While Twitter for Mac seems to have cornered the Mac market, there is something to be said for having options to choose from. If you’re looking for a simpler, barebones, minimalist Twitter client, there are a few options available for Mac users. Whether you’re looking for a simple, easy-to-use client like Itsy, the slightly more elaborate HelTweetica, or even the unique Ambientweet, there is no limit to the way that you can choose to access Twitter with these clients.
stays very true to its name, with tiny buttons to access your home feed, replies, messages and a search window. When any given feed is updated, a small white dot will appear on the icon, and growl notifications to let you know when you’ve received a new message or reply.
While you can perform searches, Itsy prides itself on ignoring Twitter’s trending topics, so if you’re the kind of person who gets annoyed by them, this is the minimalist Twitter client for you.
To create a new tweet, click the little button on the right hand side of the window, the compose window will drop down allowing you to type your tweet. When you aren’t replying to tweets, or sending new updates, it disappears. While Itsy has a native url shortener, if you want to share images with your followers, you’ll have to use another client.
From your home feed you can reply to, retweet or favorite tweets. Unfortunately, the only retweet method available is the native Twitter retweet, so if you want to retweet and add your two cents, you’ll have to rely on copy and paste.
Images shared on twitter through Twitpic and Yfrog amongst others are visible in your timeline.
In addition to some of the more standard features, Itsy also adds themes to its arsenal. There aren’t too many to choose from but it’s nice to have the choice between a light or dark theme to suit your own taste.
Itsy is great to use to follow your feed and interact with the people you already follow but it does lack some basic features. You can’t access tweeps profiles. Clicking on a username redirects you to their web profile in your browser. That also means you can’t follow or unfollow users, can’t add them to your lists, or access your lists at all.
Itsy is available for Mac OS X 10.6 in the Mac App Store, and for Mac OS X 10.5 as a direct download from the developer’s website.
is another barebones Mac Twitter client, but it has a few extra features that aren’t found in Itsy. You can access your home feed, replies, messages and favourites from the menu. In addition, you should also be able to access your lists, although in our experience, they didn’t load. When you’ve received a new reply or message, the relevant feed will be marked with a red dot.
Images from various services including Instagram and Twitpic can be viewed in-line in your home feed.
To create a new tweet, click the compose button and a new window will open in which you can add an image, shorten your URL, and geotag your tweet. When sharing images you can choose to do through a variety of services including Twitpic, YFrog and Posterous. URL Shortening can be done using is.gd, TinyUrl or Linky.
You can interact with other tweeps by replying and retweeting, as well as adding tweets to your favourites. A nice touch they’ve added is giving users the choice between using the “Old” retweet method where you can add your thoughts to a tweet, or the “New” retweet method which retweets the entire message to your timeline as is.
Another way in which HelTweetica offers more options than Itsy is the ability to view a users profile within the app. Clicking on a username will open a window with the user’s bio, location, number of friends and followers, Twitter join date and their latest tweets. From here you can also follow or unfollow users.
HelTweetica supports multiple accounts, but lacks basic growl notifications. Other features include threaded conversations, which also open in a separate window, and the ability to delete your tweets. HelTweetica requires Mac OS X 10.6, and is also available as a free iPad app.
Ambientweet takes a very different approach to other Twitter clients and is not in any means meant to replace your main Twitter client. If you prefer to access Twitter using your browser, Ambientweet may serve as an interesting accompaniment. With Ambientweet you can’t really follow your timeline. Instead, the window floats on top of all other windows displaying only one tweet at a time as your feed refreshes itself. At any given time, you can glance over and see what the latest tweet in your feed is. From there you can also reply, retweet or add it to your favorites.
Ambientweet also gives you a quick and easy way to update your status without any extra bells and whistles.
Ambientweet is not without it’s glitches. If you keep a close eye on the app you might see several tweets are sometimes repeated. That said, you can control the speed at which the app refreshes, anywhere from between 1 to 600 seconds.
What is your favorite minimalist Twitter client? Let us know in the comments
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