capsule review

Spaz

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Spaz

Twitter is all the rage. It was name-checked on Conan's second Tonight Show broadcast and was even extended into a comedy bit. Basically, Twitter is a microblog that you post, which is shared with the world at large. You can collect friends and only see their tweets, see everyone's tweets, and even reply and send direct messages. In order to use Twitter, normally you have to stick to its Web site, twitter.com. Hence the need for a standalone PC application, and freebie Spaz is one such approach.

Unfortunately, Spaz is notable more for what you can't do than what you can. An app should at least have all the functionality of the Web site itself, and in that respect Spaz falls short. You can't follow a conversation, making posts seem disjointed. You can only see a list of a user's most recent tweets if you click on the user's name and open up said timeline in a browser window, which seems to defeat the purpose. The point of a standalone tweet app is to avoid having to go to the Twitter website whenever possible.

Unlike with chief competitor TweetDeck, you can't have multiple columns with your timeline, replies, direct messages, and so on, all side-by-side. They appear in one unsorted screen, similar to how the Twitter Web site works. To sort, them, you have to toggle between them, which isn't as useful.

All in all, Spaz is free and light and it's open-source (the code is available to be user-modified), so those are a few things it has going for it. However, it can't approach other Twitter apps like TweetDeck (which is also free) in terms of versatility and customizability. You're better off looking elsewhere.

Note: This link takes you to the vendor's site, where you can download the latest version of the software.

--Steve Horton

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Spaz

Related:
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.