Are you a fan of typography, good design and social content? We have an app that mixes them all, providing a very unique experience in how you digest your content.
It’s called Spout, and what it does is that it pulls all the content from your social networks and displays it to you, one by one, in a very distinctive manner. Want to hear what it’s all about?
How It Works
Spout retrieves information from your many social networking services such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Instagram, and displays it to you, one piece flying by at a time in a fun and elegant way.
As your content is shown to you in a bold and lively slideshow, if you see any link or picture that catches your eye, just click it and it will be brought up in your browser. Missed a piece because it went by too fast? You can easily navigate and skip or rewind through the loaded content.
How It Looks
As you can see, there’s not much to Spout in terms of functionality, but what really makes the app stand out is the superb design and the fantastic look of how your content is displayed. As your content’s text is displayed, it’ll be stylized with different font sizes and colors, as well as get animated through close-ups and camera rotations that give a dynamic effect and make it very amusing to follow.
While the way content is displayed is very similar throughout the app, there are a few aesthetic things you can tweak. Kinetic text is where the camera rotates and text is displayed toggling between vertical and horizontal axis, which is very cool but it can make you dizzy. Static text, on the other hand, will keep the camera in place and just make your content slide in one word at a time. You can select either of these, none or shuffle through them.
There are also about a dozen themes that switch the visual look of the app in terms of colors and backgrounds. Some of them are pretty basic and consist of a couple colors with a solid background, while a few others get more elaborate and include moving backgrounds like a globe and a wooden texture. Unfortunately, themes must be selected one at a time and they can’t be automatically shuffled.
Remember when Google Reader unexpectedly quit and left a bunch of apps that used to rely on it out in the open? Spout isn’t any different: one of the services that it used to let you pull content from was your Google Reader account, but now that it’s gone, there’s not a lot going on for the app in the news department. Thankfully, there are a few other services that work with it.
Twitter is at the forefront of this app, as the summarized content forced in by the 140 character limit makes it ideal for this kind of app. Spout supports multiple Twitter accounts and it can pull content from various sources: your main timeline, a specific search or tweets by a certain user.
Other services supported include Facebook (given your credentials, it will display your feed’s content), Flickr (given a search term, it will pull all of the recently found photos) and Instagram (via your main feed). There’s also a “custom text” feature that will display anything you write.
You can enable as many services as you’d like and have the app shuffle through all of their content, or specify just one source for the app to pull information from.
Besides the static and kinetic text display options that I mentioned earlier, there are a few more things you can tweak with Spout. You can choose to keep the Spout window on top all the time, choose which items get displayed (the newer ones on top or a cycle of all the current ones), set the time between each slide and the speed of the text. You can also set how you’d like information to be displayed, and keep the time or the photos from appearing and leaving just the text.
Spout surely presents an interesting concept, and I think it’ll be quite useful for some people. In don’t think it is an app that you’re supposed to stare at, it works better running in the background and just providing quick and cool information at a glance. That’s why it might work better as a screensaver or through a second monitor.
It would be nice for the app to have support for more services, such as Twitter lists and some sort of replacement for Google Reader. Another downside is that the app provides no way to interact with the content you’re shown. However, if you are a fan of beautiful typography and think you can get some good use out of this app, then it might be a worthy investment to you.