Best amiibo for Bayonetta 2 on Nintendo Switch

Unleash the full might of the coven with these amiibo figures.

The Bayonetta series is unlike any other game you’ve ever played in most respects, but the ability use use amiibo to unlock things in the Nintendo Switch version of the game is not one of them. Whether you’re looking for some extra loot or you heard there’s a fun set of scrolls you can check out, you’re going to want these amiibo in your collection to get the most out of Bayonetta 2.

Editor’s Note — Some of the amiibo you see in this list are no longer in circulation, and will be both more difficult to track down and more expensive than the standard retail pricing for one of these amiibo figures.

Costume unlocks

The fastest way to get access to a bunch of the the Couture Bullet costumes in Bayonetta 2, which gives you quite the advantage in early parts of the game, is to use a Bayonetta amiibo. There are two different Bayonetta amiibo, once for her classic look in the original game and one for her shorter hair appearance in the new game, and they do not do exactly the same things.

Bayonetta Player 1

Bayonetta Player 1 See on Amazon

This version of the amiibo unlocks the Super Mirror 2 class of Couture Bullet, which includes:

  • Police Woman
  • Metal Witch
  • School Girl
  • Dress

This amiibo also unlocks the New Style variants for these costumes.

Bayonetta Player 2

Bayonetta Player 2 See on Amazon

This version of the amiibo unlocks the Super Mirror 64 and Super Mirror 64 2 class of Couture Bullet costumes, which includes

  • Classic Hairstyle Mushroom Kingdom Princess
  • Classic Hairstyle Hero of Hyrule
  • Classic Hairstyle Galactic Bounty Hunter
  • Nun
  • Classic Hairstyle

Other amiibo

If you’d rather not shell out the 100,000 halos for the absurd and frankly horrifying Nintendo-themed costumes available for Bayonetta to wear, you can tap the related amiibo and unlock them instantly. Each of these costumes comes with a special ability that connects to the costume in some way, like special blaster attacks or big glowing swords. These special attacks aren’t any greater or worse than the normal specials Bayonetta wields, but they’re a lot of fun to look at and themed in just the right way.

Here are the amiibo that unlock Nintendo costumes:

You can use any variant of the amiibo listed here, for example Zero Suit Samus works just as well as Super Smash Bros Samus, but you’re not going to unlock a Zero Suit variant of the costume if you use it instead of the original. Same goes for the Wedding variant of the Peach amiibo, it will still unlock the normal Peach costume for Bayonetta.

Item Unlocks

Most amiibo you scan in Bayonetta 2 will reveal a piece of parchment with something fun written on it about that character, as well as some random item to help Bayonetta out on her journey. These random item drops are mostly various magic lollipops, herbs, or food. You will occasionally get a random amount of Halos dropped as well, which can add up quickly if you have enough amiibo. These item drop amiibo are good once per day, so the more amiibo you have the better if you’re ever running low on items.

A handful of special amiibo will also unlock the special Chain Chomp. This version of the classic bitey menace is chained to Bayonetta’s ankle, and helps her out in combat situations whenever possible. To unlock Chain Chomp for Bayonetta 2, use the following amiibo:

Are you well stocked to cause some extra mayhem in Bayonetta 2, or do you need to add some to your collection? Sound off in the comments!

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Anchor: Everything you need to know!

Download Anchor and tune in to daily audio broadcasts or create your own!

Anchor is an audio streaming and publishing platform that lets you listen to and publish bite-sized audio broadcasts. Anchor says its service is “radio, reinvented,” which is a pretty fitting description. You can use Anchor to essentially create your own radio station, populated with audio tidbits, music from Spotify and Apple Music, transitions between sections, call-ins, and interviews. You can even use Anchor to create a podcast feed.

Free – Download now

What’s new with Anchor?

We’ll be keeping this section updated with the latest, greatest stuff coming from Anchor. Be sure to check back regularly for the latest updates!

February 22, 2018 – Create your own podcast effortlessly with the all-new Anchor 3.0!

Podcast makers rejoice! Anchor announced in a blog post today that the completely revamped Anchor 3.0 has officially launched, making it easier than ever to create and distribute the podcast of your dreams no matter your level of experience.

The update consists of a completely reimagined mobile app experience on both iOS and Android as well as a brand new web dashboard to allow creators to more effortlessly realize their podcasting vision.

Mobile-wise, the redesigned Anchor app offers a plethora of new and improved features to effortlessly craft a podcast right on your phone. As soon as you open the app, you’re taken directly to the creation screen where the app automatically begins generating a new podcast episode. Once there, you can choose to start recording right away. And if you’ve got some podcasting partners in crime, have no fear — you and up to ten friends can record simultaneously. In creation, you can also add transitions, insert full songs from both Apple Music and Spotify, and broadcast voice messages — previously called call-ins — from your listeners. The interface is clean, minimal, and pretty much totally foolproof, too. If you’ve just signed up to begin your podcasting journey, the app guides you through everything from tools to podcast ideas to troubleshooting. (And it isn’t in that annoying, forever-taking tutorial way, either.)

In addition to all of that, Anchor’s episode management tools have been greatly improved upon. You can now rearrange segments in your episodes as well as build episodes from new or previously created content. Once you’re finished with an episode, you can publish directly to Anchor as well as platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play Music.

Anchor 3.0 has also introduced a completely reinvented web client with even more creation tools as well as analytics, expanded distribution options, and, of course, the unlimited free podcast hosting Anchor is known for. According to the company’s blog post, there are a ton of things you can do with the new web tools, including the following:

  • Upload existing audio, like an episode you produced outside of Anchor using Garage Band, Audition, or Pro Tools.
  • Create a new episode using Anchor’s handy Episode Builder, which lets you add audio from your Anchor history, browse and add voice messages from your listeners, add transitions, and even record new audio right from your web browser.
  • View straightforward analytics that let you know how your podcast is doing without having to be a data scientist, pulling data from everywhere your podcast is being heard.
  • Manage all of your Anchor episodes right from your desktop. Edit, delete, update metadata, and view episode-specific analytics all from the convenience of you your favorite web browser.

Best of all, Anchor’s web dashboard syncs seamlessly with the mobile app, allowing users to effortlessly switch back and forth between experiences whenever necessary.

This update comes on the heels of Anchor’s $ 10M Series A funding, meant to further pursue the company’s mission to “democratize the creation and consumption of audio.”

If you already have the Anchor app and have automatic updates enabled, the revamped version should be coming to you shortly. If you’ve been looking for a streamlined, less intimidating way to get into podcasting, you can download Anchor 3.0 by visiting the link below. Signing up only takes a few minutes, and after that, who knows? You could be the next beloved podcasting celebrity.

September 8, 2017 – Anchor adds new features, including new Apple Music and Spotify integrations

Anchor announced in a blog post today that new music-related features are available for the app. The additions are as follows:

  • Users can now connect their Spotify and Apple Music playlists so they can add their favorite songs to their Anchor station as they desire – a faster method than searching for the songs in order to add them.
  • Because many people say they’ve found great new music while listening to Anchor, the company has responded by giving users a way to save songs easily to both their Apple Music and Spotify accounts. That way they don’t have to go through the whole process of toggling between apps and searching.
  • Users can now permanently save songs to Anchor episodes instead of having them expire after 24 hours.

August 17, 2017 – Anchor is now available in your car

Yep, that’s right – Anchor announced on its blog that you can now listen to your favorite stations in your car. All you need is the Anchor app (of course) and a CarPlay or Android Auto enabled device. Connect your phone to your car by plugging it in or using Bluetooth, and voila! You now have access to Anchor on your commute.

August 8, 2017 – Anchor adds video!

If you’re ever in a situation where you can’t really pull out your headphones or blast audio through your smartphone speakers, Anchor’s new video feature is going to be great for you!

The feature transcribes the audio you upload to Anchor and puts together a dynamic video with both text and audio that you can share across social media. I don’t know about you, but I often find myself watching Facebook videos on mute regardless of whether I’m in a situation where I can listen to audio without disturbing others. As much as we see video on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, this was a very smart move by Anchor.

You can now easily share an Anchor video wherever you want — and other users will be able to share your video moving forward, too. Best of all, you can pick the size that makes sense for where you’re sharing, including wide (16:9, perfect for YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook), square (1:1, perfect for Instagram), and story (9:16, perfect for Instagram Stories).

Can you give me a quick summary of what exactly Anchor is?

Sure can! Anchor really is what it says on the tin: “radio, reinvented.” In the same way that radio DJs line up music tracks, transitions, interviews, and audio bites, Anchor gives you the ability to do the same. You can use your phone’s microphone to record audio tracks, use the app to edit them as you see fit, add in transitions and music from Spotify and Apple Music, and publish your broadcasts to your personal station.

The best way to understand what Anchor is is by giving it a listen. Here’s one of my favorite Anchor broadcasts, Let Me Google That:

Neat! So say I just want to listen to stations on Anchor, not make my own. How do I do that?

If you’re just interested in listening to Anchor, you can use the Anchor app or visit individual stations on Anchor’s website. Anchor is a free app available on both iOS and Android.

Free – Download on the App Store
Free – Get it on Google Play

You can also listen to Anchor on your Google Home, Amazon Echo, Alexa-enabled devices, and devices with the Google Assistant.

  • To listen to Anchor using the Google Assistant just say, “Hey Google, play me the news from Anchor.”
  • To listen to Anchor using an Alexa-enabled device just say, “Alexa, enable the Anchor skill.”

Got it. If I do want to create a station of my own, how do I do that?

Well, you’ll start by downloading the Anchor app and creating an account. You can use Facebook, Twitter, or an email address to create an account. Once you’re all signed in and set up, you can use the gigantic red plus (+) button at the bottom of the app to add segments to your station.

You can add five types of content:

  1. Interview: You can record and broadcast a phone call.
  2. Record: You can record audio segments of your voice. You literally lift your phone to your ear and talk to Anchor like you’d talk on the phone. You can also record and publish audio on the desktop by going to
  3. Music: Connect your Spotify and/or Apple Music account to add music tracks to your broadcast. If listeners have their Spotify or Apple Music accounts connected, they can hear full songs. Otherwise, Anchor will play previews of the tracks you choose.

  4. Interludes: You can add small transitions between sections of your broadcast. There are loads to chose from and you can tap the play button to get a preview.
  5. Call-ins: Listeners can “call in” to your station by sending in audio recordings. Those recordings will show up in the Call-ins section. You can add them to your broadcast and respond to them if you’d like.

I heard you can turn your Anchor station into a podcast … Is that true?

It’s absolutely true! If you’d like to publish your Anchor station as a podcast (so that you can create a show for Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and more), you can use the Anchor app to create an RSS feed of your content. Anchor makes it fairly simple to get up and running, but they’ve put together a comprehensive guide with screenshots as well as a tutorial video to help you through the process:

OK, say I’m done using Anchor and I want to remove my account. How do I do that?

If you’d like to remove your account from Anchor, you’ll have to contact Anchor’s support team to let them know you’d like to delete your account. You can contact Anchor by emailing


If you have any questions or thoughts about Anchor, be sure to give us a shout in the comments!

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How to use Jackbox on your Nintendo Switch

Get yourself Jackbox and enjoy the fun you’ll have with your company.

If you’re looking for a game to play with some close friends, Jackbox is a a wonderful one to pick up. You can play with any of your friends without needing controllers. However, it may be a bit confusing as how the game exactly works, especially on the Nintendo Switch. Here is a step by step guide on how it works on the Switch and with your mobile device.

Jackbox is a multiplayer game that uses your mobile device as the controller to answer every question or get through each game. You use your mobile device to type out explanations, answer the questions, and complete objectives, so you can’t play the game without your devices. Everything else will be displayed on the Switch or the TV, such as the question and the answers once the time is up.

How to start the game on your Nintendo Switch

Your Nintendo Switch is the main hub for the game, and it’s where your party can see the questions, answers, and how much time is left for the round. This is where you can start up your game and start gaming with your pals.

  1. Once you’ve downloaded the game from the Nintendo eShop, launch it on your Switch.
  2. Hit Start to get to the game menu

  3. Select one of the several different games you have to choose from, especially if you have different party packs. Decide which game you’d like your friends to join in and make sure everyone has the room code.

You’ll have to head to your mobile device and enter the room code, making your device your controller. Once your friends join, you should see the game starting right on your Switch once everyone starts the game on their mobile device.

How to use your mobile device as the controller

Your mobile device will act as a controller, the way you would answer every question. This is how you type out your answers to the question for whichever game you choose.

  1. Open up the link on your phone’s browser.
  2. Enter the room code and your name so you can be entered into the game with your friends. Once you enter the code and your name, it should pop up on your Switch and your device will say waiting for other players.

  3. Once everyone has joined, press the start button to get the game going.

  4. Once the game has started, you’ll see all the prompts to go throughout the game on both the Switch and your phone.

From this point on, the objectives will pop up on your phone as well as the Switch. You can then type out your answers for each round, and if your answer is the best at the end of each round, you win.

Did this guide help you?

Let us know in the comments below if you have more questions!

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Let Seagate’s $76 external drive keep 3TB of your most important files backed up

A must-have.

Seagate’s 3TB Expansion desktop hard drive offers a ton of storage space in a rather small package, which makes it very desirable. It doesn’t take up a ton of space on your desk and with its USB 3.0 connection it makes backing up and transferring files a breeze. Whether you have a large photo library or keep local copies of all your important tax documents, this external drive can be useful to everyone in the family.

It is compatible with both Windows and Mac, though the company notes that you may need to reformat the drive to use it with a Mac machine. This drive is part of a larger one-day sale that includes tons of other storage devices, routers, modems and more.

See at Amazon

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The life and death of Twitter for Mac

Twitter for Mac is dead. After years of neglect, Twitter has finally put its Mac app out of its misery. This is our post-mortem on what happened, what went wrong, and where the Mac community goes from here.

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John GruberGruber: I don’t even remember what we’re supposed to talk about.

Rene: Twitter for Mac.

John GruberGruber: [laughs] What?

Rene: Twitter for Mac. Remember Twitter for Mac?

John GruberGruber: Ah, that’s a good topic. Yeah, that’s a great topic.

Rene: They canceled it. They murdered it. They took it out back, and they disposed of it. You’ve been talking about the larger theme of apps on the Mac for a while, but Twitter, I think, is something that’s been near and dear to all of us. What was your reaction?

Signs of Twitter for Mac doom

John GruberGruber: I wasn’t surprised, because the writing’s been on the wall for a long time that they’ve never really, or at least in recent years, they have not really put significant effort into the native Mac client. I think the most significant tell — and I’m going to forget which year was which — there was a year where Apple added system level integration with Twitter accounts.

That Mac OSX, which was the name of the OS at the time, you could enter your Twitter account in system preferences, and set what kind of notifications you want. Do you want notifications for DMs? You want them for mentions? Blah, blah, blah.

Then, you’d get these notification center notifications at the system level. I thought the big tell was that, even if you had the official Twitter for Mac client installed, when you clicked on one of those notifications, it would always open the Twitter website.

I can’t think of any other app or service I use where, if you have a native client installed, usually, that’s where the notifications come from, is the native client. Why in the world would you not want this? I remember asking around, and somebody at Apple told me, more or less, “That’s the way Twitter wanted it, and that was that.”

Rene: You understand Facebook, because they have no native client. Twitter had a much better option available.

John GruberGruber: Right.

From Tweetie for Mac to Twitter for Mac

Rene: Twitter for Mac, it was originally, if I recall, Loren Brichter made Tweetie, and then he made Tweetie for Mac, including Twui, which was his version of UIkit written, I’m assuming, in OpenGL [laughs] for the Mac. Then he got bought by Twitter, and that became Twitter for Mac.

John GruberGruber: I think so. Somebody on Twitter, there was some speculation, or just recollection of the timeline where I think Tweetie for Mac 1.0 was not written with Loren’s Twui UI kit, whatever. 2.0 was, but 2.0 was the first one that came out after Twitter acquired it.

I don’t know that Tweetie 2.0 ever shipped. I think by the time it was going to be Tweetie 2.0, and it turned into Twitter for Mac 1.0. That was the one that was written with Loren’s crazy UI Kit. We could just go ask Loren, I guess.

Rene: Loren Brichter, you created Twitter for Mac, back when it was Tweetie for Mac. What made you want to make a Mac Twitter client?

Loren: It’s super simple. I needed a Mac Twitter client. I use Twitter on my Mac a lot. I used Twitterrific. Twitterrific was the only show in town. It was an awesome app. The problem was, I had three Twitter accounts, and Twitterrific only lets you use one at a time.

It just drove me nuts, signing out and signing back in. It’s like a pet peeve. I needed an app that let me use three Twitter accounts at the same time. That’s it.

Rene: You couldn’t just make an app, either. You made Twui. Is it twee? Is that the way you pronounce it?

Loren: That was for version two. Version one used AppKit. It was almost a normal Mac app. It was a little weird. There was some unconventional UI stuff. That’s the only reason I made it. I needed it for myself.

Rene: Your reason you went to Twui was just to make it easier to maintain cross-platform?

Loren: No, basically, writing Twitter for Mac, or Tweetie for Mac 1.0, I wrote it in AppKit. By the end, I was just banging against the calls. AppKit had a very low ceiling for doing anything even remotely interesting.

UIkit was like this new thing. I thought it had some good ideas. I was like, “I’m going to just make a UI framework inspired by UIkit, and build an app based on that.” That let me do some other cool stuff.

Rene: You didn’t write it purely in OpenGL? [laughs]

Loren: No. I wasn’t that crazy yet. If I did it today, yeah, I’d probably do something like that. No, but I wrote it on top of Core Animation.

John GruberGruber: While Loren was doing it, it was under active development. It was forward-thinking. It was not like a generic COCO UI elements app, which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad way to do a Twitter client. It was a little nonstandard.

It’s easy to get mixed up, as we talk about native apps, what’s good about native apps, and then talking about standard UI controls and nonstandard UI controls. There’s a mushy middle there, where you could have a truly native app, where it’s not just a web view in a container, but it’s nonstandard in ways that would provoke, let’s say, a debate.

Twitterrific for Mac… from the shower

Rene: Even before Twitter for Mac, mutual friend Craig Hockenberry had made Twitterrific for Mac. I think he claims he got the idea in a shower.

Craig: It’s true. God, it’s been so long ago, I don’t even remember what year it was. It was quite a while ago. It was at the beginning of Twitter, when we were all trying to figure out what it was. Some people had done some widgets.

In fact, a guy I know, Ben Ward, had written a thing called Twidget, which was just basically a widget for the Mac OS dashboard, back when Mac OS dashboard was a thing. He wrote that, and I was like, “Yeah, that’s kind of a step in the right direction, getting it off the Twitter website.” I thought, “You know, it’d be better to have an app to do that.”

I was literally taking a shower [laughs] and thinking, “It wouldn’t be that hard to take a table view on the Mac, hook up some of the networking classes, and grab some stuff from Twitter’s brand new API.” The API was probably a month or two old. It wasn’t something that had been out very long.

In a day, I had something that worked. In a week, I had something that did what we wanted it to do. Then a couple more weeks were spent doing the design of the app, and just taking…Basically, I built a prototype in a week. We all were like, “Oh, yeah, cool.” That was the first version of Twitterrific.

Rene: That’s what I was using, because the native experience was much better than the Twitter website, always has been much better.

Craig: It just felt more efficient to read. It just felt like all these shortcuts, you can get them to work in a web view, like using spacebar to page down in the view, and drag and drop being able to just drag, tweet, if you wanted to, copy the tweet into an email or something like that.

All the things that you would think, that’s the whole point of native software, to me, is that. You can say, “Well, keeping talking, old fogy,” but it really does date back to the original Mac in 1984, where there was a set of standard ways to do things.

Prior to the Mac, in the DOS world, and in the Apple II world, every app had different ways of doing everything, from selecting text, to saving files, to opening existing files. There was no consistency between any of that stuff. Once you learned the Mac way of doing something, if you became proficient at MacWrite, and you could use MacWrite as a word processor.

Then the first time you opened MacPaint to do a drawing, which is a totally different task than word processing, you would be like, “Well, I bet I can open a file by going file, open. I’ll bet the shortcut for it is is command-O. I’ll bet when I want to save, I can just type command-S, and it’s a shortcut to file, save,” and etc., and so forth.

All of these things that you would guess, based on using apps X, Y, and Z previously, now, when you’re using app W, all of these things that you guess, “I’ll bet this is the way I do,” whatever, that usually is the way that you do whatever.

Rene: Additionally, Loren got hired by Twitter. They hired a few other people. I’m going to mispronounce his name, Ben Sandofsky, who works on Halide right now, he was one of the early Twitter for Mac developers.

Twitter for Mac… in your 120% time

Ben: Loren came on mid to 2010. If you read in the launch post for Twitter for Mac, the acquisition was mostly about the iPhone app, but Tweetie for Mac came along with it. Around October of 2010, periodically, Twitter would have hack weeks, like maybe once a quarter.

That’s when I started nudging Loren, like, “So, what’s the current plan around Tweetie for Mac?” Eventually, he sent me over a build of what would later become Twui, which was the UIkit for Mac. It was basically a table view. It wasn’t any actual Twitter in it.

I’m like, “Oh, my god. This is amazing.” Just scrolling through it was amazing. For Hack Week, him, me, and Doug Bowman, who’s Stop on Twitter, who was, at the time, the design director of Twitter, we all teamed up and basically, built something for Hack Week as like a, “Hey, everyone. Check this out.”

Then January, with the Mac app store, just lined up, let’s do it. Let’s go for it. Then the rest is history.

Rene: What was it like in terms of attention to the Mac app? Was it like just a bonus that they got along with Twitter for iOS? Was it an anchor around the neck [laughs] that got Twitter for iOS?

Ben: I was never in the C level suite on any of the conversations about how they truly felt, but it was always…You know Google has 20 percent projects? This was always a 120 percent project of, “Once you’re done with all of your work, we’re going to give you your nights and weekends.”

It’s really a testament to a lot of the people who love the app inside the company, who would go on to spend, in some cases, their holiday time off building in updates. I think that it never really received all of the support it needed.

Enter Tweetbot for Mac

Rene: Paul Haddad from Tapbots, you were doing Tweetbot for iOS, and you decided to do Tweetbot for Mac. What lead you to that decision?

Paul: It’s a mixture of basically two things. One, we use Mac all the time and Tweetbot all the time. Two, just a lot of people were asking for it. The Mac and the iOS apps work really well together. Being able to sync your position between the two apps is really convenient.

Rene: Twitter for Mac was already on the market when you launched Tweetbot for Mac, you still thought there was still demand for it? You still thought it was a good business to go into?

Paul: Yeah, like I said, the fact that they work — the iOS and the Mac app work so well together — and we did get a ton of requests for a Mac app to go along with it. Yeah, there was definitely a lot of requests for it, and a lot demand for it.

Rene: Now, you had Twitterrific on the market, Tweetbot on the market, and what felt like abandonware, Twitter for Mac, on the market.

John GruberGruber: That’s why I say, going back to the beginning, that’s why I’m not surprised that they’ve done this, but it still is angering, to me, at least, that rather than look at the problem of, “Hey, we’ve let this app stagnate. Let’s fix it. Let’s throw some engineers and designers at this, and do a great 2018 native app,” that they’re just throwing in the towel.

I really do think that, on the desktop, I know Facebook doesn’t have it. Facebook’s a very different service. I know Instagram, bizarrely, doesn’t even have a native iPad app. They just scale the iPhone app up.

That doesn’t make any sense. You can look at them and say they’re successful, but I don’t think they’re successful because of that. I think they’re successful despite that. To me, Twitter different, at least for active Twitter users. It is so much better with a good native app.

Rene: It feels like communal IM. All the way going back to iChat, we’re used to having IM clients on our desktop.

That @jack thread

John GruberGruber: There’s a quote here, Dan Frommer, who’s been on my podcast many times. I’m sure you know him. He’s at Recode now. Jack Dorsey responded to my tweet on Twitter.

Rene: I saw that.

John GruberGruber: It was funny. His response was so bizarre, because what I wrote was, “It’s unbelievable how great a native Mac Twitter client Twitter had when they acquired Tweetie. It’s just unreal what they pissed away in favor of a shitty web enterprise.”

Jack wrote me on Twitter and just said, “Our desktop web interface isn’t that bad, but we did decide to focus all of our client efforts on mobile, TweetDeck, and consistency between.” I think that’s so telling that Jack Dorsey said, “Our desktop web interface isn’t that bad.”

Rene: He didn’t say it was great. He didn’t use any prideful language.

John GruberGruber: Right. I can’t say I know Jack well, but I know him from before he cofounded Twitter, and made it big with Square, the other payments company. I know that he cares about design. Look at the little Square interface readers. You look at the Square software when you do it, it’s all really beautiful.

He does appreciate good design. Twitter, in the early days, used to reflect that. It’s just baffling to me that it doesn’t. Anyway, Dan Frommer’s tweet, I think, is good.

Responding to me and Jack, Dan wrote, “Twitter on the web feels like a static product, like something you open, read and close. Twitter for Mac made it feel alive, a never-ending conversation, in a way even the best mobile clients don’t. Really too bad.” To me, I can’t say it any better than that.

Twitter for Mac: The reboot

Rene: It’s interesting, too, because they at one point threw out all of the Tweetie code, and they outsourced. They got a really well-known third-party development outfit to make a completely new app for them.

It was definitely a 1.0 when it came out, but it feels to me like that team would have kept working on that, even if Twitter said, “Here, you take it. Make it a third party app. Just keep it going.” They chose to completely abandon it.

John GruberGruber: All sorts of other decisions Twitter has made over the years come into this. There was a point, it still feels recent, but it’s probably longer ago than it was when they fully supported third party APIs. There came a point where they more or less said, “We don’t want people to make Twitter clients anymore.”

They started limiting the user tokens, like where every client, if you and I wanted to make our own Twitter client, we’d have to go through their developer process, like Twitter’s own app store. You’d get these tokens per user. They were limiting clients to 100,000 of them.

If you have 100,000 users, your app has broken through the noise, and it at least somewhat popular. Let’s just say you’re selling your app for $ 3 or $ 4, which is “a lot of money” on mobile. $ 300,000 or $ 400,000, and then you reach your user cap, that doesn’t sustain years of development.

Rene: No, especially people with multiple accounts, using many tokens for one purchase.

John GruberGruber: I think it’s all very secretive, and there are exceptions to it. I don’t think apps like Tweetbot and Twitterrific are still subject to 100,000 user limit, but it’s not open. They’d still, for years, they’ve added new features. They don’t add the corresponding features to the APIs.

Just the one that always is irritating to me is Twitter’s polls, which are a useful feature, have never been added to the API. Third party clients can’t use them. Twitterrific has a nifty workaround, where if you…I forget, there’s a hashtag they look for, and/or if you include the ballot box emoji in your tweet…

Hacking around the limitations

Craig: We put some code in there that detects certain markets. If it sees certain things, just put basically puts up a web view that’s got Twitter’s poll thing in it. You can at least see what the poll’s about, or vote in it, if you want.

Which is better than nothing, which is what we had before. Again, we will be the first to admit, it’s totally a hack, but it’s doing the best with what we’ve got. We wish we had more.

I know that, again, back to knowing people in engineering at Twitter, I know that there are some people who wanted to give us that ability. At a higher level in the organization, we’re not important to them.

Rene: You’re bending over backwards to make up for the lack of access. I think it’s especially incumbent on Twitter, if they’re going to stop supporting Twitter on Mac, to make the apps that do support Twitter on Mac as good as possible.

Paul: Yeah, it would be nice, but I don’t expect it to change. I’d love to have the entire set of the APIs that the Twitter apps use opened to everybody to use, because I think it’d be great for the platform, but I don’t think this will change that in any way.

John GruberGruber: I think that they were misguided. I think they’ve really thrown…This is my opinion, and I could be wrong. There’s no way to prove it. I really feel that their early years, everything was go, go, go, and a lot of people thought Twitter had a very bright future.

Who knows? Maybe they would be bigger than Facebook. Who knows? It was early days. You remember, there was a time where, what the one that Rupert Murdoch bought, and then it went away? It was a music-focused social network.

Rene: There were so many. There were Pownce, and there was Jaiku, that Google bought. The list went on and on.

Where Twitter went wrong

John GruberGruber: Social networks, it just seemed like they’d have two years of going up, and then they’d bust. Then Facebook truly blew up, and became one of the…I don’t, by revenue, other metrics, the time people spent, and the number of users around the world, without question, Facebook’s one of the top five tech companies in the world right now.

Twitter was different from Facebook in so many ways. That’s why I use Twitter and don’t use Facebook, because of those differences. Instead, I feel like the lesson that Twitter’s leadership took at the time was, how can we become more like Facebook?

They were like, “Well, Facebook doesn’t have third party clients. They make everybody go through their clients, and they benefit from that in certain ways. We should do the same thing.” I think that is true of Facebook, the way that Facebook creepily manages everything, tracks you, and stuff like that.

I don’t think it was true for Twitter. I don’t think Twitter lost anything by having people use their first party clients, as opposed to just the fact that they were on the service, period, is good enough. If you own the phone network, who cares who makes your telephone? It’s just the fact that they’re on your network.

Rene: The interesting thing to me is, I know somebody who was working at Twitter at the time. Facebook had the news feed, which ended up being this goldmine for them in terms of advertising revenue. They could just inject things into the news feed.

The obvious parallel for Twitter was the timeline. He looked at me one day, and he said, “Look, you’re no longer our normal customer. You’re no longer the customer that we want. What we want is somebody who follows thousands of people, is almost followed by nobody, has no idea what a DM is, and all they want to do is #AmericanIdol.”

That was the stark explanation of how Twitter, and that was under the Dick Costello era. That’s how they saw Twitter as a service.

John GruberGruber: Like I said, it’s not surprising. Perhaps if anything, it’s more surprising that they didn’t pull the plug on it earlier. It’s still sad, though, because I always held out hope that somewhere inside Twitter, they were secretly working on a good first party client.

What this means for the Mac

Rene: Do you see this as anything to do with the larger, because like I said, you mentioned earlier at Daring Fireball, what’s happening with Mac apps in general. Do you see this as part of any larger trend, or is this specific to the mentality that is Twitter?

John GruberGruber: I do think it’s part of a larger trend. I think it’s a problem for the Mac. I don’t know if it’s a problem for Apple in the long run, but I do think it’s a problem for the Mac. There’s always been a desire for cross-platform applications. It goes back, like you said, Adobe Air. You can go back to…

Rene: Java.

John GruberGruber: Yeah, Java. That was the whole point of Java, really. Write once, run anywhere, where you could have one app, and install it. Those previous such things, though, were always rejected ultimately in the market, because people just didn’t like the apps.

Even if they’re not UI critics or UI designers themselves, you don’t have to be an expert chef to know if something tastes good or not. Those apps just didn’t taste right. They felt weird, and they often ran slow. You could tell they used up too many resources.

Something has happened, I think, slowly but surely over the last 20 years. I do think it’s generational, where there are younger people who’ve grown up in the web era, and they’re fine with everything being, they don’t really care.


Rene: The Electron app.

John GruberGruber: Right. Slack’s current “native” app for Mac is a perfect example. I forget if they’re using Electron.

Rene: Usually, you can do command-R, and it’ll reload the whole app, like a web view. [laughs] You can tell.

John GruberGruber: Whatever it is, it’s giant web view. These things, just to open one window uses 200 or 300 megabytes of RAM.

Rene: Because they’re Chrome under the covers.

John GruberGruber: I don’t think everything that falls on the side of, “Well, it makes sense to have a native mobile app, on the desktop, our website is fine.” There are some services like that, but there are others that I feel like, “Boy, that should be a native app.”

Something that’s two-way, something where you’re not just consuming information, but communicating…Slack’s the other example that I think of that I use, where boy, I sure wish that they had a native Mac app.

I use it enough, where every single way that drag and drop works different and text input works different is a daily, nonstop annoyance to me.

Twitter for Mac alternatives

Rene: Last question, John. What do you use for Twitter on Mac?

John GruberGruber: I use Tweetbot, on both iOS and Mac. I love Twitterrific, and I happily supported their Kickstarter campaign to raise money to redo the Mac version in a modern way, really a true rewrite from the ground up.

The Kickstarter worked. Their development really was on schedule, which is always a really tough game on a Kickstarter software campaign. I couldn’t be happier that it’s worked, and that people who love it work.

It’s a terrific app, but it doesn’t fit my mental model of how Twitter works. That’s, to me, why you want multiple clients in anything. You want multiple good text editors, and you want Pixelmator and Acorn. You still want Photoshop from Adobe, because different apps appeal to different people in different ways.

Rene: Even in different contexts.

John GruberGruber: Yes, right.

Rene: On my iPhone, I use Tweetbot, because I just want to triage Twitter as fast as possible. I use Twitterrific on my iPad, because I want to sit down and read. I find it a more enjoyable reading experience.

One of the unified timeline. The second is the edit feature that you hacked together brilliantly, and the third is really the phenomenal accessibility support you’ve got in there.

John GruberGruber: That’s why A, you don’t just want the first party client, and B, that’s why you want multiple. You want a thriving market for multiple native clients. The fact that I don’t use Twitterrific isn’t a knock against Twitterrific.

The fact that both Twitterrific and Tweetbot can both be successful, and be so different at showing the same services, stuff, is to me, it’s a great example.

Rene: It’s proof positive that Twitter is infrastructure, and can support multiple, multiple manifestations.

Rene: John, thank you so much for joining me. People can find you at Daring Fireball, and the talk show. I think, actually, they’re probably still listening to this week’s episode, because it was like 19 [laughs] hours long.

John GruberGruber: Thanks for having me here, Rene.

Rene: Thank you so much, John. I appreciate it.

Paul: I don’t think it necessarily has any long term impact on Mac itself. I think it’s a lot of how people use Twitter. And the Mac user base has always been significantly smaller than iOS for us and for Twitter itself. Much more so for Twitter, so it kind of makes sense that they don’t want to spend those engineering resources working on a Mac app that most users will never use.

See Twitterrific on App Store

See Tweetbot on App store

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