Every once in a while I come across a nice product that I end up using for a long time. I could be in a store, reading a magazine or on the Internet when I see an advertisement (or indeed the product itself) that really grabs my attention and I end up wondering how I ever lived without it.
Snaptu is the most recent of these discoveries. I actually found this application for my cell phone by chance while doing another article for MUO about getting Google Maps on your cell phone. Snaptu is a free pocket PC iPhone theme that’s available for download from the same website, GetJar.
I would describe it as a mini iPhone on your mobile phone. You can Tweet, get movie reviews, news updates, weather reports for the next three days, use Facebook and loads more all from one attractive home screen.
After going to the download site, enter in your phone’s make and model and you will be presented with two download options.
The first method is to download the application directly to your PC and send it to your phone via the USB cable that came with the phone just as you would with music and videos.
The second is to note the “˜Download Key’ underneath method one. Go to m.getjar.com on your phone’s browser and scroll right down to the end of the page. Select “˜Enter Download Key‘. Once you have done so the download will begin and should last less than thirty seconds.
Open up the application from your phone’s “˜Application‘ menu. It will initialize and start up for the first time so give it a few minutes. When this is done you’ll be greeted by an eye-pleasing iPhone theme which is similar to the sleekness of an actual iPhone’s.
The main icons you’ll see are FaceBook, TV Guide, Weather, Twitter and News. There are loads of others depending on what region you’re in such as the NY Times, Guardian newspaper or London Underground Status reports.
To add or remove certain icons click “˜Menu‘ and then “˜Add or Remove‘. Other options here include updating to the most recent version (if you have just downloaded it then you have it) and “˜Help‘ which should clear up any problems (although I can’t see anyone having much difficulty as its extremely easy to use).
Twitter on Snaptu is great and is the part I use the most. You sign in for the first time and after that it will remember you automatically. Your tweets, and those of the people you follow appear in chronological order with profile pictures and good colors as backgrounds. At the top of the screen you can select “˜Update Status‘ to tweet and you can also check your messages. If you click on a tweet you’re given options such as “˜View Profile‘, “˜Delete‘ and to follow a link (such as a picture or news story) should there be one in the tweet.
The weather function is pretty cool too. You tell it your city the first time using it and it gives you the predicted weather for the next few days for both day and night. The illustrations for different weather variants are good too along with the tidiness of it all. Very sharp and condensed.
I especially like the news function. You can select from literally hundreds of small and big sites to keep you updated. I live in Ireland which isn’t exactly a news hotspot that developers would include but Snaptu have gone and done it anyway with several websites for the island.
Furthermore, Snaptu gives you a summary of a current story. If you want to read the whole article you simply click and it open your phone’s browser to get the full details. There is also a Reuters function which will keep you updated with quick headlines from the popular news source. These are tied in with the Twitter function in the app as at the end of each news page there is a button allowing you to Tweet it.
There’s several other functions which are self explanatory such as Picasa for viewing photos, BBC news reader, London Pub Reviews and Live Sport Updates, all of which look brilliant and give you good info that you actually want on the train to work; not long winded dribble that will take half a light year to load.
Finally, as I warned users in my Google Maps for cell phones article I shall warn you guys – GPRS charges will apply if you’re using Snaptu on a phone without 3G or WiFi. Unless your service provider has an offer such as 99c per day then free after that (which many are starting to do now. Give them a call to find out) then you’ll have to keep an eye on how much you use Snaptu. There is no direct charge for downloading or using Snaptu however.
Check out Snaptu in action:
Do you use Snaptu or any other free iPhone themes on your Pocket PC or cell phone? If so, what do you think about it? Do you know of any free alternatives?
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