accounts, and removes the “demo” tag on the bottom left.

Pretty generous of Kiwi and I’m tempted to pay for it just cuz they don’t lock me down with many restrictions!

Paul F

Anyone know what the difference is between the trial version and the paid version? This review only mentions that it costs “$14.95 to unlock the full version” but doesn’t say what that version gets you.

Joe Workman

@blargh: I am all for reviewers presenting an application and covering all of it main features and then presenting their opinion. However, it is a shame when features that set an app ahead of the pack are completely omitted. And to boot, the reviewer states the app is a “deal breaker” because of a certain missing feature that actually exists! There are now many people that may come to read this article and not give Kiwi a second look. That just does not seem fair to me.

On a different tone, you should all go check out the recently announced website that is dedicated to sharing user generated themes. There are some really cool ones already developed! The Spiderman theme is pretty slick… :-)

Joe Workman

I have been using Kiwi for a couple of months and absolutely love it. I have tried pretty much every major twitter app out there: Twitterific, TweetDesk (Adobe AIR is awful), Tweetie, now with Kiwi, I could not imagine going back. I do have to point out that I feel there are a few key features that were left out of the story. There is also one correction (most likely from lack of knowledge).

It was stated that Kiwi does not support the old style RT, however, it does. There are two RT options: “Re Tweet” (the new RT method) as well as “Edit and Re Tweet” (the old RT method).

While the beautiful themes and simplicity of Kiwi was nicely pointed out, the power behind Kiwi was completely ignored. Instead of just allowing you to manage Twitter via your account timeline, Kiwi allows you to define you own custom timelines based off of any twitter account (even yours) as well as searches. You can create as many timelines as you want! I currently have 3 timelines setup so that I can quickly find the tweets that I care about: Photography, Real Estate, and Rapidweaver. And they are all based off of multiple search criteria. That is VERY COOL!

The other cool feature that was completely left out was the very useful rules system. You can build your own set of rules to highlight certain special tweets that you want to draw attention to. Or maybe you create a rule to hide all of those annoying spam tweets that we all get.

Kiwi is by far the most beautiful, flexible and powerful Twitter app out there. You get what you pay for! And no, I do not have any affiliation with Kiwi. I just think it’s a great app…


I totally agree with your review… I can’t understand why all the hate here for such a customizable app with a tonne of slick themes.

I’m not sure how many graphic designers are here but every single Adobe Twitter App (Tweetdeck, Seesmic, etc) all look horrible.. pretty much that 1997 Linux UI/Android 1.0 look!

So far this app beats Tweetie hands down.


Why pay $14,95 for a twitter application ? There are plenty of free options (Tweetie).

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