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Have An All-In-One Social Hub With Fuse: Social

August 26, 2013

Fuse: Social (Free) by LAICOS, LLC is an all-in-one social network app for your iPhone. If you’re in search of an app that can handle your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn, then this app is one to consider.

These days, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have accounts on various social networks, let alone multiple ones. Equipped with our iPhones, it’s easy to check on all of them separately. But wouldn’t it be nice to just have all of your social networks in one place? Rather than switching between them, or forgetting to look at one, you can have everything social consolidated into a single location, becoming your one-stop social hub. That’s what Fuse: Social aims for.

Fuse: Social features a clean, flat design for the most part, but it has some bezeled badge counts that may look a bit off once iOS 7 rolls around. However, it’s clear that the app does take inspiration from the latest iOS version, which isn’t a bad thing. Things are laid out clearly in the app as well, so it’s fairly intuitive to add a new account, compose a new post, and navigate between replies, comments, private messages, and search.

In order to use Fuse, you will need to sign in or register. You can create an account separately, or just use your Facebook or Twitter account to simplify the process. Whichever account you use will automatically be added to Fuse itself. I was a bit annoyed that the app did not use the native iOS integration of either network, nor offer a 1Password option. I can only hope that the developer can add this in the future.

Once you have your first account, you can add another through the side panel menu, accessed with the “accounts” button in the top left. You can add as many accounts as you want, but only Facebook and Twitter are offered for free. If you want to link your Instagram or LinkedIn, these will cost $0.99 each. You can choose which accounts are shown on the main feed by tapping on them in the menu.

The main feed will be the “timeline” view, where you can see all tweets or Facebook posts. To differentiate between your networks, there is a colored line (dark blue for Facebook and light blue for Twitter) and an icon at the end, so you can quickly tell where each post comes from. Fuse will also display images in-line, so you can get everything at-a-glance. Facebook links will even show the preview of the page, just like in the official Facebook app. A swipe to the right on an image will display it in full screen mode, and swiping to the left will bring up an entire thread, when applicable, of course.

Underneath each post, there will be buttons for liking, commenting, replying, retweeting, and favoriting. The buttons themselves are a bit small, but they do get the job done. I did, however, encounter crashes several times when trying to reply to a tweet, so it appears that the app is still relatively buggy. It began to work normally after a while. You can also view comments on your posts and @mentions by switching tabs at the bottom menubar. Any private or direct messages will also show up in the corresponding tab.

The Search view will be split up into Latest Searches, My Saved Searches, and Popular. I was a bit disappointed to see that the app does not sync with your already existing Twitter searches, which is a shame. You’ll have to search for what you want manually, and then save it within Fuse: Social. It would be great to see if the developer can integrate with current saved searches on Twitter, as it would save a bit of time. The Popular section will only display the current top Twitter trends, with no option of changing the location, as you could do in other apps like Tweetbot.

When you want to compose a new post, just tap on the button in the top right corner from whichever view you’re in. By default, Fuse will include the #SentFromFuse hashtag in your post, which I found rather annoying, as I end up deleting it anyways (I really dislike hashtags). The composer will also show you how many characters are currently in your update, so you can easily see if it will fit within the limits of whatever network you want to post on.

You can include photos (new capture or import), location, and quickly @ people thanks to the composer toolbar. The default settings will send the update to all of your networks, but you can also pick and choose which ones to update. Unfortunately, there isn’t any support for drafts in Fuse, so you’ll have to make sure that you send your update or copy it into another app for later.

So far, I found Fuse: Social to be a good concept, but a bit buggy and lacking in power features. It has all of the basics, but I would love to see the saved searches I already have show up here, and maybe even having mute filters and the like. The app also does not scroll all the way up to the top when you tap the status bar, which I didn’t like — it becomes cumbersome to get to the top of the stream if there are a lot of posts to go through. And having support for post drafts would be nice.

Fuse: Social is an app that we should have, but I am finding it lacking a bit in execution. However, once it becomes a bit more optimized for the all-in-one experience, it can definitely be a good tool to consider. Still, I recommend checking out Fuse: Social for yourself in the iPhone App Store since it’s a free download.

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