logo-orkutmobileOrkut Launches Mobile Application

Google owned Orkut has launched a Java based mobile application. The application allows users to upload photos, and also view scraps, friend updates and photo albums. According to Opera’s State of the Mobile Web report, Orkut was the second most popular site in terms of unique users, and it has been in the top 3 for a very long time now*.

The download is 495 kb in size, and Indian language versions of the application have not been launched: the app is available in only English and Portugese (targeting Brazil, another country where Orkut is very popular). I also logged in via Mobile, and Orkut doesn’t appear to be promoting the app on its mobile site.

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A key feature in Orkut Mobile is that it allows users to call others from within the Orkut Application, by using their mobile phone book. This is going to help spread both the use of Orkut, and popularise the application. An SMS sent via Orkut (short code: TM-Orkut) reads as follows:

” Hi, I have shared a few photos with you on orkut. Regards, Nikhil Pahwa http://m.google.com/u/wQHaV0″.

You will notice in the screenshot above, that Orkut lists contacts from the Mobile phone book within the application. However, once the mobile phone book is loaded, Orkut Mobile becomes slow to use – the segments take forever to load. The navigation of the phone book is terrible: to search for O within the phone book, I typed the MNO key on my handset, and the application searched for “Mn”, hence showing no contacts. It’s also surprising that Orkut hasn’t launched a free mobile phone backup service: both Ovi and Rediff have phone backup features, as does Zyb.

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Photos: One implementation of that I don’t agree with, is that the Orkut Mobile doesn’t allow users to upload photos already on their mobile: users can only upload photos taken directly via the Orkut application, and upload them. There’s also no option for uploading videos either.

Note: Opera’s State of the Mobile Web report is based on usage from Opera’s Mobile browsers users, and is not representative of all Mobile Web usage in India.

In.com Goes Mobile: Mail, File Upload

Web18’s big bet In.com has launched a mobile version, powered by July Systems. Apart from the News aggregation and photos, also available are key services like email and file storage service InDrive.  However, users cannot sign up for an In.com account via mobile, so this service won’t necessarily be useful for acquiring registrations from users who aren’t on the Internet. Users who sign up afresh via the web will also have to have logged in at least once online, before accounts are accessible on the mobile (screencap).

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Strangely enough, the “tools” page just lists some Web18 mobile sites, Yatra Mobile, Burrp Mobile and, strangely enough, Google Mobile (screencap). As far as I know, none of these mobile sites can be terms ‘Tools’.

Email

The email interface is minimalist (screencap) and quick. However, at present, there appears to be a problem with sending mails via the mobile:

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InDrive

In.com has also made InDrive, it’s data storage service, available on Mobile (screenshot). The file upload works fine, allowing users to upload content (screenshot) already on their mobile device. Allowing users to share content via the mobile (SMS) would be a useful add on feature.

Note that if one accesses In.com via a mobile device, it doesn’t automatically redirect to the mobile site. July Systems has, in the past, powered other Web18 properties like Moneycontrol, IBNLive, CricketNext, Buzz18, among others.