September 2, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
INQ earned some attention when it announced the Facebook-centric Cloud Touch phone in February. The device, while not high-powered, was potentially appealing to young consumers who spent a great deal of time on The Facebook.
Anyone who spends a great deal of time on Facebook can now see at least some elements of the INQ interface, as INQ has released a widget pack compatible with other Android phones. Though they are annoyingly separated into four separate downloads in the Android Market, the INQ Social Widget Suite offers Facebook widget shortcuts to anyone with an Android 2.2 or higher device.
Widget shortcuts are essentially all there is to this version of INQ, which is comprised of Social Widget Suite and three plugins: Software Alerts, Social Sync, and People. The INQ pack works with the official Facebook Android app rather than work as a separate client. So when a user adds the Places widget, they’ll see only a shortcut to the Check In tab in Facebook for Android. Likewise, the calendar opens the Birthday and Events section, Notifications the Notification tab, and People a list of friends. There’s also a 4×3 widget that shows items from the News Feed.
So what’s the point of these widgets if they are only just shortcuts? The one distinctive thing that I can spot about INQ is the “Top Friends” feature from People. Facebook knows the people you contact, comment, or like the most, and creates a list of your most prominent Facebook friends. The People widget allows users to filter out the noise of their many friends and see a side-scrolling stream of select friends. It’s a marginal but worthwhile benefit.
The INQ Cloud Touch was not a runaway success for phones, but people who may have liked the device’s software can get a taste of it in their current phones. Download the main app to get links to the plugins (phone compatibility issues may arise for the Software Alerts plugin.)
App: Social Widget Suite by INQ
Install main app to get links to plugins.