Twitter is better with Gravity

If you own a recent Nokia phone with the Symbian S60 operating system (S60v3, S60v5) and are using the microblogging services Twitter or Laconia, you may be interested in using a new Twitter client for the phone:

Gravity

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Gravity v1.00 is the first fully-featured and native Twitter client for the S60 platform. It supports multiple accounts, Twitter Search, Laconica, TwitPic and wraps everything into a gorgeous looking interface.

  • Compatible with Twitter and Laconica
  • All functions available on your S60 phone: tweet, reply, DM, follow & unfollow, create favourites, search, auto-update and many more …
  • Tabbed view of your Timeline, Replies, Messages, Friends, …
  • Setup and use as many accounts as you want at the same time
  • Twitter-Search section with multiple search tabs and Twitter Trends
  • Post pictures via TwitPic
  • Open URLs from any Tweet
  • Kinetic scrolling on S60v5 ( Nokia 5800 and Nokia N97 )
  • Theme support on S60v3 ( fixed dark and bright theme )
    (source)

The only downside to this software is that it may create too much traffic whereas the alternative – Twibble (which I’d also used since its first day as a public release) – seems to generate less traffic.

I’m on a 1GB flat for my phone, which means I can generate 1GB in traffic via the phone and only pay 9,90 EUR / month. I actually don’t need 1GB at the moment because we also have DSL here, but it makes sense if you happen to download more than 41 MB / month (9,90€ / 0,24€/MB = 41,25 MB) + it isn’t limited to a proxy server, special online pages or other crazy limitations. And DSL sometimes fails, so it’s a good fall back option.

Creating a sceenshot of Gravity is a bit complicated as the Shift (Pencil) key on the phone (which is used in combination with the middle joystick button) also triggers the input form for new tweets on Gravity:

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The beautiful part is that you can really SCROLL between tweets like you would do on an iPhone – bila the touchscreen on my N95 though..

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And another good part is that it’s now much easier to insert images on your tweets (Twibble also has this but isn’t as comfy to use).

Gravity comes with a 10day demo version and I instantly (!) registered it after using it for only 2 minutes. Now, you’d have to know for yourself if you’re willing to cough up ~ 10,- € (in Germany – sijui why they are adding VAT on shareit.com for other countries) for an otherwise free and time consuming service such as Twitter, but then, again, there are other – much more useless – applications for the iPhone ppl are willing to spend money on and also: there are only a few really good applications for Symbian devices. Gravity is one of them.

You’ll also need to access the download page for the registered version via a normal computer as the phone’s internal S60 browser is having problems identifying the .sisx format. Jan, the developer behind Gravity, also mentioned that he’ll be working on some bugfixes now, so maybe there’s a way to include this as well (refers to the purchase of the software directly from a phone. Update routines are just flawless!).

Verdict: If you’ve been on Twibble before, you’ll LOVE Gravity. Highly recommended application.

—–

UPDATE: After some recent updates (currently 1.1x), Gravity also has the following additional features:

  • Configurable Audio Alerts for Timeline/Replies/DM’s
  • Group support for creating custom tabs with user-defined filters (S60v3)
  • Post pictures to MobyPicture and TwitPic
  • Preview pictures from MobyPicture or TwitPic
  • Full-Screen mode on S60v3
  • Built-in auto-update function and beta access for testing the latest features

And while I think that Gravity is the best application I’ve ever bought for a phone, I’d like to add two remarks:

  • There should be a cheaper version of Gravity as not everyone out there is able to cough up 9,95 € on a mobile app – and sometimes it’s technical reasons as to why a prog like Gravity is only successful in developed countries: how would you pay for this app from e.g. Kenya (where there is money but no payment system such as Paypal?). And how about a sponsored (& localized) version with fixed banners? Would it make sense? And what would ppl be willing to spend on an app (in other countries than Germany)?
  • There should be a mobile WordPress editor that’s just as easy to use as Gravity. After all these years of using WordPress for blogs and mobile phones, I’ve often called for better mobile blog editors and tested quite a few on this blog. Twitter indeed already is some sort of microblogging, BUT! it would be great if there also was an easy-to-use editor tool on the phone which could provide true mobile blogging.

liveblogging from AfrikaCamp in Vienna, Austria

Afrikacamp-logo-final

Fellow blogger Mzeecedric and I are today attending AfrikaCamp which just started a few minutes ago.
Please stay tuned for more as I will try to update this post throughout the day (see updates below). Oh and btw, there’s no ustream from the event (no videos). Sorry!

First of all: Africa = continent = many different countries, cultures, etc. (just to be clear on that).

AfrikaCamp is some sort of follow-up to the BarCampAfrica , which recently took place @ Mountain View/Google HQ in the US.

It’s my first ever vísit to Vienna btw and I am already quite surprised how great this city is!

10:00 am:
We arrived at W@lz, the location for the AfrikaCamp.

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The whole of Austria is covered in snow.

11:00 am:
Sessions planning started, Cedric and I will be talking about AfriGadget.com and some blogs we’ve created for dev aid sector / German NGOs.

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There’s free WiFi. Yaay!

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Free chocolate provided by FairTrade. Nice!

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Christoph Chorherr giving an introduction to the different session to some of the ~ 40-50 attendants.

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BarCamp-styled sessions.

11:30 am:
Attending the first session by Helge Fahrnberger of helge.at about laafi.at and OpenStreetMap project they are doing on Ouaggadougou.
Helge is one of the organisers of the AfrikaCamp.

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Helge Fahrnberger talking about laafi.at and OpenSourceMap.

12:00 am
Christoph Chorherr talking about two schooling projects in SouthAfrica: “social sustainable architecture” and “Ithuba Skills College“. Interesting quote from a school headmaster in SA: “We provide schooling but no education”.

[pic to follow asap]

They are also using dry toilets as the sanitation system. GREAT!

12:47 am
Yours truly presenting Erik’s slides on AfriagadgetP1010348
Mwalimu JKE :-)

Had to recharge my netbook after 6hrs in use. Lovely little live-blogging device (despite of its tiny keyboard).

01:20 pm
Having lunch with a guy called Kavindra who works in Vienna as a consultant at a Indo-European Developemnt Agency. Nice vegetarian stew followed by free drinks – thanks to the organisers of this fine event!

02:00 pm
Attending a session on ICT4D.at by Martin Konzett, Karola Riegler, Florian Sturm and Anders Bolin

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Audience clearly dominated by MacBooks. Hmm… ;-)

Martin and Anders showing a preview of their upcoming documentary on mobile phone uses in East Africa. Martin says there’s a 90% penetration of Nokia phones in Africa. Very promising documentary btw which will be released soon. Martin and Florian shot it with a Nikon D90 with different lenses

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Says this guy is a famous athlete who’s constantly on the phone.

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A pouch / CD sleeve made of a Kanga as alternative cover for the upcoming DVD.

Martin also talks about empowerement and mobile financing. Someone from Togo in the audience mentions that we need to have a better infrastructure in many African countries. Debatte started about technology and how it is used in many places.

03:00 pm
Attending a session by Andrea Zefferer & Andrea Ben Lassoued who are presenting their projects @ http://www.clean-it.at and http://www.kinderpate.at

Clean-IT is a project that focusses on an improvement of working conditions among IT-manufacturers (in China) by setting some social standards on the demand side…

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Kinderpate.at focusses on finding sponsors who are willing to support disabled kids.

03:30 pm
coffee break

04:00 pm
Giving a short video interview to Martin Konzett and Anders Bolin, both of ICT4D. Talked about AfriGadget and that we’re are currently looking for a French speaking editor who could cover parts of the francophone Africa on AG. I hate being in front of a camera, my first ever interview/pitch. Camera goes on (fisheye lens) and you’ll have to talk about your agenda for 4 minutes.

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But I wasn’t the only one – seen here: Florian Sturm, Anders Bolin and Martin Konzett playing the same game with Andrea Zefferer.

04:30 pm
AfrikaCamp continues, two or three more sessions – but without us. We had to leave a bit earlier for downtown Vienna. Met an old friend of mine with whom I’d been schooling back in the days in Nbo and whom I hadn’t seen in ages.

Soo….AfrikaCamp imho was a great success, met many interesting people who are doing interesting projects, having the right visions on what works in the African context and what doesnt (NGOs tend to be more realistic then the bigger donor orgs). ICT4D.at guys are quite ambitioned, doing a good job on a tight budget. Make sure to check out their awesome documentary once it’s released on DVD (see comment below)

Else: Vienna is a GREAT city, will def. be back for more. Even my new netbook proved to be portable enough and was a great live-blogging device.

Kudos to Helge, Christoph and Karola who organised this BarCamp + Africa event!

Cheers from Vienna :-)

[UPDATE]
Florian of ICT4D also compiled a very interesting summary of the sessions I couldn’t attend. It’s a pitty that you can’t follow all sessions at once as everyone has interesting ideas to present.

A list of all sessions + list of ICT4D.at interviews are also available.

MobilePress

FireShot Pro capture #43 - 'MobilePress - Enable The Mobile Web' - mobilepress co za

Following my other mobile blogging related posts, both my colleagues @AfriGadget – Frerieke & Erik – adviced me to take a closer look at a wonderful (new) WordPress plugin called MobilePress.

“MobilePress is a WordPress plugin that will render your WordPress blog on mobile handsets, with the ability to use customized themes.” – We’ve seen this feature with others before, but – as the author correctly points out: “Plugins exist, but, at best, contain sneaky ads and backlinks and are not all together well written.” I do share those feelings regarding the WordPress Mobile Plugin as mentioned earlier.

Despite of MobilePress being just the right choice for the mobile accessibility of your WordPress-based blog, I am still using the out-dated WPhone Admin Plugin because MobilePress (currently) lacks one important part: it automatically chooses the right rendering option based on the browser.

Now – I would like to choose that myself! WPhone does that by providing a “use mobile admin interface” checkbox on the WP login screen.

Mzeecedric and I recently had to look for a solution to a low-bandwidth blog-access issue and ended up using WPhone. I would, however, prefer to use MobilePress (also because it’s from SA, yay! :-) once such a “use mobile admin interface” functionality is integrated so that blog editors can actively choose a low-bandwidth login to the WP backend while using a normal browser.

(It’s btw interesting to see how a plugin is used for another purpose – something else than what it had been designed for. See M-Pesa in Kenya and how it is used these days.)

JKE’s Nokia E71 review: (1) mobile blogging

“I just hope it doesn’t arrive when I’m around”, she said. “…coz you’d spend more time with it than with me”.

Well…

Donna of WomWorld/Nokia contacted me the other day, asking if I’d be interested in testing the Nokia E71 business phone as a blogger. What a rhetorical question…

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[disclaimer: this post is REALLY long! You’ve been warned! :-)]

Continue reading “JKE’s Nokia E71 review: (1) mobile blogging”

Mobile Citizen Reporter

Just in line with my previous series on mobile blogging, check out the following:

mobilecitizenreporter

Add this for other mobile operating systems (other than Nokia’s S60 line – though Series 60 is quite good for this special task), combine it with a monetary incentive programme (~ citizen reporters get paid in terms of airtime or via M-Pesa for each published multimedia item) and hook this up to AllAfrica.com or A24.