With Symbian Anna, fMobi and 4squick, My Nokia N8 Is A New Animal

Last November when I my journey with the Nokia N8 began, I was blown away with the hardware. The N8 is simply a stunning device. The N8 is constructed of solid aluminum and Gorilla Glass, making it elegant and tough at the same time. Featuring a 12mp capable camera with Carl Zeiss lens, this little fox can shoot amazing photos and stunning video.

On the software side, I was happy with the improvements Nokia has made with Symbian^3, making it more usable and useful than the Symbian predecessors that came my way. I would say that the Nokia N8 “got the job done”, meaning that the phone did core functions such as calling, SMS and email reasonably well. However, I live a very social media centric life including Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook use on a regular basis. Being able to interact with these services on my mobile is an expected activity while I’m mobile.

The Nokia N8 combined with Symbian is blessed on the Twitter front with Gravity. This fully featured client does Twitter really well (the best app on any platform as far as I’m concerned), and it does reasonably well with Foursquare, but it leaves a lot to be desired. Sure, I can check into a location and see where my friends are, but there’s no ability to look at photos, see tips and use other Foursquare capabilities in Gravity.

Anna update breathes new life

A few changes in the last week has made me even more crazy about the Nokia N8. First of All, Symbian Anna was released. This much-needed OS upgrade brought a few new things to my phone including:

  • Refreshed look and user experience
  • Portrait QWERTY keyboard.  No more turning on the side to use Swype!
  • Needed updates to the email application
  • Meeting request handling in the messaging application
  • Some needed Maps updates
  • SPEED IMPROVEMENTS — my N8 no longer has lag when navigating menus, switching between screens and doing routine tasks

New apps to check out

Along with Symbian Anna, two applications have completely rocked my mobile experience as of late.

fMobi

First of all, Facebook. I love to keep up to date, browse photos and events and Facebook has always been a hole in the N8 owners’ experience. fMobi fixes all this. fMobi is a fully featured Facebook client for Nokia devices. With the latest update, fMobi is now available for Symbian^3, Meego and Symbian^1 devices.

With fMobi, I can see friends’ updates, browse photo galleries, see notifications and have a full Facebook experience all on my N8. This Qt app is silky smooth and runs so fast on my N8.

The application also includes the ability to do Facebook Chat, view user profiles and get sound notifications when updates roll in. fMobi supports Check-in/Places suppoer and has a user interface that just rocks. I used to be a fan of Borg, another Facebook client for Symbian, but fMobi is miles ahead in usability and utility.

To check out fMobi, use the link above as it has not been added to Ovi Store by the developer just yet.

4squick

Another Qt app has made my day. As an avid Foursquare user, I’m constantly disappointing by the experience on the N8. There’s an official Foursquare application in the Ovi Store, however this application is a WRT widget that is slow, kludgey and just abhorent to use.

Also, Gravity can be used for check-ins but it’s Foursquare integration is passable at best.

4squick fixes all that. This responsive and useful application makes checking in, browsing your friends location and ability to check out locations around you a breeze. Supporting Venues, pictures, tips and all the useful Foursquare features, 4squick also has a user interface that is beautiful. The app reminds me of Windows Phone in styling.

Have you found any new applications that have made your N8 better?  Sound off in the comments below.

 

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