It's been a long, strange trip, but qStatus has finally come to Windows users. For those unaware, the status updating application for Facebook and Twitter began as a paid app for users with jailbroken iPhones. It later appeared on the App Store, albeit with fewer features than its jailbroken sibling (most notably a lack of being able to run in the background).
At $2.95, the new Windows app is a smidgen pricier than the iPhone version, but is packing some extra features. The nicest one being a keyboard shortcut (the Windows key + s) which brings up the app in widget form no matter what other app you're using. Here you can update your status, then dismiss it just as quickly.
As with other desktop Twitter apps, qStatus supports drag-and-drop file sharing; in our testing this worked great with photos and videos. The app lets you pick which hosting service you prefer, although it offers noticeably fewer options than rivals. You can, for instance, only choose between TwitPic and YFrog for photos, and TwitVid and YFrog for videos.
Just like the iPhone version, qStatus handles multiple accounts without a whole lot of effort on the user's part. It also adds in support for groups, which lets you select more than one account between Facebook and Twitter to update at the same time. This would be useful if you wanted to send the same message out to say three or four different Twitter accounts. Otherwise, it seems like a feature that's been built for the inevitable support for other services.
One of my favorite features is actually the status update shortener. This takes tweets that are too long and crunches them down, taking out letters where needed, and converting written numbers into digits. Normally you have to do this with a service like TweetShrink or 140it, so it's nice to simply have this built into the app instead.
Along with the paid version, which is currently on sale (as opposed to the normal price of $4.95), users can download a free version with all the features. This trial version is limited to 40 status updates before you have to upgrade. There is, however, an inventive option to include a "#qstatus" hashtag in 15 of your outgoing status updates, which provides for a year's worth of full use.
If there's anything to be said about this software, it's that it's useful--but not nearly as useful as services like TweetDeck (download), Seesmic Desktop (download), and Skimmer (download), which let you keep an eye on what your Twitter pals are up to in an organized stream. And all of those pieces of software are free of charge and cross-platform to boot. Still, if you're in the market for a very fast and lean Twitter and Facebook updater, this one's off to a promising start.
The company's demo video can be found after the break.