An all new Twitter client has just hit Symbian^3 devices, called Different Tack, the application use a never seen before UI to help you manage Twitter on your mobile phones. The idea behind the UI is to let you see what’s hot with just a glance and browse through your tweets with a notch of your thumb.
Once you login, you will see a wheel with all the different options, one of which is browsing your timeline. Tapping on any of the pokes takes you in, with the upper portion of the screen serving as the display. You rotate your thumb below to see the tweets fly across above. To go back, simply tap the center.
Once you have a particular tweet on display, the options below change to the usual reply, retweet, favourite, Direct Message and so on. Again, tap the center button to exit and continue browsing other tweets.
Different Tack is free on the Ovi Store for a limited while and does offer a new approach to Twitter on Symbian devices, which admittedly don’t have a wide selection of great Twitter clients. The application does take a little time to get used to, but can be fun to use. I have been playing with Different Tack over the last few hours and I am not sure it will become my default Twitter client, but I still recommend you give it a spin. Its free afterall!
The developers plan on releasing Android and iOS versions in the coming weeks, making it one of the few apps to debut on Symbian first.
Nokia promised something big with Angry Birds and they delivered! At the #NokiaConnects SXSW party in Austin, Texas they showed of a very slick Angry Birds video on a 20 storey building. The only adjectives I would use to describe it are awesome, wicked and super cool. Considering the size of the high-rise, half of Austin saw it. You should see it too.
I was fortunately there to see it happen and could record my own version on the N8, so if you want a different camera angle, here’s one.
This is where the N8’s video recording capabilities really shine, the ability to zoom in so much without loosing much quality is great for occasions such as these. The dual microphones also do justice to the 720P video.
If you are in Austin on the 15th, keep your eyes open for a repeat performance. This is something you should see in person.
Operator billing for the Ovi Store was introduced in India for the first time yesterday by a joint announcement made by Nokia and Reliance Mobile. The obvious upside is that if you are a Reliance customer, you can now choose to pay for your app downloads monthly as part of your bill or have the price deducted from your balance if you own a prepaid (PAYG) connection.
Another major upside is the fact that the app prices for India are much cheaper than the prevailing global rates. For example, Gravity in India sells for Rs. 150 which is just over 3$ compared to the 10$ international price, a discount of a little less than 70%.
Similarly Angry Birds sells for just Rs. 50, compared to the 3$ global price which translates to about Rs. 136.
While the description on the Angry Birds page mentions a 33% sale, most applications and games are cheaper by quite a bit despite there being no sale. Another example is Battery Extender which is priced in India at Rs. 99, again cheaper compared to the global listings.
From a general glance, prices seem to be lower by upto 65-70%, which should serve as quite a motivation to buy more apps. There is however one major problem. The operator billing is exclusive to Reliance till March 31st, which means users on all other networks are left without access to paid apps as they are simply not listed for them, so obviously there is no option to pay by credit card anymore.
Nokia is believed to be working with other operators and credit card companies to iron things out, but there is no word on when things will be back to normal. One reason floating around for this problem is that Nokia cannot have different prices for apps on one operator and the more expensive listing everywhere else. So till then if you really need your app fix, grab a super cheap prepaid Reliance SIM and get downloading. May be that was Reliance’s big !dea anyway!
The Ovi Store doesn’t let you download .SIS files directly to your desktop in order to manually install them on the phone. From the desktop website, the maximum you can can do is send yourself a link to the app via a text message. But if you need to download a large game and are without WIFI, you are pretty much out in the cold.
Fortunately, while looking at Ian Wallace’s Lapsed app, I came across a handy way to download SIS files directly to your desktop. The method works for free apps only and needs you be signed into the Ovi Store with a phone selected. Then simply add the words “/download” to the URL in your bar. The “/download” needs to be added after the numerical identifier.
For example, if you want to download NFS HD and see the following in the title bar:
That’s it. The best part is that you can even pause downloads and resume from where you left. Once you have the SIS file, transfer it to your phone via USB or bluetooth and install as you would any other app.
A sleep mode is what has been missing from the Symbian feature set for quite some while, or from the feature set of a number of operating systems actually. We’ve had a old Python app, but nothing like ‘MusicStopper’ that works out of the box and is a free install from the Ovi Store.
In addition to stopping the Music Player and Radio after the pre-defined period (1-60 minutes) the application can also quit other applications that you may have running.
Navigating the app is simple, all you do is slide your finger across the blue bar to change the number of minutes after which it will quit the selected task and then pick a radio button. If you choose ‘Other’ you will be presented with a list of options, pick one and hit hide.
In their quest to get developers to flock to Nokia devices, its great to see that Nokia is leaving no stone unturned. Apart from the millions of dollars they are giving away in prizes and incentives for developers, Nokia has also slashed the Ovi Publisher fee from 50 Euro to a one-time registration fee of just 1 Euro.
This means that individuals, students, small/medium/large companies can all become Ovi Publishers and remember the restriction of having a company before you could sell on the Ovi Store is also long history. For a Euro you can publish as many apps as you like to the Ovi Store, for as long as you like. Interested? Then start here.
If you are still not interested, Nokia’s also put up a few Ovi Store figures that might help you change your mind:
There are 2.5 million downloads a day with more 2.6 apps downloaded per visit
About 90% of the daily traffic to Ovi Store converts to downloads
85% of the signed in visitors to Ovi Store are repeat visitors
Each active user is averaging 8.5 downloads per month
Active users from more than 190 countries
Games continue to be #1 for paid downloads and apps continue to be #1 for free downloads
90% of mobile consumers now have Ovi Store in their local language
Publishers from more than 90 countries are distributing their content through Ovi Store
To give you a little more idea of their reach, the Forum Nokia website also this little pictogram.
Ovi Store users:
in more than 190 countries can download free content
in more than 170 countries can purchase content with credit card billing
using one of 91 operators in 27 countries can easily purchase content directly with mobile billing
If you are a developer, you have to admit that those are pretty strong numbers. Not even Apple’s App Store or the Android Market gives you the ability to sell your apps to virtually the entire world. Moreover, going forward, the Ovi Store experience is only going to get better when the Symbian^3 devices with their updated Ovi Store hit primetime.