Freeware:Facebook app alternatives, Social Messaging Beta (Communities) from Nokia Beta Labs for N97/6700 and Symabook for S60 5th edition
Two freewares covered today – Both Facebook app alternatives. Social Messaging Beta and Symabook
1. Social Messaging Beta
It’s somewhat limited in functionality at the moment, e.g. There’s space for other communities (e.g. twitter in future?) but only facebook is accessible – and the facebook portion itself is limited at this beta stage.
Some interesting features (based on the facebook portion):
- + A homescreen widget counterpart you can actually interact with at the homescreen. You can move up/down for facebook updates without opening the app itself and refresh for new updates – however working properly.
- + In the demo video, tapping on a status at the homescreen is meant to open up facebook contextually so that you are quickly able to comment/like that status/post.
- + Kinetic scrolling (should be basic standard everywhere but as it’s rare I count it as a feature)
- +Your facebook news feed looks much like how the desktop counterpart looks – with your editable status up top, even including news feeds on people’s (annoying) quizes. :p
- + More of the news feeds is visible – with the facebook widget on N97 you only see a handful of updates but you can see much more with this
- + Tapping within a feed opens you to that particular status for commenting/liking (not their profile – you can’t view your own or other people’s profiles)
- + There’s also a messages/Events/Friends list/Request options but only messages (and feeds) are working at the moment.
- + Works properly in Landscape as well as portrait
- + No fuss signing in (see Symabook below)
- +It seems a bit faster than the Facebook app on the N97 at getting to news feeds from log in.
- + Much faster than Facebook app at swtiching between Feeds/Messages (perhaps other profiles too etc if that was available)
- + The big feature is supposedly posting your location to facebook or in a message using Ovi Maps [See also Ovi Life Casting – this looks good but you have to install Ovi Maps beta AND Ovi Life casting -_- I’ll try this another time]
- – There’s also a Share Photos icon (in menu) but it crashes if you try to do anything. It also seems to save pictures seen in your feeds spontaneously.
- – It eats up phone memory like nobody’s business.
- – I don’t know if photo-uploads appear in feeds .
You can check out a video about it just below:
I wish that instead of being a separate app, they just included these features onto the original Facebook App. Perhaps it’ll make more sense when the other community options are available, e.g. twitter. At the moment I prefer the independent apps/widgets (Facebook App and Gravity) but we’ll see how this beta labs project progresses.
Via Nokia Beta Labs
Here’s another FaceBook app alternative for S60 5th edition called Symabook (by Symacrtic). It looks compeltely different to S60 5th Edition UI or Facebook which is slightly refreshing. It is prone to crashing and is rather slow – although this may all be because it’s an Alpha release
- Feeds have kinetic scrolling in all four directions – though a little bit slow.
- Error in feeds due to facebook quizes. Maybe recognized properly in future updates.
- Each status/feedbox is the same size. Tapping expands it.
- If you long press on a status in a feed, a heart pops up (they also intent for a comment box and view profiles option to show up – see demonstration video)
- If you swipe to the right, the page moves to the right and shows the facebook related categories, i.e. Newsfeeds/friends list etc
- You get a full friends list – Thumbnails alphabetically organized by surname(though very difficult to actually get to a contact as you have to swipe up/down like a million )
- Some subtle but appreciated transitions.
- Photos are or photo viewing items on your phone. I couldn’t find an option to upload and it crashes if you try to do anything. Before it does crash, the circular zooming is kind of fun.
- Profiles do not work
- You can’t actually edit anything in settings
- You have to sign in via browser to mobile facebook, then approve the app – a bit tedious.
At this unfinished stage, it may be quite annoying to use and lacking in sufficient usable features. However, it’s precisely that – no where near complete. There’s quite a bit of potential in Symabook facebook app, namely the app’s attempts of touch optimized UI- so keep an eye out for future releases. Definitely an app to look forward to.