In episode 5, season 2, of the 361 Degrees Podcast the set themselves a 'fun' challenge - to choose a new pre-pay mobile phone costing less than £100 to give as a as a Christmas present. To keep thing fair we limited our shopping spree to UK retailer Carphone Warehouse. The underlying idea of the episode was to look at the products on offer at the lower end of the market, an area that doesn't usually receive much attention.
Recent News - Page 9
Another day, another update or two - ho hum... Strictly for those you actually need them, but meriting a quick mention in passing, there are bug fix updates out today to Nokia Maps for Symbian Belle (available via the Store) and to the beta QML Store client for Symbian^3/Anna, fixing a specific 'black screen' error on installation (i.e. if it's working for you, you don't need the fix).
There's a nice piece over on the Nokia Developer blog highlighting the story of ZingMagic, a long time favourite developer here at AAS for polished native Symbian games. The piece covers how the company got started, how its games are built and recent success with advertisement-sponsored versions of its games.
Although Nokia hasn't officially ever claimed a specific date for updates to Symbian Belle for existing Symbian^3/Anna smartphones, many people (including me) had been hoping for the update to start appearing this month, a hope fuelled by the demonstration of all current models running Belle at Nokia World and by Belle firmware appearing on firmware flashing systems. However, we've now had official word, quoted below - the bottom line is that a little more patience is required.
You've got to love someone who respects the past. Sergejs Cuhrajs, as guest writer on Nokia Connects, has put up a heart felt and perspective-laden look at one of this (and my) favourite Nokia designs ever, the first real 'transformer' phone, the N90. This was the first Nokia smartphone to feature Carl Zeiss optics and its form factor remains almost unique even today.
It appears that Google has finally withdrawn its official Gmail client, written in Java, for Symbian smartphones. Version 2.06 hadn't been updated for two years and I'm guessing that changes at the server end meant that at some point in the near future the client was going to stop working anyway. To avoid complaints, Google has simply pulled the download page for the client. A shame, given that many on S60 3rd Edition phones still use it and would have liked the option to re-install it when needed (though see the PS below).
Hot off the press today is a new beta of Nokia's next-gen QML-written Store application, grab it now for Symbian^3/Anna/Belle phones. New for v3.20.044 is support for the Nokia E6's VGA display, plus 'Registration Lite', allowing new users to grab up to 10 free applications without having to register a Nokia Account. Full changelog below.
Nokia's experimental augmented reality view onto its huge places of interest database, Live View, just got faster and easier to use, updated to version 2.03 r14137, with a more standard 'List' view to add to the standard 'Camera' view, plus a built-in tutorial. The changelog is below, plus download links and a reminder of the launch/concept video.
With the news that mobile (and especially Symbian) stalwarts SPB Software has been bought up by Yandex, a Russian search company, the future of star products such as the free SPB TV was in serious doubt. Happily, it seems that this application has been spun off into a separate, independent enterprise, under the company name MobiWorld Media. This should ensure SPB TV's continued existence for all mobile platforms. More below.
We've seen some ambitious N8-shot projects before, but this one takes the biscuit. Directors Hooman Khalili and Patrick Gilles decided to shoot a full movie on just the N8, sometimes 'bare' and sometimes with a 35mm lens rig 'taped' on the front (to reduce the depth of field in usual 'movie' style). Embedded below is the launch video, behind the scenes look and the first five minutes of the movie. Impressive stuff.
Yes, yes, Phones Show 155 is out later today, but that's all Android and Windows Phone-focussed. But, with the formal All About Symbian review of the Belle-running Nokia 701 now finished (part 1 - part 2) and with all the technology highlights out of the way, I though it worth reminding people of Phones Show 154, which was Symbian all the way. In case you hadn't watched it yet, it had my video review of the 701, plus a humourous view from the future, one in which Nokia and (cough) a dismembered N86 play a part...
With Nokia already putting NFC into all its Symbian smartphones and with RIM and Samsung also launching some models with the technology, plus HTC, Apple and others planning NFC into their roadmaps, Digitimes is reporting that Taiwanese smartphone manufacturers are estimating 50% penetration of NFC within two to three years. From my own observations this seems about right, though I'd put it at 80% for smartphones away from the budget end.
Anecdotally, the Proporta chargers have been hugely popular amongst my Phones Show viewership and 'All About' readers generally - and there's a new monster version now available, clocking in at a stunning 7000mAh. The Turbocharger 7000 has two USB output ports as usual, along with a facelifted exterior, weighs only 175g, and comes with charging heads for all major phone and gadget ports and a carrying case. Watch this space for a full review.
Not available in the Nokia Store yet, but downloadable from get.nimbuzz.com, is a new v3.3 of this popular chat client, picthed as having a completely 'redesigned' home screen and new shortcuts for 'recent' chats, for 'N-World' and for 'Groupchat'. As ever, the Nimbuzz folks offer a premium experience provided you live within the chat systems supported (Windows Live Messenger (MSN), Yahoo IM, AIM, GoogleTalk, Facebook and MySpace are the main ones). The changelog is below.
In the penultimate update to Angry Birds Rio, the furious feathered ones take on the might of a Smuggler's Plane. It joins previous episodes Jungle Escape, Beach Volley, Carnival Upheaval and Airfield Chase, and is a free update to those who already have the application - or you could pick it up in the Nokia Store!