Inq has introduced its own launcher, known as SO.HO, which will bring Facebook and Twitter right to the home screen of your Android device.
The name is a contraction of "social" and "homepage" which is exactly what this is, and brings a service similar to that of HTC’s new Blink Feed feature on the HTC One, although not as wide ranging in its approach.
That’s set to change, however, as SO.HO is in beta and Inq has said it plans to add more networks in the coming months.
If you don’t know what a launcher it, it’s basically the screen you land on when you unlock your phone. It includes the apps tray buttons and shortcut icons. The new Inq SO.HO app replaces what’s currently on your phone so that it can change the behaviour of it slightly.
Essentially, that means that the SO.HO app can give you scrolling content running behind those bottom shortcuts, rather than sitting like a widget in the middle of the page. When you swipe the page up, those launcher shortcuts will vanish, so you have more space to read, and scroll through the feed.
Once you’re signed into Facebook or Twitter, they will both give you scrolling timelines on your home screen, rather than having to open those apps. Tapping the top bar will switch between the two and pulling the list down will cause it to refresh.
There’s also the option to post to the respective social networks via a top button. Tap to Tweet or update your status, and you’ll get all the normal options such as adding pictures, locations and so on.
In Facebook you can Like a status, and tapping on it opens up the update, so you can comment if you want to, or open it up in the Facebook app proper. You also get the option to hide users, so if some automated bot is filling your feed with drivel, you can filter it out.
On the Twitter front things are less dynamic. Tapping on a tweet will open it in the Twitter app proper (or browser if you don’t have one installed), but there are no options to reply, retweet or anything else. That means it’s a two-step process to retweet something you like.
Those worried about losing the home screen to SO.HO shouldn’t be. You can still have multiple pages, so you can swipe it away to return to a regular page of widgets or shortcuts and you get the option to nominate which is default home screen too, so you could have SO.HO set-up as a second screen.
It’s close to some of the social offering that's coming in HTC’s new feature Blink Feed, rolling out with HTC Sense 5 on the new HTC One. We can’t wait to see how other services can be slickly integrated to SO.HO, to give you access to more content.
If you spend a lot of time scrolling through Facebook or Twitter feeds, then it’s well worth a look. It’s free in Google Play now.