Musings from Munkimatt

A flow of whatever tickles my fancy

How much is ‘nicer’ worth to you?

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£7.

Not a lot of money you may think.

But my word it caused an almighty storm this morning.

Recently there has been a lot of buzz on Twitter regarding Gravity, which is being billed as the first fully featured Twitter app for S60 devices. Beta testers have been giving glowing reports, and when news came out last week saying that it was to launch this today there were a lot of people looking forward to finally using it.

This morning I saw a tweet from Gerrymoth (writer on the excellent Nokia Addict blog) announcing that it was now available for download. I instantly headed over to the site, eager to get Twittering from my 5800 XpressMusic. But then I was stopped in my tracks by something I didn’t really expect.

Two button. One saying ‘Buy’ and the other ‘Download trial version’.

I have to pay? This I didn’t expect.

Now, I’m 26 and a salesman by trade. I know that very rarely anything in life is free. However over the 7 years of using S60 devices I honestly can’t remember ever paying for an application.

Why?

Because there’s nearly always a free alternative.

For Twitter, there’s Dabr, an excellent mobile friendly site that offers everything I need. I can upload pictures, direct message, reply, retweet, everything.

I clicked the buy link out of interest to see the price. I was thinking £5 at the most. Up it popped, to buy Gravity it would set me back £7.27. Cheap, but why pay when I can do the same for free?

So I posted this to Twitter, asking if it was worth the money. Gerrymoth fired back instantly with his response but it was one word that caught my attention.

Nicer.

So I loaded up the app and yes, it’s a lovely, gorgeous, clean interface. It’s quick, the scrolling on the touchscreen 5800 is fantastic and it does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s fully featured just as they advertised. But did I really want to open my dusty wallet and spend £7 on what effectively is just a prettier way to post to Twitter from my phone?

Turned out I wasn’t the only one asking this question. James Whatley seemed shocked at the price and at one point ended up having a fairly forthright discussion   regarding its value and later echoed my thoughts of a £5 price. Later we realised that the beta testers, who at this point were strongly defending the application, received the officially released version free of charge, therefore they paid nothing to use it.

Without wanting to sound terribly aggressive here,  how can you place a value on something when you’ve paid nothing to use it, especially when it offers nothing over the free alternative than it being ‘nicer’?

I’m not a particularly tight-fisted guy, in fact I’d go as far as to say I’m positively liberal with my money. Despite that though I can’t see the point of paying extra for something that will not contribute extra to my overall user experience.

So my question to you Tweeters is this; Are you happy to pay extra for nicer? Are you moving to Gravity (or another paid for client) or are you happy using free alternatives?

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Something new, really soon!

For many mobile enthusiasts it was a sad day earlier this month when Ewan Macleod recently announced that his site Mobile Industry Review, formally known as SMS Text News, announced that from the 27th of March his site would move to subscription only.  While this caused a lot of discussion and occasionally polarized opinion, this post isn’t designed to start (another) discussion and I wish him the best of luck with his future.

One of the things that disappointed me was that I would no longer be able to see the always humorous and informative videos starring Ben Smith, Dan Lane and James Whatley and read there ever insightful posts. Thankfully I hear the the videos will remain available to view even after the site moves to the subscription based model. I urge you to watch them. Now. Well, after you finish this, don’t forget.

Earlier today I stumbled across a link on Twitter (you can follow me here by the way)  that instantly raised a smile across my tired Monday morning face. It’s a simple teaser site but with an image that dropped big hints as to the future of the three mentioned above.

On the face of it, just a picture of some phones with items of clothing on the screens.  However the pieces of apparel give away the clues to the people behind this teaser. Dan Lane is an iPhone user and has a fondness for sizable boots. Ben Smith is the type of chap you always image to be clad in  sharp suit and tie and is known to have a G1 so there’s another explained. James Whatley is only really known for his deep love of the Nokia N95 8gb and for being a pioneer of awesome sunglasses (oh ok, he’s the Social Media Strategist for Spinvox and you can read his personal blog here). The E71 is more of a tough one, it features a set of awesome heels. Unless one of the boys has a slightly more feminine side to them (and I vote Ben if so) it seems certain they’ll have a female correspondent joining too.

Keep an eye on the link below, because it looks like we’re going to have something good…really soon!

http://thereallymobileproject.com/

March 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment