Socially is completely free and under active development, Facebook support is provided in the latest version (3.01 beta) although you’ll have to stick to the stable build if you want to use Foursquare.
There is (planned, depending on your handset) support for the “big 4” social networks built into Socially – Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and the location-aware Foursquare. The limited choice suited my needs quite nicely, especially since there’s a lack of decent Foursquare applications for Symbian phones.
Adding a network is done via the usual methods. On first load Socially will display a list of available networks, and then ask you to authenticate the application to allow access to your chosen service.
Once you’ve validated your login, your feeds will be delivered straight to your phone and you can post updates, send messages, add location to Twitter and Foursquare and so on.
The interface is clean, attractive and works well on a touchscreen thanks to the well-sized tab headings and buttons. The application’s idle screen serves as an overview of recent updates from your connected services and is also the screen used to compose a new update.
Luckily you can choose to post an update to multiple networks at once, although if you’re like me and never update Linked In you’ll have to uncheck it each time (which is slightly annoying). There’s also no autocomplete for Twitter or Facebook usernames, though I’m not aware of any Symbian app that includes this (probably due to the botched S60 text input).
Socially is able to integrate and sync certain features with your handset itself. Basic push notifications are available and customizable (so you can ignore Facebook and just listen in on Twitter if you like) and appear on your phone’s idle screen.
I really liked this, as I have noticed a distinct lack of social apps with built-in support for notifications on the Symbian platform. I’m assuming many Android users won’t bat an eyelid as much of this is standard for their handsets and operating system.
There is also the option to query social information for any incoming calls, which means you’ll see the caller’s latest tweet or status update (not that it matters all that much).
Socially also has the ability to sync Facebook photos with your contacts list and the slightly more useful option of adding Facebook friends’ birthdays to your phone’s in-built calendar. You’ll also notice Socially popping up in various parts of your phone, including contacts.
Socially scans networking sites and links any of your contacts to their respective social profiles. There is also the ability to view your normal phone contacts via the app itself, and both of these options are a nice touch.
Conclusion or How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love The Beta
As I mentioned previously there are currently two versions of Socially – the stable and the beta. You can find download instructions on the website here. Whilst being largely stable (I haven’t experienced any crashes yet) the Beta does sacrifice Foursquare support for the time being.
That said I was told I needed to update from stable to beta to use Facebook. My phone is a Symbian S60v5 touch Sony Ericsson Satio, so if you’ve got the same handset bear this in mind. There’s a list of officially supported handsets here.
Socially is a promising little social networking tool that is on the cusp of excellence. It’s not cluttered with social networks I don’t (and won’t ever) use, the interface is an absolute joy to use, and everything’s beautifully presented to boot.
If you’re not afraid of software that still needs work, are searching for a good social app (probably for Symbian) and like social network integration then Socially is certainly worth keeping a very close eye on.