As a rule thumb, the more popular a social network is the uglier, slower and more terrible its mobile app gets.
Facebook’s app, for instance, has long been criticized for its battery hogginess, especially after it’s been discovered that it’s suspiciously circumventing Background App Refresh to continue running in the background when it should not.
That’s where Social Square comes into play.
Formerly known as MySocial, this iPhone app by Chase Giles lets you browse Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Tumblr without having to worry about your iPhone’s battery life.
5 social services and one app to rule them all
After launching the app and connecting your networks, you can quickly switch between your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Tumblr feeds by tapping the icons lined up alongside the bottom. As both a nice touch and a thoughtful design decision, the iOS status bar automatically changes to that network’s specific color.
Completely rewritten in Swift for speed and using Apple’s new WebKit-based Safari View Controller, this app makes browsing your feeds as fast as in Safari itself while supporting the swipe gesture to go back and forward. Also, links in your social feeds open in-app and Safari content blockers are supported, too.
In addition to viewing posts, the app lets you publish status updates or post a photo to your favorite social services. There’s even a share sheet extension permitting you to save photos and text to any app in iOS’s multi-purpose Share menu.
3D Touch and iOS 9 multitasking support
Plus, it supports 3D Touch gestures so you can quickly compose a new post by pressing the app’s icon on the Home screen and then choosing an option in the shortcut menu.
Those who own an iPad Pro, iPhone 6/Plus, 6s/Plus will be happy to know that this app is fully optimized to take advantage of their device’s native display resolution.
And with full support for iOS 9’s new multitasking features, you can run Social Square alongside your other apps in Slide Over and Split View modes on compatible iPads.
“Minimal power consumption”
Now, the developer has claimed that browsing social networks in Social Square comes with “minimal power consumption”. Frankly, I haven’t had the time to run a non-scientific test to verify his claim so you’ll have to take it as-is.
Granted, this app is basically a glorified web view of the top five social networks and as such lacks many service-specific advanced features. Though it won’t replace native mobile apps from Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram and Tumblr, Social Square should be more than adequate for keeping tabs on your friends’ posts on the go.
Social Square requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 8.0 or later. The app is English-only and lacks a native interface on iPads.