Echofon for Mac gets a new look, new features…

by Milind Alvares

Echofon for Mac gets a new look, new features…

by Milind Alvares on January 30, 2010

Post image for Echofon for Mac gets a new look, new features…

[tweetmeme]While Loren Brichter continues to ignores the cries for Tweetie 2 for Mac, the rest of the market is slowly catching up in terms of user interface, and blowing it away in terms of features. Just today I came across a new version Echofon, which is totally different from the last time I reviewed it.

Echofon now sports a much more iconic user interface, revamping the look of the tab bar, making it much more pleasing to the eye. The tweets list remains the same flat white (with blue tints for unread tweets), but with this release Echofon has really taken its feature set to the next level. List support is built right into the tab bar at the top, making it a hugely useful feature. Search is also revamped, listing out trends and saved twitter searches. For reply chain conversations, you not only get to look back, but also forward. That is, if Echofon see’s that Tweet A has been replied to by Tweet B in the timeline, you can start viewing the conversation from Tweet A itself. And if there’s a Tweet C, that’ll show up in the conversation as well.

There’s almost nothing that Echofon doesn’t have. It’s got an image viewer pop-up, it’s got detailed viewing of profiles, including adding people to lists. Moreover if you hover over an avatar in your timeline, a little pop up shows vital stats like followers/following, etc. Multiple accounts support has been there since day 1. It’s got positive tweet filtering, so if there’s a keyword you need to pay attention to, Echofon can highlight it. Lastly, if you use Echofon Pro on the iPhone, your unread counts are synced over—I admit this isn’t as useful as it sounds. The only two things missing, are Magic Mouse momentum scrolling, and line-break support for tweets (without which it’s impossible to follow what certain people are saying).

The developers of Echofon are really an innovative bunch, and it shows. The way Echofon adds little blips in your scrollbar to signify mentions, or how multiple tweets from the same person don’t repeat the avatar. With this minimal client, they’ve packed in so many features, while not obscuring the main purpose behind a twitter client—enjoying twitter. With this release—I don’t know if it’s new but the site still shows the old screenshot—they’ve really revamped the user interface and brought in a feature set that makes it a serious contender for the top spot. They’ve even changed their icon to better suit the dock! I don’t think I can leave Tweetie just yet—its notification system and general slickness of user interface is still unmatched by any other. Echofon is still in beta at version 0.98, so check it out if you haven’t already.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

DreadedKilla

I’ve been using Echofon since day 1, and I don’t like the way they made the tab bar. If they could make the window bar blend in with the tab bar, it would better. Still, it’s a great app.

   

Jon

I just downloaded it, but I don’t have the same cool matte scroll bar you do. Mine was upgraded from a previous version.

Any clues why I don’t have the cleaner, matte scroll bar?

   

Milind Alvares

Does your downloaded disk image say “Echofon 0.98.dmg”? Maybe you’re supposed to download it again instead of using the built in software update. In any case, I don’t have a solution to your problem, so hopefully it’s something their support team can solve.

   

Jon

no worries. thanks for the thoughts.

ps: just discovered the site and am thoroughly enjoying it. your posted links along with articles and other content are all quality material.

   

DreadedKilla

I am under the impression that those matte scrollbars were part of a set of scrollbar replacement sets, such as Max Rudberg’s Aqua Extreme :/

   

Wez

Quick correction. Momentum scrolling IS available if you scroll using the scroll bar (just like in Tweetie).

   

Bobacks

Loren Brichter is too busy counting his money to bother with Tweetie 2 for Mac. Especially since he managed to con a whole bunch of people into paying for it AGAIN.

Echofon is wonderful, been using since the day you guys reviewed it, and it’s nice to see the new changes. I just love how simple it is.

   

samu

Con? No. I was very happy to pay it, in exchange for a vastly improved app. I’ll never understand how people who can afford Macs and iPhones can so begrudge a developer $3 for months of extra development. Still, it looks like a great way of shedding the kind of customer you really don’t want anyway.

   

Bobacks

OK so maybe con was a strong word. I don’t have a problem with paying for apps. I just have a problem with greedy developers.

I am using Twitterrific now and I am very happy with it. Plus the developer didn’t see a need to re submit to the app store as a new app.

   

Milind Alvares

Speaking for myself, I think Brichter was totally justified in charging another $3 for the app. Paying for upgrades is not something unknown on the Mac—more so on the web where you usually pay a subscription. Just that the App Store developers were so engrossed in gaining marketshare and beating the competition, they were afraid having a paid upgrade would mean users would revolt—as some of them did with the tweetie 2 upgrade. Brichter did know however that his product was good, and was worth $3 on the App Store, and most of his customer base paid the upgrade because they wanted those features. Nothing wrong with charging for upgrades, and I’ll willingly pay a third time—on condition that the features are good, and better than what the competition is offering.

   

Markku

To be honest, paying for Tweetie 2 for iphone again wasn’t such a hassle, great new version with new features.

Loren Brichter, however, is a total tool.

He has promised Tweetie 2 for Mac for so long, it should have been released like in October or September. But no, he’s traveling and changing apartments and stuff.

I wish Loren the worst.

   

tom g

I disagree with your opinion that the syncing of read/unread tweets isn’t a useful as it sounds. It’s the MAIN reason I paid up to upgrade to Echofon Pro and jumped all over Echofon for Mac when the first beta was released, and I find it to be one of their best features!
Before Echofon for Mac, I would sit at work all day and read my timeline on Tweetdeck. When I left work and checked Twitter on my iPhone via Echofon (Twitterfon at the time), I would have to scroll through hundreds of tweets, just to find out where I had left off reading. Now, I just open Echofon and it takes me, immediately, to the first unread tweet since I turned my work desktop off. I don’t see how you can get any handier than that!

   

Milind Alvares

I suppose there’s a fundamental difference in the way we read tweets. I immediately jump to the top (or somewhere at the top) to see what’s going on now, and then casually see what I might have missed. I apologise for forcing my opinion over there though, I suppose it’s just me.

   

Milind Alvares

I don’t know why on earth the devs have done this, but to retweet you have to right-click on a tweet to bring up the contextual menu.

   

debbiemet

Just discovered Echofon Mac & iPhone today and love them both. Have just ditched Twhirl on Mac and Tweetie on iPhone – much prefer this.

On both versions (but especially Mac) I would love to see alternating colour bars, and different colour highlight for mentions & dms.

On the iPhone I can’t get the Echofon Bookmarklet to work.

   

SirSteven

“There’s almost nothing that Echofon doesn’t have”… Seriously? It still doesn’t have some very very basic features or options, such as a retweet button, and no choice of URL shortening or image-hosting services. Tweetie is equally frustrating, and still has no option for refresh intervals. What gives?

   

Milind Alvares

User interface decisions like not having a retweet button cannot be considered as ‘missing features’. It’s there, just that the developers didn’t feel the need to clutter the tweets list with buttons all over. Or before you know it Echofon will end up being another Eventbox. About the choice of url shortening services and image hosts, it’s again about reducing choice and confusion, keeping it simple. Who knows, they might even have a backhand deal going on. For me as a user, as long as both bit.ly for url shortening and twitpic for image hosting are not the most ridiculous choices, I don’t see the need to call them out as missing features. Moreover, img.ly and yfrog (the two others I tested) are supported in the build in image viewer, so it’s not like the Echofon devs are oblivious to the existence of the other services.

   

SirSteven

Thanks for the reply, Milind. While a lack of options is, I grant you, not about features being missing, it does seriously limit the user, and forces them into using services that they may not wish to use. Perhaps I’d like to collect together all my tweeted images on *only* yfrog, or tweetphoto? A bit more in the way of freedom-of-choice is always a good thing. If they start to charge for the desktop app, then more choices will be needed. Anyway, I still use Echofon on my Mac, because it looks good, and I love the smooth-scrolling (which juddery ‘ole Tweetdeck doesn’t do).

   

Aleksandar Vacić

Your review got me into trying it, was using Tweetie for Mac. It’s good for my needs, but having used Tweetie for months, I come to rely on some things that I now really miss here.

1. At first, I didn’t even figure out how to switch between accounts. Also a problem with not having them visible all the time – it prevents me from knowing is there new tweets in some of them. So I need to manually switch to each account just to see that nothing new is posted

2. Needs twitlonger.com support (or something similar)

3. It needs an option to keep the *oldest new* tweet visible and then let me scroll up. It reversible to how you use twitter, thus it needs an option for this.

Apart from these things, it’s great Twitter client.

As a side note, a reply on people dissing Loren – get over it. You have payed for you got. I seriously doubt anyone bought Tweetie 2 for iPhone _because_ he also announced Tweetie 2 for Mac. If you did, you have no one to be angry with but yourself. Loren owns no one anything and can do with his apps what he wants. You buy what is offered at the moment, nothing else.
Tweetie 2 iPhone is great software and well worth much more than a price of take away mocha. I use it on iPhone and serves me great.

   

megan

why wont echofon for Twitter on iPhone let me post pictures?

   

Leave a Comment

We'd love it if you would add your opinion to the article or discussion, whether positive or negative. We reserve the right to moderate comments at our discretion.

Previous post:

Next post: