Static: It’s All About the Numbers

We’re all obsessed with numbers, especially when it comes to the internet and social networking. Regular Twitter users and companies using the social network regularly check their follower count to see if it’s changed or if we’ve hit a milestone in the number of tweets we’ve made, in the same way that we get excited when the odometer rolls over to 12,345 miles (don’t deny it, we all do).

Static is an app that centralises this information and does just one thing – bring all of your social networking statistics together in one app so you don’t need to switch between apps and perform multiple actions just to get the information you need.

A Clear Picture

Like many apps that are being updated to better suit the new appearance of iOS 7, Static’s flat interface is perfectly suited to Apple’s latest incarnation of iOS though it is certainly not as contrasting, opting instead to use off-whites and dark greys that, to me, are more visually appealing.

Static's interface fits right in with iOS 7 but goes beyond the harsh white backgrounds that other apps have opted to use.

Static’s interface fits right in with iOS 7 but goes beyond the harsh white backgrounds that other apps have opted to use.

Adding social networks is done exactly as instructed by tapping the only part of the interface there is, providing an overlay of the social networks it supports. At time of writing, Static supports Twitter, Instagram, Google Analytics, Dribbble, Github, Facebook (including Pages) and YouTube.

Adding further social networks provides more insight into your online persona.

Adding further social networks provides more insight into your online persona.

Twitter integration is performed by using any accounts that have been set up within iOS — something that most apps do. This avoids the tedium of having to log in to Twitter, especially if you’re looking to track a number of accounts.

Static uses iOS' Twitter and Facebook settings, saving you the hassle of logging in.

Static uses iOS’ Twitter and Facebook settings, saving you the hassle of logging in.

Static gathers the relevant information depending on the account you add rather than just sticking to just follower and following counts. For Twitter, it can let you know how many tweets you’ve sent and Instagram users can see how many photos they’ve taken.

Tapping any of the social network panels you’ve added will reveal the next set of numbers and tap-and-hold will let you reorder them as desired. Tapping the social network’s icon reveals a pop-up menu that includes being able to open a relevant app, should it be installed.

Oddities

Unfortunately, there’s no way to select which app you’d like to open. During my testing, doing so on a Twitter panel would open Tweetbot, which was all well and good except I use Twitterrific but have both installed. Being able to specify which app to use would certainly be of benefit.

A curious oddity within the list of social networks you can add is the app’s information panel is also within the list but mixed in rather than separated which seems to be a bit of a UI hiccup.

My one concern with the app was its use of in-app purchases. The app is free to use for up to five different slots though you can purchase more. For most users, you’ll likely not need more than five and it’s a feature that seems more geared up towards marketing and PR types or those looking after a multitude of different social network accounts, especially as it supports Facebook Pages.

Static can launch a relevant social network app for you, just don't expect to know which one. It's lack of any detail regarding IAPs is a concern.

Static can launch a relevant social network app for you, just don’t expect to know which one. Its lack of any detail regarding IAPs is a concern.

Whilst this use of in-app purchases seems perfectly reasonable, the limit on the number of slots you have available isn’t stated anywhere within the app or its website. The only mention of in-app purchases is within the App Store under the In-App Purchases section.

At first I though the +1 button within the Social Networks list was for Google+, but it was only attempting to add this did I realise the app has some form of limitation. This has to be made much clearer, especially with all the negative press apps using in-app purchases have been receiving. It would be a shame to see Static’s legitimate use of in-app purchases being tarred with the same brush.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an app to keep track of your social network statistics then it’s hard to beat Static. The app makes it easy to keep track of your social network numbers that you may often have to switch between apps to find, all done within a gorgeous interface that’s easy to use, despite one or two UI quirks. Its lack of being forthcoming, however, and providing any sort of information with regards to in-app purchases lets down what is an otherwise excellent app.


Summary

A useful tool for social network regulars to monitor common statistics such as follower and post counts. While the app is free, its lack of any descriptive information regarding in-app purchases takes the shine off somewhat.

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