Friends Plus In Review – An *Almost* All In One Social Network App

With social networking now so heavily integrated into our lives, trying to keep up with all your accounts can be quite the daunting task. And with so many different apps out there for the various services, one can grow quite tiresome of exiting one and entering the other repeatedly throughout the day. Enter the folks from Taptivate with their social tool Friends Plus. Positioned as a one stop shop, Taptivate hopes to help simplify and streamline your social network experience.

When you first open Friends Plus, you are prompted to add your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn). Tapping the “Sign In” button will get that started for you. Afterwards, if you have to add other accounts, simply tap the gear icon located in the top right and you’ll see all available networks listed. Then on all subsequent app launches, you are presented with options to visit your contacts, view posts, as well as a short list of recent posts that involve you (think twitter @mentions, Facebook comments, etc).

One of the aspects of Friends that stands out is the User Interface. It’s slick and well designed. And navigating around the app is a breeze. So you’re just in the mood to look at photos. By going into the “Posts” section, you’ll have the option of doing just that (videos as well). You’ll also be able to view by a particular service or everything mixed in at once. Some other great navigation features include linking directly to albums in Facebook, viewing post comments inline and opening links up within the apps internal browser.

Another great feature that I use a fair bit is the inclusion of Instapaper and Read It Later. For those unaware, these are services that allow you to save things like websites, articles and more for viewing later. So being able to pull articles from my feeds is a big plus for me. That said, it would have been nice to be able to access/read those clippings within the app, however the fact that I can at least use it to save things for later is useful.

Now one of the biggest features missing from the app is the integration of push notifications. Personally, completely replacing all my other social apps with this push is a necessity. Although I was a little disappointed that it isn’t present at this time, Taptivate has said that it will be compatible with Boxcar with it’s next update (v1.6). Another feature currently absent but coming in the next update is, search. Within the app you’ll be able to search all your social networks and timelines right from within the app. Useful if you’re looking for certain topics.

The last feature I want to touch on is the integration with your contacts. Once you’ve added your networks, the app will link up any names that match entries in your contact list. So what you end up with is a contact card with all their regular info, along with tabs to view their latest activity and network related stats.

Overall, Friends Plus really is a handy way to merge a handful of all your social apps into one neatly designed package. Taking into account the upcoming features in v1.6, this is certainly a great tool for all of us who have let the world of social networking embed itself so deeply into our lives.

App Summary
Title: Friends Plus ~ Facebook, Twitter, MySpace & LinkedIn!Developer:Taptivate
Reviewed Ver:1.5Min OS Req:4.0
Price:$0.99App Size:6.9Mb
  • Combines many social networks into one app
  • Interface clean and easy to follow
  • Can view items/posts however you want (combined or grouped by service/type)
  • Upcoming push notifications won’t be native (requiring 3rd party app boxcar)
  • No reading/viewing access to Instapaper/ReadItLater items

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