I got excited as soon as I heard just the name of Troy Gaul’s new iPhone client app for App.net and Twitter. The “virtual water cooler” is exactly how I’ve long described my affection for Twitter. I have no colleagues; I work alone all day every day. But ever since Twitter, I feel like I’m not alone.
And then once I saw Watercooler, I got even more excited. (I’ve been beta testing the app for a few months.) Back in 2009 I wrote “Twitter Clients Are a UI Playground”, the gist of my argument being that the relative simplicity and smallness of the requirements of a Twitter client provides for tremendous room for creative UI design. Twitterrific, Tweetbot, and Twittelator Neue are all great apps, but all very different. And now we have Watercooler, which carves out a UI territory all to itself, inspired very much by Buzz Andersen and Neven Mrgan’s late, great, and much-missed Birdfeed.
Watercooler holds its own next to any other client, but what I like best compared to Netbot is that it’s so visually distinctive — instant recognition of which service I’m looking at, Twitter or App.net. I’ve had it on my first home screen for weeks now — looks great next to Letterpress. $5 on the App Store, worth every penny.
★ Friday, 2 November 2012