MessageHub wants to be you go-to app for all of your digital communications. That’s not an exaggeration, I mean all. It supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo and more. It also supports email accounts Gmail and Outlook. If you set up all of your accounts in this app, you could keep up with everything going on in all of them in one place. Well, that’s the theory anyway. But we’ll come back to that in a moment. MessageHub is free and is designed for both iPhone and iPad and requires iOS 7.1 and up.
On first run, you are given the option of signing in via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. This links you up to your first account. From there you can link up as many others as you want. Of course, the more you add, the more will appear in your “Everyone” section. I find that often Twitter or Facebook alone can be like drinking from a firehose. Combined views (especially when they include my email inboxes) are simply overwhelming to me.
This is why services like Facebook, Twitter, and others provide the capability to create lists of people. I can (and have) create lists for the most important people in my life so I am sure not to miss an important update from them, lost in the noise of the latest meme everyone is reposting. Thus, Facebook and Twitter become more manageable for me and I can catch up with fast glances through the day rather than getting sucked into the vortex of endless streaming content.
MessageHub provides none of this. With this app, it is everything at all times. Worse, the main view tries to utilize white space to make the interface breathe but it has the effect of only showing two to three posts at a time making me have to constantly scroll to get through the sheer mass of content.
One handy, if somewhat confusing feature is the “Conversations” section. This aggregates together the posts of a given person (sometimes) and conversations held in Facebook messaging or via Twitter, etc. I honestly couldn’t quite figure out which it is supposed to be when. Sometimes I see a person’s recent posts, sometimes conversations I’ve had with them, and often nothing at all. For example, I have had conversations with my wife on Facebook messages and she has also posted a few things in the last day. When I look at her entry in Conversations (created a few weeks back), nothing is displayed (and this is despite the fact that in the list of conversations, there is an excerpt from a previous message one of us sent the other.
So, in the end, I get what this app is trying to do but the confusing Conversations section, the large amount of white space limiting posts per screen, and the lack of support for lists (you can create groups in Conversations which approximates this feature but I could not get it to reliably work) gets in the way of its goals. MessageHub is free and if it is actively maintained and improved it may become quite useful.
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