When Socialscope (SS) launched there were only a handful of Blackberry Twitter applications on the market, and the pickings were slim. One year later ————> SS is (still) in beta, only a small percentage of early adopters have had a chance to use it, and there’s a slew of applications (both paid and free) to choose from. I’ve been beta-testing playing with SS from ‘Day One’ and I’ve got to say it is hands down the best damn twitter application, period! Yes, I’ve tried them all, Twitterberry, Tinytwitter, Blackbird, Ubertwitter, Seesmic, TweetGenius and RIM’s Twitter for Blackberry. Most of these applications do the same things (with some offering various tweaks to UI and functionality) so I’ll focus on SS’s key differences. *Note* the functions discussed are from Socialscope v0.9.5.92-1(1)
Multiple twitter accounts: Many of us have multiple twitter accounts, and whether it’s for business or a 2nd identity, having access to both accounts is crucial. SS is the only blackberry application that gives you access to two accounts at the same time. (Seesmic added multiple account support in their most recent update,but it’s not nearly as seamless). SS offers a tabbed interface, the first tab streams the updates from all the accounts you’ve enabled, with separate tabs for each of the twitter accounts. When replying to a tweet you’re given the option to reply from either account.
Social Integration: There’s a lot of Twitter apps running around, but there’s only one that gives you access to your Foursquare, Facebook and Flickr accounts. NO OTHER TWITTER APP DOES THIS, and thus SS is the King of Integration.
Foursquare: all of the basic 4sq functions are here, search for venues, check-in, if the venue doesn’t exist you can create and check-in, post a ‘shout-out’, and you also have the option to post check-ins to twitter. Clicking on a friends check-in allows you to view the venue details, check-in at the same venue, view map, nearby tweets or view the friends profile.
Facebook: The onliest reason I signed up for Facebook was because SS added it to their menu. Granted, this app isn’t going to give you all the functionality of the official FB app, but it updates your stream you can comment on posts, “like” posts or comments and has a full-screen viewer for pictures. SS’s Facebook option also allows you to post to twitter and FB at the same time, just by selecting both accounts in the “update status” message, GTD!
Flickr: My flickr account has been dusty for a while, but I follow some great photographers (both professional and amateurs) and having their pictures pop up in my time-line on a regular basis is swaayd! Pictures show up full-screen and you’re able to comment on them from the app. No option to post from the app (which can easily be done at http://m.flickr.com) but the ability to see that activity on a real-time basis is enough for me, for now at least.
My profile: Another little gem SS provides is the ability to update your profile. If you’re like me, you hardly ever use the web version of twitter, and the only reason you do is to update your profile or change your avatar, well now I can do all of that from SS: change picture, name, description, web address and location.
Tabs: SS also gives you the ability to add your own tabs for things you want to keep track of. You can add your Twitter Lists (that you’ve created online) or create a “Socialscope Group (list based on entries you create in-app) or enter a search term and follow updates containing that term from it’s own special tab (uber useful for staying on top of hot stories and curating information).
Link to Blackberry Contact: SS also has an option for you to link your friends/followers to a blackberry contact, which is useful for a couple of reasons. 1) it keeps your contact information up-to-date and 2) if you’re scrolling through your contact and wonder “hey, what’s @mosaeus up to?” Find my name in your contacts, click “menu” and “view updates” and SS will launch and show you a list of that my most recent updates. Nice!
The battle for #1 Blackberry Twitter application is still up for grabs, and I don’t expect to see any clear winner for quite some time, especially with the recent release of RIM’s (official) Twitter for Blackberry and both UberTwitter and Seesmic‘s latest updates. But at the moment I must say that Socialscope is in the lead by offering more options and integration than any of the other apps. Development feels as if it’s slowed a bit lately as updates aren’t being pushed out as quickly as they once were, but I’m rooting for these guys. They’re also working on an Android and iPhone port of this application, which is certain to fuel the furor and increase their user base. And to all of you guys wondering “why are they still in beta a year after the initial launch?”, just remember, GMail carried that tag for years (seven to be exact), so give ’em a break, lol!