Cool Internet Application For Mobile Freaks

Some people live their lives online as much as they live it offline, or even more! It is not uncommon in today's fast-paced life to get in touch with friends more easily on social networking and blogging sites than from their home or office. Websites like Facebook, Flicker and blogger are the meeting places and provide a very friendly atmosphere which has made content sharing quite popular in last few years.

Traditionally, PC is the only source of approaching these sites, but there is an increasing trend in making these services available over cellphones as well. So lets take a look at two such applications which can be installed on cellphones and allows instant interaction with online networking sites.

Mobile Facebook

Available from GetJar.com site, Mobile Facebook is a small 50KB application. It asks for username, password and an authentication type to connect. You have to enter the e-mail address and password for logging in, and select one of the three authentication types: ‘Https', ‘proxy' (get) or ‘proxy' (post). Once logged in, the count of new messages, pokes, shares, friend requests, group requests and event invites are displayed. Menu option lets user set status and refresh the information. Also, the screen image is shown along with the screen name.

ShoZu

This application allows direct upload of text, images and videos present in the cellphone to online sites such as Google Blogger, Picasa Web Album, You Tube, Word Press, Windows Live Spaces, Flicker and Facebook among many others. In addition to these, news-worthy images and videos can be sent to CNN, BBC and Scoopt or can be e-mailed or sent to an FTP account. This content sharing is called Share-It in ShoZu vocabulary, and depending upon the capability of the handset, users can also subscribe to multimedia contents using ZuCast or take contacts backup.

You can download ShoZu from its website ShoZu.com, rather than from third-party websites just to ensure that it is the latest version.

Downloading is assisted through a three step wizard interface. Step one is to select the device. Select manufacturer from the dropdown and select the exact model from the right side scrollable panel showing handset images. Although this panel loads a number of images for all the popular mobile phone brands, it is pretty fast and almost all the phones that we use in Pakistan, including the new ones, are listed here. Select the handset model on which application is to be downloaded and press Continue at the bottom right.

Step two asks for country and phone number.

Next field is the standard anti-bot text entry field. Press Continue. Within a couple of minutes, an SMS with ShoZu download link is sent to the specified number. Follow the link and download ShoZu - a 770 KB application.

Before starting the application, set its permission to allow unrestricted reading and writing of local data. Typically, with the application selected, go to phone menu More> Permissions >Read User Data(and Write User Data)>Never Ask. Or follow equivalent procedure to allow this application access to phone data. Now start the application. It searches for snaps and videos and displays their number under All Files menu item.

Second menu item is Destinations. This is the list of online networking and content sharing sites to which the user is registered and is ready to use with ShoZu. Initially, there is no destination available as user has to explicitly add them in ShoZu. Here is how to do it.

With ShoZu running on mobile phone, use the right soft key and go to the menu More>Settings> AccountDetails. Here, a temporary username and password will be displayed. Use this information to log on to ShoZu.com site's My ShoZu tab. The site will now ask for a permanent username and password that activates the ShoZu application on mobile phone. Verify it by going to More>Settings>TransferStatus. Here, ShoZu status should display ‘Activated'. Wait for a while for the application to update itself after activation. Once activated, the menu More>Settings>AccountDetails would show the permanent username along with masked password. ShoZu is now ready and activated and destinations can be added.

Over ShoZu.com, log-in with permanent username and password and go to My ShoZu>Share-It >Add Destination. Press Select against the image of destination, say Facebook. Follow the link displayed by ShoZu that opens up a special Facebook page that asks the user to authorise ShoZu access. Such authorisation is required for all the destinations that are added to be used by ShoZu, sinceinstead of user itself, now the ShoZu through mobile phone will access these sites.

These authorisation instructions differ slightly from destination to destination, but generally they ask the user to check remember password, and check authorise ShoZu access on destination pages displayed. Note that you must already be a user of destination in order to add it.

Destinations added over the website appear over the phone application under Destinations. It takes approximately a minute for the update, or with Destinations menu selected, user can go to More>Settings>Check for Updates.

The fun begins when destinations are added, for example to send data to Flicker and Facebook, first go to All Files in ShoZu application. Browse the file list with thumbnails of an image or video to be uploaded to a destination. Press the right soft key of Menu and select Send to Flicker. Or, use Sendto> Destinations>Facebook. Note that the first destination added became the one click destination. This can be changed from within the application or through the web. Before uploading pictures, their title (filename), description and tags can be set. Wait for a few seconds as the image uploads.

Sending status can be viewed using More>Settings>Transfer Status from the main interface. Uploaded files appear instantly over the web. In case of Flicker, images appear in Home>YourPhotos and in case of Facebook, images appear in Applications>Photos>MyPhotos and there is no need to set up an album beforehand.

ShoZu is a great little application not only for phone freaks but for serious on-the-run professionals who need to upload and share information rapidly to the internet. With auto compressed images and videos taken by mobile phones, uploading does not take much time. Imagine the ease this brings since without ShoZu, users have to first get hold of a PC, connect the handset using data cable, Bluetooth or Infrared to transfer the image or video files, then connect to the internet and upload the file. This may be easy from the comfort of home, but for instant publishing requirements such as citizen journalism and interactions between family members living abroad ShoZu can save a lot of time. It also makes it possible for less tech savvy users to publish themselves over the internet with ease and speed.

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