So you’re quickly browsing through your Facebook or Twitter feed, taking a short break from work, when you find an interesting article or video that you know is bound to be a huge time-suck. You don’t really want to look it up later when you aren’t busy because you know you’ll forget to do it. You also don’t want to read it or see it right there because you don’t want to get too distracted or you’re not in the right situation for it.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll save it for later by bookmarking it; be it marking it as a favorite on Twitter, sending it to Instapaper, starring it on Google Reader, or any of the equivalents in any social network. But then you’ll likely never come back to it because you’ll forget exactly where you saved it (and the tons of other content that you also bookmarked on other networks for later). That’s where Favs comes in.
Favs is a Mac app that integrates all of your “bookmarks” or “favorites” from an impressive list of social networks and services, so that you don’t have to go haunting for them in each social network later. Favs has support for around 20 services, here are some of the most relevant ones:
- Instapaper (needs premium account)
- Google Reader
- Many more…
Favs goes for $9.99 and is currently featured on the Mac App Store.
In order for Favs to work, you first need to set up your favorite networks or supported services by going to the left corner on the bottom of the app’s window, then selecting the desired service and filling your credentials to log in.
The way that these sources work with Favs depends on the service. For example, with most services your “bookmarked” or “favorited” content will be what you’ll be shown, but in a few others it works different, like with Github you’ll be shown your favorite repositories and with Facebook your liked pages.
Favs looks very, very good. Its interface is simple enough, yet it looks and feels great. You have two sidebars and then the main area. The smaller sidebar on the left is where you can find icons of all the services you have setup, clicking them will show you your feeds for the corresponding service; and if you click on the “Favs” icon that is on top of all the services you can see your overall feed which includes content from all of your active services.
The bigger sidebar to the right of the services one is where you can select the content that you would like to display on the main area. Each piece of content will be shown with a small picture, a preview, title and time it was favorited or created, as well as a small icon that indicates the service where the content came from.
The content from each service is displayed differently in the main area, depending on the type. For example, Facebook’s posts have their own custom way of getting displayed, with a stripped-down version of the post on top and the actual Facebook page where it’s located below. Most times it will not load the actual page, but just display the relevant parts of it, much like an RSS reader would with its content.
Double clicking the piece will actually bring you in your browser to the page where it is located. You can also do a few other things with your feed, like email links, mark them as read/unread, and copy items or links. In the search bar on top of the content sidebar you can look up keywords in your feed or filter the content by showing only unread stuff.
The way the “unread” feature works is a bit confusing, as it doesn’t always work with all services, the idea behind it is that it works as a way for you to know which content is new, but it doesn’t affect the actual bookmarked state of the content in the service (in fact, there is no way to un-bookmark items inside the app, which sucks).
There are also some extra cool ways of browsing through your feeds. Favs has support for tags with certain services, and they are integrated quite well with the app. With Google Reader, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and any other service that uses tags or hashtags for organizing content, you can click on each tag and an automatic search will come up inside your Favs with the tag that you selected. You can also manually look up these tags by adding a hashtag before your search.
Getting into the app and seeing the reviews, I was a bit worried that Favs had way too many services to actually work well with each one of them. I tried out almost all of the available services and I was surprised to find out that most of them work like exactly they are supposed to. I sometimes had some problems with the content being displayed on Facebook, but for the most part Favs did a great job at handling all of the services with which it was linked.
Personally, I think Favs is totally worth the five bucks, especially if you find yourself identifying with the situation I laid out in the introduction. I would definitely appreciate support for a few more services, like Last.fm’s “loved” tracks, but overall this app is stellar, and if you are anything like me, you’ll find the concept fascinating and you might even wonder how somebody hadn’t thought of an app like this before.
What do you think? Would you pay for an app like this? Let us know in the comments!
Favs is an app that integrates all your bookmarks from pretty much any social network in one simple place.9