Last Thursday, we witnessed the release of Tweetbot for Mac in the Mac App Store. Having used the Beta version for the past few weeks, this is a must-buy for me. The app bears a special price of $19.99 that forces a lot of people to think twice before purchasing the app, but I believe this portion of the Tapbot's announcement on their blog explains the reasons why.
Because of Twitter’s recent enforcement of token limits, we only have a limited number of tokens available for Tweetbot for Mac. These tokens dictate how many users Tweetbot for Mac can have. [..] Once we use up the tokens granted to us by Twitter, we will no longer be able to sell the app to new users. Tapbots will continue to support Tweetbot for Mac for existing customers at that time.
It is clear that Tweetbot for Mac will have a user cap and a sales cap, due to Twitter's rulings. Because the developers want to support the app even after it is pulled from the Mac App Store, they are putting the $19.99 price tag there. Instead of debating on the price tag, I will focus on what makes the new Tweetbot for Mac a great native app for Twitter.
Note: I will discuss about features that are not available in the Beta version. If you want to learn more about what other features are available, you are welcome to read my previous review on the Beta.
Conversational View when Replying
There is a major improvement in the compose window, especially when you are replying to a tweet. In the previous Beta version, as also seen in the iOS versions, you will need to perform a pull down gesture to see the tweet you're replying. In the 1.0 version of the Mac app, you will see a conversational view of all the previous tweets at the bottom of the compose window, allowing you to see the bigger context of the conversation.
I really appreciate this feature, because it helps you to quickly reply to a tweet without having to pull down (to see the previous tweet) inside the compose window, or to swipe right to see the entire conversation first before replying. Anything that can reduce the amount of gestures that you need to perform a common task is a good thing. Even though the size of the compose window is fixed, you can always swipe up to see the entire conversation in a scrolling view.
iCloud Sync for Mute Filters
Since Tweetbot has been made available in the Mac App Store, it can now use several App Store-exclusive features, such as iCloud. In the previous Beta version, Tweetbot for Mac was unable to use iCloud, and opted to offer Tweet Marker. Tweet Marker is an excellent service, but it is only limited for syncing the reading position between multiple Twitter clients, not for storing other client-specific data, such as your mute filters. (By the way, if you're interested to maximize the use of Tweetbot's mute filters, you might want to start with James Wilson's collection of highly usable regex filters.)
I have found that having iCloud Sync for mute filters in Tweetbot for Mac makes setting up my account very smooth - all of the existing mute filters I had on my Tweetbot for iPhone and Tweetbot for iPad were automatically synced. Just make sure that you have setup your iCloud account correctly. I can verify that this works well on Lion (10.7.4), even though the developers mention that this feature requires Mountain Lion (10.8).
One feature I wish Tweetbot had is iCloud sync for drafts, because I keep forgetting where I keep my drafts with several iOS devices and Macs that I have. I would love to hear what you want Tweetbot to sync now that it has iCloud support for its Mac and iOS apps.
OS X Specific Settings
Because this is a Mac app, it gives the users additional flexibility, i.e. overriding the defaults from the Terminal. Unlike iOS which has a closed system, OS X is much more open. As long as the developers are willing to allow several settings to be overridden by the users, you can have the app setup in a personalized way that suits your preferences.
A few days ago, Todd Thomas, the developer of Tweetbot for Mac, shared some "super secret" settings for Tweetbot on his Twitter account. Even though the list of default settings that you can override is still short, I believe that more will be added in the future as new versions are released. As a geek, I find this Mac-specific capabilities to be a nice bonus. Thanks, Todd!
If you're serious about getting the best experience out of Twitter, then getting a native application is the way to go. And Tweetbot for Mac is the best native app for Mac. I don't want to regret being late to the party just because I hesitated to pay the price and be forced to use other Mac apps (or worse, the Twitter web client). I highly recommend you to get this app before it gets pulled out of the Mac App Store. With one customer authorizing more than one Twitter accounts, the 100K tokens limit can be depleted in a very short amount of time.
On the other hand, if you have used the Alpha/Beta versions of the app but do not want to purchase the final version, it would be wise to revoke access from your accounts to allow other people to utilize the open slots.