Thursday, April 15, 2010

Software Review - Snaptu

I came across Snaptu while desperately searching for a mobile program I could use on my Nokia phone to access Twitter. Most programs I found were meant for the higher end phones, and the ones which could work on the entry level GPRS phones were very clumsy (jitter, tiny twitter) and gave you a feeling of browsing the internet using the old text based browser called lynx, whereas what I had in my mind was an equivalent of Gmail for Mobile.

Though I was searching for a twitter specific tool, Snaptu turned out to be much more than just twitter. It is a one point solution for almost all your social networking needs - Twitter, Facebook, News & Blogs, Orkut, LinkedIn, Picassa, flickr, etc. What's more, once you have integrated your twitter/facebook accounts, any news item or blog you read can be directly posted to your twitter/fb accounts, with a built in URL shortener. In the news & blogs section you can add most of the news websites, enabling me to read news in a very mobile friendly format.

On the twitter module, the features I found attractive are 'Reply to All', 'View Conversation', and the ability to access the links found in tweets in a mobile friendly presentation. In addition, all the things you do on twitter web can also be done here - follow/unfollow, add to list, etc.

The other modules are configurable, similar to adding gadgets in Google Desktop or the Windows Vista sidebar. There is only one more feature I wish existed in Snaptu - a direct integration with blogger. Currently I am still to figure out an effective way to blog from mobile.

In short, I am thankful to snaptu for two things - for postponing my decision to purchase a higher end phone (can now patiently wait for the 3G auction mess to be sorted out), and for making my life less boring during most of my boring train journeys (which are increasingly getting alarmingly frequent)


Most Social Media already integrated, or links provided for
Good & intuitive user interface


No offline mode
No integration with blogger or any direct option to blog

Friday, April 2, 2010

Delhi Metro - Best Implementation of IT

Delhi Metro has one of the most practical implementation I have ever seen (I have a feeling that most IT projects are about hoodwinking the client, solving problems created by another IT solution). I am talking about the RFID based prepaid ticket cards. In most other metros I have seen, even if one has a prepaid card, one has to still go to a ticket vending machine or stand in a separate queue to purchase tickets for a particular journey.

The Delhi Metro card eliminates all that - just flash your card at the entry gate, and then flash it again at the exit gate of your destination - it gives you a 10% discount on the fare, as well as displays the balance available on the card. The beauty is that there is not minimum validity required while purchasing it, like, say, one month. Even if you are in Delhi for a day, you can get a card for Rs 100 (Rs 50 security deposit), use it, and then return it to get the full balance, including security deposit, even if you surrender it on the same day.