The app is also touch-enabled for those who want to use it on Windows 8 touch-based devices. It employs Lookout, a new drag-and-drop interface that was introduced by NewsGator in August as part of a major version 3.0 update of Social Sites for SharePoint 2013. Lookout allows users to pick and choose from the activity streams and other information emanating from SharePoint.
The company said Lookout is intended to solve the tendency of activity and other informational streams to overwhelm a user, causing important information to be overlooked. The interface allows a user to choose and configure which content to view from activity streams, people, communities, topics, subjects, notifications and other areas, including documents from SharePoint that match search terms.
Lookout presents the information as a multi-column dashboard view, and the columns can be dragged-and-dropped into a customized configuration. New or unread information is visually highlighted so users can quickly scan and locate the latest content.
Also displayed is “social intelligence” via recommendation engines, with descriptions why colleagues and communities are being recommended. And the app has the ability to include HD video, private messaging or email. As with the previous version of Social Sites, users can respond to notifications and conversations from activity streams via email.
Brian Kellner, NewsGator’s executive vice president of development and product management, said in a statement that the company built Social Sites because “our customers told us they needed a better way to filter, refine, interact and consumer large amounts of information in the social streams.”
The intent of the new Windows 8 app, he said, is to “focus on a more human-centric approach,” since other tools on the marketplace “do not empower the end user.” He added that the app is making “social technology smarter and better-enabling the end user to surface relevant connections when and where they need it.”