Twitter client review: Mixero

on September 15th, 2009

I have come across this application recently, thanks to a Twitter friend (@erosnicolau). Not being particularly happy with TweetDeck, or Twhirl, or any of the other apps I have used so far I thought I’d give it a go and fell in love.

To start with, Mixero looks sexy. I’m not sure how you guys feel about this, but I was never too keen on the TweetDeck rather basic appearance. I may be superficial, but there it is: appearance matters to me. Also, it is very compact – which is a huge advantage, if you know what it feels like to have TweekDeck spread on a 24 inch screen and still struggle for space.

Mixero is still in Beta, and this is why you will have to request a Beta key here. I got mine in a couple of hours, but I heard other people had to wait a bit longer, so I can’t really advise how long it usually takes.

And now to the product. To start from the top, this is the login screen (notice the beta key field – that’s the one you need to get)

login screen

This is what the home screen looks like (click on the image for a larger size):

home screen

The Structure

Mixero structures the access to information by splitting your Twitter account into the following:

  1. Contacts
  2. Groups
  3. Channels
  4. Active Lists
  5. Replies
  6. Direct Messages
  7. Timeline

Contacts:

This is the equivalent of the contact list in your email reader or address book, and requires a bit of an explanation:

Twitter allows 100 API calls each hour. These calls are needed to fetch updates, direct messages and replies, view users’ timelines and their info, etc. Some of us have thousands or even tens of thousands in their following list. Simple math and we would see that if you follow, say, 5000 people, you’ll need 50 API calls at startup only to fetch all of them. That will cause delays on startup and twice as little API calls for other things (less frequent updates, etc) during the first hour.

If you happen to follow 50000, you’ll have to wait for 5 hours just to fetch them using all the API calls available (you won’t be able to read updates from Twitter using API all that time). And, remember, the most recent friends will be fetched only in the end.

The Contacts functionality automatically ensures that people you interact with (via replies or DMs), or part of one or more of your groups will have API priority and hence show up in the timeline all the time. Cool, eh?

If you want to just see one contact’s updates, this is easily done:

one user screen

Groups

Groups allow for categorisation of your contacts based on whatever criteria you deem suitable.

  • Synchronised on any computer, mobile phone or browser.
  • One user could be present in different groups.
  • Coolness factor: you can drag and drop your contacts into a group, straight form the timeline!

Click on the image below to see the entire screen – remark the groups to the right of the screen.

groups screen

Channels

  • Channels search the entire Twittersphere based on the selected keywords, and also supports RSS feeds.
  • Coolness factor: check out the channel creation screens – and the option to select a default or Google suggested icon for the channel.
channels screen
create a channel - keywords
create a channel - name and icon

ActiveLists

  • Can include users, groups of users and channels.
  • Shows information from all contacts, groups and channels as one timeline
  • Can have mutiple active lists – e.g. for work, home, mobile, etc

Filtering

  • Any user’s or group’s timeline can be filtered with certain keywords. Very useful for quick access to relevant information.
filter

Search

  • Similar to filtering, the search function filters the entire Twittersphere based on the given keywords. Again, excellent way of quickly finding information across Twitter – although sometimes can return results in Chinese…
search

Cool things

Avatars mode
Working on a bunch of things while trying to stay ahead of what’s happening on Twitter? Mixero can be minimised to what they term the “Avatar mode” – one of a few icons floating above your other applications and displaying new replies, DMs and updates to the currently monitored views (in the image below: my Typography and my Illustration channels).

It is possible to minimize Mixero to avatars mode automatically or manually. Notice that small blue Mixero windmill above my avatar? If I hover my mouse above it turns green and spinning; if I click on it the Avatars Mode is turned on. To turn it off I just have to click the windmill again.

avatars mode

URLs

  • Automatic shortening and expanding of URLs while you are typing a message.
  • You can see the original URL without following the link. When your mouse is over it, a tooltip appears.
  • Mixero supports most popular URL shorteners, including bit.ly synchronisation.

Images:

  • Drag and drop to your tweet and it will automatically upload to TwitPic.
  • Smart preview (on hover) for images, and videos.

Tweets translation:

  • You can translate tweets (to English only as of yet).
  • Already translated tweets can be returned to the original state.

Flexible interface

  • you can create any number of pannels, and arrange them as you wish.

“Reply to all”

  • Finally, a reply-to-all button; dead useful;
  • #hashtags from the message replied are also copied to the new tweet.

Spell checker

  • Self-explanatory (right-click and check)
  • It also includes a “Add to my dictionary option”.

Negative filtering
Certain users, keywords or hashtags annoying you? You can filter them out at account level (and that option get synchronised across all your instances of Mixero).

Conclusion

Personally I think this is the best Twitter client I have come across so far. And I haven’t finished exploring all the tricks it offers. I find it amazing that this is a beta application, and I can’t wait to see what it looks like as a finite product. In the meanwhile, I am a convert.

If you want to request your beta invite you have to follow @mixero and ask for one: http://twitter.com/mixero. Good luck!

One Response to “Twitter client review: Mixero”

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