«

»

Socially: Social Networking made easy

The past few years have seen a marked rise in the importance of Social Networking Services (SNS) like Twitter and Facebook. From merely being an interesting past time activity like Friendster and Myspace was a few years back, SNSes have grown to be an essential Web feature to many.

Following this trend, SNS integration seems to be the current “in” thing amongst gadget manufacturers, most of which provide some sort of easy access to SNS services. Some, like Palm’s Synergy, have shown great promise indeed. Others however, seem content in tacking some sort of widget or homescreen app that displays an SNS feed – most of which either eat up valuable desktop/homescreen space; or are horrible battery hogs that require an almost constant Internet connection.

But what happens if you want SNS integration for an older smartphone that does not do it natively? Or if you want to use something that is not as obstrusive as a widget or something more cellular data and battery friendly?

Socially might just be your ticket. Why? For one, I’ve never really been so excited about an app since Gravity was released! Read more after the jump. 

Socially is a FREE app from Antarix that aims to provide an efficient way of keeping yourself alerted to SNS updates on both the Symbian and Android platforms. The app does this by downloading SNS updates from the specified sites, and showing it as an additional notification when you receive a call from a number you have tied to an SNS account. When you receive an call from an contact with no tied SNS account, the location the call is coming from is displayed – with an option to completely block the call if it’s an unsaved number.

For a platform that does not do this natively like Symbian S60v3 on my workhorse E71, this sounds like an attractive proposition indeed.

Wait, isn’t there already apps that do this? On Symbian alone there’s already Yellix/Adaffix, which works in about the same way. I can’t say how things are for Android, as I have no personal bots.

The main advantage of Socially compared to Yellix/Adaffix is the fact that Socially does not pull SNS updates in real time using 3G/2G when a call comes in like Yellix/Adaffix, relying instead on a local cache that pulls data at specified time periods. What this means is that you do not need a constant internet connection for Socially to work – you can even set it to only pull data from WIFI when you’re at home.

Scr000003.jpg

Also, Socially gives you the ability to connect to four of the main SNS players: Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and LinkedIn. What this means is you can have a centralized SNS feed to tell you what a friend has posted over his or her SNS accounts, all contained in a stealthy pop up that only comes up when that particular friend calls you.

The app can also be configured to push SNS update pop-ups directly onto your desktop/homescreen whenever it’s set to update its local cache. This serves as a pseudo-push SNS notification, and while this might sound like an annoyance to some, the fact that the update time period is user-selectable (and it even can be turned off) means that it’s only there when (and if) you want it.

And for someone like me who’s just too lazy to even jump into Gravity to check his Facebook and Twitter, the pop-ups keep me up-to-date with happenings in the SNS world.

Socially also suspends updates intelligently in between 10pm and 8am, which means that there won’t be any annoying pop-ups to wake you up in the middle of the night. As a plus, this also saves battery life.

The Socially main app in itself is a robust (if not laggy – more on that below) SNS client in itself, and you can use it to easily browse your Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and LinkedIn accounts.

Scr000006.jpg

But that’s not the last card up Socially’s sleeves, as it also enables your friend’s birthdays to be synced your device calendar. Contact pictures of your Facebook connected friends can also be pulled from their profile pictures, which is a very nice bonus feature. Not to mention there’s also that nifty call filter/blocking option.

And to top it all off, it does all this with a very low memory footprint – the Socially update daemon (the only thing that really needs to be running at all times) only takes about 1-2MBs of RAM at most.

So, for the listed features done right, there must be SOMETHING – if not only a little bit – wrong with Socially, right? Well, for one thing, the main Socially application is quite laggy on my E71 (I wonder how much better it does with the 600mhz processor – and limited RAM – of the E72), though credit must be given that it’s at least smoother then ANY of the Nokia provided Facebook apps (although I’m still sticking to Gravity for most of my Facebooking, even though the formatting on the Socially App is FAR superior then even Gravity).

Next, the Facebook contact photo and birthday calendar sync have to be done manually IINM, which can be a hassle sometimes. It would be better if an automatic update option was given for these items. Lastly, the SNS update pop-ups is preset to only cover 15 of the latest updates from ALL accounts at one time. It would be better if the number of updates shown and the mix of how much from which account can be user-set. Support for skins or any theming options would be nice to, but now I’m just nitpicking.

It has to be kept in mind though, that Socially is an actively developed app from it’s launch up to today (now at V2.05), having seen 2 updates this month alone . Hopefully all the bugs are ironed out and even more exciting features get added in.

Socially is available now from the Ovi store, the Android market and the Socially website HERE (or directly from your device HERE). It’s absolutely free, so what have you got to lose?

Posted by Wordmobi

2 comments

  1. Ps

    Hey, I like the fonts on your phone. How did you get those?

    1. Eiraku

      Well, I used FontRouter and a Japanese font (Elmer P) which I edited to include all the necessary symbols for use in Symbian phones. I might do a Fontrouter tutorial soon too, if haven’t switched to the Motorola Droid Pro/Milestone Pro or the Nokia N9 by then.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>