Over the months I have tried numerous Twitter clients and few have survived my wrath. Twitter has for me largely taken over from email and IM for staying in touch with colleagues, family and friends. Working with the constraint of 140 characters also tends to make sure people get to the point which you don't always get with email.
I'll just walk through some of the clients I've used so far:
Twitterific - www.iconfactory.com/software/twitterrific
Twitterific was great until they decided that they needed to be ad supported, kept running the old version for a while but it was a bit too sparse for my needs anyway and was only available on Mac.
Twhirl - www.twhirl.org
Twhirl was the next candidate, feature wise this was getting closer but I had some issues with the UI and how things were set up. Error handling when Twitter went down or the API request limit had been reached wasn't optimal either. This is probably one of the more popular AIR based Twitter clients but it didn't feel quite right to me.
Twiddict.com - www.twiddict.com
This meant going back to the Twitter web interface, unfortunately around this time things really started going sour and the fail whale kept me company throughout most of the day.
Moving on to Twiddict.com, a web interface that allows you to post your messages even if Twitter is down and they'll make sure it gets delivered as soon as things are back up. Nice, but no friends timeline from that site.
TweetDeck - www.tweetdeck.com
I wanted to try another AIR based client so I can easily run it on my Mac and PC which was just around the time @bigmadkev started mentioning TweetDeck.
TweetDeck is still in early development, am currently running version 0.14 but its already looking very promising and seems to be doing everything a power user needs.
Features that stand out for me are:
- multi column views - grouping your friends - filtering message timeframe - message queuing if offline
TweetDeck doesn't rely just on the Twitter API but is starting to use summize.com for things like replies as well. Advantage there is that it doesn't go against the request limit of the API and it generally seems to be a lot more stable.
I believe version 0.15 is on the way, which from the sounds of it has even more great features. Congrats to Iain Dodsworth for an outstanding job!
Recommend anyone to give it a try, message @tweetdeck to get your beta invite or watch for a public release coming later.