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 - Industry
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.
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).
Marko Ahtisaari, SVP of industrial design at Nokia, was one of the guest speakers at this year's LeWeb Conference. He covered topics from dominant designs of smartphone user interface and collective intelligence with mobile devices. He outlined why he sees that there's plenty of work to be done in the world of mobile user experience, particularly in having mobile devices actually demand less of our attention. In his view, iOS is "beautifully elegant and fantastically constrained", while Symbian and Android actually share the same design pattern but differ greatly in their business models. Read on for a in-depth account of the speech and Q&A session.
Yesterday Nokia and Intel announced the establishment of a joint research centre, based at the University of Oulu (Finland). The lab, which will have around two dozen researchers, will focus on mobile user experiences, with a particular emphasis on 3D experiences and technology. Likely research areas include 3D virtual worlds, 3D user interfaces and immersive gaming.
Anssi Vanjoki, marking his first day as Nokia's Head of Mobile Solutions, and in the face of recent widespread criticism of Nokia's high end device performance and strategy, has come out with some hard hitting statements in a feature on Nokia's Conversations blog. He underlines the importance of Symbian for Nokia, suggests that a Symbian^4 powered Nseries device is 'a very strong possibility', says that, for consumers, MeeGo will mean having 'true computing power in your pocket' and that MeeGo gives Nokia the ability 'to take mobile technology beyond the smartphone'. Read on for further details.
Nokia's quoted comments regarding the future of its Nseries devices have been causing much comment in the media in last few days. This editorial puts some perspective into the story - Nseries devices only represent around 12% of Nokia's Symbian portfolio and the evolution of the brand towards Maemo/MeeGo had been signposted since Autumn 2009. Moreover it is vital to understand that MeeGo and Symbian are complimentary parts of Nokia's overall software strategy. Read on for further analysis of the evolution of Nseries and a number of salient facts.
Nokia has made a number of developer announcements today, which significantly strengthen their developer services and offerings. Perhaps most interesting is news of a public beta service that allows developers to get their content Symbian Signed at no cost (compared to a previous first time signing cost of up to $215). Also important is the news that individuals can now register as Ovi Publishers (previously restricted to companies) and that the Ovi Store is now accepting Qt-based applications. Finally, and the most significant in the long term, is the first full release of the Nokia Qt SDK 1.0 and the accompanying Nokia Smart Installer (previously in beta). Read on for additional details.
A post on the Qt blog explains that Nokia is planning to move Qt towards a more open governance model. The move would see the community having shared control over decisions about Qt and its future roadmap. It follows on from the move to the LGPL license and opening up of the Qt contribution process last year. The planning for the move is at an early stage, but the Qt team are keen to have an open discussion with the community about the details and implementation of an open governance model.
Nokia has announced a company reorganisation, which it says will increase competitiveness and allow it to deliver innovative products to the market faster. Nokia is planning to introduce a simplified structure for its devices and services business; it will comprise three components: Mobile Solutions, Mobile Phones and Markets. The new structure applies from July 1st 2010. Nokia have also appointed a new CTO, Rich Green, previously at Sun, who has many years of Silicon Valley experience. Read on for further details.
Our latest MWC video is a tour around the Qt stand, looking at some of the Qt-enabled devices - from phones to printers and appliances. Mobile developers and users have been hearing more and more about Qt in the last 18 months. It is the future application framework for both Symbian and MeeGo (Nokia's two open platforms going forward). However, as this video demonstrates, Qt is already a well established technology and the 'Qt everywhere' slogan has already been realised.
Nokia is currently transforming itself from a hardware company to a hardware+services (solutions) company. At MWC 2010, we spoke to Tero Ojanperä, EVP of Services, in order to get an insight into current progress. Over a wide-ranging interview we cover a number of topics around Nokia's service strategy including how Ovi fits into Nokia's software platform strategy, the thought processes that led to free navigation, the importance of services compared to phone hardware, getting content onto the Ovi Store, the importance of partners and much more.
In part 3 of our MWC interview with Anssi Vanjoki, EVP of Markets at Nokia, we discuss the future. How "for the great masses of the world, the first computer they will have will be an extension of the phone based on Symbian". How MeeGo's rich contextual crossing of the real and virtual world will use a map-based user interface and will create "the possibility for people to live in the media."
In the second half, we hear about the three "buckets" (types) of competitors, the importance of open standards and ecoystems, and a three-fold answer to how we should judge Nokia's future business performance (KPIs).
In part 2 of our MWC interview with Anssi Vanjoki, EVP of Markets at Nokia, there is discussion of how moving Symbian into the Symbian Foundation stops the platform being "fractioned by individual product programs [within Nokia]". We also touch on whether there is a future for the 'Nokia N95 form factor' smartphone.
In the second half, Anssi Vanjoki talks about Nokia's software strategy and how the common elements of Qt and common Web Runtime provide a unifying layer between Symbian and MeeGo. He then touches on the importance of open source as a new 'software making model' for Nokia moving forward.
In our latest AAS podcast, Insight 105, Steve and Ewan discuss the news and announcements from Barcelona, including the Sony Ericsson Vivaz pro, Symbian^3, Skype for 5th Edition, Nokia's Maemo/Moblin deal, Windows Phone 7 Series Pocket Pro Mobile (or something like that) and anything else which we thought of interest and relevance.