All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

  #1  
Old 23-06-2010, 08:00 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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There's a Bookmark for that!

Over the last few years, I've had a burning conviction that's been growing and growing as I watch the current craze for 'Apps' blossom. Now, I've nothing against genuine applications or games, but it has to be said that a large number of so-called 'Apps' are simply scraping or managing exactly the same data as you can get right now, on any phone, for free. And, my way, there are no installations, no complications and no hassle. Apps? Pah - I've a new slogan to rival Apple's. "There's a Bookmark for that!"

Read on in the full article.

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Old 23-06-2010, 08:52 AM
CanadianEh
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Thumbs up Brilliant!

I'm still laughing - "There's a Bookmark for that!"
Great article.

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Old 23-06-2010, 09:05 AM
joeyfallon joeyfallon is offline
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Best .. AAS ... article ... title ... ever. LOL.
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Old 23-06-2010, 09:11 AM
Charleso
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Very much agree with you Steve, a lot of the apps friends use already have decent websites and mobile versions. I don't think long term a future where the web is only available on mobile devices that the company writes an 'app' for is a good thing (regardless of if it is an iPhone/Symbian/Android app) and it rather goes against the principle of the web to have to have custom clients rather than a generic browser.

However I do disagree with you on using mobile optimised websites for speed and data compactness; it's far better to use Opera Mini to use the full size sites quickly and compactly. I have all my speed dials, bookmarks and RSS feeds synced across all 3 of my devices. I'd say ~70% of my use of my N82/Blackberry is in Opera Mini.

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Old 23-06-2010, 09:27 AM
j d j d is offline
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i get very annoyed at websites that have a specialy formated touch screen version for iphone and andriod, but they dish out the crappy mobile site to s60 5th edition.

Sometimes if you have the direct url, you can get around this. Here are some good bookmarks:

Gmail - http://mail.google.com/mail/x/gdlakb-/gp/
Facebook - touch.facebook.com
Google Buzz - https://m.google.com/app/buzz
Wikipedia - http://en.m.wikipedia.org/

Anybody got any more?

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Old 23-06-2010, 09:37 AM
stirly stirly is offline
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Excellent article as ever Steve. Also worth mentioning that if you use Opera Mini, then there are 9 dedicated 'shortcuts' to website on the homepage, which should be enough for anyone!! Only app I really use is Gmail, and purely because I prefer to look of the set-up via the java app.

  #7  
Old 23-06-2010, 10:22 AM
BOC
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Managing bookmarks on Web could be better...

You're absolutely right on the big point, Steve - but I must admit I find Web really cumbersome in handling bookmarks. Moving them around is awkward, as is using folders. Drag and drop would really help the experience - even replicating the "organise" function that you can do on normal menus would help. And please, can someone rid me of those useless "Download [x]" fixed bookmarks that clog up my 5800?

  #8  
Old 23-06-2010, 10:34 AM
TheresWRT4That
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Lightbulb Launcher.html

You can do better than this even with a little html knowledge - the s60 browser can load stored pages eg. /E:/Launcher.html which you can set as the homepage.

Launcher can contain not just links as per the bookmarks list, but also entry boxes for forms eg. for BBC weather:

<form action="http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/mobile/forecast/4296" name="weatherForm" method="get" target="_blank">
<a href="http://mobile.wunderground.com" target="_blank">More</a>
<input id="area" maxLength="25" name="area" value="SW15" size="12" />
<input type="submit" value="BBC Weather" name="go" />
</form>

This trick works on pretty much any symbian phone, from a1000 (opera) to the latest s60v5 phones. You can think of it as a web runtime hack for non-s60v5 phones as javascript should work as well.
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Old 23-06-2010, 11:10 AM
germcevoy germcevoy is offline
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Fair article. I'll use it to publish my thanks and compliments for the wonderful AAS mobile site. It really is fantastic. The Guardian site isn't bad either.

  #10  
Old 23-06-2010, 01:58 PM
Furie Furie is offline
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I've been saying for a while now that bookmarks could do with a little bit of modernising to take advantage of the different technologies available on modern smartphones. The browser is the heart of the smartphone after all, and enhancing the bookmarks would perform such much needed surgery on it. My idea is to introduce Enhanced Bookmarks which would contain the same sort of coding as a widget, shaping the browser window in new ways depending on which site you're using (an enhanced Twitter bookmark may allow you to update your status without visiting the site for example), and the bookmarks would auto-update their code each time you visited and a new version was available. Adding a minor cache/saved pages feature to each bookmark would also allow some offline functionality for the right sort of sites.

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Old 23-06-2010, 03:36 PM
traecer traecer is offline
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There's a better Flickr site...

Flickr's mobile site appears to have 2 modes: the very limited site shown in the article, and a more graphical, JavaScript-enabled, touchscreen-friendly one. To get to the 2nd site, you go to http://m.flickr.com and there will be an option to use the new site below the main menu. I forget the exact wording, because the option does not appear every time (perhaps only on browsers Flickr knows it will work on?), and once you've chosen to use the new site, it's hard to switch back to the "old" one. The "new" site has colorful, more finger-friendly links, and at least a 320px-wide screen. But it looks and works great on non-touchscreen phones, especially in landscape mode so you can see the whole interface onscreen. The new mobile site looks and feels more like a cut down version of the full Flickr site than the "old" one.

  #12  
Old 23-06-2010, 04:37 PM
James Pearce
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You've given me some more ideas...

...for my current experiment to rewrite famous iPad apps in HTML5: http://whitherapps.com/

  #13  
Old 23-06-2010, 07:20 PM
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Dr Tran Dr Tran is offline
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Symbian really needs to get in gear with an html5 browser.

There's a world of better web apps we're missing out on.

  #14  
Old 23-06-2010, 08:09 PM
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For Amazon, I have better luck with: amazon.co.uk/gp/aw

... on Opera Mobile running on a S60v3. "amazon.co.uk" just takes me to their full site. And if I set the "mobile view" in the preferences, it just shows a badly fragmented view of the main site. Perhaps they have some fancy heuristics if you call the regular URL in a Symbian browser. But if Opera, add the /gp/aw to the address.

  #15  
Old 24-06-2010, 12:16 AM
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I agree

I had posted this very argument in response to an article by Rafe on how to create apps for websites using Nokia's new thingy. I don't see the point of apps for websites. An app for me is only for something that adds functionality, like a task manager, or sportstracker. I don't see the point taking up space by having apps when a website already exists.
 

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