Review of SocialScope for BlackBerry Smartphones
With a tagline like "a mobile inbox for your social networks", and stats reporting that users find it "more important than the Inbox, Brick Breaker, and the Browser", it's no wonder that from those who have been graciously allowed into the over-extended private beta, I've heard mostly love stories for SocialScope.
I'll admit that the multitude of not-yet-privy-to-the-beta users often look at me like I'm crazy, and maybe they're right. I mean, there is nearly zero support for this app. You can attempt to send SocialScope a suggestion email and debug file from the Settings menu, but that typically generates an auto-response saying, "Thanks for taking the time to send feedback, we really appreciate it ... but don't expect to hear back from us." Try to engage them via Twitter, and it's most likely to lead to nowhere. There is a Tumblr blog ... but you won't find consistent post, only a developer's response to all the backlash.
Despite the negativity, I still tell anyone who asks that this is simply one of the best BlackBerry apps I've ever used, mainly because of the social media integration. It is a large part of what fuels why the device rarely leaves my hand. (I don't plan to turn this into "My top apps for accessing Twitter from your BlackBerry", I will say that my consistent second and third choices are UberTwitter and the official RIM Twitter App.)
Two Reasons I Love SocialScope
Certainly there are a boatload of snappy features within SocialScope, like the ability to edit your Twitter bio, post to your Facebook pages, comment on Flickr photos, and even save Searches or Lists. But for all intents and purposes, I will focus this review on sharing the built-in keyboard shortcuts and an extraordinary, often overlooked, Foursquare feature. Let's get started...
Keyboard Shortcuts FTW
Here is a quick rundown and explanation of the built-in SocialScope keyboard shortcuts.
U - update (compose a new entry)
C - compose (same as pressing U)
R - reply (only works with tweets)
D - direct message (only works with tweets)
F - forward (allows you to retweet, quote, or email a tweet; you can also quote or email a Facbook update)
V - mark a tweet as "favorite"
T - go to top
B - go to bottom
N - move up one tweet
P - move down one tweet
Space - page down
A - add to (create a SocialScope group or add to a particular Twitter list)
S - search Twitter for keyword(s). You can also save searches as a new tab.
G - profile search (when found it open directly to their Twitter profile)
Delete - delete tweet
Don't forget to turn on the "Left/Right Scroll to Change Tabs" option within Settings. Makes it much easier to scroll left to right across the tabs without having to be at the top.
Unique, Buried Component of Foursquare IntegrationIf a user has shared their contact information, you automatically have the ability to either Text, Call, Tweet, Email, and even see their Facebook profile information (if they've shared it). The real added value here is the instant ability to flesh out your Address Book with a multitude of methods to contact someone. You may consider this and use it as your "rolodex in a pinch". Check the short video clip below to see how easy it is to use.
Future Features Request & Expectations
Surely by now you have the impression that I truly enjoy using SocialScope, but alas there are a few features I consider missing.
Flickr Favorites: Sure we can comment on photos, but it would be nice to be able to mark a few as Favorites. And how about uploading and posting photos from our device? Scheduled Posts: Save all the drafts you want, but for an app often tooted as the mobile Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, there is no ability to schedule a post... yet. Filters: to block out tweets containing particular words and/or from certain users. LinkedIn Access: Come on developers, bring us the business social web, we deserve it. RSS feeds and the ability to forward them a blog post directly from within the app.
If you still doubt how cool this app is and will eventually be, check out the "More important than the Inbox, Brick Breaker, and the Browser" video from the developers here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/2594857.
And I realize that personal preference typically decides which app, device, and BlackBerry site you prefer, but for me, for now, I'll gladly stick with SocialScope and Crackberry.com.
** This review was written as part of the CrackBerry Idol 2010 competition. Click for details. **