Gravity Build 6812 Maintenance release for xAuth-to-OAuth changes, brings Facebook Previews
Update: @janole just released one more update build 6812.
Update: @janole just released one more update Build 6805.
It was May 14, 2011 when we last seen Gravity getting updated and now its June 29, 2011. A kind of long period if we compare last few releases before this one. There been lots of expectations from the new build that what surprises @janole will bring this time, though many of the users are not aware of the same, but third party twitter client developers going through a nightmarish time nowadays. The people who are a little aware of the tech and legal things, should check the changed twitter guidelines (last updated June 01, 2011) to see that how strict those have became now.
I would not say that the new stance of Twitter is totally wrong. They had their own reasons. Some of them are explained here in official message. Not only the twitter world was getting fragmented day by day due to various ways different twitter clients were going for, but there were some worrying instances from Twitter point of view, for example, some developers display “comment”, “like”, or other terms with tweets instead of
“follow, favorite, retweet, reply” – thus changing the core functions of a tweet. Definitely changes the basic definition.
But besides this official lines, there were many other reasons that Twitter now becoming a little hard over third party developers for many of its own reasons. They bought Tweetie in past to make the same their official iPhone client and recently they acquired tweetdeck. Things are constantly changing with permissions, with putting new official competitions and developers like @janole have to keep a keen eye over all those changes and guidelines along with the features development and bug fixing going on.
While the above tweet explains that why Gravity maintenance release was required like right now, all the above boring talks provides some lights on the things that are happening in background to keep the developers like @janole on their toe, so that you all may understand that there is a lot work happening behind the scene than you can see and you all need to have patience with @janole for the new features we been used to expect from him.
Let’s Introduce the new Gravity 1.60 Build 6801 and go through the quick changes as we see
1. The New Icon and splash screen
First thing is to notice is the new icon to adopt the changes coming from Nokia in next few weeks related to Symbian Anna and new iconography for rest all the platforms. I have already mentioned some of the reasons in reference to this new iconography in my Nokia E6-00 review post. Though also notice that the above icon doesn’t follow the Symbian Anna Guidelines being a little bigger in size, but I think its temporary situation.
While the looks might be subjective, I would say that the colors are a little dull as of now and it should change in next build. I think even @janole agreed over this.
Also there will be a splash screen from now on, when you open Gravity in place of idle wait on slower phones.
2. Shift from X-Auth to O-Auth for DMs and new Accounts
There might be simple presentation of the difference between x-Auth vs o-Auth but many considered x-auth as an over-simplification of permissions related things and post DM-Gate from twitter, it was kind of increasing pressure that might have pushed to go O-Auth way only.
O-Auth gives more control in hands of users who are accessing the web version while it creates some annoyances on their part if they are using twitter from mobile clients only. In short from simple user point of view, you need to go via a browser and login from the above shown authorization screen rather than just giving credentials to twitter client and let it do things on your behalf.
Now, the question was, do existing clients needs to re-configure accounts after these changes? Well! it seems twitter been more concerned about DMs/ Personal messages only, so while rest of things should work like they been working before, but you will get the above shown Reauthorize button in messages section.
For adding any new twitter account though it will go via the browser way only.
One complaint from @janole… as of now, the browser implementation doesn’t seem to be providing pinch to zoom, which was an issue for me on smaller screen of Nokia E6-00 and might be an issue for others as well. Not much pain as its one time activity but @janole should take account of the same.
3. Facebook image preview feature
While many expected Overhauling of Facebook section in Gravity, it didn’t came out to be the case, thanks to recent rapid changes from Twitter guidelines that kept @janole engaged. But he did implemented the facebook image preview feature that allows us to preview the image posted on facebook like it does for many other services.
Though still no option to view an entire album or multiple images but something is better than nothing ;)
4. Minor changes in twitter client recognition
As you can see from the above screenshot, there is a minor change in twitter client recognition of Gravity, which now shows Gravity! in place Gravity. This will distinguishes the older clients from new one means O-Auth one with X-Auth as X-Auth one (older one) will soon stop functioning.
5. The Gravity Browser is now available for all Gravity users (S60v3/v5) For those asking for the reason behind the long gap, this been the reason. Embedding the browser inside Gravity on the older platforms so that the consistent user experience may be maintained, wasn’t an easy task considering the level of support left for the older platform.
Now, users from even S60v3/v5 handsets can open there web links inside the Gravity rather than going for native or external browser. Though there are still limitations with this native browser like no cookies support etc, but it should do the job for opening blog links etc.
Though things will change in more positive ways after the recent release of Anna browser on many of the older handsets.
Issues with Foursquare
After the update, many of you might be getting the message from some Jimmy Foursquare saying “You foursquare client is out of date”. Also the number of badges will be shown as zero even though you can see your badges if you go inside the profile. The reason is already explained by @janole himself.
With all the good news, there are some bad news as well. Not only Twitter, but Foursqaure also closing their O-Auth APIs means same level of trouble like users are going through with Twitter right now. But the difference is, twitter is a bigger network and due to presence of DM like features there is a certain needs for privacy and tighter security while foursquare only seems to follow the suite rather than thinking about the convenience and user experience side. Obviously a put off for developers like @janole, hence the above statement.
Though I still expect that @janole will re-consider the stand and the same way, twitter situation is handled, users can bear one time O-Auth implementation as well. Though I know its just not O-Auth but the new API also has changed a few more things that will require some serious work from @janole side, but let’s see what happens in next.
For people finding the download link, then you can get the same from universal link http://mobileways.de/latest/gravity-beta.sisx or the usual http://bit.ly/6801ALL . I am still wondering that why @Janole has not pushed the same update via the Gravity Info and update section. May be piracy reasons.
I was also expecting a major overhaul and inclusion of services like Miso, but it seems that we need to wait a little more. But I am sure that @janole must be excited after Nokia released the Anna Browser on the older devices, which has shown a new hope for “the burning platform” for a while.
So, these are the changes that the new Gravity 1.60 Build 6801 got. Please comment, if you find I missed any particular change or if any more features should be added in Gravity. You can ping me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter can follow me at @nkumar_.