Nitish Kumar's Blog

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Gravity reaches version 2.50, Belle UI, pull to refresh, YouTube Section and more

with one comment

November 23, 2011 was the last time, when Gravity got the last update that was v2.00 Build 7009 and after exactly one month later, we got the preview build for the always exciting and innovation app Gravity that is actually a pride for Symbian. (Am I the only one who is reading the trend of exactly one month for each new build here? January 23, 2012 now?)

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Even if its a time, when hard core Nokia fans are either moving towards Windows Phones or keeping it low most of the times in a tough battle against the growing base of Android, one must admit that post February 2011, Symbian^3 has seen tremendous activity under his name. Many Qt apps joined the pack to enhance the user experience, Nokia websites got redesigned in fancy blue and even if hopes of Symbian Belle (now Nokia Belle) kept on playing hide and seek with us, those who experienced the performance of Nokia N8 like old handsets with leaked Belle can guarantee you that nothing is finished yet.

Meanwhile the above debate is on, there was one app that was always standing apart of everything, apart of Belle, Anna, S60 etc, apart of Android vs iOS vs Symbian. Yes! our Gravity!! And we really waited impatiently for the next version of the same, not because of some bugs or some expectations, but just to wonder that what new innovation the all in one app Gravity brings for us this time. So, let’s take a ride of what we see new in this new build of Gravity (v2.50, Build 7025):

(First I will cover Symbian^3 changes only will update S60 features later on)

1. Belle compatible bottom bar:

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Though most of Nokia Community still don’t have access to Symbian Belle but once Symbian Belle arrived in market in form of some new handsets, it was unavoidable to ignore the UI navigation theme as on Symbian Belle that has shifted from those Options\Cancel button and taken form of icons now. The new build of Gravity tries to do the same though with addition of option to “reverse the toolbar” for those who feel its more natural to have options menu on the left like it been in Symbian always.

Minor UI changes but those who are already on Symbian Belle will appreciate it and those who are not, will get a preview of upcoming via this app.

2. Pull to Refresh and minor but noticeable change in design:

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After tap to top, Gravity finally gets the most awaited feature that is pull to refresh. Pull to refresh is not limited to Twitter only but works in Facebook, FourSquare, Google Reader, YouTube etc as well.

The other minor change is replacement of text by icons (as been theme of Belle UI). You can see icon of a pen in place of New Button and Belle like options icon though I still wonder that why @janole didn’t replaced the Back button by an arrow icon?

3. YouTube Account added: 

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One of the feature addition with this new build is the option of YouTube account. While we already had the capability to play YouTube videos since last few builds, it was a one step forward to add accessibility of YouTube account in the form of familiar Gravity theme. It includes favorites, Watch it later, My Uploads, friends videos and you can always search with a split screen keyboard. Though I couldn’t find an option to upload some videos, but this is still great for a start.

I was personally expecting MISO and Tumblr to be part of Gravity by version 2.50, but as @janole said its a preview build only so may be later.

4. Google Reader section can now display the images as well:

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While today you might think it as one of those many features that Gravity added by this new build, but as @janole said, this was the main feature idea with which @janole started working on the new build. Again like other sections, we find the UI options going via small icons in place of Text (except the odd Back button like old days). Did you noticed the recording like icon for Read or Unread?

Must say, with inline picture display, now you can think of adding your Google Reader Account in Gravity permanently than using any other apps (be aware of heavy data usages though).

Though I find it odd that Google reader section can share the posts via Twitter only not via Facebook or any other service. Also while in outer menu, option to copy the link on clipboard is present, we miss the same in full post mode. May be next build bridges these gaps.

5. Entirely redesigned and more productive Twitter Trends screen

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I don’t how many of you use Twitter Trends actively but for experienced users, its been an essential part of Twitter experience by which they can keep a tab on most important things happening around. In older version of Gravity, not much was configurable here, but with the new Gravity, you can check trends worldwide or by country specifically as well.

I must tell you, you gonna love it.

6. Satellite mode, zoom-in, zoom-out buttons added for maps:

Scr000047 Since @janole has changed the UI for displaying the image preview and maps, it has enabled Gravity to do some more tricks. This one is the latest.

Zoom-In and Zoom-Out buttons are now added to UI in bottom bar and you no longer needed to remember the volume key shortcut for the same. Also the globe like icon next to option icon let you toggle between maps mode and satellite mode.

7. Image saving option:

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While Gravity already had probably the best support for displaying images from multiple services, addition of saving pictures option makes it a killer now. Gravity was already displaying the non-service images by just URL ending with .jpg, .png etc and with this, things gonna really really challenging for other clients across all platforms. Though the same feature is limited with Twitter Image previews only, but I see no reason that why @janole wont extend the same functionality for Facebook images as well in near future. Finally we can see the larger version of images via Native Gallery and can store it and zoom in.

Gravity was already storing the images earlier as well but those were kind of cache version hidden inside private folders of Symbian. Images will be saved in Images folder of E: drive now.

8. Many other minor changes

Scr000042 There might be many minor changes hidden inside that I am yet to discover though one of them was display of last user names with an “@” on the accounts screen (like the name of @aktiwary showing in the above screenshot).


What is still annoying with Gravity on Belle?

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You can blame awesomeness of Gravity full screen mode that @janole always skipped to provide much support for non-full screen mode which remains one of those weak points about Gravity. Like in above screenshots, you can see that on Symbian Belle with full touch phones, one can not write a new tweet as there is no button for that neither than option for new tweet in menu. Also the Gravity Keyboard doesn’t work in non-full screen mode.


Download link for New Gravity version 2.50 Build 7025

Link

So, anything else you find in the new Gravity, do tell me?

Written by Nitish Kumar

December 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm

The first real Windows Phone at Layman’s Take from @Nokia_Connects

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Update: The review unit is from @nokia_connects. There was some confusion as came via Nokia India

While many of the readers are yet to finish the giant Nokia N9 review that I posted few hours back, here comes the another big news. Nokia Lumia 800 has just been delivered at Layman’s Take.

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While you might be wondering about the first Bluedart bag in place of usual DHL package then let me give you another surprise. This is the first review unit to me from Nokia India itself (in co-ordination with Nokia Connects obviously) and to add into the excitement of the latest device, let me tell you that it will remain with me for next two months.

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Not to forget, as per my wish, Nokia decided to treat me with the Black Model. So… now its time to shot a big YAHOOOOOO … oops! big BINGGGG as @modibimal says

Written by Nitish Kumar

November 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Layman’s Take on BlackBerry Torch 9860- Focused about work beautifully

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Its been a time with loads of exciting stuffs to me, first Nokia N9 and then BlackBerry Torch 9860, Two totally new platforms with a contrast nature. Like I usually been doing with my review units, I was required to immerse myself into one of them totally as my main phone to know about things more than skin deep, but it definitely was tougher this time. But still, Blackberry grabbed my attention in many ways and definitely left a very good impression for a first time Blackberry user. A lot to say, but will try to keep it compact.


BlackBerry and me:

It should come up as a strange fact that despite of being called as a workaholic, I been far away from the BlackBerry World till now.

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Reason …

My first short encounters were with models like BlackBerry 8800 two years back, when we purchased around a dozen for our office. The same model never strike me about its looks or QWERTY (didn’t liked that in comparison of likes of Nokia E71/E72 etc). So, it was a sort of first impression that left me with a bad taste just by looks\ design even when I didn’t tried the services part.

Secondly, as far as services part is concerned, then in those days, I wasn’t much into social services/facebook etc (just created those accounts after that time period) and push mails were not that big concern to me so obviously paying a premium amount for BIS/BES services was out of question, when I never felt any particular need of timely delivery.

But things changed over time. I started “regular” blogging by Feb 2009 and later on joined Twitter/Facebook etc by end of 2009 I guess. Mails/ Twitter/ Facebook feeds kept on finding their ways deep into my life and now I generally take part into dozens of twitter communications with roughly 100 tweets/mentions per day and similar about the mails. Now was the time, when timely delivery was important, now was the time, when I was ready to pay premium was accurate services and that’s now it was about time, when I dig into and explore the BlackBerry world, which been a legacy about service delivery till now.

Thanks to twitter and @kaushaldivya5 that I got a chance to take a look over the latest of BlackBerry’s adventure with Full Touch.

Let’s see what I felt about my first BlackBerry …

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Written by Nitish Kumar

November 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Layman’s Take on Gravity 2.0, the first preview–A new era begins

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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.

Announce

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)

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Written by Nitish Kumar

October 14, 2011 at 1:11 am

Symbian Belle gets official, brings Nokia 600,700, 701 – Layman’s Take

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Finally the day came, August 24, 2011.

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Nokia Facebook page was a hot topic among Nokia Fans and bloggers since some days due to a mysterious message on their page with a countdown heading towards today. It didn’t stayed long enough as a mystery among Nokia fans due to some goof-ups (?) from Nokia side itself, when they accidently leaked the name "Belle".

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Even though I am rarely blogging nowadays due to office things, but like always I been active on twitter @nkumar_ and like others I was also wondering about the message "This time it’s personal" and even sent a "funny" tweet as well. Though I am yet to figure about the exact motives behind the tagline, Google sent me to this link that was written by Chief Scientist, Accenture long back in 2009. Not sure, but was it first sign of Accenture’s involvement in Symbian?

Anyway, the news is bigger than these small speculations… it is about Announcement of three super cheap smartphones equipped with well awaited Symbian Belle (Yes! you are reading it right.. Symbian Belle, I know even Symbian Anna roll out not finished yet). So let’s talk about the new joinees first.

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Written by Nitish Kumar

August 25, 2011 at 4:08 am

Layman’s take: Nokia BH905i – How serious are you about music?

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I guess my readers wouldn’t have forgotten that I was reviewing a Nokia BH905i unit lately and the early impressions post was the initial sign of a good review coming soon. So, here I am, back again with the same weird look.

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After giving me the opportunity of reviewing the Nokia BH905 in past, the great people at Womworld/Nokia decided to give me the treat of its successor, The Nokia Bluetooth Headset Flagship, the BH905i. And, it was obvious from my side to compare it with my past experiences with the Nokia BH905. Here’s a picture! (BH905 in left and BH905i in right)

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Written by Nitish Kumar

March 30, 2011 at 7:30 am

Unboxing Nokia N86

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Like Apple fanboys, there always been many Nokia N82 fanboys all around the globe, those who never given up over this device and same keeping the legend alive even after three years when people have completely forgotten that how first iPhone was. Living three years straight and still roaring to continue the journey that could be only some brave heart, that was our beloved Nokia N82.

Collecting fanboys all around the world, with Nokia N82, all of sudden, Nokia, who always liked to challenge its own device with new variations, found itself against its own device as ‘a rival’ that seemed to be invincible to get challenged. Was hard to challenge the legacy of Nokia N82, but Nokia given a try with Nokia N86 with high pixels and so many other features. Before getting hands on Nokia N8, I thought to just get familiar with evolutions of camera technology with a new trial from WomWorld/Nokia, a successor of the legacy, Nokia N86 and ….. I was not knowing that this going to surprise me this much.

Lets see… Layman’s un-boxing today and some boring blah blah…

After a long wait after requesting a Nokia N86 from Katie, finally yesterday was the day, when that DHL guy arrived at the gate of my office. I am sure that he and my office colleague might have started to think that I am some kind of import/ export guy or smuggler ;)

That’s a tough thing to be a office person. You get a trial device delivered and you know that out of all excitement, you wont get time to open it before the late eve, when you reach home. But, thanks to WomWorld and my office routines, I feel myself much patient person now ;)


 

The package: The package shouts camera first even if Nokia N86 now have free ovi navigation as well. All around the name was mentioned as Nokia N86 8MP, sure the first new thing in comparison of Nokia N82 package.

The strange thing was the mention of N-Gage as I didn’t found any N-Gage game icon in the phone, while it was there in my Nokia N82 as well. Is the free game offer with Nokia N86 discontinued? Not sure!! Will try to look into it.


The contents inside the package: A slimmer box than Nokia 5800, Nokia N86 comes with all the usual accessories, we have been familiar over the years except two possible missing components; TV-Out cable and might have been important traditional to USB power converter (it has a mini-USB port for charging).

But there was one thing, I was most happy about … it was the first time, I was trialing a pure white device (I wished to have hands on while Nokia E72 in past). What is beauty to watch …

Matching white stereo headphones and upgraded battery 1200 mAh (in comparison of N82) sure going to be treat to me :)


Specs: If you start comparing on specs sheet, then you will find that Nokia N86 wasn’t only ahead of Nokia N82 on megapixels, but there were many new things in this worthy successor.

Connectivity

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
HSDPA 900 / 2100
HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 – American version

Size

103.4 x 51.4 x 16.5 mm, 69 cc

Weight

149 g

Display

AMOLED, 16M colors
240 x 320 pixels, 2.6 inches
- Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
- Scratch-resistant surface

Speakers

Yes, with stereo speakers
- 3.5 mm audio jack
- Dedicated music/gallery keys

Storage

8 GB storage Internal , 128 MB RAM

Card slot

microSD, up to 16GB

Data

GPRS Class 32
EDGE Class 32, 296/ 177.6 kbits
3G HSPDA, 3.6 mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, UPnP technology

Bluetooth

v2.0 with A2DP

USB

v2.0 MicroUSB

Camera

8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, wide 28mm Carl Zeiss lens, autofocus, dual LED flash
Variable aperture, geotagging, ISO 800
Video VGA@30fps
Secondary Camera VGA videocall camera

OS

Symbian OS v9.3, S60 rel. 3.2

CPU

ARM 11 434 MHz processor

Radio

Stereo FM radio with RDS; FM transmitter

GPS

A-GPS Support, Ovi Maps 3.03

Others

- Dual slide design
- Digital compass
- WMV/RV/MP4/3GP video player
- MP3/WMA/WAV/RA/AAC/M4A music player
- Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
- Voice memo
- Kickstand
- Flash Lite 3.1
- TV-out

Battery

Standard battery, Li-Ion 1200 mAh (BL-5K)
Standby Up to 312 h (2G) / 264 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 6 h 18 min (2G) / 3 h 54 min (3G)
Music Play Up to 25 h


Build: Complaints first …

Call it raised expectations due to E72 and N97mini like premium devices, but now I have started expecting more metal in Nokia devices. So, it was disappointing to see a hard to open plastic back.

The other complaint was from the SIM slot. The mechanism of inserting and removing SIM seems prone to scratching SIM due to pure mechanical nature. I was really more happy, if they would have placed the similar tray mechanism as was in Nokia N97mini or even slot mechanism like Nokia N82.

The good points ….

First is the beauty

 

Though it feel almost the same bulky as was Nokia N82, but addition of kick stand was a fantastic decision and same was the metallic border.

 

Same way, I think that the new keypad design was to answer the complaint of tiny keys in Nokia N82 (but I loved that design) and dedicated music keys were sure a wish granted people demanding for the same in Nokia N82.

No pen key as its already discontinued withy almost all Nokia phones, but notifications lights on Menu key and a tiny charging light was absolutely making the design ticking all boxes.

The placement of Memory card is under the back cover seems fine, because for inserting/ removing card, you wont be needed to remove battery and also protects from dust etc.

Same way, we find a smooth and improved camera cover with Nokia N86 here


Nokia N82 and Nokia N86

Leave the build and superb camera a side, geo-tagging and FM-transmitter are something that making me excited enough. It looks like Nokia was thinking to remove all the complaints from Nokia N82, when they made Nokia N86.

Though processor and RAM specs are the same, but we got a huge 8GB internal storage than 100 mb internal storage of Nokia N82. With upgraded OS, option of geo-tagging, complaint of dedicated music keys, metal casing, better camera cover mechanism and addition of un-lock button in side.

What I liked after starting the device was the screen saver… well I am sure that there might be a screen saver like this for Nokia N82 as well, but where you will get an Amoled Screen like Nokia N86. I agree with all the talks that might be going around super amoled and all. It rocks.

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I also placed both the devices into a macro test and below were the result. Guess yourself that which one is of Nokia N86 and which one is of Nokia N82?

 

Any differences here?


Though one thing that made me worried was scratches over the lamination of screen. If it was my own device then I should have changed the lamination, but now I have to live with it in next two weeks. Again mind asking the same question, how safe the big screen touch device are from such scratches??

So, this was it … there gonna be many talks around this new member of the family, keep tuned in and guide your questions/ suggestions in my way. What I should do more with Nokia N86?

Written by Nitish Kumar

August 7, 2010 at 2:48 am

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