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Twitter for Mac Gets Smart New Features in Update

Twitter for Mac got a major update today that brings new features and fixes to the client for the first time since debuting with the Mac App Store in January. The original version of Twitter for Mac was a powerful iteration of native Twitter clients and this update brings some tweaks that should greatly improve the user experience.

Foremost among features, it now has multi-window support and a new primary window design that makes it easier to create a tweet. One of the initial complaints of Twitter for Mac was that it had no compose-tweet box in the main window. A new button in the bottom left of the deck fixes that.

Twitter for Mac has always felt a lot like the Twitter for iPad application, but it just was not quite the same. It was intuitive and smart and instantly the top-selling application in the Mac App Store when it launched. Yet, a lot of people downloaded it out of curiosity and forgot about it, especially when they could not easily figure out where the compose-tweet box was.

If the first version of Twitter for Mac was like the iPad app, this version is a virtual clone. The interfaces are almost exactly the same. This can be seen in the new direct message plain of the Mac client, which updates new tweets in a conversation at the bottom of the app as opposed to the top and are bubbles, reminiscent of Blackberry Messenger. The new user profile design is simple and slides over in a column when you click on the Twitter picture of a user in your stream.

New features included are also username and hashtag autocomplete, which can be useful when tweeting from a live event, a developer console with links to the API, and an improved display of t.co short links.

There is also a new window design which brings an action bar to the top of the app, making it easier to move the window across the screen and show tabs of where you have navigated from the main window.

Overall it is a solid update to what was already a good product. Will it make me give up using TweetDeck for 95% of my Twitter purposes? Probably not. The client is still a self-contained bar, unlike a full desktop application with multiple visible columns. Now that Twitter owns TweetDeck, it will be interesting to see if the two applications ever merge or if Twitter will allow them to be autonomous units in its empire.

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