As I’ve found myself of late using Windows a bit more often than has traditionally been “normal,” I decided it would be a good idea to look for a Twitter client. My first Google search led me to a program (or an “experience” according to the website) called Blu, from thirteen23 software. After checking it out, I’m not prepared to call it the best Twitter client for Windows (I don’t have enough experience with enough Twitter clients, nor am I a “power” Twitter user), but it’s very visually appealing, has all the features I need, and seems to be overall a very nice program.
The first place I’m going to discuss in the visuals. This isn’t to say that they are the most important part of an application (they aren’t), but that they were the first things I noticed. When you start up Blu, you get a nice little animation to let you know things are working. This takes 2-3 seconds, and can be turned off in the preferences area. While using Blu (after you’ve set it up with your account, which I’ll go over in a bit), there are all kinds of subtle animations that help make Blu a good experience. If you manually refresh your Twitter timeline, for instance, you get very light “waves” moving across the top part of the Blu interface. Hovering over certain interface elements (user pictures, for instance), highlights them (in the case of pictures, the image slightly enlarges). There’s really too much of this type of interface goodness to highlight individually, but Blu has (by far) the most visually appealing interface of any Twitter client I’ve used, regardless of platform.
Of course, visually appealing applications that don’t work well are worthless. Thankfully, Blu doesn’t fall into this category. Setting up Blu with your Twitter account is simple. As Twitter has moved over to using their OAuth system exclusively, all you need to do to allow Blu access is click the setup button. You’ll be taken to the Twitter homepage where you can allow or deny access. If you allow access, you’re given an access code. Once this code is typed into Blu, you’re ready to go.
Once set up, Blu has many features you’d expect. You can view your main timeline, or click on a user to view either their profile or all their posts. You can reply to a post and send direct messages. If you want different timeline views, those exist for the aforementioned Home timeline, plus all mentions, direct messages and more. You can post from Blu as well, by simply clicking the New Tweet button at the bottom of the interface. A very visually appealing entry field appears (yes, after a nice animation), and you get a constantly updating countdown behind your typing, showing how many characters are left.
If you don’t want Blu to be visible all the time, simply click the minimize button at the top of the interface. Blu will disappear, leaving only the blue logo (I can’t decide if it’s supposed to be a flower or bird; it reminds me of either a blue lily or a hummingbird in flight), which can be dragged anywhere on the screen. Clicking the logo restores the full Blu interface. While minimized, however, you get attractive pop-up notifications when any new posts come in.
I don’t really have a lot bad to say about Blu. My assumption, based on nothing at all, is that Blu wouldn’t be a good choice on a slower, more resource-strapped computer. The animations would surely drag down the speed. They slow things down on a fast computer (by virtue of having to wait for them to finish), but on modern computers, the processor issue isn’t an issue at all (at least on my laptop, which isn’t incredibly powerful). I love the look of the interface (although being able to tweak the color scheme for people who want it to fit in with their Windows theme), would be nice. Really, Blu is everything I would want in a Twitter client. I’m sure power users need more features, but for me, it is a great option.