Awhile back, I was scouring the internet and reading reviews online to find the perfect desktop Twitter client. I found the perfect app for my Android phone with Tweetcaster, I needed an equally awesome one for my laptop.
After being utterly unimpressed (and sometimes angry and frustrated) with other popular clients like Tweetdeck and web-based Seesmic, I came across MetroTwit – a product developed by an Australian company, rather than the usual suspects in US.
If you’re running on Windows (which most of us likely are), this is the best go-to desktop Twitter app to check out. I’ve personally been using MetroTwit for over a year now. Never had the need to look at any other alternative.
Let me take you through a quick overview of some features that makes MetroTwit so good.
Clean Design and User Interface
The design of MetroTwit is nice, simple and clean. Based on Windows 8 Metro styled look, it does away with the usual window with the usual command for “File”, “View”, “Edit” etc.
Basic Twitter account navigation are at the left bar. This can be toggled to narrow or expand by clicking on the “…” buttons. This left bar shows you details of your Twitter username, number of tweets to date, unread tweets in your timeline, @ mentions, DMs and Activity feed.
By default, there will be columns showing your timeline (named “friends”), @ mentions and DMs. You can add, remove and edit the columns as you wish and you get a customise view based on your preference.
You only need to drag and resize the columns. Or you can also drag the columns to rearrange them.
Hovering on the header of each column allows you to edit the settings for them. Each column allows you to toggle alerts, notification sounds and Windows taskbar icons.
At the bottom, you’ll see 3 icons on each side of the “Compose Tweet” bar.
MetroTwit is ad supported though, to keep it FREE for you to use. The ads are shown as a small colour coded tweet in one of the columns (where you can decide which column) and is non-intrusive (no pop-ups).
More MetroTwit Settings
There are a bunch of settings for you to customise MetroTwit to your liking.
Choose between Light or Dark Theme. Choose any colours you like. Adjust the font size to your eyesight preference, show time, Twitter username or real name… So much toggle.
Compose & Delete Tweets
The giant “Compose Tweet” field at the bottom will not be missed. Inviting you to update the Twittersphere with the simple plead of “What’s happening, @winniekepala ?” As you compose your tweet, you’ll see a character count in the compose tweet section.
If you made a mistake and want to delete your tweet, click on the “Undo Tweet” option right underneath the tweet.
This “Undo Tweet” option pops up, telling you “Do you want to bring out the DeLorean and go back in time before your last tweet?” Clearly (if you’re a geek like me), the developers are big “Back to the Future” movie fans…
Auto-complete Usernames and Hashtags
Start typing your tweet, when you type “@” followed by the letters, the app will immediately start suggesting the usernames for you.
You can do the same for hashtags as well. Start typing “#” followed by letters and it suggests the trending or regularly used hashtags.
Drag and Drop Picture Uploads
One of the features that I really like is the drag and drop for picture uploads.
Drag the pictures you want to upload to this “Compose Tweet” bar, type your tweet and click “Update”. You’ll see your picture being uploaded, shown in a progress bar and once it’s done, your tweet will also be sent. Easy peasy.
In the settings menu, you can configure the media hosting service. MetroTwit supports TwitPic and YFrog for pictures and Bing or Google for Maps.
Interact with your Twitter Timeline
Hovering over the Twitter user profile picture, shows you several options – @ mention / reply, DM (Direct Message) or Retweet.
Ever since Twitter started to force everyone to use their new Retweet without the option of editing the original tweet, a lot of early twitter users who couldn’t adjust (like me) stuck to apps that still maintain the old school Retweet function.
MetroTwit still has this option. Clicking Retweet will pop-up a mini window for you to select whether to just “retweet” or “quote”.
Click on a Twitter username and it pops up the profile overview.
Click to preview Pictures and Videos
One of the cooler functions for MetroTwit is their image or video preview options. Although it is not inline (ie, within the timeline feed itself), it just pops up a mini window of the picture or video.
MetroTwit supports a host of other image hosting URLs. For sure, your standard Twitter picture host, Twitpics and Instagrams are all supported. You can preview a relatively big enough size of the pictures, but always have the option to click on the button to open to view the image on the web.
And this media preview function works for videos as well. You can click on the URL and the media preview pop-up will allow you to view videos, without ever leaving the app, or watching in via your browser.
Trending Topic at its best
This Trending Topic search is very useful and detailed.
Not only can you browse TT (Trending Topic) by location, you can also view TT of the week and TT of the day.
You an browse TT by very specific perimeters. You’ll never miss out on what’s trending at a specific time of the day in the last week. How awesome is that?
Other AWESOME functions of MetroTwit
- Shortened URL support – support URL shortening with Twitter’s native t.co URL shortening or external services like bit.ly, is.gd, Goo.gl, TinyURL, etc.
- Long URL preview – mouse over the shortened URL on your timelines and it will show you the original long URL. This preview helps you decide if you want to click on to read more in your browser.
- TwitLonger support – For those who likes to type long-ass tweets, MetroTwit supports Twitlonger service.
- Conversations – Click on the speech bubble “Conversations” link on tweets to show you the whole conversation between users.
- Who Retweeted This? – If a tweet has been retweeted (whether it’s yours or others), it shows you how many people retweeted it and who they are.
- Infinite scrolling – Never miss a tweet. Scroll down to view old tweets. Once you reach the bottom, the app refreshes and shows you older tweets. It goes on and on to read older and older tweets as you scroll down.
- Quick support from their Twitter @metrotwitapp guys – A couple of times when I @mention their Twitter for some queries, they replied with helpful answers. These guys are awesome.
- Now available in Windows 8 – Yes, you can download it on Windows Store. Read about the features on MetroTwit here.
… and so much more. Read about MetroTwit Desktop on their website here.
Upgrade to MetroTwit Plus and get more features
By default, the free MetroTwit app allows only one Twitter account. If you wish to use the app to manage more than one Twitter account, go to the left side navigation bar and click “Manage Accounts” on the bottom icon. This pops up a window, select “Add A Twitter Account”.
True to the overall “casual” theme of the app, a pop-up titled “We need more power, Captain”, will let you know that you can click to their site to buy the MetroTwit Plus upgrade to enable this feature.
If you choose to upgrade to MetroTwit Plus, clicking on the link will direct you to their Upgrade page on their site.
The upgraded version called MeroTwit Plus will also be ad free!
Yes – MetroTwit is made in Australia. And they’re proud of it. Heck – they really should. MetroTwit is an awesome app.
It’s so good that although I don’t really need to use the multi-account function, I might just upgrade to the MetroTwit Plus at only AUD$ 14.95 (approx USD$ 15.71) and includes a few other currency exchange rate in the drop down menu on their Upgrade page.
I know a handful of other friends who use MetroTwit, but there should be more!!!