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.
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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.
Nokia has appointed Henry Tirri as Chief Technology Officer, he also becomes an executive vice president and becomes a member of the Nokia leadership team. Since Rich Green stepped down in June Tirri has been acting CTO; previously he was the head of Nokia Research Centre (NRC). Tirri will be based in Sunnyvale (California) and will report directly to CEO Stephen Elop.
We're pretty sure that a lot of Symbian developers are looking to explore Windows Phone with the upcoming devices, so the recent post by JC Cimetiere on the Windows Team Blog introducing the Windows Phone platform with a Symbian starting point should be a good resource, You'll find a white paper ("Windows Phone Guide for Symbian Qt Application Developers") with porting examples, adding Qt to the Windows Phone API mapping tool, and details on the Nokia WP Training Days happening around Europe.
SanDisk just announced a new range of microSD cards, starting at a monstrous 64GB. Dubbed 'Mobile Ultra', these cards use the SDXC standard, which is why you shouldn't get too excited yet - no current or announced Symbian smartphones or firmwares support SDXC. Official compatibility will doubtless come in time, through 2012, which will also give time for the card to drop to sensible price levels. But hey, it's the future, so worth bearing in mind.
Here comes the Nokia Gift Machine! As part of Social Media Week, Nokia have installed a "Social Gift Machine" in Glasgow. Hooked up to the internet, with its own hash-tag on the side, all you need to do is check in via Foursquare to the vending machine and you'll be rewarded with a gift. Beyond "It's doesn't just hold candy" we've no idea what you might get, but we know of one Nokia N8 that has been given out!
There's a nice article by Aatif Sumar over on ZOMGit'sCJ looking in detail at Nokia Mobile Money, announced two years ago but now seemingly arrived, at least in India, as a Java application compatible with S60 3rd Edition smartphones (and presumably S40 and other devices too, right up to the latest Symbian handsets).
Nokia has announced that the Qt Project, the outcome of open governance work that started in June 2010, will go live on October 17th 2011. Qt governance, roadmapping and releases will proceed the auspices of the Qt project, open to all stakeholders who are willing to contribute, with decisions taken by a community of Contributors, Approvers and Maintainers. In practical terms the hosting of Qt will move to a new domain: qt-project.org.
Dropbox has announced an update to its mobile website, which can be found at dropbox.com/m. Dropbox states that it officially supports iPhone, Android (2.1+) and Windows Phone 7. The browser built-in to pre-Anna Symbian devices will not support this new HTML5 website, but Symbian^3 users can still take advantage either by updating to Anna or using Opera Mobile 11. Read on for screenshots and more.
Nokia today announced the forthcoming availability, in Q4 2011, of a number of Microsoft-developed business and productivity applications for the Symbian Belle platform. The update will include a number of new applications (OneNote, PowerPoint Broadcaster, Document Connection) and updates to existing applications (Lync 2010 and Exchange Active Sync), which will provide improved integration with Microsoft's business software and service offerings. Read on for more detail.
I was interested to see the starting of the "Near Field Connectivity Blog", under the auspices of Nokia's Developer program, along with some titbits about Nokia's plans for NFC and its devices. Read on for more links and quotes.
When it was announced, the Nokia Essence Bluetooth headset was overshadowed by the buzz surrounding the Symbian Belle devices. However, according to an interview with product manager Karolina Järvensivu over at Nokia Conversations, this unassuming headset warrants further attention. The most remarkable technology in this device is its active noise cancellation, optimised for specific frequencies. Not only is the speech microphone used to remove external noise, but there are microphones inside the earpieces to help reduce the noise of the blood flow inside your ears! Read on for more tidbits.
NuevaSync is a paid-for Mail for Exchange service tailored to help all kinds of mobile devices synchronise successfully with Google’s PIM services. We reviewed NuevaSync last year, and found it to be a great help with getting Nokia devices to work painlessly with the Google cloud. NuevaSync has now added support for adding events to multiple Google calendars. Read on to find out how well it works and how to set it up.
A quick heads up to those of you with websites or blogs that use AdMob to target mobile devices - Google will be stopping delivering adverts via AdMob to publishers of mobile websites. It actually makes sense, as AdSense continues to be available for publishers, while AdMob will now be targeted to application developers. It mirrors the move earlier in the year when app developers were told to stop using AdSense and switch to AdMob.