Recent Features - Page 47

Ideal keyboard design in smartphones - looking at Aspect Ratios

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David Gilson has a theory. It concerns correlating the aspect ratio of a smartphone's virtual or physical qwerty keyboard with text entry speed, on the grounds that one's thumbs have more (or less) work to do, depending on form factor. Read on for his data and the theory in detail - and see if you can help produce more data points with your own device(s).

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The sadly flawed Symbian world top-end line-up

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In this feature, I've been taking a long hard look at the top-end smartphones in the Symbian powered world over the last three years, pointing out their flaws and frailties, and - where appropriate - pointing out what should have been done to fix things up. Yes, Symbian has been cracking along at record momentum in the mid-tier, with Nokia trouncing the iPhones, Blackberries and Android phones in terms of raw unit sales, but as many others have pointed out, Symbian's partners have been scoring rather a lot of own goals in recent times. And what of the 2010 Symbian^3 crop - will these suffer a similar fate?

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Never too old for a wedding - a Day in the Life of the Nokia N82

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David Gilson turns blogger in this Day in the Life of the Nokia N82, bought by him for camera duties and becoming his tool of choice for an all day wedding event. Read on for his impressions of this three year old device and its Xenon flash, sample photos and even a battery report - it seems that rumours of the N82's demise have been greatly exagerated...

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Defining the Smartphone - part 2 (testing the definition, head to head)

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As mentioned in part one of my Defining the Smartphone feature from earlier in the week, the very word now encompasses a surprising range of hardware, with some claiming that the older phone-like devices are outdated when compared to the modern capacitive touch slabs and that the former shouldn't even be called smartphones. In this, part two, I attempt to quantify the various attributes of two of the extremes from the smartphone world, I take the latest evolution of Nokia's classic S60 slider form factor, the N86, and pitch it head to head with the current highest rated Android smartphone in the UK, the HTC Desire. Will my own smartphone definition hold water?

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Does Symbian have a service layer gap?

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Spurred on by his reviews of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro and Samsung i8910 HD, David Gilson looks at the huge investment Nokia has made into providing an Ovi service layer - it seems that, whatever Ovi's detractors might say, the absence of this service layer on non-Nokia hardware is desperately noticeable. He also wonders whatever became of Symbian's Horizon project - as good a starting point as any for getting applications out to all Symbian smartphones.

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Can the cloud replace mobile applications?

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David Gilson explores the relative benefits of native applications and cloud applications, both from a consumer point of view, and from the point of view of the developers who ultimately supply our applications. Will the cloud replace the traditional app?

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Defining the Smartphone - part 1

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In leaps and bounds, the term 'smartphone' is being bandied about by manufacturers, analysts, journalists, developers and end users across the world. Which would normally be a good thing, except that there are many definitions, all totally different. What exactly defines a smartphone in 2010? What did it used to mean in 2007? Or 2003? With reports regularly quoting the word, it would be good to all agree what the word means, surely? Steve Litchfield addresses the issue, in part one of a two part feature.

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Good Photos mean 50% Good Camera and 50% Good Photographer

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The popular misconception about camera phones is that the higher the spec level, the better the photos you'll take. While I'll accept that there is some correlation there, another big factor is the skill (or, more accurately, imagination and common sense) of the user. In truth, you don't have to be David Bailey or own the current top-rated camera smartphone costing megabucks in order to turn out pleasing photos. Let me demonstrate...

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Resistive vs Capacitive: Moving the goalposts?

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In an article written some 15 months ago, just after the first S60 5th Edition smartphone had appeared (the Nokia 5800), I went in depth into the pros and cons of resistive versus capacitive touchscreens, pronouncing both technologies as being valid for different use cases. We're now mid 2010 and it's clear that capacitive technology is winning out, for mid and high priced smartphones at least. So what's changed? Who moved the goalposts? I try to explain below!

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