Reading colossal CNN blunders in real-time on your Mac is about to get a lot more fun. Tapbots on Wednesday unleashed a public alpha of Tweetbot, an OS X version of its hugely popular iOS apps for iPad ( Macworld rated 5 out of 5 mice ) and iPhone ( Macworld rated 5 out of 5 mice ).

The public alpha is a first for Tapbots. Lead developer Paul Haddad told Macworldvia Direct Message on Twitter, of courseWe felt that a lot of people would appreciate Tweetbot for Mac, even if it wasnt fully finished. [A public beta] is not something that we can do on iOS, so we figured itd be a fun experiment to try out.

Tweetbot for Mac looks an awful lot like its iOS brethren. Like the official Twitter app, Tweetbot feels more than a bit like a transplanted iOS app running on your Mac, and you can navigate the app by click or multitouch gesture. And it works greatmostly. But, as the company stresses, Mondays release is an alpha.

Some features are missing, like iCloud support and Notification Center integration, which cant be implemented until the app is sold through the Mac App Store. And some behaviors are a bit buggy; you may need to restart the app on occasion, and there are occasional visual issues since the team hasnt yet focused on refining the apps look. You can report bugs via the Send Feedback option of the Help menu in the app.

Despite its alpha state, Tweetbot for Mac still offers a robust Twitter experienceIve been using it as my sole Mac Twitter client for more than a week with minimal issues.

Tapbots stresses that while the public alpha and any subsequent alpha or beta updates will be free, the final app will not bethough no price has yet been set for the official version. Theres no firm release date yet either; the company says Tweetbot will be officially released just as soon as its ready. The alpha versions of the app will automatically inform testers of updates, and older alphas will eventually expire and stop working.

Tweetbot for Mac requires Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, but the final shipping version will likely only support Mountain Lion, the company says.