Yet Again, Twitter AIR Client Smack Down

Last year I wrote about my experience on various Twitter AIR clients (Twitter AIR Client Smack Down). In that time, AIR was still in beta and I got some crashes, freeze and errors. Now AIR 1.0 was out for a while and it's time to compare it again.

My criteria is simple. I look on Twitter Fan Wiki for the list of AIR clients. If any client provides no screenshot on its site, it will be failed at first sight. These developers should learn how to design a usable product site before developing any application.

All clients are tested on Mac OS X Leopard with MacBook Air.

Not Qualified

These clients don't show screenshot on its own web site. I don't want to bother download and try them at all.

  • Snitter - I don't understand this developer. He puts the screenshot of preference on the site but no normal screenshot at all.
  • Twinja
  • TwitterAIR - No screenshot and no permanent product page. Need to follow developer's blog every release?

The rest are what I have tested.


Twibble has both desktop and mobile version. The version I'm interested is desktop.

  • Up to 3 profiles in the same time. +1 (anyway, I don't have any need for this feature)
  • Location awareness. A mashup with Google Maps. +1
  • Coverflow mode. Good for eyecandy but I think nobody wants to use this.
  • I can't find text area at first (it's on the top, next to the logo). Bad usability. -1
  • The style looks somewhat clutter. This criteria might depend on personal preference but unfortunately I'm minimalist. -1

Twibble eats 62MB after running for a period.


Spaz's icon sucks at heart. How can the developer think putting his own face in the icon is good idea?

  • Icons and UI are intuitive. Easy to use. +1
  • Built-in Markdown parser. +1
  • It plays sound at first launch, also default. -1
  • The style looks weird. Orange but not-so-good orange. -1
  • All other bundle themes suck. -1

Spaz consumes 55.18MB on my MacBook Air.


Tweetr was the winner for last time. Can it withstand the competition?

  • Clean and minimal UI. +1
  • Can post photos directly from webcam to Twitter. +1
  • Can send file via Tweetr. (upload limit at 10MB) +1
  • No scrollbar. -1
  • The first three icons are mode (or toggle) but their appearance is 'disable'. -1
  • Heart icon for setting dialog? -1
  • Application icon is boring? No meaning of the music note for Twitter client. -1
  • The default setting is sound enable and URL shortening off. Should be reversed. -1

Tweetr uses 64MB of memory.


Twhirl is very promising Twitter client. It might be the most feature-rich client in the market.

  • Notification feature. +1
  • Also FriendFeed client. +1
  • Cross post to Pownce and Jaiku. +1 (though I didn't test this feature)
  • Multiple account. +1
  • Clutter. Icons are very hard to spot. -1

58.6 MB in memory footprint.


Posty doesn't support Thai. Considered as unusable for me. FAILED

  • 4 in 1. Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku and Tumblr client. +1
  • 1.1MB for the zipped package. Does it include introduction video? -1
  • The interface looks disaster. -1



  • Smallest in size. 134KB for zip package. +1
  • Minimalist UI. +1
  • However, it's also minimal in feature, cannot config anything, at all. -1
  • Color set for message display is very difficult to read. -1
  • Font is too small and you can't change it!!! -1

Alert Thingy

Actually, Alert Thingy is FriendFeed client. It added Twitter support in later version. Unfortunately, latest version (1.3) does not function in my system. It can run but doesn't show anything. Clicking on 'Show Alert Thingy' in the Dock menu shows the client but every buttons are disabled.


Twhirl is the best in term of feature while Tweetr is still the best in UI. Spaz is also ok but it will be far better if improved in looks & feels.

Anyway, 60 tweets/hr limit prevents me from these client. The speed is not enough for real time conversation. I still prefer IM over clients that utilize Twitter API. Next time I will post about my ideal Twitter client, an IM hybrid.

Submitted bymameouon Mon, 05/12/2008 - 12:18

I also hate the tweets limit, but IM is unreliable at times -- it occasionally misses incoming tweets. Plus, IM is very hard to read. An IM hybrid would be interesting.

Submitted bymkon Mon, 05/12/2008 - 14:57

@Ed Finkler: Sorry for my misinformation. but how can I assume the other face on application icons?