Tidy Suite markets itself as a “Social Network Hub,” promising a single app from which users can access their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Foursquare accounts. In actual fact, the free version of the app only supports Facebook and Twitter functionality — accessing any of the other accounts requires the user to either make a $0.99 in-app purchase per service, or $2.99 to unlock everything and remove advertising. Users who only need the basic Twitter and Facebook functionality may also make a one-off $0.99 in-app purchase to simply remove the advertising.
Tidy Suite’s main interface depicts icons for all the services across the top of the screen, regardless of whether or not the user has added an account. Multiple accounts from each service can be added — up to 30 in most cases — and their feeds browsed together. A pop-up sidebar menu allows access to specialist features for each service (such as photo albums for Facebook, Mentions and Trending Topics for Twitter) while a search function occupies the top-right corner of the screen. A toolbar at the bottom allows access to the app’s main functions.
Making a new post is a matter of tapping the Post button on the bottom bar and then selecting the accounts from which it should be sent, each of which is represented by an avatar and small service icon. A “More” button allows access to additional features such as text translation, link shortening and tagging of friends, and the app informs users of what they need to do to make these features work via pop-up message if necessary — for example, friend-tagging only works with Facebook image or location posts.
Each account has access to a detailed stats page that tracks various metrics according to the service. For example, Facebook tracks number of friends, average number of likes, male/female friend ratio and average friend age, while Twitter tracks whether or not users have followed each other back, unfollowers and lists.
Tidy Suite is a decent idea, but unfortunately somewhat flawed in its execution. Several glaring issues stand out as fairly serious problems, most notably among which are the lack of support for Facebook Pages and Google+ (the latter of which is growing rapidly and which is supported by many other social aggregators) and that most of the features are locked behind a paywall. App Store reviewers have been “review bombing” the app with one-star reviews for this reason, as the store descriptions does not make it clear that access to any feeds other than Twitter and Facebook is a premium feature.
Aside from this, the app also generates a huge amount of notification spam on the device, even with only a single account added. Within five minutes of starting the app, I had been bombarded with over thirty notifications for Facebook posts, most of which I had already seen and dealt with and some of which didn’t even relate directly to me. The notifications instead appear to be drawn from Facebook’s live-updating activity feed, informing me of my friends commenting on other people’s posts, Pages that people have liked and numerous other largely irrelevant things.
The other issue with the app is largely a matter of taste: its design is rather ugly, with unattractive fonts and button captions that do not have enough space around them. There’s also a lot of wasted white space on the various social feeds, with images coming out rather small in many cases and text often being truncated.
On the whole, Tidy Suite makes a good effort at providing a decent social aggregation service, but when better solutions such as HootSuite are out there and available for free, there’s relatively little reason to download this.