How to be Social (Without Leaving the House)

You can explore your world and get social, without ever leaving your house. This is not what some people consider ideal. For others, constraints upon time, money, and from disability mean this is as much as they can do. This roundup is for all the vicarious world explorers out there.

Everyone has heard of Facebook and Twitter, so I will not go through their particular apps today. I am going to explore some more unusual and extraordinary apps that bring you Twitter, Pinterest, and 500px. The last one you may not have even heard of yet.

ISO500 for 500px doesn't require an account to browse.

All of the Twitter apps require that you have an account to use them. You can’t use the Twitter apps without being a Twitter user. There wouldn’t be anything to see anyway. In case you don’t know what Twitter is or how it works, read the informative eHow article on it here.

The easiest to sign up for is 500px, and it’s perfect for professional photographers and amateurs alike. You don’t have to have an account to browse in the 500px apps, like ISO500 (pictured).

We’ve got a big day. Let’s go.

Twitter

TweetyPop makes Twitter exploring too much fun!

TweetyPop – Twitter, Reimagined for iPad

This is the most fun you can have using Twitter without being impractical. TweetyPop takes your one-dimensional reading area and makes it three dimensional, both in space and time. This iPad app is FREE right now, so you should give it a try for sure. What have you got to lose?

TweetyPop may not be for the very serious Twitter users who can’t let something slip between the cracks. For average Twitter users, fun is just what was a Twitter client needed.

This is how TweetyPop works. Instead of the list view you are used to seeing when using Twitter, TweetyPop has a view that puts that list in 3D. Newer tweets are toward the front of the screen. You grab a tweet, read it, and fling it off the screen when you are done. As you go through the tweets that are on top, the older tweets move forward. You can see the arrows at the bottom of the picture above. You can use those arrows to move through time and space to reach older tweets faster, or to refresh the “list.”

Try it out or go see how it works in this video.

Tweetings HD for Twitter for iPad &

Tweetings for Twitter for iPhone

Tweetings HD for Twitter for iPad

This is a Twitter app for the serious user with some serious features that make it a lot of fun to use, too.

Some of the features:

* Sync your timeline between your devices, and even with your Mac using Tweetings. You will never miss another tweet. Tweet Marker service supported.

* Themes galore! Use one that somebody else designed, or easily create your own, name it, and share it with the world. You can even see the hideous one I created.

* Mute anything you don’t want to see anymore. Design an exclusion filter to keep annoying tweets out. Translate things you want to see but don’t understand.

* Record and upload audio. Take and post photos using Camera+! Or, tweet what you are listening to on your device automatically.

* Schedule your tweets for sometime other than right now. Read things later with Readability or Instapaper.

And, much, much more!

Maha for iPhone

Maha for iPhone is lightweight and customizable.

This Twitter client for the iPhone seems lightweight when it comes to the airiness of its style and design, and in regard to how super fast it is. But, it is no lightweight when it comes to features or customizations.

Tweetings has an entire manual just to completely understand all of its extensive features. Maha is just understandable. In part, this is because there are many fewer features between the two. In part, Maha is just intuitive.

The standard gestures all work with Maha. Swipe right and left to get from menu to menu. Swipe up and down to page through your tweets.

I think the round buttons and the sans serif font (which I usually hate) are whimsical and lovely in Maha. The customizable color palate is wonderful. Easy to use, and fun to adjust.

Many more features and customizations are packed into this little app. I picked it up for free this week. If you don’t pay for Twitter, you may want to wait for it to be free again. If you don’t mind paying $2, give Maha a try.

Discovr People maps out how people are connected on Twitter.

Discovr People

Part of the Discovr series of apps, Discovr People is a universal app that helps you find cool and interesting people (besides me) to follow on Twitter.

Discovr People's profile pages.

If you’ve used Discovr Music, Discovr Apps (my favorite, of course), or Discovr Movies before, this design will be familiar. The mapping section (seen above) is a very visual-spatial way to understand how people are connected on Twitter and is helpful in finding new people to follow. Even follow them from Discovr.

To start, just type in the name of a person or their @screenname. A map will pop up of people similar to that person. The mapping is representative of recent conversations being had on Twitter.

To map out further, just tap on another person. To find out more about a certain person, double-tap on any person to arrive at a screen like the one immediately above.

You can also browse through lists on Twitter and create your own lists with people you find in Discovr.

Multiple Social Networks

HootSuite helps you manage multiple social media sites.

HootSuite for Twitter

This universal app has been around almost as long as the App Store. Despite it’s name, it is a way to read and manage all of your accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn, and Foursquare, all with one app.

With translation to and from more than 50 languages, this app is primed for scheduling and sending updates, tracking things like #hashtags and keywords, and managing your HootSuite account (the account and app are free for basic users).

Design HootSuite to work for you in many ways.

Pinterest

Flip Pinterest HD - magazine style Pinterest app

Flip Pinterest HD – magazine style Pinterest app

While it may not be ideal, this universal app is the closest thing to functioning as Pinterest has right now. The list of complaints over this app is long if you read the reviews, but unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions (about apps in general and what this app does).

A few points:

  • You often have to pay to access information in app format, even when the content is free online. That’s just the price you pay (literally) for convenience and mobility. Apps, like everything else in life, are not free to make. I don’t know why so many people believe they should be free to own. I like a sale and getting a good app for free as much as the next person, but I don’t demand it as a right or expect it to be so.
  • Flip Pinterest never claims to show you your own Pinterest boards. It is simply a way to browse through your Pinterest stream of things people you follow posted and to see the pictures in a more beautiful way. Also, it allows you to like and repin them.
  • While there is a very nice iPhone Pinterest app, there is nothing else that is universal or for the iPad that is any different than Flip Pinterest. Several of the limited apps available are simply pinning bookmarklet makers, which I think far more useless and a scam than this beautiful magazine.

One of the things this app could fix is the language in its App Store description to be grammatically correct and a better representation of what the app does. The other is that to click on a photo to view it in detail, you click on the like buttons and not on the photo itself, which seems silly and counterintuitive.

Right now, Flip Pinterest HD is free and costs 99 cents in-app to remove ads and be able to like and repin photos.

500px

500px is the name of a fast-growing photography website, 500px.com.

500px showcases photography.

The official iPad app

Whether you use the free 500px app to browse the site or as a digital photo frame, you will not walk away without having seen great photos. With an account, you can friend other photographers, upload your own photos, create slideshows, browse your friends’ photos, and view photos you favorited. Each photo has a description, EXIF information, and location.

View all the curated albums from 500px: Popular, Editor’s Choice, Upcoming, Fresh, and Market. Search the site, download HD versions of any on-sale photo, vote for photos, add to your favorited list, read and leave comments. Share photos on other social media sites.

500px PhotoBook

500px PhotoBook for iPad

Flip through all of the sections that make up the 500px webiste (mentioned with the previous app). Flip through topic categories. Add photos to your favorites (which are beautiful flip books themselves). You can see some of my favorites above as example. I captured the flipped pages while taking a screenshot at the same time for both the flip books today. Just for all of you.

The photos have lovely labels with their titles. Click on any photo to view it larger, vote for and favorite it, or check out information about the photographer. Follow photographers and access their photos from the first page of this book, which works like a menu for all the sections of the many books.

ISO500 for iPhone

This free iPhone app features the same things previously mentioned as part of 500px.

Make good use of the iPhone screen and see photos full screen.

If you have an account, you can do all of the things mentioned in the previous two apps as a benefit. But, it is not required to enjoy the app.

My favorite feature of ISO500 is that it uses an old-fashioned photography dial to switch between featured categories.

The whole app is clean and neat. It features what is best about 500px without anything extra. I even like the sans serif fonts used :)

That is it for me today. Until later, …

One thought on “How to be Social (Without Leaving the House)

  1. Pingback: Everything You Wanted To Know About Twitter (But Were Afraid To Ask) | iOS Affairs

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