Nokia has launched a new Twitter app for its Series 40 feature phones, in a bid to make the experience closer to Twitter’s smartphone apps. The app is available on the Nokia store and can be installed by existing users of Nokia Series 40 phones including the Asha series, to get connected to the micro-blogging based social network. The app, which has been developed by Nokia, will come pre-installed in future built Series 40 devices, according to the company.
While, Nokia was offering a Social app integrating access to Facebook and Twitter on its new Series 40/Asha phones, the app was pretty basic, unintuitive and had not been revamped after Twitter went through a make-over. With the new app, users in emerging markets like India, where feature phone penetration is more as compared to smartphones, will be able to get a better Twitter experience without the need to launch their mobile web browsers. Although, Twitter had revamped their mobile web app for feature phones, most feature phone browsers ar e not user friendly. Also, there are very few (almost inexistent) native Twitter apps for feature phones. We all remember how Facebook had acquired Snaptu and killed the Twitter support.
(We regret the poor quality of images. We were not able to take screenshots on the Asha phone)
The app does not support features like multiple accounts, since power users are unlikely to use feature phones, but it does feature support for Lists, saved searches and the ability to edit one’s user profile. It also allows users to track conversation threads in a manner similar to Twitter’s official Android and iOS apps. It even allows you to choose if you want to retweet natively or quote someone’s tweet (old RT).
It features a tabbed interface at the bottom with tabs rechristened in line with Twitter’s new naming convention, featuring Home, Connect, Discover and ‘Me’ sections. While Home features the user’s timeline, connect features mentions and follower notifications, Discover offers search across hashtags and keywords, and also features trends, and category and location based browsing of tweets. The ‘Me’ tab displays the user’s profile, and houses controls to access Direct Messages, Favourites, Lists, and Saved Searches.
Using the service on a Nokia Asha 303, we felt that the tabs were a bit unresponsive at times (and this phone has a 1GHz processor). Also, since it’s a touch and type device with a small screen, we felt that the onscreen buttons, specially the back button, were not very usable due to their small size.