Nokia Maps 3D is a desktop browser-based 3D mapping tech demo, with (currently) 23 major cities around the world mapped in glorious, true 3D, with data and textures gathered from satellites, planes and cars, using conventional cameras and laser rangefinders. Anyway, Nokia just released a rather cute 'making of' video, demonstrating in public-friendly form, roughly how it all gets put together. It's embedded below - comments welcome. Oh, and apparently you'll soon not even have to install a plug-in into your browser...
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Nokia World 2011 kicks off tomorrow, Wednesday 26th October and the entire 90 minute opening keynote is being webcast in video form to the world - so there's no excuse not to tune in and watch for yourself. Links below. We're expecting several Windows Phone handsets to be announced and we're very much hoping for some Symbian hardware too. Watch All About Symbian and All About Windows Phone for detailed stories on the announcements on the day!
You might have noticed that the team behind All About Symbian launched a new web site today. All About Windows Phone is now live and already stocked with content, covering Nokia's other smartphone platform going forwards. We did think a few words of reassurance appropriate for the AAS audience, however - we're not going anywhere!
Nokia Conversations, the public-facing site where stories from inside Nokia are brought to the wider world, has been given a rather impressive overhaul. Far more than just a cosmetic facelift, there's a 'notifications bar' (on the left) with dynamic links to breaking content and language controls, there's an emphasis on the 'big story of the day', the ability to contact individual story authors and a general de-cluttering of the interface.
Nokia has released its Q3 2011 results, reporting an operating loss of -€71 million, with net sales of €8.980 billion (down 13% YoY). Nokia's Devices and Services division's profits were €132 million. Margins in devices and services were 2.4% (down from 11.3 % in Q3 2010 and up from -4.2% in Q2 2011). Total smartphone device sales were 16.8 million, compared with 27.2 million units in Q3 2010 (down 34% YoY) and 16.7 million units in Q2 2011 (up 1%, QoQ). The results were ahead of expectations and suggest the company has started on the road to recovery.
You've heard of top of the line smartphones costing over £500, you've heard of the original Nokia Communicator coming in near £1000 back in the day, but today's launch of the Vertu Constellation sees a Symbian smartphone in the "£4,000 to £10,000" region, according to the Telegraph. Or, as I like to put it, "if you have to ask the price then you can't afford it" territory.
Nokia's old ovi.com is undergoing a butterfly-like transformation, it seems. ovi.com, as of right now, simply redirects to maps.nokia.com. The Ovi blog explains it all (quote below), but don't panic if you use a particular Ovi service, the old landing pages are still there on the server (e.g. Contacts, Music, Mail), so just bookmark these instead, if you haven't already.
It seems that Nokia Suite is now available, in beta form, at least, dubbed 'v3.2' and offering (over and above the old Ovi Suite) a new look and feel, better help, more reliable software updating, plus bug fixes and the final scrapping of the old 'MPlatform.exe' comms architecture. It's an 87MB download and there are links and quotes below.
Yes, you can turn stats to prove almost anything and goodness knows we've seen enough of that from the tech media in recent years. So time for a shot across the bows with a look at that favourite stat from the 'superphone' brigade: mobile web browsing, sorted by smartphone platform. It'll be iPhone and Android all the way, right? Wrong. Hopelessly wrong.
The Ovi Store and other Ovi services have been transitioning to the new name, i.e. just "Nokia" for a few weeks now, but it's important to note that there's a new URL for the main storefront on the web. Yes, store.nokia.com just went live, though obviously the old store.ovi.com will be supported for a long time to come.
You'll remember my popular feature "There's a Bookmark for that"? The mobile-friendly sites in that feature were all taken from my much larger home-compiled (and slightly UK-biased) directory. Which I just updated, removing sites which no longer worked and adding over a dozen others. The idea is that you bookmark this one page on your small-screened smartphone and then you've got all the mobile versions on tap, without having to remember the 'mobile' syntax for each.
As every other news outlet is reporting this morning, we awoke with the announcement that Steve Jobs had passed away after a long battle with cancer. Although not a Symbian story per-se, there's a lot about Jobs which affected the way the industry and even the world of Symbian in recent years. Here are a few short thoughts.
Nokia's manufacturing capability is very distributed and very large - but it all got a bit smaller with today's announcement to close the facility in Romania by the end of 2011 and with the possibilty of future changes of focus in plants in Finland, Hungary and Mexico. In addition, there are closures of Nokia offices in Bonn and Malvern. See below for quotes from the press release.
Nokia Beta Labs has just announced a new version of Nokia's tool for system administrators to set up Symbian phones as per their company policies. The tool allows sys admins to apply any setting within any Symbian device. Configuration profiles will allow for a one-click set up of any device. However, settings can only be sent to a device via USB or Bluetooth, which means handsets will have to be set up one at a time, rather than broadcasting settings to every device on the network.
Another week, another camera-toting smartphone comparison, this time from Hannah Bouckley of 'recombu', comparing the Nokia N8 to the Samsung Galaxy S II, the iPhone 4, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and (for some reason) the Samsung Omnia 7. Despite the author seemingly failing to understand how to use the N8 after dark*, the N8 was given the overall verdict of winner across the different test shots.