Even though a lot of people have purchased their Sidekick LX 2009’s, there are still quite a few people waiting to see if it is worth upgrading. One of the main thing that the device boasts is having powerful “Social-Networking” applications, such as Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter. We’ve gone ahead and went into the depths of these three, free applications, to bring you the pros and cons of them. We’ll give you all that you need to know, including functionality, issues we’ve encountered, and much more. Remember, we love the applications, but we are providing the most neutral review possible. Let’s dive into it.
The Myspace application is basically a port of their version from the older OS. We see much of the same functionality, and the 3G service just makes it run a bit smoother and faster for us. Since a lot of this application is the same as the old version, we won’t be commenting much on it, just giving features.
You have the ability to view all aspects of your profile, including photos, blogs, comments, and your main profile. The profile editor is very nice, as you can place html code in the sections you wish; you may not be able to view these changes in the application, but you can still edit it all. Definitely a very desktop-like editor for your profile. Not only can you upload your photos straight from the album, but you can also upload videos to your profile. In addition, you can set alerts to just about anything that you would need to be notified about in the application. Most of these won’t need to be set, but still nice to have.
Some of the things we wish that existed are the ability to view profile videos and listen to profile music. We understand that this would require a complete update on Myspace’s side, but using RTSP streams, they could have tried to make this possible. Otherwise, the application is pretty complete. There is yet to be a fully powerful mobile Myspace application on any device, but this application is pretty great for an avid user. Overall, it’s pretty stable, and the application auto-reconnects if there is ever an abrupt log out.
The Facebook application is a very nice and intuitive app that gives us the best of Facebook. The application pretty much takes the standard mobile edition of Facebook, and turns it into an updating app.
The splash screen is very nice, showing you not only that you have an alert, but actually gives you a newsfeed preview of the latest friend status and Facebook activity. We also like that you can refresh the home, which will give you the latest activity. The image icons and previews come up pretty fast, even just on EDGE.
Viewing a friends profile, you can easily comment, poke, or even message them. Composing a message is much like the email application, but it’s still within the app. You can also comment on statuses, and upload photos directly from your photo album. You can update your status with no problem, and view all messages, friend statuses, and search Facebook; all of these options reside in their own tab.
The ability to “Like” a status does not exist in the application, which is somewhat of a downer, considering we sometimes don’t always like to comment on a status. It also would have been nice to see the ability to upload videos to your profile, or watch videos from other friends profiles. We would have like to have seen a version of Facebook chat as well; we’ve seen it on other devices, and it would have been a great addition to the app if you could use this feature.
Aside from a few flaws, it a pretty great application, and saves you from having to keep using the browser. An app built in keeps everything Facebook related very organized; Facebook users will spend a lot of time in this app.
Finally, you can have a Twitter application on your Sidekick, that interacts with the site just the way you want it to; the mobile website doesn’t always have the ability to perform certain tasks, but this application definitely performs.
The splash screen gives you a preview of one or two tweets, and tells you when it was posted. Inside of the app, you can see A LOT of tweets that have been posted by people that you follow. In addition, you can easily update your status, with a text field that has a ticker counting down your 140 characters. Scrolling over a person’s tweet, you can send then an “@ reply”, send them a direct message, see their timeline, and view their profile. You can also choose to stop following that person, or mark the tweet as a favorite. You can delete a tweet you made, follow new people, and update your location.
The problem with this app is that you are forced to choose between intervals of automatic updating, which tend to be either too fast and burn battery, or too slow and not update enough. We wish there was a manual update action, that could force an update. Also, we wanted to see the tweets to be updated after you send a tweet, showing your message and updating the timeline. Another feature that we find missing is Twitpic, or photo posting functionality in general. This is one of the very popular trends when adding something to view in a tweet. Sure, you can go ahead and post it to Photobucket and drag the link in, but direct Twitpic functionality would be ideal. Also, updating your location is more of a manual process; it would have been nice to see it fetch your current location upon request.
Hopefully these reviews give you a great idea of what to expect with these social applications. Here are some additional screenshots of all of the apps in action.