Layman’s Take on Gravity – Big review of biggest twitter Client


[tweetmeme source=”mrnitishkumar” only_single=”false”]

Do you know what is Gravity? If you are not part of the online social crowd of twitter that may know each other sometimes better than the family itself, then sure your answer might be something else, but if you know twitter then you know gravity more than the twitter itself. No matter, you are a Nokia user with Gravity installed or on some other platforms, who never got the taste of awesomeness of Gravity. That’s probably the height of brand name that stands higher than the service, higher than OS experience itself. That’s our Gravity- The best Twitter client of the planet.

 

The above is the preview poster that Janole, the creator of Gravity posted on his twitter profile for suggestions few days back. The poster displays the previews of interface in dark theme with brand new Image section and support for services like Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, Google Reader, Status.Net. Obviously, the best way to present the latest version 1.32 6601 was to showcase it with Nokia N8 itself (the best a Symbian can get till date).


I must tell you, writing review over something you been familiar since long might be much much tougher to start with sometimes. I remember my Nokia N82 review that was so obvious thing always with me in last few years and still no words over it. Same with Gravity, each of us know about, use every minute, but its so simple, so obvious that what to write, what left to be told like simple questions becomes tougher than revealing secrets behind some prototype.


Gravity: First released on March 30, 2009, Gravity started with a simple interface covering all the basic things about Twitter and with continuous positive feedbacks, grown to improve the experience better and better in just few months. With October 21, 2009, it started becoming your one point social communication client by inclusion of service like Google Reader and all of the services were always sharable to twitter. Though we miss things like pictures or videos in Gravity’s Google reader section, but still it stands as perhaps the best RSS client for Symbian and smaller screens.

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What makes an awesome UI? The Simplest Interface- Everything right there where you expected them to be and functioning much better than the expectation itself and The Performance- all of sudden, you stop blaming that your phone is under powered or cheap coz gravity does the same wonder, if you pick an old phone like Nokia N82 with me or a cheap Nokia C5 or faster non-touch like E72 or even touch screens like N97 or N8 (touch screen versions have kinetic scrolling as well).

What makes the performance special is the fact that it’s programmed in Symbian OS native code. In practice, this means that the developer can create a feature rich, slick and complicated UI and user interface, compared to a J2ME based application. More of it, it handles the internet connections pretty well though there are not options for controlling A-GPS settings that way, but hey!! you are talking about a twitter client here


Let’s try to introduce the awesomeness of Gravity with the readers, who don’t know about it yet (if really there are any)

Installation Mobile installation never been any headache like Windows or Linux ones, so the installation will go straight forward though you are required to allow all applications from the application settings by changing the default of signed only.

Usually the size of gravity been around 450-500 kbs, but with arrival of combined installer for all platforms, it has changed to a single 1.69 mb installer.

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Yes! you are always recommended to use the latest version of software and here you have the best reason for that. @janole has introduced the all re-designed super awesome image section since version 1.31 6575, I guess. The latest 1.32 6601 is supposed to be most stable, efficient and Symbian^3 supported version of gravity.

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Like most of the products, I don’t remember that gravity ever changed its icon, but the new version now greets you with much more behind the thumbnails of six images in image section as the limit of last few images only as was just one month back, has been removed now.

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First look and services Interface and UI is what keep Gravity apart and ahead of any twitter client in the world and even all other Symbian apps, you might have ever seen. If you check twitter and blogs then you will find really many advocating that Nokia should give @janole the charge of UI design section with Nokia as its Gravity specially, that one misses if moves out from Symbian world. That’s why, when I say that can an app could be bigger than the OS itself in fame? then no one think of any other name than Gravity.

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The very first screen greets you with five initial sections: Add Account, Go Online!, Twitter Search & Trends, Images and Info & Updates. As you can check in options->View, current screenshots shows Gravity running in Full screen mode, which really shows that how UI’s should be actually designed to take full potential of smaller 2.4” screens.

As you see, in Options->Tools, Gravity make full use of A-GPS for twitter geo-tagging and FourSquare and even you can utilized the Geo-Co-ordinates obtained from Gravity to send via SMS by copying on clipboard.

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The version 1.32 is sure a big mark about Gravity as not only it brings support for upcoming Symbian^3 (N8, C7 etc), but the services like Google reader is out of beta stage now.

More of it, as Gravity supported the OAuth from the start, so its surely not among those ones, who gonna be affected by twitter’s recent announcement about OAuth. I am also looking for videos using Gravity with recently arrived Swype, would be awesome experience for touch users.

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As @janole seems to have removed one of the services here, so now it remains with five services as shown in screenshot-Twitter, StatusNet, Facebook, Google Reader and Foursquare, but under the hood there are many more services as well.

Listing a few here ..

  • Is.gd as a URL Shortener for Google Reader links though I would like it if @janole brings options about this as well. What about adding options for bit.ly and goo.gl?
  • Flicker uploads are supported via image section, you can put your Flicker code in Image Section -> Settings. Same about Facebook posts, which are natively supported. Though you can’t choose the folder in which the image will go with any of them. I guess, we just missing Picasa here. Isn’t it?
  • The other image upload services are Yfrog, Img.ly, TwitPic, MobyPicture, Posterous and TwitGoo.
  • There is support for other link services ike Delicious, Instapaper, Read-it-Later and also Ping.fm support by simply sending “p message” or “p #group message”

Have I missed any other service?


Connection Handling The connectivity thing suddenly gets a new meaning, when we talk about any mobile client as it was simple with Desktop ones. I means it was enough to have a single internet connection in your PC to run any internet based app, but when you talk about mobiles, then WiFi, 3G, APN and Wap like many things start circling in your mind.

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With the inbuilt Zlib compression option, though it may be the case, you wont mind running on lower connections, but at time, when you are going to open some heavy link, then sure you think if you would have started with the higher speed connection. Don’t worry, here you love the connection handling of Gravity with Open and Choose APN option

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As you seen in screenshot, you can always choose Auto-Connect to any Access Point and Auto-Fallback to WLAN for the simplest of configuration.


Twitter Gravity might not be supporting the option to make a twitter account from the client itself like Ovi tools support, but rest everything seems to be under full control of gravity and that’s most efficient and beautiful way possible for Symbian Clients.

If you already have checked out many twitter clients, then you really know that why people choose to buy Gravity even if there are many other free apps available for twitter and even the mobile sites like dabr.co.uk, itweet.net or twitter’s own mobile site itself.

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The first twitter screen go just in simplest way, lists your timeline, twitter handles of people, how much time back the tweet was and from which client they tweeted. in non-touch phones, for a few it might be confusing in start that where to type, but you just fall in love by the first sight when you just start typing and the type pad appears with GPS icon in left top and count being shown on right top. Once, you finished with your post, you just need to hit the update button.

With GPS icon, you need to press the up key while keeping the cursor at very first place and it tries to get the Geo-Location if haven’t already got. Green means it has locked the location and orange means it got the nearest tower but not the satellites.

Not only that if your tweet failed or if you pressed Close in place of update for some reasons, then it goes to Drafts section of gravity and yes!! it supports multiple drafts (didn’t check how many). Cool na??

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As you can see, there are nine tabs, you can navigate in smoothest manner possible and covers almost all whatever you thought that a client could have done.

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Not only that you can view yours and others profile in Gravity in the above manner, but you can also check for the profile picture, Lists and link if they would have given in their profile text. Just perfect…

You already seen that there is a section of Twitter Search and Trends, you can configure as many searches there and Gravity handles them in tabs.

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Not only that, but you can see that how many options you get by pressing over any tweet depending on the nature of tweet and the text inside that.

We have Reply, RT, +/-FAV, Reply-To-All, FWD, DELETE, Map/ Nearby and >> symbol for following up the conversations in other tab. The same interface goes with gravity everywhere, either it be following from someone profile or Facebook or Foursquare. Its same everywhere, click on the status and get the options whatever might be possible as per the text.

Not only that but you also have option of forwarding tweets on SMS or even by Email. Did you knew that?

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Facebook The facebook section of Gravity is kind of very limited now. You can check out updates on your wall, the news feeds and also could update, comment, like or forward the updates.

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You can see that the options are pretty basic here, but still sufficient for status updates and catching up with your friends.

There are issues like you can’t watch the full pics that easily, you do on twitter or if you wanted to watch some video then it downloads that first. No list of friends or birthday updates, neither can you view the profiles of others or browse their photos.

Its a due over @janole since long and he has promised up to come up with a complete Facebook section very soon. We are very much looking for that @janole.


Google Reader Perhaps no one would have expected that such a small client could have handled a thing like RSS Reader that well without going through the browser way and this is exactly what we call as brilliance.

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And that’s not the all, but there are other handy options like +/- FAV, Read, Keep Unread, Mark as Read, Share, Tweet and URL. You can set that which feeds should be loaded (default is Unread Items only) and can decide the fetch time. Tweet option uses the link shortener Is.gd by default and URL opens the link in the browser, if one wishes so.

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Though I could very well understand the reason, but the only thing remains in this section is images/ video and options to create folders, subscribe or unsubscribe. But Gravity was targeted to be an efficient RSS reader not the complete handler, isn’t?


Foursquare Not much to say about as I am new to Foursquare, thanks to Gravity that I joined this service, otherwise would never have joined as there was no foursquare apps before for my N82 or may be I wasn’t trying that harder.

Scr000111A nice view, plenty of options, controlled sharing with Facebook or Twitter, what else you want from a Foursquare client?


Images Section Here comes the recent and most noticeable addition to gravity with the latest version. A complete redesigned, beautiful and much more capable Image section.

Scr000080The new image section not only supports much more number of pics from your smartphone memory, but there are plenty of options for sharing as well.

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You can now upload a pics to some service (like Yfrog, Img.ly, TwitPic, MobyPicture, Posterous, TwitGoo or Flicker) without even tweeting the same activity and you could make use of generated URL in your tweet later on by copying it on clipboard.

You can choose the quality of pics to be uploaded like Medium, Low or Original.

And the recent version also have added the option to upload the pics to Facebook (though it shows on the wall as well, may be some option in facebook settings to hide that) and also option to update the twitter profile pics, like I recently did.


Purchase and Price Yes! Its not a free app, but comes for a price around Rs. 500/-, but hey!! isn’t this much amount you spend on any ordinary weekend?

Gravity is licensed per IMEI. When purchased from share*it! or fastspring, you do not need to enter the IMEI during the order process! You can conveniently register your IMEI after the purchase has been completed through our self-service portal.

If you experience any problems during or after the order process, please immediately contact us viainfo@mobileways.de and we will help resolving the issue as fast as possible. If you do not receive your software or your registration code, please immediately contact: info@mobileways.de!

And yes! you can have rebate on multiple copies as well. Please send Mobileways.de a request for a bulk rebate to info@mobileways.de if you are planning to order more than 3 copies.


While my review was based on non-touch Nokia N82, enjoy the following videos about Gravity on touch interface ..

Via FoneArena

Via TheNokiaBlog

 

Beautiful and cool, isn’t it?


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What makes this app more worth is the creator @janole itself, who is probably most accessible developer  celebrity on twitter. you drop something about Gravity on twitter and its almost 60% likely that he will respond (he is human after all, can’t make it 100%). Not only respond, but he keeps on working over Gravity again and again to sort out issues anyone reports to him.

Do you know that much of the image section was designed by him, when he was in hospital on bed? That’s call dedication and humbleness.

So, this is plenty much about the Gravity. A review in tribute to the best mobile Apps I would have came across. Please comment, if you wanted to add some more in it.

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Author: Nitish Kumar

I love to write and raising voice, sharing thought and heated debate is a kind of passion for me. Jobwise I am just another Computer professional handling Infra and designing solutions for a big Indian Media house but I love to write, sketch, photography and a lot more.

35 thoughts on “Layman’s Take on Gravity – Big review of biggest twitter Client”

    1. NO man. I am not that lucky. But I use Gravity and so it was a long due to me write once for the greatest app on Symbian.

      If you would have been user of Twitter and Gravity, then you’ll agree that this app deserve all praises for it.

  1. Nitish, ever since I dropped at your blog. I have been following each and every post [despite subscribed to innumerable tech blog]. I like the way you break sentences and paragraphs and create a beautiful post like this. Great effort on your part to come up with such illustrative post.

    Thanks
    Rishikesh Sinha

  2. I found Gravity to be a memory hog on my (now sold) N97. I have started using the much simpler, cleaner and most importantly cheaper (as in free) dabr.co.uk
    Why line up pockets of a developer when there are better free alternatives?

    1. Adam,
      Its really strange as I am using N82 and it works much better than anything else. Must blame bad management of N97 for that as I used it on even lower Nokia C5 or Nokia E52 and it is much efficient than anything else.

      As about dabr.co.uk, then I love that too for my S40 based sets. Probably only thing one could live with if not Gravity, but its a browser thing, means you need to deal with cache etc.. more of it, you are not on facebook, foursquare and Google reader at the same time.. same about pics uploads. Gravity proves to be a one stop solution.

      As about money, then sure, we Indians never given money that easily, but Gravity is a worth of every single buck. 500 INR you spend in any weekend dude.. try Gravity as 10 days Demo, you will love it

  3. how can i add my statusNet id in gravity? It doesn’t work for statusNet. should i need to change anything in api base url or time setting or something else? Plz help.

  4. how can i post in my google blogpost through gravity? What will be the settings? I already post in my wordpress account through gravity. Can you help please?

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