You'd be forgiven for never having heard of this one before, but turns out Microsoft has its own social network of sorts and has now launched an app for the iPhone. Known as Socl – and pronounced social – today sees a simultaneous mobile launch of the first mobile apps for the network on iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8. And, it kinda sucks. A lot.
We'll get to the app in a minute, but first up, just what is Socl. Having spent a little time playing around with it, I'm honestly not sure, but thankfully our pal Michael Archambault over at Windows Phone Central is on hand to help:
Socl is a truly unique experience which tries to mix Bing with social networking. The site can be described as a mixture between Pinterest and Tumblr; it is currently being run by Microsoft’s research division.
It's unique alright. You've got regular social network type posts, images, GIF's, Memes, all are on hand. It's possible to filter by content too; Socl for presumably everything, Picotale for Memes, Parties and Collage. On Windows Phone, Socl integrates with Microsoft's Blink app for creating GIF's, but naturally this is something we're not privy to on the iPhone.
So, the experience is a little confusing. If you go into it blind – as I did – it's hard to see at first exactly what it's all about. Hopefully that'll come with time, but what about the app? Well, it isn't very good. Not at all.
The problem lies in that the app isn't native, and that goes for Windows Phone and Android as well. It's basically a wrapped web app, and so while the experience is consistent across the platforms, that experience is pretty bad. The interface isn't great, it's laggy, riddled with bugs, slow, and just not a very good user experience.
The quality of the app is particularly disappointing given that Microsoft can do good apps on iOS. The latest version of SkyDrive for example is a good app, and it's a good, native iOS 7 app. Socl sadly isn't any of these things. In any case, if you're interested in taking a look, grab the app from the App Store at the link below. Be sure to let us know what you think about it, and be honest!