The Internet is bustling with information. Everything you could ever need is right at your fingertips, as well as the power to share our own findings. A number of websites already exist for sharing and discovering content.
Facebook is one way to discover new things, but you’d need to sift through your friends’ status updates. There’s also Tumblr but that can quickly get overwhelming as people you follow share anything and everything. Then there’s Twitter, which allows you to make 140-character updates about what you’re doing, thinking, or watching. Those aren’t the only social media and network sites out there. Being able to keep up with everyone requires a lot of work but there are services dedicated to centralizing your Facebook and Twitter experience.
Via.Me, for example, started out as a website that lets you share your stories in pictures, video, sound, and text right from one website. You could tell both your Facebook and Twitter followers what’s happening in your life without having to keep both of those websites open in your browser tabs. Describing itself as a “social storyboard,” Via.Me allows users to “centralize their social content sharing and engagement on one visually optimized storyboard.”
Compared to Tumblr, which can support lengthy text posts, via.me believes in brevity and in the age-old “a picture paints a thousand words.” The company takes the clean, minimalist interface it has on its website and brings that interface to the Via.Me official Android app.
Log in with your Facebook or Twitter account and follow some recommended users to get you started. You can also invite your Facebook and Twitter friends. Compared to the off-white, grey and black theme it has going on on its website, Via.Me’s app interface can jibe well with Android 4.0 and 4.1 themes, being mostly white, blue, and grey.
You can view your own updates and the updates of the people you follow through the Feed tab. If you want to check what’s hot on Via.Me right now, you can tap on the next icon for Trending. Activity lets you check who’s started following you and who’s been liking and commenting on your updates. Finally, you can check your own profile to see your Follower and Following stats and your own posts.
Much like other social media and networking apps, you can scroll up and down Via.Me’s pages to make good use of the long screen that most mobile devices have. Images stretch to fill up the width of the screen, so you don’t have to squint too hard to understand an image. If you see something that you like, tap on the smiley face to Like it. You can share posts with your own followers by tapping on Repost. You can add your comment to a post. And, you can delete your own post or flag the posts that appear on your feed.
Under each post, you can see the number of Likes it received and how many people have reposted it. Tap on the post and you can bring it up in full to see the image clearer and to be able to read what people have commented on it.
If you’re tired of seeing other peoples’ posts and you want to start making some of your own, tap the + icon in the upper right corner of the screen and then select New Post. Take a picture, a video, or a sound recording or select something from your galleries. You can add a caption and select if you want to share your post with Twitter and/or Facebook. Hit POST when you’re ready.
What makes sharing photos on Via.Me great is that once you’ve snapped a shot, you don’t need to open it in another photo editor. The app comes with its own 17 photo filters, which, to my amusement, were named after famous cities around the world. With the inbuilt filters, you can give your snapshot a little edge before you share it with the world. Snap a shot, fix it up, and post it without getting sidetracked.
Because this is such a fresh app, I expected to run into some snags. I experienced force close troubles whenever I tried to attach an image to my post. Posting, however, was smooth just as long as I didn’t attach any photo. I tested the app’s camera feature a few more times and was met with similar results. Reposting someone’s post also led to force close errors in some of the test devices I used.
I tested version 1.0.0 of the app yesterday on a stock, unrooted HTC Sensation; a rooted Galaxy S2 running CyanogenMod 10; a stock, unrooted Galaxy S2; a stock, unrooted Galaxy S3; and a stock, unrooted Galaxy Note. Each device experienced a handful of force closes, although reposting or attaching a photo to a new post sometimes succeeded on the second, third, or even fourth try.
Trying Via.Me on a stock and unrooted Nexus 7, however, was close to impossible — except when manually installing the APK file. It seemed that the app, according to the Google Play Store, was not yet compatible with the Nexus 7, and I presume, with most other tablets, too (or, perhaps, just for Jelly Bean tablets).
We reached out to the devs at RadiumOne Labs regarding the issues we encountered and they swore to look into them pronto. And, they did. In fact, just a few moments ago, RadiumOne Labs rolled out version 1.0.1 of the app, which seemed to have eradicated most of the issues I encountered on the test phones using the earlier version. However, no dice for the Nexus 7 still; getting the app to work on the Nexus 7 is something I earnestly look forward to.
Try the official Via.Me app for Android and bring your Facebooking and Twittering from two experiences into just one. Not only will you get a great free app, but also awesome support from its developers.
(with contributions from Elmer Montejo)