Saturday, 10 March 2012

Favs app for Mac review

Here we are with another review. This time Favs app for Mac. Are you like me, who uses Google Reader, Twitter, Dribbble, etc. and has favorites here, starred items there, all around, in each service. At some point you remember something you faved once, but you cannot even remember where or when. Was it in Twitter or Google Reader? Or maybe in Delicious? No worries anymore, Favs app is here to help you.

But let's have a deeper look at it.

The app itself has an easy and intuitive interface, similar to other Mac apps like Reeder or Twitter. You have a left bar and then two panes. On the left side bar you have the services you have added, on the centre pane the item list (tweets, google reader items, etc) and on the right hand side the detail view that can be the article from the feed (for Google Reader) or the preview of the link included in the item (tweet, delicious bookmark, etc.)

For instance, you can see here a faved tweet; the detail view shows the preview of the link included in the tweet.

And in this case, for Google Reader, you can see the actual content of the rss feed item. Just pressed on the header of the item and it will open the link in Safari.
Adding an account is really easy: just press in the tools button on the lower part of the service bar. You will get the list of all services (and there are many: Twitter, Google Reader, Flickr, Dribbble to name some):

For each service you can actually add more than one account. For instance, I can add my own Twitter account and also my friend's account so I can also have a look at his faved items. Very convenient if you like to follow other user's favorite items.

Whenever you add an account you have the option to make those items be marked as read as they arrive or keep them as unread. For instance, I do not need to put much attention to faved Flickr images, so I keep them read. You can do this for any service as you can see below.
You can actually show only the unread items by pressing on the blue circle next to the search bar. That way you can see only unread items.

If you want to check all services in one, you have to select the Favs icon on the top of the service bar. Otherwise you can check service by service by selecting the corresponding service icon.

And if you want to have a compact layout, just select the option from the View menu. Then you will get this kind of view with only the service bar and the item list. To view an item in more detail you just press the space bar and a QuickLook view will pop up with the preview of the item or link.
But let me introduce you now the most powerful feature and that is the search bar. You can search within all your favorites of all your services for a keyword or words. In the search bar right side you will see a number indicating the number of matches. This search within favs is such a great features. I love it.
And the second great feature is tags: the app recognizes hash tags from tweets, and any kind of tagging from any service automatically. You can then search by tag and visualize the tags in an spheric view where you can turn around the ball of tags. Bigger font size in a tag means more items with that tag. Select any tag and the app will show you the search results for it.

For instance, I selected soft and here I can see the results for that tag:
As a summary here it is my like/dislike items:
I like:
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Great automatic tagging and search features
  • Multiple accounts for a single service allowed

I don't like:

  • I miss a dock icon badge indicating unread items. I hope it comes in the next version
  • A zoom out feature to be able to see the whole detail view without having to scroll to the sides
All and all, this app is really a must for any user of social networks. And I think it is very well priced at 3.99€ or 4.99$. Are you convinced? Go ahead and buy it in the Mac AppStore from here.

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