For a while now, we’ve been tracking a number of companies who are hard at work trying to build the ultimate social networking desktop app. We’ve talked about TweetDeck, Twhirl / Seesmic Desktop, AlertThingy, and there are many more especially if you also include the ones that focus only on Twitter (Tweetie, Nambu, Twitterific, etc.).
Another horse in this race that barely gets a mention is Sobees, probably in big part because of the fact it’s only available for Windows users (with the latest .NET framework, moreover), although it doesn’t really deserve to be below the radar this much at all.
We covered the company’s social network aggregator when it entered public beta, and wrote that they were aiming to attract a mainstream audience for their software, which enables users to manage a fairly wide variety of web apps and social networking services from their desktops. It’s a nifty companion that plugs into Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr, YouTube and many more web services, but I’ve always felt it was far too overloaded with features for me to use it on a daily basis.
So I was interested when the company set out to build a stand-alone client for Twitter, Facebook and Twitter Search. And just as they were working on that, Facebook launched its Open Stream API so they made thankful use of it quite rapidly and converted the API to .NET and integrated the stream into the new client. The software is now in alpha and publicly available under the name bDule, and it’s definitely worth checking out even if you only use one of the two services it supports.
Soon, we’ll do a feature-by-feature comparison for all the existing social desktop applications, but for now let me just say Sobees is very much worthy of being included whenever someone talks about Facebook / Twitter clients. As mostly all of the apps mentioned on top bDule is a bit of a memory drain, and at times renders a bit slow, but the UI is really well thought-out (love the different templates you can switch to in just one mouse-click) and it does what it’s supposed to do really well.
Too bad it’s Windows / .NET only, because I’m sure there’s an audience out there that’s looking for just this type of app.