One of the challenges of the 2010 and 2011 smartphone is that being online is not just about email and web anymore. There's a complete social awareness of what your friends and family are up to, of breaking news, with complete interactivity in terms of everybody commenting on, and replying to, each other's updates. Plus these social networks have their own 'Inbox', meaning that for many people the social environment is their primary online interaction. Up until now, social on Symbian has largely meant third party apps and clunky widgets. But on top of Symbian^3 on their new devices, Nokia has implemented some fairly comprehensive social networking integration. Let me walk you through how it works, while David reports with some more background from a chat he had at Nokia World with the Social team.
Recent Features - Page 47
One of the future technology demonstrations at Nokia World 2010 was an innovative system for providing indoor location services. Indoor positioning has always been a missing link in navigation software because GPS signals cannot penetrate into buildings. This new system from Nokia Research Centre has the potential to revolutionise navigation, providing a seamless transition between outdoor and indoor navigation. For example, allowing people to navigate to a public place, and then find their way around once inside, and much more. Read on.
At the beginning of September, the four Symbian Councils (Features and Roadmap, UI, Architecture and Release) held their latest face to face meetings. The usual range of activities were carried out, examination, review of and voting on contribution proposals, assessment of the hardening of Symbian^3 and feature complete date for Symbian^4, and much more. Also of interest was the proposal to change the naming of Symbian releases. This will see the introduction of minor release numbers.
With the upswing of developer interest in the new Symbian^3 platform, one of the questions that might be lingering in their minds is “what could I write for Symbian?” With all the promise of millions of devices and a perceived empty application store, what titles and areas should a developer concentrate on to make a big splash in the market?
On show at Nokia World 2010 were several exciting examples of future technology. One of those was a research project brought from Nokia's Beijing research and development labs. Named "Plug and Touch", it's an application which can turn any type of visual display (TV or projector) into a Symbian-powered touch screen display. Click through to read our commentary and see the demonstration video.
You'll remember that I wrote a piece six months ago looking at the (then) new camera technology EDoF (Extended Depth of Field), used in Nokia's super-lightweight smartphones, the E52 and E55? It's entirely possible that some people either missed this or didn't 'get' how EDoF works, even after my piece, because there still seems to be some confusion over whether Nokia's decision to put EDoF cameras in their new C6-01, C7 and E7 is a good one or bad one. I'm definitely in the former camp, but agree that E7 users might be disappointed. Read on for some genuine C7 EDoF photo samples and commentary.
Did you see it? The secret weapon unveiled at Nokia World? The phone to not rule them all but at least provide a strong army? No, behind the E7! And behind the C7! I mean the Nokia C6 (or the C6-01 to give its full name). This little phone packs a huge punch and could well have been the most important phone announced at the ExCeL center. And I wonder if its unique qualities are being lost in the shiny rush to discover the E7?
For those who don't know, I only started out on my writing career late last year. So, not only was Nokia World 2010 the first Nokia event I'd attended, but it was the first event I'd attended as a member of the press. It was also the first time I'd met other members of the All About Symbian team in person, having previously only spoken via Skype. One thing is for sure, those two days at the ExCeL Centre were certainly a learning experience for me. I hope what follows will be of particular use and interest for anyone who is hoping to follow the same path as I'm currently forging - i.e. technology journalism. To those of you with more experience and for whom this sort of event holds no novelty, I at least hope to inspire a little nostalgia :-)
How do you let everyone know you have an App Store? That's a question that Nokia are still answering over the Ovi Store (and to be fair even Apple continue to think about this question), as the availability of Apps has become one of the key marketing lines in 2010 for the smartphone. Someone in Nokia has been smart though, and they've not only lined up as the 'brand sponsor' for The X-Factor this year, but put together a Qt application to feed the fans of the show.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee's keynote speech started day two of Nokia World 2010 and I was there for All About Symbian to try and bring you his key points, summarised below. Sir Tim talked about the underlying principles that effect every member of the information society, not just Nokia users. As ever, he championed and promoted an open Internet and stands by the need for Net Neutrality. He currently holds a position at MIT, where the World Wide Web Consotium (WC3), of which Nokia are a member, is currently hosted.