anatine twitter app on linux

Anatine running on the Ubuntu desktop

Anatine describes itself as a “pristine Twitter app for OS X, Linux, and Windows.”

But it could just as equally be billed as “the easiest way to use the mobile Twitter website on your desktop”.

Despite looking every inch the desktop app Anatine is — don’t groan — an Electron-based wrapper around the mobile Twitter website.

But it has some super-nifty features of its own.

Anatine — Twitter Web, But Better

Ubuntu Touch users will be intimately familiar with the mobile Twitter interface as it’s used by the Twitter app preinstalled on Ubuntu devices.

A clean, streamlined version of the full-bodied Twitter website, mobile.twitter.com offers most features you’d expect, including the ability to share updates and photos, retweet and reply, and manage your account.

Simple and straightforward; a functional rather than flashy experience.

Anatine takes the mobile Twitter website and enhances it. It tweaks the UI to look a little less padded and spaced out, hides promoted tweets, and introduces a right-click menu for quick copy, pasting and saving of photos embedded in tweets.

When you close the Anatine window the app will continue running in the background. You can refocus the app at any time by using the tray icon that gets added to the ‘system tray’ area.

The app also features an optional dark mode. I’d have taken my own screenshot of it but, at the time of writing, a Twitter update has fubar’d it. You can see what it should look like in this image:

anatine dark mode

Anatine Features:

  • Improves Twitter Mobile site
  • Hides promoted tweets
  • Adds context menu for copy/paste/save image
  • Simpler login screen
  • Optional dark mode

The app is kitted out with a huge number of keyboard shortcuts. For a full list of Anatine’s keyboard shortcuts refer to its GitHub page. A quick primer:

  • New tweet: n
  • Go to Home: g h
  • Go to Notifications: g n
  • Go to Search: /
  • Next tab: Ctrl + Tab
  • Previous tab: Ctrl + Shift + Tab
  • Go to next tweet: j
  • Go to previous tweet: k

Missing Features

The Linux build of Anatine is missing some key functionality that would really help improves the “appified” experience.

For example, you’ll get no desktop notifications on mentions, messages or new tweets, which means you have to keep checking back periodically. And while there’s a status icon in the status tray it currently only houses an entry to refocus or quit the app.

Download Anatine For Linux (Or OS X, Windows)

Anatine is a free, open-source app. Downloads for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux can be found on the project’s GitHub page.

The Linux build is distributed as a precompiled binary. Simply extract the downloaded archive and double-click on the ‘Anatine’ file inside.

Download Latest Release of Anatine

A Word on Electron

electron logo

The open-source Electron platform has really helped to super charge a new breed of desktop apps built using web technologies.

But you don’t need to say it: I know. This feels like the 100th Electron-based app I’ve written about in the past few weeks.

For what it’s worth, I’m not actively trying to highlight apps written with this framework. It’s simply that, right now, it’s in vogue with developers.

And while Electron isn’t everyone’s cup of tea it is proving super useful in letting developers retool and integrate popular web services (including WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, and Skype) into regular desktop environments. In spirit Electron is an extension of Ubuntu’s Unity Web Apps feature.

If you want to see other Electron-based apps for Linux click the orange label at the bottom of this post.

If this web-based wonder doesn’t tickle tweetin’ tastes I heartily recommend that you check out the GTK Twitter app Corebird.