An updated version of Cawbird, the GTK Twitter client for Linux desktops, is available to install.

Cawbird 1.2.0 features a modest assortment of improvements, including several aimed at improving overall accessibility. The client is not only able to show alt descriptions on images attached to tweets (via a tooltip) but it now lets you add your own alt images when uploading media.

Fans of narrow screens will be pleased to know that the app can be scaled down even narrower and still look okay/present tweets cleanly. This will be handy if, say, you’re using it on one of those new fangled Linux phones out there!

Cawbird 1.2.0 narrower design
Narrow *and* usable

Overall memory and bandwidth usage has been reduced in this version thanks to some careful loading of image thumbnails and only loading images on demand. This change will be keenly felt by those who browse image-heavy Twitter streams and tend to keep the app open for long periods of time.

Other changes include clearer replying (so you know when the tweet you’re replying to is part of a thread); reworked @mention autocomplete so that it plays nice with multilingual names; and the “delete account” option has been relabelled to the far less drastic sounding (and more accurate) “remove account”.

Keen to sample Cawbird? It’s free, open source software compatible with most modern Linux distributions out there. Code is up on Github.

You can install Cawbird on Ubuntu (and other Linux distros) using the OBS builds available online, but you may find it faster to snag the installer for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and install it by hand:

Download Cawbird 1.2.0 (64-bit .deb)

Cawbird is also available on Flathub:

Cawbird on Flathub

But by far the easiest way to install Cawbird on Ubuntu is to use the Snap app. While this isn’t an “official” Snap maintained by Cawbird’s actual developers it regularly updated to keep pace with official releases:

Cawbird on the Snap Store

Cawbird made our list of the best Ubuntu apps and, with these changes, I see no reason why it shouldn’t stay there.

Desktop Twitter clients are a rare thing these days (thanks, Twitter) but with the promise of long-requested feature access in its new v2 API the space could start to get exciting again. I’m looking forward to seeing what Cawbird’s devs do with new features like polls, pinned tweets, and the return of real-time tweets streaming.

I just wish they’d do something about the elongated app icon though… 😆

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