We knew this day would come, but didn't think it would happen so soon. After January 1st, 2014, Nokia is no longer accepting either new applications or updates for existing apps into the Nokia Store. The email, sent out to all developers today, is quoted below, but my first impression is that the refusal to allow app updates is something of a contravention of Nokia's stated intent to "support Symbian until 2016". After all, without the facility to update apps to maintain compatibility with the wider world and to respond to security issues and bugs, the Symbian ecosystem is rather left in the lurch.
Recent News - MeeGo
Available today is a major update, v1.7.3, to one of the biggest applications in the Symbian (and Meego) worlds - cuteTube, the YouTube (and other video services) client. The full changelogs are listed below, but the highlights are full support for Vimeo, a new 'quick search' box, and a truck load of performance improvements and fixes.
Nokia has published a great resource for mobile developers who are interested in transferring their skills to Symbian apps via the Qt framework. The Nokia Developer website has published three guides for finding the Qt equivalent of API calls for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7. It has come late in Symbian’s life, but it is just what the developer world needed to reduce the friction in developing for this not-so-dead platform.
Opera has announced updates for its Mobile and Mini browsers, plus its MeeGo netbook and tablet versions. The core engine of Opera has seen numerous optimisations and tweaks, while the clients have seen significant functionality updates. Opera Mobile has been updated to 11.5 (for Symbian and MeeGo) and most notably supports viewing bookmarks saved in the Symbian browser, along with an import function. Meanwhile Opera Mini v6.5 now features intelligent autocomplete of domains and search queries. Mini 6.5 also sports a unified address and search bar, unlike Mobile 11.5.
Today, at the IAA (a car industry event), Nokia announced Car Mode, an application designed for the in-car use of Nokia smartphones. It offers simplified access to Nokia Drive (voice-guided car navigation with Nokia Maps), music and voice calling functionality. In addition, the application also supports MirrorLink (previously known as Terminal Mode), which allows for a rich connection between phone and car. The application, which has been developed in Qt, will be available for download from the Ovi Store in Q4 for Symbian Belle devices and the Nokia N9. Update: added screenshots of Nokia Car Mode.
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.
The Qt Labs Developer Blog has just announced an update to the Qt SDK. In a case of good timing, the Qt team have released Qt Creator 2.2.1, which is mainly a bug fix release, at the same time as integrating support for MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan. Support for MeeGo Harmattan comes on the day that the N9 was announced at the Nokia Connection event in Singapore. Read on for more details.
Nokia Connection, a regional showcase for Nokia's South-East Asia and Pacific customers, takes place tomorrow at the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore. Keynote speeches, starting at 10 am Singapore time (3am UK time), will be given by Stephen Elop (Nokia CEO), Mary McDowell (EVP Mobile Phones), Marco Argenti (SVP Developer) and Marko Ahtisaari (SVP Design). The event's website notes that these will include the "global launch of brand new mobile devices and related services".
Nokia today announced the release of the Qt SDK 1.1. The final release version of the SDK is based on Qt 4.7.3 and Qt Mobility 1.1.3. It's an important milestone which effectively marks the first fully mature version of Nokia's complete Qt offering on mobile platforms. Applications which use Qt 4.7, including those written purely in QML, can now be uploaded to the Ovi Store; the first few of these are already available to consumers.
Opera has announced the new versions of its mobile browsers, Opera Mobile 11 and Opera Mini 6. These bring an updated user interface, improved text wrapping, and most significantly, multi-touch zoom. Overall performance is improved too, with native handling of heavy sites appearing to load faster in Opera Mobile 11 than with Opera Mobile 10. Read on for more about the update.
Digia, a Finnish software company, has signed an agreement with Nokia to acquire the commercial licensing and professional services arm of Nokia's Qt. The major portion of Qt, including all core development and LGPL licensing remains with Nokia. Nokia plans to continue to invest in the future development of Qt, which remains core to its Symbian (150 million additional devices) and MeeGo (future disruptions) activities. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the month; neither company are disclosing cost details.
The Qt SDK beta 1.1 was launched today. While the SDK is a beta release, the Qt (4.7.2) and Qt Creator (2.1) releases within it are final (i.e. not beta or previews). This means that Qt Quick can now be considered to have been officially released. Qt Quick is a crucial step forward for Qt, bringing easy UI creation, which allows developers and designers to work together more easily to create applications with great user experience.
At a Strategy and Financial Briefing, which takes place at 10 am GMT on February 11th Nokia's CEO, Stephen Elop, is expected to outline his vision for the future strategy of the company. Rafe will be reporting live from Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel, London, where the event is taking place. You can follow our live coverage using this story or via our Twitter accounts (@aas and @allaboutmeego).
Users of the third party Mail for Exchange service, NuevaSync, may be interested to know that they have added a new feature allowing for read-only synchronisation to mobile phones. Currently, the feature is only available via the NuevaSync Labs page, as it is still in development. This feature will be useful to anyone using NuevaSync and finding that their device is duplicating or modifying data in other undesirable ways. Users have fine control over read-only access, being able to set it on a per-data-type basis, for each device they are synchronising with NuevaSync.
After the publication of Nokia's 2010 Q4 results, there has been much fevered discussion across the Internet about why Nokia, with (ex-)Microsoft's Stephen Elop at the helm, may turn to other operating systems for its phones. The alternative operating systems in the spotlight being Android (Q4's biggest seller) and Windows Phone 7. Here at All About Symbian, we have been considering these options and finding that they just do not stand up to a reasoned analysis. An article entitled "Should Nokia Be Looking At Android or WP7? Not Yet", over at Gigaom, broadly agrees with our appraisal of the options.