Nokia N8 Messaging App Review | Conversate

The Nokia N8‘s Messaging application will be familiar to anyone who has used a Nokia device before; depending on your perspective, that’s either a good or a bad thing. Hit the jump to read the full Nokia N8 Messaging application review.

In terms of the overall feel of the application, there are relatively few changes to the existing functionality, bar one major addition in the form of Conversation view. Conversation view displays text messages between you and a contact in an IM-like style, with speech bubbles for each text message. It is a great way of displaying text messages exchanged in a rapid fire way over a short period, as it allows you to keep better track of what has been said within the conversation.

This functionality has become increasingly popular as unlimited text plans become more common place and is widely available on other platforms. It was previously available as a beta on a selection of older Nokia phones, so its good to see it become a standard part of Symbian^3.

For those who prefer the basic list style messaging inbox, there is an option within the settings that lets you choose the default display mode, giving you the choice of how you want to view your messages.

The core message creation functionality is handled by Nokia’s unified SMS/MMS editor, which offers fine control over the contents of messages and intelligently selects the appropriate message type based on what’s entered in the editor. These days there’s little to choose between the competing MMS editors, however Nokia still offers one of the most easiest to use. What’s particularly helpful is the ability to create audio messages, ideal for on the go usage.

One peculiarity of Messaging, compared to other built in applications, is the ability to set the font size used in the application independently (small/normal/large) from the overall system setting (found in Settings -> Display -> Font size). It is a welcome addition to Messaging, where it has clear benefits (small: more information on screen, large: easier to read for those with poor eyesight). Irritatingly, the Conversations module does not follow the Messaging setting for font size because technically it’s a separate application. Hopefully an update in the future can fix this issue.

The experience as a whole is hard to sum up as the weak keyboard really ruins the overall experience of messaging with the Nokia N8 (read my rant here). With Conversation view and support for the use of smileys, the messaging app manages to finally come on par with most other OS’s. However an updated new keyboard similar to the one we saw earlier, could make the messaging solution on Symbian^3 near perfect.

New Gravity Update | Brings New QWERTY For Symbian^3

Mobileways have released a new alpha version of Gravity (v1.32 – Build 6671) for Symbian^3, which brings a cracking new QWERTY keyboard for the Nokia N8 and Nokia C7. The current Symbian^3 QWERTY solution is far from ideal, with no support portrait mode. You can download Gravity for Symbian^3 from our newly launched Symbian^3 Applications page. Hit the jump to find out more.

Gravity is a fully featured Twitter Client with support for various other services including Facebook, Google Reader and Foursquare. It also supports multiple Twitter accounts, image uploading to MobyPicture, TwitPic, TwitGoo or Posterous, multiple Twitter Searches, Twitter Trends, Groups, Audio Alerts, Auto-Connect and much more.

The new keyboard is nearly perfect and features a translucent background. I personally would love to see this implemented by Nokia in the next Nokia N8 firmware update as would many others, however I’d prefer to see a completely transparent background if the implementation was made throughout the UI. Note that the translucency does have its purpose in Gravity.

Nokia N8 Software Update | Phone Apps

Last night the Nokia N8 received a new software update titled ‘Phone Apps Update’. This is not a new firmware but rather a core applications update to improve stability. Hit the jump to find out more.

The details of the update revealed a short description stating: This update improves the stability of phone applications. The update is around 2.9MB (2892 kB) which sounds promising. However after installing the update I haven’t noticed any immediate changes, but if you find anything noteworthy please share your experiences in the comments below.