Alert Thingy Desktop App Wasn’t Worth The Wait

A few days ago, Sobees released their Friendfeed desktop app (bTittleTattle) and there were many complaints and suggestions for the app. However, everyone was still holding their breath for Alert Thingy, a Friendfeed desktop app with an interface similar to Twhirl. When it previewed on TechCrunch, the most obvious reason for the hold out seemed to be because of the similar interface.

Twhirl is the third most used client for Twitter and for good reason! It does a great job of showing you your tweets in an efficiently digestible manner, with various features and services implemented right inside the client! Alert Thingy looks to do the same, but unfortunately it wasn’t worth the wait and falls short on numerous things.

The Interface

When you first launch Alert Thingy, the interface is a semi-transparent, which there is no way to change (please fix this Howard Baines). Just like bTittleTattle, to login into your friendfeed account using Alert Thingy you need a remote key. Once logged in, you’ll see your latest Friendfeed updates, displayed in the same manner as on your Friendfeed homepage.

For each item, you’re shown the name of the users and the service which the item is from, the name of the item, a timestamp, who likes it, and comments for each item. As for comments, there is no way to open or close the comments that are shown. Instead, comments stay there taking up plenty of space that you might not want to be used by this item. To the far right, you’ll see an icon signifying the service that the item is coming from also.


Click Image To Enlarge 


aletthingy_cutoffThere is a search feature located at the top of the client. However, there is a serious display problem that sometimes occurs when using the search feature.

The client tries to expand in width to accommodate the search results, yet it ends up cutting off the right portion of your view and the scrollbar is no where to be found. To get around this, you’d have to resize the client beforehand.

Your search results are highlighted in red. Unfortunately, there’s no way to filter results, something that bTittleTattle excels at. The only way to get out of the search mode is to hit the refresh button at the bottom, which could become an annoying quirk.


Comments, Likes, and Alerts

Comment2 Of course, you can comment and like an item directly from Alert Thingy and it shows up almost instantaneously. The downside is that you can’t delete a comment from Alert Thingy. As for actual alerts (it is called Alert Thingy), just like with Twhirl, a small box will pop up in the bottom-right corner of your screen displaying the latest update (just one). However, unlike Twhirl, clicking the pop-up alert will not bring Alert Thingy to the forefront of your screen.


Why I’m Sticking with bTittleTattle and the Web

Lightbulb Alert Thingy has a great visual interface, but that’s all. It’s pure eye candy and shows your images and videos (though video playback is not available from Alert Thingy) very nicely. However, I want to be able to delete a comment or unlike an item directly from the client. I need to be able to sort and filter my results and alerts and I seriously wish to be able to change the transparency that’s enabled by default.

There’s also no way to click back to an item’s Friendfeed page. Clicking on any of the items will take you to the original items page, which could help with comment fragmentation, but that’s not what the point of Alert Thingy should be. So until then, Alert Thingy has to go.


Other Articles On The Web About Alert Thingy:

Alert Thingy Out Now

AlertThingy, The FriendFeed Desktop Application, Launches

AlertThingy Arrives

First Look: Alert Thingy for FriendFeed

AlertThingy? Friendfeed Desktop app launches

Alert Thingy: Finally a Way To Use FriendFeed

AlertThingy: the Adobe AIR desktop application for FriendFeed

Corvida Raven

A natural pioneer at grasping the rapidly changing landscape of technology, Corvida Raven talks tech in plain English on