Whether you want to manage your Flickr uploads more easily, chat across different instant messaging systems or manage social networks such as Facebook and Twitter in a single app, there's a program to help you do it available for your Mac.
We took a look at what's on offer for social types at the Mac App Store and here are our favourite apps.
01. flickery - £5.99
Eternal Storms Software
If you're a regular Flickr user, then you'll be aware of how frustrating and time-consuming it can be when managing photos through its online interface. Thanks to flickery, though, you can kiss that frustration goodbye.
The flickery app enables you to manage photos from your desktop, and there's even an add-on for iPhoto integration, so you can quickly drag photos between Flickr and your Mac. It's every Flickr user's dream!
02. Trillian - Free
Instant messaging - how we love it so. In fact, there's nothing better than repeatedly having your attention distracted by little windows that appear without warning, pointing you to a video of a cat wearing a beret, or a tap-dancing ferret.
If this sounds like your life, then Trillian can bring all your accounts (such as AIM, ICQ, Google Talk and so on) under one roof, and you can send and receive messages across multiple platforms. Yay!
03. Twitter for Mac - Free
Twitter has been through a hectic year of acquisitions, and has rolled much of the intellectual property it has acquired back into its official apps across a number of different platforms. Twitter for Mac - the official client available via the Mac App Store - is a prime example, taking a single column approach, so it can sit on your screen at all times.
The client includes multiple accounts, auto-complete, URL shortening, and - naturally - has no API limit. Oh, and it's completely free. If you think that means it's not up to scratch, think again.
04. Courier - £2.99
Like Socialite, Courier helps you deal with time drain by keeping your social streams up to date, but it concentrates on one specific area - uploading. As the name suggests, Courier helps you deliver files to a host of destinations (including YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Flickr and more). But where Courier really stands out is in its user experience. Each delivery of a file is represented by an envelope, onto which you drag a stamp. You then drag and drop files into your envelope and hit 'Deliver'. Best of all, it's fun!
05. Face Tab - Free
Although some of us spread our lives across multiple social networks, there's no denying that it's Facebook that gets most attention from users across the web. Constant development of its site and mobile apps make it easier than ever to access Facebook, but for some that's still not enough.
If you want to stay connected to all your Facebook goodies at all times, then Face Tab is the tool for you. It sits in your menu bar and offers quick access to your profile, updates, messages and more.
06. Socialite - £12
As more and more social services attract our attention, updating and monitoring them can often feel like a full-time job (and for some people, it is). But, thanks to developers like Apparent Software, we now have the tools to make sense of the social noise that can so easily overwhelm us.
In Socialite, you have a tool that enables you to add a host of social accounts via one interface. These accounts - Digg, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Google Reader, and RSS links - appear in the left-hand column, with the option to access specific parts of each account (Messages, Retweets and so on), get an overview of all account activity, or - for information junkies - see new items across ALL accounts (to be used with caution). A great app.
07. Echofon - Free
This is the second Twitter client we've featured, but it comes with some nifty features that may be enough to pull you away from the official app. Firstly, Echofon is a client that you can also get on the iPhone, and with so many people accessing Twitter via mobile, the apps can sync between your Mac and iPhone (so there's no going over old ground). Also, you can use keywords to highlight tweets in your stream.
08. Social Lite - Free
Like Face Tab, Social Lite is a tool that sits in your menu bar and enables you to access Facebook without the need to open a browser. Unlike Face Tab, though, you can also access your Google and Twitter accounts.
Both tools essentially use iFrames to present the web content; as such, neither will win any design awards, but they are both handy ways to get quick access to your social networks of choice. Plus it's free, so why not give it a try?
09. FlipToast - Free
It's an odd name for a Facebook app, but get past that and what you're left with is a simple dock that enables you to quickly send updates, share images, and view notifications, and all independently of the browser you're using.
Limitations include the lack of viewing options, and the fact that the dock stays locked to the top-right of your screen, but it's worth a look for lovers of the Facebook, especially coming at no cost at all.
10. Printful - £5.99
Alberto Garcia Hierro
Printful is one of a batch of new apps aimed at presenting web-based articles in a more comfortable manner for extended reading.
On the iPad and iPhone it's Instapaper that rules the roost, but if you're looking for a way to manage RSS feeds on your Mac desktop, to read articles without web clutter, and to share stories via your social networks then - despite still being a little buggy - this is the app for you! (Note that you must sign up for an account to use Printful.)
First published in MacFormat Issue 236
Liked this? Then check out Top 50 best free iPad apps 2011
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