Those of us who own a smartphone or a tablet probably also have a Facebook, Twitter, and possibly an Instagram account which we check fairly regularly. With several different apps to check for updates it’d be nice if we could see who’s saying what at a glance. HTC have tried to do that on the HTC one with their BlinkFeed and Facebook Home tried to do that with an entire launcher dedicated to the social network. But what if you don’t own a HTC One or one of the few phones compatible with Facebook Home? Well let me recommend SO.HO.
SO.HO is a brand new “Social Launcher” for Android that displays all of your social feeds right on your handsets home screen. It has a fairly simple design that isn’t too intrusive and the way it displays your feeds is actually much better looking than the native apps themselves. It currently brings your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds in one place so you don’t have to navigate through several different apps in order to find the updates you want to see.
The UI is fairly simple, it gives your phone a user friendly “Vanilla Android” overlay as well as the default five home screen pages you’d also find on a Nexus device. On my Nexus 4 it didn’t really make any difference appearance-wise which in some ways is pretty nice and familiar. On a Samsung phone which runs TouchWiz there will be some considerable differences if you’re not used to ‘Vanilla Android’. It is easy to get used to though.
In the center home screen page you’ll find the main part of SO.HO; your social feeds. From here you can sign into Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and have all of your feeds available in an instant, it really is a nice looking interface. The remaining four screens you’re free to do with however you’d like. You can easily drag all of your apps and widgets onto it to make it more personal to you – it’s that simple, and not overly special, but the main focus is your feeds.
The launcher doesn’t just limit itself to displaying your Facebook or Twitter updates, you can actually update your status directly from the launcher which saves a bunch of time locating and opening an app. For Instagram you can tap “Go to” to go directly to the app from there.
SO.HO is actually really, really nice, it’s a simple concept that does exactly what it’s meant to. It’s not full of unnecessary bells and whistles, nor is it too obtrusive, you choose exactly when to see it whenever you want to see it. I do however have a few suggestions to make this app much, much better – for me anyway. The main social feed page is un-moveable, it remains in the center home screen and you have to work all of your apps around it. You do have the option to choose the default homescreen so if you’d like a different page to be the center of attention then you can, but as a perfectionist I prefer to have the center page as the default screen. If I could move the feeds far to the left, similar to HTC One’s BlinkFeed then I’d be over the moon. I’d also love for some more feed options to be added to it such as a News Feed where you can add your favourite RSS feeds so you can keep on top of news. The social feed part of SO.HO would also work perfectly as a widget for those that want to keep Samsung’s TouchWiz or HTC’s Sense launchers, but want to make use of SO.HO’s feed feature.
Overall the concept is great. It looks fantastic, and works without a hitch. If you’re looking for a launcher that integrates your social feeds without being too “in your face” then I’d definitely recommend SO.HO.
To get a hold of SO.HO for yourself download it from the Google Play Store here.