For a long while, I was a big TweetDeck fan but then for some strange reason it started crashing constantly. That and along with the fact it was a huge screen hogger started to make me look once again at TWhirl, my former Tweet darling.
But any hesitations about going back to my ex were finally swept aside when it was announced that a new beta version of TWhirl was in town with snazzy new features. I foam at the mouth like a rabid dog for snazzy new features! Hold me back!
It has to be stressed right away that the new version is NOT on the TWhirl homepage but rather here and you have to put your name and email address in the required boxes. You will then be immediately emailed the download link. Yes, you are signing up for an email newsletter list but you can easily unsubscribe afterwards. But you might want to stay subscribed because a couple of days after I subscribed, they came out with a new improved version of TWhirl with some bugs removed and another download link.
So after using the new version for a few days, let’s take a look at some of the new features, which I have to say are extremely impressive.
An Easy To use Search Tool That Keeps On Searching
This was the feature that really struck me about the new TWhirl as I do a lot of searching on Twitter to see what people are saying about MakeUseOf stories and this really is a remarkable feature.
Let’s say I enter the search term “makeuseof”
Once you get the results, you can then “activate” a tab at the top of the app.
Doing this, you can make a line of tabs at the top of the app for various search terms. I made a few, one for MakeUseOf, another for Open Culture (a favourite website of mine) and another for my own blog, BetterThanTherapy. You can then easily click between tabs to see the new Twitter search results coming through for those search terms. If you want to make more tabs, just expand the app by dragging it with your mouse.
What’s even better is that you will be notified by TWhirl when a new Tweet comes through which matches your search term. So it constantly monitors your search terms for you and returns results, just like Google Alerts.
Post To Ping.FM And Jaiku
I don’t see why Twhirl added the Jaiku option since Google recently. But there is the “post status updates to Ping.FM” option for people who use that.
Since I don’t use the service, I don’t really have much to say about this aspect of TWhirl but I’m sure that people who do use it will find it useful. As for the Jaiku part, I’m sure it will disappear pretty soon once Google gives the service the ol’ heave ho.
Add Other Accounts To TWhirl
As well as Twitter, you can add four other accounts to your TWhirl app (see screenshot above). I briefly added my Friendfeed account but I swiftly removed it again because there was too much noise and I was unable to keep up with all the updates pouring through the app.
With Seesmic, you can record videos from the app itself as well as view your inbox, listen to videos, follow people and look people up.
All in all, this is a pretty sweet app and I think I am now firmly back in love with TWhirl. Oh and in case you think that lime green is totally gross (or “watermelon” as they like to call it), you can change the colour to a variety of others including black, orange, purple, blue, grey and red. So don’t fret about the decor, luv.
So goodbye TweetDeck and thanks for all the tweets. I’m now sticking with TWhirl and I recommend you to switch too if you’re into Twitter. This little baby is one hot app. Remember, it lives here, NOT on the TWhirl homepage.
If you decide to give it a go, remember to come back and let us know what you think about it in the comments!
UPDATE (31 January): there is now a new version of TWhirl (8.8 K) which has a spell checker built in. So if you previously subscribed to the mailing list, downloaded the older TWhirl and then unsubscribed again, you’d better sign up again to get the new download link!