Posts Tagged ‘janole’
Update: @Janole has released a new update that is v2.7 Build 7153. Download link
Do you know what was the last time when Gravity got its last update? It was March 08, 2012 means exactly two and half a month before. Not exactly the longest period between two successive Gravity updates but still it was quite a long gap and people like me who been following Gravity updates since long, knew that longer period between successive updates always been leading to some great new features. So let’s see what new features are on card this time?
Before starting to talk anything about it, let me warn you, this time this update is a real Alpha means a premature build and you must be ready for some bugs while trying it (though like always, I didn’t found many of show-stopping kind of bugs).
So, are you ready for a walkthrough of new features? Here we go.
The changes that I might have noticed till now are as given below:
1. All New Notification Bar and removal of Full Screen Mode: Many of us liked Gravity in the full screen mode always but this was a big dilemma for people since the Belle update came in with drop down System notification bar. Being in Gravity timeline with full screen mode was meant to miss the status bar altogether.
@Janole decided in favour of removing the full screen mode (as was in earlier version, showing in extreme right screenshot) and introducing an all new notification bar with three sections.
An either blank or Home icon that will take you back to all accounts screen.
The middle part of status bar will take you to the top or to Dashboard of particular account.
The brand new notifications section that will take you to notifications + last visited history section.
For me, the issues in this approach is, Gravity has an option to tap on top to move to top of the timeline and with two status bars (One of system and one of Gravity), it becomes a lot confusing. You have to hit the status bar precisely to get to top because if you hit top most system bar then it might be lead to system drop down that might annoy you. Moreover, the pixel size of the new Status bar is almost doubled means loss of screen space on already low resolution Symbian screens. I think @Janole also agree on it.
All I can say that this approach might be good for many but may annoy many as well. In my opinion, there should be a full screen mode option present and in that mode, the pixel size of the status bar might be lowered as well. Though I wont push more for the pixel part because status bar needs to be in the same size as the search bar to cover it up in other parts of UI.
One of the workaround might be an Auto-Hide search bar along with half the pixel status bar in full screen mode. But let’s see how @Janole will deal with it.
But the better side of this exercise is, you now have access to drop down toolbar, signal, battery, time and system notifications etc.
* Thanks to @HardikLive for some of the screenshots.
2. New Add Account section with a minor change: Not a big change but one may spot a little change in Add Accounts section, where we find two options for Twitter account.
The “Can’t add a Twitter Account?” section is to bring back the old OAuth part for adding a twitter account without going to Twitter website because many a people faced issues via web route. Obviously for getting DMs, you will be needed to authorize via web only if you choose this choice.
3. The Search bar on the top of Twitter/ Facebook section: This is one of the experiments that even @Janole wasn’t sure and delayed it since January even after early implementation because it certainly takes its sweet time to get used to of it.
Only issue might be the screen real estate taken by it, but over the time, people will sure start getting used to it. Thing is, we are so accommodated to traditional UI elements of Gravity that any such change feels awkward in the start.
4. The notifications + History Section: The introduction of brand new Notifications section brings you a single place where you can keep track of notifications and history of the last visited places inside the app.
Not only that but @Janole has planned to make it even bigger in next updates.
5. Anna-Belle type rounded icons across the UI: I am not sure that why it wasn’t here already in last update but finally the native looking icons are here to make the experience consistent throughout the OS.
6. Facelift for Groups and Lists Section for Twitter: Groups and Lists section which was just a list earlier now gets the much needed grouping/
Isn’t it look good enough now.
7. User profile shows if the user following you: The new user profile section in twitter now shows that if the user is following you. So no more, tapping on profile and check if Direct Message option is appearing or not.
8. Image save option in Facebook section as well: It was already there in twitter section via tap on the picture or tap on the button in the middle bottom and it was about time, when it makes to Facebook section and its here now.
One difference here is the absence of the bottom middle button for saving the image but as the place was already taken by Edit button, @janole left it to tap on the picture to save it.
9. Facelift in Foursquare section, comments notifications: Not much significant, but the foursquare section also have got some minor changes in the way a check-in looks or in the way you search for a place.
The left most screenshot is from old Gravity while the middle one is from new one. You can spot the changes. Also the search bar in top is a new introduction. Also now you will get notifications when someone comments on your check in.
Though still we don’t have emphasis on marking system as in Foursquare and it doesn’t notify you that how much last checkin earned for you or where you stand in leader board.
10. New share menu in Gravity: Though as of now, it works only for the links in Browser, Facebook and Google reader section, but finally we have a share menu in Gravity that serves the purpose of saving articles/web pages from one social network to another.
Also now you can edit the title before sharing it in Google Reader menu (share function was there earlier). Though with this share menu, @Janole hasn’t integrated the is.gd or any other url shortener, but may be its for good, because who wants his/her URL getting shrink three times while posting? Twitter already has t.co while Facebook treats URLs other way.
As expected, introduction of Share option means no Tweet it button in Google Reader section anymore.
11. Gravity Browser gets attention again: Since the implementation, Gravity browser seen very less visible changes, but the big update this time decided not to leave it.
The first change is change of share icon that comes back to Symbian style iOS style as earlier and also Readability support for formatting the webpages for mobile screens.
While its a good step in right direction, it has its own share of glitches.
First, its rather annoying to get it back from Full screen mode which it choose automatically once open, then if you tap and hold you finger for 2-3 seconds, then bars appear but they get away once you remove the finger. It should stay for long so that one may come out from browser easily.
Second, Readability support is only for formatting the page, not for using you Readability account as Gravity browser still doesn’t support cookies means no kind of logins can be supported.
Actually this was a feature suggested to @janole long back in 2009 itself which finally got delivered by this new version.
12. Last but not least, option to share status on multiple networks finally: Yeah! finally you can share the same status on multiple social network accounts at once (facebook\Twitter}. All you need to do is to swipe your finger from left to right or right to left on Add Account section and you will get the screen given below:
This was a much needed and heavily requested feature since long. Thanks to @jryap28 for bringing this into my notice
13. Picture size shown while uploading photo to Twitter: As told by @janole, this was actually a debugging feature, but he found it rather useful for public as well and released it with this version.
Though its available for Twitter section only and not available in Facebook section as of now. But should come shortly with new version.
Bug: As of now, Gravity has two of the known bugs with this new version.
Push Notifications or User Streams brokenFixed with 7153 UI issues with Swype split screen modeFixed with 7153 Hope that it would be sorted by the upcoming version in next 2-3 days. Already out as build 7153.
So, this was all that I spotted about the new Gravity and now its your turn to tell me if I would have missed anything. Also this time, @Janole has made some important comments about the future of Gravity that you must not miss.
It says the long awaited Picasa (May be even Flickr Integration) might not be too far and may be a complete makeover of Images section may arrive with our long awaited Symbian Imaging Flagship Nokia Pureview 808.
And then the biggest announcement that might bring back many a hopes and smile on faces of people who have left Symbian and missing Gravity very much though @janole has cleared further than no work on Android\iOS right now. Schedule for second half or late of this year.
So this was what I had to say, now its your turn. Download it from here http://bit.ly/7152ALL and comment here if you find any more changes in it or wanna suggest something. Also keep a note of the fact that its a preview version so many a things might get changed in the version that will come shortly.
This was something that we all been waiting since a while, the second inning of the superstar, who never ceases to amaze you. Yes! Gravity 2.0 first preview is finally open for public now.
This time, I been a little late in grabbing the beta as must have been in the way back to home from office, but once grabbed it, it was not easy to sit and type a review that soon as I was used to do in past. Reason: the experience with this version was so mesmerizing to pull you into it that it was hard to keep yourself distracted into anything else. Specially the facebook section kept me into it for around an hour. Hats off @Janole … I was waiting for shout it again.. since long…
So, let’s see what’s changed with the new version (phew!! it’s a long list and many under the hood changes)
Update: Gravity has updated to build 6821 now to resolve the FourSquare API issue. Download link http://bit.ly/6821ALL
Update: Gravity updated again to resolve the issue I mentioned in the last para of the post. The latest build is Build 6816 and this time, its pushed into Info and Updates section as well.
Download Link: http://bit.ly/6816ALL
This is never a coincidence, never been .. whenever.. consistently whenever Symbian fans felt down .. there was always a name Gravity that always strikes back to bring the confidence in Symbian… to bring the confidence that there is still something that we lead into. Yes! anyone can guess that what I am talking about … yes! Gravity got a new update and this time, this is sure worth talking about.
Finally, @janole recently has started delivering in-app updates about which he has been shy in past due to piracy issues and so rather than looking at the blog posts, users can directly get the latest version from gravity from Gravity itself. And yes, a short change log is also there as follows:
Update: @janole just released the another version Gravity 1.5 Build 6712 for giving the same auto completion love to S60 v3 phones and some improvements for S60 V5/ S^3 as well.
New Gravity arrives with embedded browser, conversational message view and split screen Nokia keyboard
When it comes to Symbian, then more than even the Nokia firmware updates, recently we started waiting for a new version of Gravity for the innovations it brings to Symbian. It never happens that a Gravity feature update arrives and we find ourselves saying … “just that’s?” like case of Nokia firmwares. It always goes huge.
Yes! @Janole has came with another version of Gravity version 1.5 build 6691 with most importantly an Embedded Web Browser and many other new features that I will describe in rest of the post.
While the official change log is expected to come later from @Janole itself (will update the post then), here is what I noticed till now on Symbian^3 (my Nokia N8) and collected info from others about other platforms.
Embedded browser: Though it should be a sad note for Nokia like the way, portrait QWERTY from Gravity been that an app developers needs to work on basics and that even if limited comes out as way better than Nokia. Even if its just a minimalistic, featureless porting of native browser only, it looks way sleeker than original Nokia Browser, which again highlights the fact that its not UX but UI part where Nokia been under-delivering.
As you can see there are almost negligible options to call it a standalone browser, but still its noticeable that how just changing the UI makes things so different on Nokia. This is just a part of original Nokia browser with some lesser weight and it works like a charm to make you browsing more on links now.
The “Gravity browser” shows the loading of the page in percentage rather than showing as size in kb like Nokia browser and in place of showing the connection icon or loading bar, it prefers showing time on top always (check second screenshot). There are advantages and disadvantages of the same approach, but still its pretty sleek and beautiful.
Second thing you can observe is the URL Shortening service that was is.gd in earlier versions, now has changed to j.mp, which is actually a shorter version of bit.ly the leading URL shortener service that has the big name, even if people now started shifting to Goo.gl. You are saving two characters here and people using twitter like service actually know that how much each word counts. +1 for bringing this to Gravity.
Third thing you can notice that this is actually the same Nokia browser means double tapping or pinch to zoom will work like smooth Symbian^3 web browser (screenshot 4). Pinch to zoom is something we still badly miss in Opera mobile or Opera mini, which still keep Nokia web browser experience better than Opera in some parts. Though no options for saving an image like hold the touch to get a menu effect.
While looks are iPhonish in that bottom glassy bar, you can notice back and forward buttons as arrow keys. The “+” sign only brings the menu. NO option for opening any new address (that would have made an alternate use of gravity as a web browser too )
The back button actually takes you back to Gravity interface means on the screen from where you left it.
By the way, @janole already tweeted that if anyone finds any website that might not be working on new Gravity browser then he/ she can easily connect with janole on twitter about that.
On the negative part
The browser doesn’t support cookies means you can not login into any site as usual login process is based on cookies. No login for Twitter/ Facebook etc, neither you can make a comment with your wordpress login or Open ID on some blog.
I wonder that what happened to the part where we were able to customize the Access point while opening any URL, it has been removed from the new version. Might not be a use case for many, but there might be some geeks around, who still love to use more than one connection and switching among them according to the content.
There are no ways that one might be tweeting while reading some website. Not such a big thing due to Symbian’s multi-tasking (you can always open the link in default browser separately and that can be running in background), but still would be lovely to see what way @janole will take to solve this in next version.
As mentioned in one of the tweet from a user, Gravity browser seems to be running in background rather than being unloaded when get closed. Not an issue for S^3 devices but for S60 V5/3 users it might be crucial to give away any single MB of their precious RAM. @janole already working on it. You can feel the same as when you open another link then you find the last opened link already open there.
Note: Only the touch versions means S60 v5 and S^3 are enjoying the new gravity gravity browser as of now, not the S60 V3 likes, though @janole has promised to add that to S60 v3 version very soon.
Split screen keyboard I am not sure that whether its available for S60 V5 and the Symbian^3 users without last two updates as a few users reported that they are not able to get this, but @janole finally managed to show us that what wonder the split screen input can do with a Nokia.
We are not talking about the new design of keypad that @Janole introduced in last overhaul, but its the native keyboard as you can seen in the screenshot above.
Now, one may ask that why would one be interested in a non-multi-touch Nokia keyboard, when we have the glassy model of Gravity’s own keyboard with multi touch and smoothness. Hmmm… there are reasons.. like there are many people who love T9 and predictive input methods, there are people, who love the auto-suggest feature and some even like the interface too (really?).
You wont get the split screen input in landscape, if you might be using Swype, because swype runs as a separate app and will take upon the whole UI like usual Nokia QWERTY. As you can see, this is exactly the same nature of split screen input as we seen in search widget of Symbian^3 devices.
I even took a sneak into the portrait input options to see if by chance there is a QWERTY option, but sigh….
On the negative part
There is still no control on Gravity keyboard for people, who might not like small buttons (awesome for me though) and happy with T9 only. Its strange to me, but I know some of such people like my good friend @freak4mobiles.
There is still no options for selecting some text, while we can do the same in native Nokia keyboard implementation and this situation gets worse, when we find that there is no older keyboard available for Gravity any more (replaced by split keyboard model and gravity glassy text screen).
Me and some of the other users like Camb078 found Gravity crashed once while working out with options of Nokia Native Keyboard in gravity. Not sure what caused the same neither was able to reproduced the same, but this was strange.
Options screen while checking out Nokia Native QWERTY, seemed based upon old S60 v5 menu system as tapping once or twice didn’t worked out for changing options, but only way happened to be going via option->change. Strange but its happening.
Enhanced Facebook section with conversational view
While the Facebook section was entirely reworked in the last version, it seems that Facebook finally becaming the centre of attraction for @janole now.
We find the messages and comments both in conversational view now like the way, facebook itself got changed recently with new messaging system.
What makes me more happy about new Gravity is the fact that there are finally the reasonable notifications, which were earlier only mentioning the activities, but the latest version brings arrow icons on notification, which meant to express that if we touch any of the notification, then it will take you to whole conversation or activity. This is what notification always were meant to be.
I am not sure that if there were notification about Facebook Messages in the last version, while darkening the facebook/twitter/foursquare when there is an update might have been since earlier. As confirmed by @m_krishna and @freak4mobiles, it certainly seems something new.
On the negative part
When we see a message icon on top of the UI, while browsing twitter updates, then we can’t really tell that the message is for twitter or facebook. Differentiating the icons might have made more sense, isn’t it?
While with the new version, photo browsing experience is bound to get better as this version is caching last five photos/ maps, so re-watching the same pics would be more easier and data friendly, but it doesn’t seem that Facebook section is enjoying any show due to this as there is still no preview mode for images like we have in twitter section. Not sure, the blame is on Facebook’s restricted API or @janole yet to take a deeper look into the same for implementing that.
Facebook section still native as we can’t update our profile pics like we can do in case of twitter profile, we can’t check profile info of others, nor we can browse through photos section of our friends. A proper photo browsing would be a nice addition.
Google reader section also has been updated for the same j.mp URL shortener and same Gravity Browser can be used for opening URLs.
While Images and Foursquare sections still seems to be unchanged, I already voiced my concern once with @janole that somehow the way of attaching an image to a tweet might be confusing for a newbie and should have been an attach button in each tweet to call the images section and then let you choose the image rather than going through images section and then uploading the image first, copying the URL from there and then pasting inside any of your tweet or rather posting tweet from images section itself. What if someone is replying someone and just wishing to add some screenshot as a proof?
The other complaint from otherwise awesome images section is limit on photos. Though its understandable from resources point of view that generating thumbnails take a tool over performance, but still the users wont listen such excuses before mentioning it negatively.
So, this was all about new changes in the latest gravity version that is 1.5 build 6691 now though as usual there been minor bug fixes under the hood that will come into notice when we will see the official change log comes from the man himself.
The official download link goes here (around 1.9 mb), that will apply over all the versions (touch and non-touch) though Gravity browser is specific to S60 v5 and S^3 only. A lighter download link for FP2 version is here (492 kb only).
For people, who might be new to Gravity or looking for more info about overall interface then you must check out the my real big review on Gravity and the review post on last big update that was build 6686.
Did you find anything else that I missed here, do tell me please.
Finally the looong wait ended, when tonight @janole uploaded the alpha build of gravity with polished portrait qwerty, all new facebook section, conversation style DMs and more. This was probably the longest gap between two version (last one was in start of November) and after checking out the various features, it sure seems to worth all the waiting.
If you are not aware what gravity is (which is almost impossible for a Symbian user), then you must check my big review about Gravity. Being a fan of Gravity and @janole for sure, I was also following the development around the split screen and transparent touch keypad inside gravity, which also brings the portrait qwerty over Symbian^3.
Download link here
The complete change log will come from the developer itself by tomorrow, but I am showing you what I find different in my first few mins experiences with new Gravity.