Not all Twitter users are the same, and similarly, not all Twitter clients are made to work the same way. For the Twitter users who tweet very often and are as glued to their timeline, clients like Tweetdeck might be the right choice. However, those users who don’t treat their Twitter feed like holy scriptures, but like to keep up with the news just the same, minimalistic ones are better. Ambientweet is one such minimalistic Twitter client for Mac that works almost entirely with keyboard shortcuts. It displays one tweet at a time as a notification on your desktop, and cycles through the ones you’ve received. There are buttons for quickly retweeting, replying, favoriting or posting a tweet, but for going through a particular user’s tweets or scrolling through the ones in your feed, you will have to use keyboard shortcuts.
Launch the app and sign in to your Twitter account. The app will remember your login details for future, and you will not have to sign in over and over. You can switch to a different account at any time, as well.
Once signed in, the app will fetch the tweets in your feed and display them in a window at the center of the screen, which you can drag anywhere for repositioning. Hover your mouse over the window, and you will see controls for favoriting, replying to or retweeting an item, along with the option to post a new tweet. To manually move through your feed, use the Command+[ and Command+] shortcuts.
Other shortcuts include Command+R to reply to a tweet, Command+D to favorite it, Command+N to post a new tweet and Shift+Command+U to view all Tweets by a particular user.
The app shows only one tweet at a time, and has no column-like viewer. You will need to use the aforementioned shortcuts to move through them. The tweet window, by default,, stays on top of all other windows, but you can disable this behavior from the app’s preferences. Additionally, you can chose how often the app will check for new tweets.
If you haven’t warmed up to the multitude of swipe gestures in OS X Lion, and still like using the keyboard to get most things done, you might enjoy how this app works. Although the app is fully equipped with shortcuts, the option to edit and set them to your own preferences would be rather welcome since some of the default ones are common and probably in use by other apps. Other than that, the interface is easy on the eyes and the app is, overall, unobtrusive.