This may be the fastest an app idea of mine has gone from concept to reality.
What is Trowl?
Essentially, it is an app that outputs tweets to Growl for Windows.
Why? What does this buy me?
Honestly? If all you’re using this for is the Growl output, not much. It looks nice, and integrates with a service you may already be using, but that’s it. This version doesn’t even let you send a new tweet!
Then what’s the point?
Recently, Prowl was released on the iPhone App Store. Prowl links up with Growl on your PC so that when you get a notification, it gets pushed to your iPhone via the new Push Notification feature. In other words: you will get push notification of new tweets.
Awesome! But aren’t there already other Twitter clients that use Growl?
a) Twitter clients that use Growl for Windows are limited — and buggy. If I’m going to use a full Twitter client, I’d like it to be fully functional. Alternatively I could wait until a more mature Twitter client implements GfW support, but I’m inpatient. And even then, it may not have the capabilities I’m looking for, which leads me to…
b) Most of the time, Growl support comes in the form of “friends timeline, @replies or DMs”. I don’t know about you, but if I got ALL my tweets Growled and pushed to my iPhone, my phone would never stop buzzing — which kind of defeats the purpose of push notifications. I only want to get notifications of tweets from my close friends — the people where it may be in my best interest to see their tweet(s) asap.
Sounds good. So what’s in Trowl?
This early version is a simple, proof-of-concept release that only serves to demonstrate the idea and get basic functionality working. This means:
* You can log in with your Twitter credentials, optionally saving your username & password for quick login in the future.
* System tray icon to access Settings and Exit the app.
* Ability to choose which users should have their tweets Growled.
* Ability to specify how often Trowl should check for new tweets from your chosen users.
And that’s it. I’m already working on these features:
* Setting to forward ALL @replies, regardless of who they’re from.
* Support for forwarding DMs.
* Ability to send a tweet from Trowl.
I’m open to suggestions for other features, but my goal is to keep this as lightweight as possible. Its purpose is to growl tweets, with the intent of having those growls push to your iPhone. If you want more than that, you will be better served by any of the other excellent Twitter clients out there.
Why did you name it Trowl?
Twitter + Growl = Trowl
Also, a trowel is a tool used to evenly spread mortar between bricks. You can think of Trowl as the tool that helps cement Twitter, Growl and Prowl. Yeah, I know, I’m the height of cheesery.
Does it cost anything?
Nope. However, Prowl costs $2.99 on the App Store. For me, this was a no brainer purchase, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Anything else I should know?
This app is useless without Growl for Windows, and will inform you of such if it has trouble communicating with Growl for Windows. (Although, it’s excellent at draining your Twitter API allowance, if you’re looking for that.)
This is an early version with limited error checking and an extra helping of bugs. Please let me know if you find any problems.
It is written in C#.NET and requires the .NET Framework 3.5. If you have Windows Vista or Windows 7, chances are you already have this. If not, please take a trip to your friendly neighborhood Windows Update.
I need Growl for Windows. Where can I get it? How do I set up Prowl to work with it?
Please visit growlforwindows.com. You will find both answers there.
Let me at it!
Thanks for your interest. Here is the download. Just extract the ZIP to an empty folder, and run trowl.exe. After logging in, you will see the Settings screen to configure your initial friends and update interval. Remember: any problems, please contact me. (I’m @mageuzi on Twitter.) And, if you like it, spread the word! Thanks!
[update] I just want to thank Wallace B. McClure for his C# Twitter example to get me off on the right foot, as well as DotNetThis for his simple string encryption example. I’m also adding a few screenshots after the break.