With all the latest developments in the mobile world, namely the iPhone 3Gs and the Palm Pre release, I would like to focus on something completely different. I know it is hard to believe but some people are still using plain old “dumbphones” as their primary mobile device. In fact, as of now I am using a Samsung F480, which has a Java-based platform, meaning that there are not many quality apps out there to install.
For this reason, when I was first introduced to Snaptu, via a friend’s tweet, I was immediately blown away. Snaptu is so good, the thought crossed my mind to forget about the iPhone 3Gs and stay with this phone since everything you need is pretty much available if you are using Snaptu. So what is it?
Snaptu is a mobile app that gives you a wide variety of different applications in an ultra user-friendly interface and like I mentioned, it works on virtually all phones with Web access. If you have any phone other than an iPhone, you really need to check out this app, but I will tell you a little more about it. So you launch the app and are presented with a widget-like screen that displays up to 9 iPhone like icons offering different apps. The options available to you are many and always growing. Some of the best ones include Facebook, Picasa, Google Calendar, an RSS reader, a dictionary, news from all over the world, a weather app, and of course a very very user friendly and advanced Twitter client.
Now, if you have read any of my blog posts about Twitter clients, you know I am very picky, and somehow the guys over at Snaptu managed to engineer a Twitter app that can seriously compete with the best of em, including iPhone apps, and all on a plain old Java-based platform. To just give a few examples, the Snaptu Twitter client offers the following advanced options: Retweeting, Twitpic viewer, View profiles, URL shortener, and from what I have heard from the developers, the best is still to come.
As you can tell, I became a huge fan of Snaptu instantaneously, but as time went on and I began communicating with the guys over at Snaptu, which lead me to reviewing the app even more closely, I became even more impressed, which is rare. The developers of Snaptu conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism and what blew me away is that they were asking my opinion, a guy who they did not know from a hole in the wall for feedback on missing features in order to implement them immediately. Any issue I presented to them was already known and being worked on. In fact, when I presented them what I thought would make this app the ultimate app, I was told the feature was in the late stages of development.
Now, I do not like to sound ALL positive so I will give you a small example of a missing feature. When tweeting on Snaptu, and you receive a DM (direct message) from someone, you are unable to reply via DM back to the sender. This is annoying and when I spoke to the guys about fixing this as soon as possible, I was told “There are people here working around the clock to fix this issue exactly”. They also explained to me what is the cause of the issue. When you want to DM someone, that person needs to be following you, and since Snaptu works on some pretty basic phones, it would slow down the entire experience for the app to verify if that person is following you. I am no developer, but that makes a lot of sense and I know I would prefer not being able to DM back over having a slow and annoying application.
One of the most important features being developed now for Snaptu is groups for your Twitter friends. This is something missing from even the most advanced mobile clients, including Twitterfon and Tweetie. Once this feature is perfected, Snaptu might become the Tweetdeck for simple mobile phones, which I am sure will add to its popularity among Twitter users.
In conclusion, I can count on one hand the amount of apps for simple phones like mine that are worthy of praise. These include the Gmail app, Trutap, Ebuddy, and Snaptu, with Snaptu being the best and most useful one by far. Now as soon as Snaptu adds email, IM, and a few enhancements to the Facebook and Twitter clients, I would say forget an iPhone, use Snaptu and save yourself some money!