I love finding great design and video content on my Tumblr feed, my Facebook friends never fail to entertain, and I follow a carefully curated set of creative folks on Twitter. What I hate is having to use separate apps for each network, with different interfaces and clunky workflows for sharing between them. That’s why I’m really glad I came across Scope.
Still in beta, Scope is a unified social networking app that brings together all your content and activity from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Foursquare in a simple, beautiful interface that’s really easy to use. Scope differentiates itself from other apps like Flipboard and Feedly in that it not only allows you to view content from your social networks but also interact with item just like you would on their native apps.
Scope has a lovely Holo-inspired UI that focuses on showcasing content from your social streams, with large photos, video thumbnails and previews of linked content. Well crafted icons let you know where the content is coming from while offering a consistent reading/viewing experience. You can choose to check out filtered streams of just photos, videos, check-ins, notifications and mentions, direct messages, or everything at once. You can also switch between streams easily by swiping left or right.
Whether you’re viewing your content all at once or in a filtered stream, you’ll find that Scope makes everything look good. The app does a great job of displaying photos as large as your screen will allow and minimizes the need to use dedicated apps for each social network. I love that it can pull videos, check-ins and even multiple photos from Facebook albums at once. And just as you can filter content by type, you can filter content by social network as well.
Interacting on Scope
Scope allows you to comment on, like and share content with ease, regardless of its source – and even allows you to chat with your Facebook friends. The UI also features an always-present button to quickly create a new status update, direct message, photo or check-in from wherever you are in the app, and allows for cross posting to various networks at once. Plus you can mute content as you would on Twitter and Facebook, and manage your muting activity if you change your mind later.
Ready to Launch?
Already, Scope seems like a really strong app – but I’d love to see a few additional features before it leaves the beta stage:
- A tablet-optimized version, with the same focus on content as in the smartphone version
- Support for multiple accounts and multiple Scope profiles
- A choice of customizable home screen widgets to quickly create updates and view content in tickers
- More informative notifications (currently only gives you an unread messages count)
- The ability to mark content as read from the notification pull-down
- A View/Read Later button for shared links to longform content, to catch up on when convenient
- Themes to change up the UI every once in a while
Scope tackles a basic problem really well and makes for a great social content consumption and interaction experience. This is one of those apps that reminds you why you bought a smartphone in the first place – to be able to carry your world in your pocket. Scope is not just a good idea – it’s built very well and you’ll notice a lot of attention paid to detail (like the swift screen transitions). This is an app I’d be happy to pay for, and it’ll be very interesting to see how the app shapes up before it launches.
You’ll need to request an invite to use the app, but I got mine almost immediately after submitting my email address. In case yours takes longer, feel free to ping me on Twitter for an invite and I’ll hook you up.