Laymans take on new Twitter – The big Review

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Twitter; A 24x7x365 running social party where everyone is invited and approachable in most warm way as wasn’t even imaginable in any of the social services before. If even now, some thought that its just another social site or something too messy to deal with or think what just 140 characters do, then new twitter has arrived to spice up the party even more.

A simple idea in the start, twitter sooner became the biggest phenomenon of the planet where people even started missing twitter most, when in space. More than the simplest look of the Twitter, it was the services that kept joining in and made twitter such an engaging place. There been apps like Gravity and Tweetie running around Twitter services that made tweeting much more fun and given another mean to it.

While Gravity and Tweetie like twitter clients were writing another language of navigation, there was becoming a bigger gap between what various twitter client offering and what was available with the origin itself, the web interface of Twitter. Finally the big announcement came at night of September 14, 2010, when twitter decided to fill up this gap and announced an all new interface for twitter integrating many services revolving around twitter.

new twitter

GigaOM mentioned an interesting comment on it..

The code name for the new launch was Phoenix (Kind of funny when you think of the metaphorical bird rising from the ashes. As long as in this metaphor the ashes are the fail whale.


Rolling out of the services was started since the same night, but considering the gigantic volume of users, the process was to go through phases only and it was only  yesterday, when it reached to me and after spending sometime with it, here I am bringing some of its bit for you.

 

I will not bring the technical details like how JavaScript was used to implement most of the part and how many services get unified to bring this experience look like what it seems right now. Just bring you what a Layman see.

Twitter  pointed down the changes under four categories…


1. New Design First it came the blue ribbon on the top to indicate that a new experience is just a click away

blue ribbon 

Just a click and something richer and very pleasant appears

new twitter page

You zoom in and the first message appear that your twitter web experience gonna be having previews of pictures and videos as well means no reasons to go behind those links of twitpic, youtube etc.

greet message

While the left side contains the basics related to you and also the trending topic at a much better place. It was also a pleasure to see followers and following list at equal levels.

left side

On the other side, when we take a look at timeline, then even if it managed to retain the old and cleaner look that has made twitter this much success so far, there are many significant changes to improvise the user experience drastically.

Tw

We have the search bar at top like we seen it in Facebook and tweet & location buttons appear only when we type something in the update box.

Interesting was to see how things are adopting touch screens now, few days back I seen the new IRCTC website looks and now this… you click at any place of a tweet or click at the details button at the left top of the tweet, we see the left half of the screen getting converted into conversation mode.

details

I was wondering for sometime that what that message type of icon for, till I came to see that it changes the shape according to the content. Check in above screenshot that how it changes shape for Geotag and pictures. Cool!!

conversation

Not only this, but the idea of Mini Profile at the left side of the page was equally cool as most of the things getting constrained at one single page only rather than going though various pages.

updating tweet

Not only this, but the basic operations like reply or retweet took transparent Pop-Up format. Before thinking that an annoyance, think once that now you wont be needed to go through all over to the top text box and then coming back to find that where you were… when you are providing the infinite scroll, then it was impossible to manage without that.

retweet

And by the way, there is always a small icon on the top to bring the update screen anytime you want to update something, without disturbing where you are in the timeline. That’s called something streamlined and tight.

quick update


View Photos, Videos and other media content Started with the information sharing, twitter has became the biggest tool for sharing pictures and videos than any other service of the world. It always seems tasteless to see only links around when someone shares a video or pics, but on the other hand, it was bound to be messy, if they would have gone for putting inline richer contents.

The magical left panel came out to be solution of all ..

Picture preview

Though available for partner services like DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube only, but these names are also the biggest names.

Also it was interesting to notice that if you are not following the person, then you get something like the following

twi

Nothing was more delightful to watch youtube videos with all features without leaving the twitter homepage ..

youtube preview

Sure such a streamlined interface gonna make twitter users stay more on twitter rather than spending half of the time in navigating links going outside to twitter and so will facilitate twitter to bring more focus on ads in. Hope the luring side of ads will not take down otherwise superb clean interface as of now.

I think I still can manage to find one suggestion for twitter team that they still not dealing well with the links. May be the works is under progress in background, but it sure makes sense if Twitter also could bring the snipset of links as LinkedIn started doing through link share by this year.

Link details

Mini Profiles As I mentioned earlier, idea of Mini profile was cool and sure focused again on the same goal to keep the user on the same page for as much possible, so that whole experience may not go out side the site itself.

You just click over name of someone and in place of opening a new page or refreshing the page to remove your timeline to bring his/ her profile page, you get just a mini profile with sufficient information on the magical left panel.

mini profile Cool!!! Isn’t it?

Discover related content We have already seen in earlier screenshots that the conversation mode is much richer in the details. It not only brings the replies in the same chain, but also bring other tweets of the same user, which makes much more sense in giving you a proper view of entire conversation.

And you don’t need to click anything to get location of someone’s geotag info or to know who he is

mini profile and geotag

Definitely, great innovation so far.


What seems to be missing now

Even after trying hard, till now I have not been able to find links to show that a tweet came from which twitter client. Is Twitter all out to kill others? Openly?

Not only this, but uploading pictures or videos still has not made its way to twitter, when its becoming like essential part of all kind of desktop clients. May be for sake of simplicity only, but that’s something, which has to be here today or tomorrow.

At first look, I felt the mobile edition of the site got some changes also, but I guess I am wrong as things are just same as earlier with m.twitter.com

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So, this was my little bit, which I got know after using the platform for day one, what you got till now, tell me back for sure….

photo of Nitish KumarNitish Kumar
 
 
 

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New frontiers – Which one of Nokia N8 and E7 is yours choice?

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When Nokia N8 was announced then it was the time, when Nokia N900 reached India. The announcement really jeopardized many possible purchases of Nokia N900 here and today as many like me were fearing, a glimpse of Nokia E7 and we are confused again that should we wait for that 4” beauty or rush in for Nokia N8 as we are already decided?

I hope that when Nokia World 2010 was marked to show off four devices together on stage, then many might have got an answer that why release of Nokia N8 was this much late.


Four devices together on biggest stage of Nokia with many never been before in Nokia features;

1. A Brand new OS Symbian^3
2. Polished Capacitive Multi-touch AMOLED Screens
3. Third generation of Bluetooth 3.0
4. USB OTG for the first time on Nokia

One may comfortably assume that if Eldar wasn’t in middle with shocking revelation of Nokia N8 and intentionally worse choice of words like disappointment of year, then Nokia was all set to put this Symbian^3 bunch once for all in Nokia World only, not before than that. The similarities in profiles, features and design language all indicate for the same fact only. But that didn’t happened …

Many will argue and curse Nokia that why they were this much slow?

Answer was their ultimate failure Nokia N97, something they came to recover. With lesser RAM and power, it was a misplaced shot that came back to hurt them only in place of making them strong in touch phones genre. Like me, they never expected that market suddenly will be ruled by touch devices only provided the advantages of Non-touch ones and their huge heritage of years with their beautifully made devices and there it went wrong …

Anyway, it was a grand show, if all of these Symbian^3 devices with new interfaces, hardware, services and just another level of design language were set to appear at once, but in the world leaks, Nokia World 2010 was a little faded like Apple iPhone 4 launch went.


Though not designed to be, but it was Nokia E7, which stole the show and kept people confused that should they really go for buying Nokia N8 that blindly as they were kind of decided to? And why shouldn’t they, when it seems to be perfecting the build with addition of only missing thing in Nokia N8, the keypad and also adds 0.5” more bigger screen in the beauty …

In last many weeks, a major portion of hits toward this blog came though one post: the comparison post between Nokia N8 and Nokia N900 and so one could understand that how much such a comparison would be required this time, when it really much more confusing as now they are all seems to be on similar ground. Lets take some sneak peaks into finer details. I am also including Nokia C7 and Nokia N900 together for the reference.

The display, the design language and build

Here is the comparison between the four devices …

Display Build and Frequency

Three new devices not only set AMOLED as new minimum standard but they do the same for Pentaband too.

The Display resolution

It was shocking to many, when they seen a 4” device having only 360×480 resolution, when rivals roaring to 900x now and may be more in near future. It was more awkward as after 800×480 resolution of Nokia N900, no one was expecting Nokia to go below than that.

Nokia’s argument is “same resolution makes the job of developer easier, when they know where have to put their pixels on through out the range of devices.

For sake of argument on Nokia side, the basic question was what the purpose of going behind the number of pixels, when you got to deal with same 3-4” of screen and can’t be pushed to be more smaller icon? Even AMOLED gorilla glasses were not that cheaper side, then even pixels, who actually not gonna make a productive effect on experience rather than marketing gimmicks, if you would have gone beyond retina.

But on the other side …

its true that resolution matters a lot and even the Nokia fans, who would have taken a ride over Nokia N900 will argue on that. Bigger resolution means larger, comfortable space for browsing and better viewing angles for other medias.

True that while making design decisions and pricing, one has to go through compromises, but it was only Nokia, who made consumers hating the word compromise.

So, conclusion on resolution issue is …

Nokia E7-00 gets no direct advantages over Nokia N8 in terms of resolution though it gets numbers on CBD technology, which makes the display look impressive than even Nokia N8. Still we can pass out that. Nokia has to care about the fonts and icon details on a comparatively bigger screen, so that people may not feel something cheap or may miss Nokia N900 likes.

The design language and build

The statement that actually won many battles for Apple was being the slimmest. The design statement was always loud and clear from their whole range of products. Sometimes such loud that people miss the fact that at what cost these products come and what compromises they bring in their lives.

It would be certainly interesting to see if iPhone’s sales figures were really that higher when they were selling it unlocked or people weren’t buying it to Jailbreak first. Provided the major sales of Nokia comes from the countries, where they sell their phones unlocked only, they were never on the same grounds.

The rule of war is “Beat the enemy on their grounds, on what they felt them best, without leaving the skills at which you are best”. A victory in that way leaves the opponent out of courage to fight again, no matter how big they might be.

The all new design language as reflected from the three leading phones on stage (N8, E7 and C7) shows the same commitment to beat the opponent on their turf. Though they get limited by inferior camera (moving parts not allowed in slimmer builds, so heavily compromised) and were forced to restrict the removal of battery for sake of unified build, but it was sane as they maintained all the features and at least one of their device was branded to be the best uncompromised camera in the world.

Literally uncompromised camera of Nokia N8 is something which doesn’t let Nokia E7 stands a chance in that era even if Nokia E7 seems to bring the same looks and solidness in same slim profile, but with huge benefit of QWERTY for less than 1mm difference (13.6mm and 12.9mm). People really may confuse a Nokia E7 from Nokia N8 if at some distance and that’s make it tempting to go for E7, but let me show you something …

18092010822

Not a best macro shot of my Nokia N82, but such shots at workplace help you a lot and I kind of can’t think living without such macros, but the slimmer design comes with a compromise in Nokia E7 that its can’t focus on objects closer than 50 cm.

We buy higher priced phones for more features not just for more power or numbers and Nokia has made us to think Camera as integral part of Smartphones. Even if 8 MP, the Non-Carl Zeiss Camera brings Nokia E7 at somewhat the same level as of Apple iPhone 4 or Samsung Galaxy. Hope Nokia could prove me wrong, but that’s a deal breaker for me otherwise, I would have bought Nokia N95 in place of Nokia N82 years back.

Even if now, I am assured with the solidness of slider hinge of Nokia E7, Nokia N8 scores point due to literally uncompromised camera.

The processor/ RAM

People reading too much from numbers might get a surprise here …

CPU 

If you check ARM 11 Vs Cortex A8, then ARM 11 been the processor that were used by iPhone 3G once. I am not an exactly  right person to talk on this, but no one would argue that superb performance of Nokia N900 was for a reason; Cortex 8 that was also used in iPhone 3GS and known as next generation to ARM 11 and even Snapdragons. So, we come back to another ‘compromise’ here that Nokia made for keeping the costs down.

But at the same time, one should also consider the fact …

Symbian been known for bringing top notch performances from minimum processor/ RAM usages and even if we are here with an older processor, it just cut it better than other OS platforms been doing till now. An ARM Cortex 9 might be the future, when they come to MeeGo, but with Symbian^3, Nokia decided to be with ARM 11 680 Mhz.

It doesn’t make a difference about Nokia E7 and Nokia N8 as both of them share the same processor, but it thrills to see that Nokia N900 still has a place with a superior generation processor.

Greatest part is the inclusion of Graphics 2D/3D processor in all the coming phones, which was a thing that Nokia was forgotten since Nokia N95/ Nokia N82 time.

So, here no one score points neither Nokia N8 nor Nokia E7 as both are on the same level.

Connectivity

This has been a core part of discussion I posted about Noia N8 Vs Nokia N900 and after a year, now we have seen that a mobile could have HDMI and Dolby as well and could be operated by Bluetooth Mouse and Keyboard. Technology is really travelling faster.

Connectivity

Connectivity features are exactly identical when it comes to Nokia N8 and Nokia E7, but its also sure that Nokia gonna come up with some exclusive features for Nokia E7 as they mentioned in Q & A rounds that it will be Software part that will come to distinguish the Nokia E7 and so will justify the price.

Are we going to see thing like remote control in Nokia’s as well? Certainly look like so.

Memory support

Memory part been the biggest reason behind the failure of Nokia N97, as even if Symbian is known to perform best even with 128 MB RAM, Nokia missed that time to take concern of escalated needs for a touch based platform. Nokia N97 Mini was correction to the mistake and after feeling well settled with 256 MB RAM of Nokia N900, even if tempting number of others on 512 MB RAM, it was no where a wrong decision on Nokia part to keep RAM settled on 256 MB for all the three devices.

Memory comparison

Note: The mentioned 135 mb in the above pics is wrong, which I realized after having N8 in my hands.

After the standardization of Processor/ RAM, it was time to address the second part, the internal memory, the C;\ drive of phone. Interesting is to note the difference of maximum user storage part between Nokia N8 and Nokia E7. Nokia N8 has only 260 MB while C7 and E7 come with 350 MB.

After living with Nokia N82’s 100 MB maximum user storage since long and also surviving the other side with Nokia E52, not only me, but other users know very well now that what important maximum user storage or C:\ of phones has. Happy to see that Nokia seems to address the same as well.

Numbers might look like otherwise, but experience says that 260 MB is more than enough for most of the users need when there is already 16 GB space available for saving all kind of media.

But still presence of 350 MB maximum user storage and 1 GB NAND memory in both of the devices E7 and C7 indicates that Nokia seems to be setting up with something big coming for these devices in near future and the those software features will keep on revealing itself in steps over time like has been in case of Nokia N8 in last months.

There is an unrest about exclusion MicroSD support from Nokia E7, but provided the USB OTG support, it seems that with already huge internal memory soon gonna make requirement of MicroSD support irrelevant. Think if there was MicroSD support, then people were asking for hot swap support as well, but now after USB OTG, hot swap is available for everything.

 

Camera

When it comes to Camera then obviously Nokia N8 is something that is made for that only.

Camera comparison

Even if no Macro Mode support disappoints big time like I mentioned in first part, definitely having a sleek camera that could record your moments in HD quality video is something been a dream for Business Phones. After all, not only marriage and birthdays like family-n-friends moments are precious, but things like visit of some big shots or some special achievements at work place also might be something that one wanna cherish for ever.. and what could have been better than HD quality video?

So, if Nokia E7 looses scores in Macro, then scores big time as a business device setting standards for the market. Remember, we have the best ever keypad here, which no business device in market could beat at the moment. 8 MP Camera still stands at it best possible.

Secondary Camera comparison1

Secondary camera bring no surprises here, but again like I always been saying… its time for Nokia to set another standard by putting some 2-3 MP camera in front place. Ok OK.. I understand not at this dimension but may be future models.

Was just thinking in Sci Fi mode that it will be possible to make superb camera lenses without moving parts, if someone could find such a material, which could change density and so focal lengths on controlled electrical probes. Isn’t it?

When it comes to camera then Nokia N8 is sure second to none because of being almost uncompromised, but still Nokia E7 is not loosing the battle as we have won a 8MP camera with HD video recording on a Business device. Remember, it was just few years back, when just 2 MP was being taken as a Business phone standard.

Nokia N8 wins in this department hands down, but Nokia E7 still has worth.

OS and Extra Features

Extra features 

There been a lots of argument and discussions around that Symbian is dead and Nokia should move on to Android at least. Why Nokia resisting the urge to do so?

There is a strong reason for that.

Symbian is not only the biggest mobile platform on the planet, but also has backing a a big loyal community that even after difficult times has kept on serving the people at their best. Going towards any other platform will be meant to loose them.

Another OS come up with different file structures and implementation of things that will be an area of concern over expectations from Nokia. It seems very reasonable that Nokia is trying to keep things on their own turf here. They know Symbian been big till year and has much more caliber to make a comeback very soon. Symbian been known for their effectiveness in least resources and had no reasons to be abandoned coz others getting ground.

Maemo on Nokia N900 was great but was an example of the same thing that bringing a platform is easy, but bringing interest of developers is not. “Developers, Developers, Developers” that exactly was the words of new CEO of the company and with free signing and many welcome changes Symbian seems to be set for bringing a new world yet again.

As about features, then again many services are yet to come when Nokia E7 will be actually available or sale and some are even being targeted and design to Nokia E7. So, its better to keep mum till something really arrive.

Power Management

This was the other area of concern, when Nokia went for such slimmer design language. Not only finding the perfectly slimmer battery was a thing, but so was to decide inclusion of non-self-replaceable battery.

Battery comparison

As of now, without finally software, its useless to comment over the mention figures about battery performance, which only time will tell. Its sure that Nokia E7 not gonna be like typical E72 like battery life being a 4” multi-touch screen neither do the stats says that it might be better than Nokia N8.

We all are keeping our fingers crosses that new OS and new battery is going to perform as well as written in stats. 12 Hours talk time would really be deal breaker for anyone, if Nokia N8 gonna just do that.

As per specs and power hungry bigger screen, Nokia N8 scores point here, which seems strange due to the fact that Business devices always been on the top in this field at least. Is it gonna change?


So, these are a few things about upcoming phones and soon to be available Nokia N8. I really think that these never like before devices gonna bring some fresh breath for Nokia and Symbian. What you think?

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