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?
Recent Features - Page 29
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.
As I sit at my desk looking at around a dozen smartphones of all shapes and sizes (hey, I'm a journalist, and privileged that way), running four different mobile OS platforms, I find my decision on which to use as my main phone based on a number of hardware factors (screen size, form factor, camera) that you'll probably empathise with, plus one that you might not expect. At the top of my list of characteristics for a perfect smartphone is a loud, high quality loudspeaker. Yes, really.
Back in March 2011, I looked at the top applications for iOS (i.e. iPhone) and looked at how readily equivalents could be found for Symbian. But 2011 was the year that Android finally overtook Symbian as the biggest selling smartphone platform (in terms of sales per quarter) - so what about comparing the Android top applications with Symbian - will there be a greater disparity? In part 1 of this feature I found that the Symbian app scene was surprisingly close - and slanted further towards similar functionality for free. So along those lines, in this, part 2, let's look at totally free applications in the Android Market and see how Symbian compares. Will the gap be larger this time round?
You may remember that, back in March 2011, I looked at the top applications for iOS (i.e. iPhone) and looked at how readily equivalents could be found for Symbian. I was attempting to show that the majority of apps in demand were also available in some form for Symbian - and I succeeded to a degree. But 2011 was the year that Android finally overtook Symbian as the biggest selling smartphone platform (in terms of sales per quarter) - so what about comparing the Android top 20 applications with Symbian - will there be a greater disparity?
2011 has been an eventful year for Symbian. The maturation of Qt and the Anna and Belle releases greatly improved performance and usability, easily the biggest year on year improvement in the platform's history. However, this was largely overshadowed by Nokia's February 11th announcement and the start of Nokia's switch to Windows Phone. Nonetheless, between numerous software releases and new hardware, such as the Nokia E6, X7, 701 and 603, there was still more than enough to keep us very busy. Here are the main stories, month by month.
2011 was a tumultuous year for Symbian. While it was the year that saw Nokia declare its intention to terminate the platform, Symbian was still the most used mobile platform (by browser usage) - reports of Symbian's demise have been greatly exaggerated! Surprisingly, we have seen more, not less, activity and creativity in the Symbian developer community since the infamous February 11th announcement. Join me as I detail (in my opinion) some of the best Symbian applications and developers of 2011.