Social networking has been creeping its way into Series 40 for a while, but this is probably the best implementation we’ve seen yet. The key differentiator here between the X3-02 and the C3 (the non-touch one) is the touch screen – Facebook has so many features that it’s impossible to have a simple interface. Which is where the touch screen comes in – it makes interactions much simpler.
In the Nokia X3-02 the Communities app is the SNS central. It handles both Facebook and Twitter accounts, including several accounts of each type (though only one Facebook and one Twitter account can be connected at a time).
The Facebook section supports the full communication capabilities of the site. You can view messages and events, friend requests and event invitations. Write on people’s wall and browse their profiles, post photos (either from the Gallery or you can snap a new one on the spot), post status updates, read news feeds and follow groups.
Twitter is an inherently simpler service but the app has plenty of features too. You can update your status, check your @mentions, send direct messages and reply to tweets too.
One cool thing is the Shorten links button – Twitter will shorten links automatically, but only after you send the tweet. Shorten links will use bit.ly to shorten links beforehand and give you a few extra characters.
We found two things missing from the Twitter part of the app. The first one was support for retweeting. The other is an option to upload a photo to TwitPic and its likes and have the URL for that photo embedded into the tweet automatically.
S40 doesn’t have multitasking, even in this touch-enabled incarnation, but you can still receive updates even when you exit the Communities app. Put the Communities tab on the homescreen and pick a default account and you’re good to go.
The default account is what you see first when you start the app (so if you only have a Facebook account, you don’t have to tap the Facebook tab every time). Also, only the updates from the main account will be visible on the homescreen. You can also set the time to receive new updates – say, from 8:00 to 22:00.
The Ovi Store is evolving – it got a new user interface for the Symbian^3 version and we’re glad to report that this new interface has been carried over to the touch-enabled Series 40 phones.
It’s more user-friendly and it is finally making some serious effort to attract more developers. You can browse the apps available in the Ovi Store by categories – Applications, Games, Audio and Video content, Personalization; or by collections – currently only Go Green is available for S40 with just one app.
Your account profile keeps track of all the apps you have installed under My stuff. You can now also select where games and apps should be installed and where audio and video should go. That’s nice – we wish Android had that right from the start.
There are already plenty of apps and games there, a lot of them free, and chances are that the most important apps will be there soon enough. They are still behind the big players in the app store game, but we’re seeing that the important apps are making their way to the Ovi Store. Other than that, we can live without the 50 thousand book titles and thousands of other questionable “apps”.
The Nokia X3-02 Touch and Type came with four games preinstalled.
Climate Mission is a series of environmentally-themed puzzles that will take you across the world. At the beginning of each challenge, there’s a small nugget of information. The game is fun and educational.
What kind of music phone would the Nokia X3-02 be if it didn’t come with music. Guitar Rock Tour 2 is a rhythm game in the same vein as Guitar Hero. Hip Hop Tour is the other music-related title – it puts you in control of a break dancing character and requires a level of accuracy and skill. You can use songs from your own library too.
The final game is Memorize – it has three variants, which require you to remember an ever growing string of things. This can take the form of a Simon Says type of game or, say, playing notes on a virtual piano keyboard.