Twitter is not interested in desktop apps, but third-party developers still do. And today Tapbots releases a new version of the best Twitter client: Tweetbot. Tweetbot 3 for Mac adds a handful of new features, including a dark mode, improved timeline management, and other design tweaks. And perhaps more importantly, Tapbots says that none of Twitter's planned API changes should cause the app to shut down or deteriorate significantly.
Tweetbot has been around since 2012, and this new release does not change the formula dramatically. The design looks much the same as it did since 2015, but the actions are now more accessible at a glance. In the new version, the sidebar, which allows you to switch between timeline, profile, notifications, etc., has now been extended to include a list of other options. For example, you can jump directly to a specific direct message. And in your timeline, every tweet now constantly displays buttons to respond, retweet, and so on.
The co-founders of Tapbots Paul Haddad and Mark Jardine said the goal with Tweetbot 3 was to "simplify and improve" the app. "We ended up with a lot of small changes and hopefully a much more coherent whole," Haddad wrote in an e-mail.
When I first started Tweetbot 3 last night, it felt a little busier and less balanced than Tweetbot 2. In a sense, there is less information density – with similar settings, for example, I see fewer tweets in the new version once. But the app also gives you access to more options without having to make dramatic changes. I'm not someone who constantly switches between different timelines, lists, and notification views, but if you're that person, I suspect you'll find much clearer benefits in this update.
There are a number of other small changes and improvements in the updated app. One I like very much is timeline filters that let you set up a timeline that only shows tweets that meet certain criteria (for example, tweets that say "cook" and "apple" but do not "cook" "). Multiple timelines are now easier to configure – just drag them from the bottom right corner of the app and choose what you want to see. And the notification tab now combines mentions with other activities, like this and retweets; It's similar to Twitter's website. You can now also preview GIFs and videos in the Timeline by hovering over them.
Although it has sounded that Twitter will close down much of the functionality of third-party apps next month, the company has postponed any changes. And based on what Twitter has already said, Tapbots believes that TweetBot is not in danger of being cut off. The "worst-case scenario," according to Tapbots, is that notifications for likes and retweets are not displayed, and that other notifications are delayed by one to two minutes. This is not ideal, but makes the app not unusable.
Of course, there is always the possibility that Twitter or the year after that will be the year when Twitter finally decides to end the third party app – something that slows it down since 2012. But somehow Tweetbot has made it that far, and it feels like Twitter will just let it and other third party customers continue as long as they stay niche and not break any rules.
Tweetbot 3 is now available for $ 10 on the Mac App Store and will be a paid upgrade for existing Tweetbot users. At $ 10, it pays to look for a desktop app for Twitter. If you're already a Tweetbot user, there's no new article here, but it's also the first time that Tapbots has asked for a Tweetbot upgrade on Mac. There are no new features planned for Tweetbot 2, but there is at least one more bugfix release in the works.