The best gets better: Gravity 2.5 Preview

Posted on 12/23/2011

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It has become all too easy to gush over Gravity, the superlative all-in-one social networking client created by developer Jan Ole Suhr, but when it is as good as it is then that should come as no surprise. To put it simply, Gravity IS the headline Symbian app, the one that gets people talking. In effect it is Symbian’s Instagram.

It only seems like yesterday that Gravity received a major bump to version 2.0, and there have been some updates to the beta since, and today Gravity users will be glad to know that an early ‘not quite feature complete, but still pretty darn good and stable’ preview of the next major update was released into the wild, featuring  according to the developer himself  ‘many, many new features’. I have been playing around this morning mostly trying to figure out what’s new before we see an official changelog, and there are stylistic changes as well as new features.

Please note that Gravity supports a wide range of devices from keypad driven S60 devices to S^3 devices, and this quick look is based in the S^3 version.

Visually Gravity has received a stylistic revamp. The most obvious change will be the new semi-transparent reversed ‘Belle’ style toolbar, in reference to the recent design guidelines for Symbian apps.

Tweeked Gravity UI

No more text in the Gravity toolbar

And since the change to a Belle style toolbar might be confusing, with back shifting to the left hand side, there is an options to use the old non-reversed toolbar.

The more traditional non-reversed toolbar layout

The Twitter trends section has also received a revamp as well and now allows for viewing of trends by country.

The new Twitter search/trends views

The are some major changes however that will make the Gravity experience that much better. First is ‘pull to refresh’, which is quite a nifty touch that is used for example in the Twitter and Facebook Android apps. It works nicely and is implemented across the networks that Gravity supports.

Pull to Refresh feeds

Next we are now able to downloand images, currently only available for images uploaded to Twitter. Tapping on the central icon downloads the previewed photo to mass memory(E:/images). Nice touch.

Images uploaded to Twitter can now be downloaded using Gravity

Google Reader also benefits from the enhancements now with the ability to view inline images in articles. I left the redesign for this section as well and use can see in the image below, the toolbar has also been Bellefied. Now the ‘mark as read/keep unread’, ‘favourite’ and ‘share’ icons are available in the toolbar and are done quite neatly.

Support for images and a cleaner icon based toolbar for Google Reader

The biggest change for Gravity however is the addition of a new network:

Can you see it?

Youtube.

As you can see from the ‘add account’., Youtube is labelled as Alpha and indeed it is a bare bones implementation. Currently supported are four views, uploads from subscriptions, videos marked to watch later, favourites and uplaods. Of note that I can see missing is the ability to view videos from an individual subscriptions but as this has been marked as alpha I think we can expect this to be added later.

New to Gravity - Youtube support

The youtube support also allows for searching of videos and this is slick as expected.

Searching Youtube

This is just a quick look and I must say I am very impressed as everything works pretty well. I’ve probably missed a few things here and there but this is what jumped out at me immediately. Jan Ole made also made it clear that this is literally just a preview build, far from finished but we can expect even more from the complete beta in the new.

All in all, the best app on Symbian just got even better.

Download Gravity 2.5 preview here

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