An Appservation; KEYnetik Shake-N-Surf

Earlier last month I played with a Samsung Wave and noticed when viewing photos on the device, you can tilt or turn the device and the pictures will “slide” out of view and then next one will slide in. It wasn’t too fussy, and it wasn’t too sensitive, it was a good implementation and a nice feature. So, when I got a ping about accelerometer-based browsing for the N900, I was looking forward to a similar experience. I didn’t get one.

KEYnetik currently has a plugin available for the N900 in the Ovi Store, titled Shake-N-Surf. A neat little plugin for MicroB that provides the ability for the browser to poll the accelerometer and pan/tilt the page according to your movements. Sounds good huh? Not so much.

After installing, you may need to reboot (or kill every browser process) in order to get it functional. Due to the fact that since PR1.2 we’ve had automatic portrait<->landscape swapping when browsing web pages, the plugin doesn’t and can’t differentiate between when you are wanting to tilt/pan or flip the display for portrait/landscape. You can disable automatic rotation, but the plugin only seems to work in portrait mode – so when you do, turning the handset side ways and tilting – does so using horizontal planes – and not vertical, as you would image.

shakensurf

In short, it’s unfortunately completely unusable. It’s a first release. It’s free. It’s 80kb. It’s optified. It doesn’t work. KEYnetik has made some wonderful S60/Symbian applications that interact with the accelerometer (just about the first widely used N95 application), it’s nice to see that they are venturing into Maemo 5. Hopefully these issues can be fixed. I’d recommend use of the first phase camera shutter; when pressed – you can scroll pages using the accelerometer, and vice-versa when it’s not depressed, everything works as it should.

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