Long time no talk. I’ve been a long advocate of TweetDeck, almost since the app was first released in 2008. However, much of my aversion to switching from the Adobe AIR sourced app has been a lack of alternative. I’ve always loved the updating and wider screened nature of TweetDeck. I can appreciate Tweetie, Echofon for Mac, Kiwi and Twitterific, but they never could convince me to leave TweetDeck. Yet, the other day I left, and it wasn’t because I found something that could do TweetDeck better than TweetDeck, it was because I just found a better app, NightOwl.
YoruFukurou, which translates into “NightOwl” from Japanese, is an app by Aki Null. It’s a native app that is currently only in development for Snow Leopard, although there is an older release for Leopard; and it’s free. YoruFukurou doesn’t have one groundbreaking feature, except perhaps that it is built for a Mac and a Mac only. It’s a bit different than a lot of Twitter clients, but that seems to say something more about the state of Twitter applications than it does about YoruFukurou. The basic interface is a tab-based layout that has three views (Normal View, Single User and Conversation) in the tabs, which are default configured for Timeline, Mentions, DM, Favorites and Search. Your normal array of features (multi-user, color options, autocomplete, picture in app viewing, etc…) are joined by support for iTunes “Now Playing” and console view, which allows you to see what exactly Twitter is doing internally. Other than that, up front it does not appear as if there are many changes from a slow of Twitter applications, but oh how that is wrong.
It’s light, simplistic and rich. Hit “return” to reply “shift + return” to reply for all. Use the arrow keys to navigate in and between tabs. Command + 1 is “normal view,” Command + 2 is “single user” and Command + 3 brings “conversation view.” The option to switch in minimal view makes skimming Tweets noticeably easier. Perhaps one of the coolest features is the one-side follow feature, which displays a broken heart when you are following someone who is not following you. Then there’s full Growl support and customization, which is always a plus in my book. But, the beauty of YoruFukurou is the hidden features, the speed of the app and its extreme lightweight nature, particularly in comparison to my beloved TweetDeck.
There’s nothing noticeably bad about YoruFukurou, except for pronouncing the name. An iPhone and/or iPad app, particularly with the syncing features of Echofon, would be much appreciated. Other than that, it’s hard to complain. Perhaps the ability to hide the drawer, although I find the info to be quite nice personally…
Quit reading, click here, and download. This is far and away my favorite Twitter app. I’m barely using my mouse anymore, which is always a huge positive for me. Thinking back on my continued support of TweetDeck and its problems, my longtime explanation for my use of the app makes a lot more sense. I never really liked TweetDeck that much, but there was nothing compelling enough to make me fully leave my comfort zone. The small, albeit innovative, additions onto YoruFukurou were what I needed, and now I’m tweeting like a mad man, which might be a bit problematic.