Previously posted on Mobile Industry Review.
Now to move on to the INQ1 as a social networking device.
The Facebook application looks good when you load it and has icons at the top for the key Facebook features - Profile, Inbox, Friends, Photos. The rest of the screen shows your News Feed. Reading and updating Facebook from the application is very easy, although you have to wait a while when you refresh to get your latest Facebook info or select an item to read. Not surprisingly, this is much slower than on a PC. I've also noticed that even when refreshed, the News Feed lags behind my PC. So, Facebook on the INQ1 versus Facebook via my E51 browser? I definitely prefer the browser version - it's more responsive, up to date and I think easier to read. However, from a usability perspective, as an application that is easily available from the home screen, then Facebook on the INQ1 probably works better for Normobs.
The Skype application is very simple to use and incorporates Skype Out for calling 'real' phone numbers. Several times when I tried to use Skype, the handset rebooted. Live Messenger works well, with the long and frequently bizarre user names that some people use fully displayed!
In theory the browser provides web access but more often than not it returns an 'unable to contact the website' message! When it does work it's horribly slow to load pages. I wouldn't have the patience to use it on a regular basis.
Unfortunately there's no Twitter application. For me that's a big miss but as Twitter is still niche compared to Facebook I guess that forgivable!
Next I'll be letting some Normobs in the family have a play with the INQ1 to see whether easy access to Facebook, Skype and Live Messenger holds appeal or whether they'd prefer to stick with their PC.
One very neat feature is the way Facebook, Live Messenger and Skype contacts are imported into the Contacts application on the handset so you can contact people directly from their and view their status. Effectively the INQ1 has presence enabled the Contacts application - something every handset should have.
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