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The Twitter Client Project: Echofon

I love Echofon. It was among the first apps I bought for iOS, and remains to this day on my devices. When it hopped to OS X, I was delighted and immediately installed a copy. I'm still using it.

Only one problem. Naan Studio discontinued it last October. It still works great, however, and probably will until Twitter drops support for its 1.0 API. My love for this no-longer-supported app, however, continues -- even if it's beginning to feel a little like appnecrophilia.

Kelly H pulled me to the side, the other day. It was time for an intervention. Although TUAW has done individual reviews an any number of Twitter apps, she wanted me to start looking at popular clients with the angle of searching for a replacement.

It was, she pointed out, long since time to move on from Echofon. She, another Echofon fan, had dropped it a few months ago after Naan said they would stop development.

We quickly realized how individualized client choice is. There are things I love about Echofon that speak strongly to me, but may not be essential for other users:

  • I love how I can click on the dock icon and my feed appears and disappears. It's just one click and one window.
  • I love how the layout is vertical, with icons on the top, and tweets displayed using the full window width.
  • I love the default fonts and whitespace. It may not be the prettiest client, but it's extra readable for those of us with bad eyes.
  • I love the customizable notification controls, with highlight words and Growl support.
  • I love the minimality of the interface, like the simple + button (versus, for example, the official Twitter client's huge "Save" button) that transforms searches into saved items.
  • I love that it adds information I want like the time the tweet was posted -- missing in the official Twitter client.
  • I love the conversation bubble integration with the side-drawer. Even better, the drawer has a history feature, so I can walk back.

In the best of all worlds, of course, a public outcry would force Naan to bring Echofon for OS X back -- renewing support for a great client. (Hashtag hint: #bringBackEchofonForOSX)

In this world, however, I have promised Kelly to start road testing Twitter clients. I'll be doing this slowly, probably one every week or two, and writing up my experiences. If you have any OS X clients you'd like to request I look at or features you want me to pay special attention to, drop a note on our feedback page.

In the mean time, let's kick things off here in the comments. What OS X Twitter client do you use and why do you love it?

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