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)
1. Entirely reworked Facebook Section:
This always been a complaint from Gravity users and an excuse for others that Facebook never been a priority for Gravity in past. Gravity stood more as a workable Facebook client than being a full fledge one. That’s been the reason that we seen fMobi likes finding a place in essential Symbian App lists. Seems the real competition gonna begin from today itself.
As was already expected, the new Gravity keeps harmony with its own established template for the dashboard style and evolves the various options in its own way. Let’s start checking it out.
As you can see from the first screen itself, we find three kind of notifications with three different icons: one for News feed, One for notifications and one for messages. The main dashboard screen looks like the similar template as we seen with Twitter or FourSquare though in name of details, you will find only few (like you see company name in my case). Tap on the dash board and you are on wall of the user, Tap further and you move into public photos of the same person.
Yes! as you can see, Facebook photos are totally supported now. Either it be picture previews, albums or photo comments. Even if its not as open as some of the other clients or native clients (zooming, tagging, like, share etc), but the elegance of UI is way to go and its just the first preview build of Gravity 2.0, we seen how Gravity been evolving in recent months.
Dig deeper into the interface and you find a lot of new handy things. Now you can see how many likes any of the status has received or how many friends any of friend has or how many mutual friends in between you two. Only now, I came to know that I have around 561 friends on Facebook.
Though its not like that something is not missing here. We don’t see share feature yet, we don’t see which particular people liked any one of your status, but again, it’s the first time, when Gravity moved a step toward Facebook in very bold manner.
And its just not about Photos, but Facebook section now support Pages (feeds from pages you like, not the ability to post as page admin), Groups and Friends as well. So, in short Gravity regains its place as a one stop solution for the ultimate social client on Symbian.
Not only this but there are a number of changes under the hood as well, like caching is enabled in FourSquare and Facebook as well and you wont be stumped with blank timelines, when giving Gravity a cold start. Though I am not sure about the image caching limits as of now, but it seems to be considerably improved now. Numbers may come later.
Talking of shortcomings, then the place, Gravity falling short is privacy features. I am not sure if other clients are doing so or even if Facebook APIs are available for the same, but once Facebook has rolled out various privacy options, sooner or later, then mobile clients also have to follow the suit. Ideally one should be able to choose that who can see his\her updates or how he can add others in some update with tagging them. Tedious task but should be on To-Do list of @janole.
2. More equipped Foursquare with Gravity 2.0
When you open the Foursquare section then you will be greeted with the same UI, though just a tap over any of the check-in and you will see that what’s new about Foursquare in Gravity 2.0. Yes! while with last updates, Gravity already got Foursquare picture previews and weekly scores, Gravity 2.0 adds the option to comment on check-in’s as well. You can even notice from the check-in list itself that which of the check-in got comments by the tiny chat like icons. Not only that but the UI for location map is also have undergone a little change as you can see in the screenshot given below.
Though one can easily guess that some of the important features are still missing here. Like no picture upload option, no notifications for comments or updates and no lists yet. Also Add Venue option is still in the same simple mode rather than being descriptive like with tips or categories.
3. Improved Image upload options
When we talk about image uploads, then Gravity used to have a different approach, where image uploading activities been separated from the regular updates. Gravity used to have a separate images section handling Facebook\ Twitter uploads and Gravity 2.0 doesn’t changes the approach. Though finally with more focus on Facebook section, we got some of very desired changes here about Facebook uploads. Not only we can decide the name of album to upload the picture (can not create a new album though), but we can decide about the quality of picture upload (High or Low only) as well. This was available for Twitter related services only before Gravity 2.0.
4. New Picture UI and Multiple image previews
If you remember then earlier, when you pressed preview, Gravity was opening a new browser showing picture with a slight mirror effect. Its still kind of same but greatly enhanced now as it previews the image in an inline way means along with text (original tweet, Original Facebook status). The same actually gives the context to the image which been missing in Gravity till now.
This been one of the most requested feature since long. While we still do not have pinch to zoom etc, but having multiple service support already and now multiple image preview as well, makes Gravity putting a tough competition to all of other clients (even other platforms) out there.
So this is all I could gather about the new Gravity 2.0 Build 7001 till now, definitely there is a lot more than this in the new version and many more features coming in next few days. Keep tuned in. By the way … check out about one more hope