The Nokia E6 was always going to be the odd one out of the Symbian^3/Anna stable - just as the E90 was back in the day, by virtue of having a different form factor and different screen resolution to all its sister devices. Moreover, the screen wasn't just different - it was physically much smaller, presenting Nokia/Symbian/Accenture with a unique challenge in how to implement the next big OS update - Belle. Here are some of the issues involved... for better or worse.
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Nokia Belle brought with it a massive change in the look of Symbian, and introduced much less constrained widgets to fill even more homescreens than before. The built-in widgets are not the limit of its flexibility though. There are many applications that can greatly add to the functionality of the Nokia Belle homescreen. In this guide, I take a look at how you can extend the widget set to make the most of your brand new Nokia Belle homescreens.
Like most of you, I upgraded my Nokia N8 to Belle as soon as it was available. And hit a number of small (and not so small) issues. I realise that this won't cover the full scope of items that others may have run across, but hopefully some of the topics below may help somebody, from working out whether you've got new email to getting a more responsive UI.
How's that for a controversial title? What I examine below is that there's more than one way to arrange focussing when shooting video on your smartphone - the rightly popular system of having continuous auto-focus does a good job a lot of the time but also manages to infuriate occasionally too. How bad is the problem, what are the alternatives and can I offer any tips for Symbian or Windows Phone users?
12 years ago, I remember demonstrating to a packed room of enthusiasts to delights of pairing up my Psion palmtop with the Ericsson SH888 (titanium, indestructible), which possessed an infrared modem, meaning that I could get my palmtop online at a whopping 9.6kbps via Circuit Switched Data (this was before GPRS!) It was a working two box communications solution and it's with a certain nostalgia that I remember it as I look a modern 'two box' solution. How do the pros and cons of splitting one's electronics work out in practice?
It's somewhat amazing that the Nokia N8 remains in the top tier of smartphones a full 16 months after release - it's fair to say that this is almost entirely due to its camera, with perhaps build quality and gadget-complement contributing too. But no phone can go on forever. If you were Nokia and wanted to produce an "N8 mark II", what would you add/tweak? What's practical? What's worthwhile?
The coming of Symbian Belle, or as Nokia marketing would have you call it, 'Nokia Belle', has been much anticipated in the Symbian world, bringing a whole new scheme for working with RAM and associated performance benefits, plus more flexible homescreens, drop-down notifications pane, Android style, and a nominally 'flat' application menu, with every app in one big (and searchable) list (so you'll never again 'lose' Recorder, for example). Plus a myriad other improvements, mostly detailed below. It's a 'must' download, but what caveats are there? And what precautions should you take?
In this guest feature, the 'almost blind' Nickus de Vos tackles an area that's often ignored: accessibility, looking at Nokia Screen Reader (NSR), enabling anybody with visual impairment to still use the main functions of a Symbian smartphone. If you have the right model, that is - NSR is currently only supported on the Nokia C5-00, Nokia C5 5MP, Nokia 700 and Nokia 701. What can NSR do, how well does it work and are there any caveats?
It's one of the most loved geek games of all - peeking at someone else's smartphone to see how they've got it configured. Usually prompting either "What a newb!" or "Ooo, where did you get that?" With my Nokia N8 now equipped to the maximum just ahead of the imminent Belle update (which will change things around significantly), I thought this might be an opportune time for you to peek at the applications that I, personally, have installed on the N8 that has been with me through thick and thin for the last 15 months.
Following on from our editorial on the state of Symbian in the UK High Street, we have a guest feature from Aditya Singhv, editor of worldofphones.net, looking at the current status of Symbian and the wider phone market in India. The editorial also comments on some of the key differences between the UK (Western European style) and Indian mobile markets. It's a timely reminder that there are huge variations in the global market.