[sc:software-category ]The beauty of the Metro UI and all the creamy goodness of Twitter!
Twitter, oh how the 140 characters seem so interesting. But, like all web applications, the web part kind of lets it down. This is not to say the Twitter website isn’t good, it’s just that a real desktop app seems so much better.
Hence my search for a desktop app for Twitter began shortly after installing the Spaz HD beta on my TouchPad. I didn’t want an app that was simply written in another runtime (Java, AIR or something else) but instead a real desktop app for Windows.
After reading some reviews I found MetroTwit.
As I’ve said before, the Metro UI model that Microsoft has come up with is just an absolute joy to work with and MetroTwit has done a great job of bringing it to a desktop application.
My use of Twitter, like so many, is just to follow some interesting people, MetroTwit allows me to just have my timeline displayed with nothing else on screen. But of course it allows for all kinds of other functionality as well. You mentions and direct e-mail are displayed by default in columns side by side.
MetroTwit has some very nice features baked right in, including:
- URL expansion, make those nasty short URL’s disappear forever.
- Built in viewer for media, like Twitpic and Youtube, you don’t have to load a browser.
- Integration in to the Windows TaskBar, shows the under of unread messages on the icon.
- Displays a highlight on the vertical scroll bar where your last read tweet is.
- New tweets come up as “Toast” messages, which are displayed for a set amount of time, at the top of the message you get a progress bar showing you how much time is left and if you hover over the message, the bar auto-pauses for you.
A feature I’m looking forward to in the future is synchronization of the client settings across multiple installs (I use MetroTwit on three separate systems).
There are a few area’s that need polish:
- Load time is abysmal.
- If twitter disconnects for some reason and MetroTwit reconnects, a large dialog box pops up and stays up until you hit the OK button, this should either be a toast message or another column of information that can be disabled.
- There are a few user interface features that are not obvious on the outset. Like how to mark a tweet read (simply click on it).
- There doesn’t appear to be a way to pin the trending topics to the main UI.
- There are (just like Windows Phone and the Zune HD) very limited options for themes.
- There is no Help file.
- Once in a while MetroTwit will stop updating the timeline, and hitting refresh does not resolve the issue. Exit and restart does. This happens less than once a day so people who shut off their systems at night may never even see it happen.
MetroTwit is of course still in beta at this time so some of the above must be taken in stride, however it is a pretty solid app and it’s made my Twitter experience much better.
I’d recommend it to anyone who like the Metro UI design and is addicted to Twitter.
- Windows native application
- Beautiful design
- Great functionality
The not so bad/not so good:
- Limited Theme support
- Load time
- Still a little ruff around the edges, its beta after all
- No Help file
- Seems to hang the timeline after 24+ hours