The modern smartphone landscape places a huge emphasis on third party applications, but those applications don't simply appear. The developers behind them need to make a living, or at least justify their investment of time. The monetisation of apps is at the forefront of many in the industry, including us here at All About Symbian. Over the next month or so, we're going to look at monetising applications, the choices open to developers, best practices and implementation strategies. First up, an overview of the landscape as it stands today, and how we got here.
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An unusual head to head, this, in that the non-Symbian device is much the cheaper of the two and with distinctly budget pretensions. Still, the physical comparison is apt and it gives us another data point as to how Symbian powered smartphones compare to the competition mid 2011. Even if the data point is in this case well away from the flagship/superphone end of the spectrum.
Always having a number of smartphones to hand, usually of the Symbian powered persuasion, I'm used to stepping in with some mobile IT in one way or another in my extended family circle. But it's worth noting that you don't have to have the latest, all-singing all dancing touchscreen mega-phone to become a smartphone superhero, here are a number of brief anecdotes about my trusty 'backup smartphone', the Nokia N86, and how it has saved the day more than once. And, yes, I really do promise to shut up about this phone after this......!
I'm sure a lot of E71 and E72 owners are looking at the Nokia E6 as a possible upgrade, so it's worthwhile spending time highlighting the more important updates, as an addendum to our review series part 1 (hardware), part 2 (software), part 3 (enterprise) and part 4 (multimedia) on the device. What might you gain - and what might you lose - in upgrading to Nokia's latest qwerty slab smartphone?
A new version (7.3) of the Web application ships with Symbian Anna and is also available for selected older devices, via firmware updates. The UI updates are easy to see, but what about the performance improvements from the updated browser engine and other under-the-hood changes? In this feature article we look at how much faster Web 7.3 is compared to Web 7.2 by sharing the results of some comparative browsing tests between the Nokia C7 and the Nokia X7.
You've heard me rave in the past about the excellence of the camera in the Nokia N8 - the 12 megapixels, the Xenon flash, the huge sensor. And you've heard me reel off a long list of tech gadgets that are onboard the device. But here I wanted to highlight 10 design points that haven't got the credit they so far deserve. In a nutshell, the N8 is better than you already thought it was.
You'll remember that back in February I wrote a detailed article on Pimping the Nokia N97, in which I went right through the hardware and software steps needed to bring this flawed but classic device up to date and useable in 2011. Just as a data point for other fans of this form factor and hardware package, here's a small addendum to the feature. With the E7's fixed battery, fixed storage and EDoF camera, maybe the N97 is still more capable for you?
The AMOLED (used in all of the new Symbian^3 and Anna phones, apart from the E6) bottom line is that, because every pixel provides its own light, a bright/white display uses up to fifteen times as much power as a dark/black one. With battery life being a big issue with modern smartphones, you'd have thought that factors of fifteen would make OS and application designers sit up and pay attention. Alas, no. Here's a look around the Symbian world at what has and (usually) hasn't been done to take AMOLED's characteristics into account.
The Nokia N8 has ruled the roost for almost nine months of course - and I don't think anyone reading this is going to expect it to be toppled even by the best of the rest, tested here. But what I was interested in was how much other devices and systems have closed the gap, as at June 2011. Surely the current batch of 8 megapixel-toting smartphones have good enough cameras for most users these days? I wanted to gather some data points, looking right down at pixel level, at four photos in four different scenarios/light levels, for each device.
Reading Slashgear's thoughts on Good Companies and Bad Products this morning, I was struck by one of those moments of "ooh, we've seen this before." Right now, a lot of people are looking at the decision of Nokia to bring Windows Phone into their portfolio while continuing to push Symbian and S40 as a bad idea, and are drawing lots of comparisons to companies like Ratners and Osborne Computing as this being a silly thing to do - why not just polish Symbian and Meego a bit more and keep selling smartphones running those?