Wow, there are starting to get to be a lot of desktop applications for Twitter. I’ve already written about two of the ones I use, Tweetdeck and Seesmic Desktop. Recently the Mashable guys compared 19 different apps – all designed be an improvement on using the actual Twitter website. I had never imagined there were so many of these.
Anyway, the other day I noticed a suggestion from David Teicher in a blog comment to try out an application called Mixero – not one of the Mashable 19! David is a guy who usually knows what’s going on so I tracked down the website for the application.
Mixero looked to be rather interesting, but I couldn’t find anywhere to download the app. There was a contact form so I sent a quick message asking if I could try out the app. I quickly got a reply with a link and an invitation code – great new stuff to play with!
Mixero uses the old faithful Adobe Air (don’t all the Twitter apps) so it was installed and running in no time.
My first impression when starting Mixero was how simple and uncluttered the UI is.
I’ve gotten used to using Tweetdeck or Seesmic, both of which have a tendency to take over my desktop – not so with Mixero.
I can still save searches and these are shown as icons. The image ot the left shows my normal mode with my “everything” panel displayed. The icons to the right are my saved searches (Mixero calls them channels). I just need to click on an icon to make that channel active in the main panel. If there is an update to the content of a channel, a little icon on the icon shows how many new updated there are – much more elegant than my description.
The little blurbs on my avatar at the top show if I have any new @replies or DMs.
Obviously while in a panel, I can reply, DM or Re-Tweet to any of the posts there. I can follow and unfollow other users as well. All the functions you’d expect such as search, URL shortening (I use bit.ly which uses their API key for identification) are there.
Panels can be detached and moved anywhere on the desktop if I want to. I can re-size them and pin them so they stay on top of whatever I’m doing on my PC – nice feature!
I really like how Mixero allows me to keep track of my contacts as well. Contacts can be sorted into groups which can be manipulated in many different ways. I’ve only just started to build my contents groups. The image here shows my 12for12k contacts list as an example.
The developer of Mixero must be a David Allen fan because just as in Getting Things Done, Mixero can use contexts. I haven’t had the chance to delve into this yet, but this feature allows the user to set up contexts for office, work or others.
One of the really nice things is that all the settings can be synced so that Mixero can be used on different machines. I have it set up on my desktop and laptop and the syncing works fine.
On of the coolest features of Mixero is Avatar Mode.
This fits right in with the tagline of “reducing the noice.” Avatar mode effictivly minimizes the application to just the users avatar and the channel icons. This little icon cluster stays on top of the desktop and shows when new items are received.
In this example, I’ve received a direct message (I’ll bet it’s one of those nasty auto “thanks for following” ones) and there is 1 update in my 12for12k channel. If I hover my cursor over the alerts, I’ll get a good preview of the new content. I can see what’s going on without having to disturb my work – well, at least not too much.
Avatar mode is a really cool feature!
Nothing is perfect and there are a couple of things that could be better with Mixero. For a start I hate the putrid green colour of the links, I wish it was either blue (like Seesmic) or changable (like Tweetdeck) and the application does not seem to handle multiple accounts or connect to Facebook.
I’ve been using Tweetdeck and Seesmic Desktop for a while and they are really very close in how they look and function. it has been fun to try something that is very different. I really like the minimist approach that Mixero has taken. The combination of clean simple design with plenty of feature makes it a winner for me.
Sorry Tweetdeck and Seesmic, Mixero is now my favorite Twitter app. Better yet, there will be an iPhone version soon as well!
Want more information? Head over to Mixero.com and while you’re there, have them send you a download link.
How many of the 19 apps in the Mashable comparism have you used? Have you test driven Mixero? I’d love to know what you think.
Update: the nice Mixero dudes have given me some passcodes so you can try our the applciation for yourself. You can download from their site and use the passcode 12for12k. If you like Mixero, please consider making a donation to the 12for12k charity. If you don’t like it? Well making a donation to 12for12k will help you feel better 🙂