**As published at digiday:DAILY** Publisher: SocialScope, Inc Price: Free Platform: BlackBerry OS, iPhone and limited Android devices Advertising: None
Functionality: A+ Fun Factor: A Overall: A+ Just when I think I’ve found my all-time favorite client for Twitter on my BlackBerry, an alternative jumps into my radar and I begin the evaluation process anew once more. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I requested an invite to check out the beta for SocialScope, but I finally got a code via e-mail last week and was downloading the app on my BlackBerry minutes later. The company has seemingly made an early commitment to developing for the BlackBerry, as it lists a number of compatible RIM devices on its site; there’s also support for the Android-based G1 and the iPhone.
I downloaded SocialScope Lite via invite six days ago and I’ve been using it as my main conduit to Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Flickr ever since. That says a lot. Rarely does a third-party app do a much better job than the officially sanctioned publishers’ apps, but SocialScope Lite does exactly that. My experience with Facebook’s app for BlackBerry became so dreadful that I completely stopped using it entirely a long time ago. Foursquare’s app for BlackBerry is great (and the rate of refinement via updates is remarkable), but SocialScope seems to be even more accurate with my location and faster all around. I’m not ready to delete Foursquare for BlackBerry or Twitter for BlackBerry anytime soon, but they’ve quickly been relegated to the back seat on my Bold 9700. SocialScope Lite comes right out of the gates with a beautiful layout that’s easy on the eyes and even easier to navigate and understand. Tiny icons stretch horizontally across the top of the screen to identify each of the social networks or hubs that fall below. There’s also a convenient catch-all tab for @replies, direct messages, as well as a tab that captures everything (from all of your enabled accounts) in chronological order. You can also add custom tabs for your own timeline or Twitter Lists. SocialScope takes speed to the next level. I was incredibly impressed with the speed performance of Twitter for BlackBerry, but this app is even better. I’m also noticing a reduced strain on battery life, even when I dare to change the refresh frequency settings to five minutes or less. With longer battery life, speed, ease of use and a surprisingly good selection of the most popular destinations online, SocialScope translates to a winning app in my book. Given the time spent adding all of the customization settings – not to mention the remarkably short (if not nonexistent) learning curve – it almost makes sense that the company has kept its development in beta for so long. At the same time, I encourage SocialScope to get its amazing creation launched and exposed to the masses while there’s still a chance to grab market share and convince users to make the switch.