Having recently started updating the browsers and Maps of many older devices, running S60 3rd Edition and S60 5th Edition, Nokia has now released a performance update across the board for the Ovi Store client for all (most?) pre-Symbian^3 smartphones. Version 1.12(5) is an optional (rather than mandatory) update and replaces v1.10 in most cases. There's no official changelog yet, but I did see noticeably snappier performance on my test devices.
Recent News - S60 3rd Edition - Page 3
Synchronica, a UK based company that provides mobile messaging solution, is to acquire Nokia's operator branded messaging business. This business provides a number of American operators with branded email and IM applications and services. In addition, under a professional services contract (outsourcing), Synchronica will take over the development of the related Series 40 client software and the messaging gateway, which is used by both Series 40 and Symbian devices.
Well spotted Yash for noticing that both Opera Mini and Opera Mobile have received big updates, to versions 6.1 and 11.1 respectively. There's the main changelog below, but I'd highlight the iPhone-like web page text selection as the main reason to upgrade. They're both free, work on all Symbian phones, and are available now from m.opera.com in the 'other' web browser on your Symbian device.
Yesterday Nokia quietly released an update to its C5-00 smartphone, in the form of the C5-00 5MP. The variant replaces the original 3.2 megapixel EDoF camera unit with a 5.0 megapixel EDoF unit. Other changes include additional internal memory (50MB to 270MB) and RAM (128MB to 256MB), and an increase in weight from 89.3g to 95g. The C5-00 5MP will go on sale in Q3 2011.
Nokia today announced a raft of updates coming soon for many S60 3rd Edition and S60 5th Edition phones (listed below), giving them an updated version of the browser (Web v7.3 - the same as Symbian Anna), updates to Ovi Maps and the addition of emoticons for use in SMS and MMS messages. The browser update is the most significant and should breathe life into many older Symbian smartphones.
Nokia's Ovi Store is continuing to grow at a rapid pace; it recently passed the 6 million downloads per day mark and now contains more than 48,000 content items, with approximately 1,000 news items being added each week. Symbian phones make up approximately 75% of the downloads (4.5 million), with Series 40 accounting for most of the remaining downloads (1.5 million). A total of 1.8 billion content items have been downloaded since June 2009.
What a great idea - step through the alphabet and pick the best Symbian application starting with that letter. And, impressively, every letter has a great suggestion here in 'The Essential A-Z of Nokia Apps', from Angry Birds to Zuma. Well worth a quick scan - maybe you can come up with better suggestion here and there?
Following on from last week's episode, which focused on Windows Phone Mango, here is the seventh episode of the 361 Degrees podcast. This week it's a nostalgia fest as we remember devices we've owned and that we think have helped shaped the industry. 361 Degrees is a podcast all about mobile technology, created by Ben Smith of Wireless Worker and co-hosted by Ewan MacLeod of Mobile Industry Review and Rafe Blandford of All About Symbian.
Offscreen Technologies has announced the release of its in-house integrated development environment (IDE), free of cost to anyone who wishes to use it. Named Origo, it can be downloaded from origo.offscr.com, along with various guides and further information on its use. Origo allows users to write once and automatically package their application for Symbian^3, S60 5th Edition, S60 3rd Edition, Maemo 5 and Windows Phone 7. Offscreen Technologies Ltd. states that it has published over 150 applications, and has had over 70 million downloads via the Ovi Store.
Nokia announced today that it will change its service branding from Ovi to Nokia. This will see the services change from Ovi Service to Nokia Service. For example, Ovi Maps to Nokia Maps. The transition will begin in July and is expected to be completed by the end of 2012 and Nokia says that the rebrand will have no impact on planned updates and improvements to the services.
IDC has released its set of smartphone shipment figures for Q1 2011. They show that just under 100 million smartphones were sold last quarter. Nokia led the way with 24.2 million smartphones, followed by Apple (18.7m), RIM (13.9m), Samsung (10.8m) and HTC (8.9m). All manufacturers had increased shipments year on year, but by widely varying amounts. Nokia was the weakest (+12%), with RIM (+31%), Apple (+114%), HTC (+229%) and Samsung (+350%) all showing stronger growth.
As a big fan of the long running Desert Island Discs radio programme, I was interested to see that its entire archive is now up for grabs in smartphone-friendly form on the Web, with over 500 of the shows fully downloadable in MP3 form. Thousands of guests, tens of thousands of music picks and a huge amount of auto-biographical chat, all in MP3 form. Screens and links below. Download and enjoy.
You may remember, almost three months ago, that I featured news of an innovative URL-to-application wizard: AppMe, claiming to create an installable Symbian application (for use on a homescreen shortcuts bar or simply in the main app menu) from any Internet page. It worked, too, though the wizard itself was desktop browser-based and a little rough around the edges. Well, AppMe is back, it's slicker, it's more rounded, it has its own mini 'app store' and it's now mobile too. More below.
ZingMagic just 'zinged' their most popular board game conversions, with 'V' (as in five) versions of Chess Pro, Chinese Chess Pro and Checkers Pro, all also available in free ad-supported and paid for versions, for touch and non-touch Symbian-powered smartphones. There are extra variants, graphics and skill levels all round. Details, background info, links and some screens below.
There's an interesting piece over at Gary Moncrieff's blog today that struck a chord with me. He talks about slick applications like SPB Shell, Profimail and Gravity but then explains why he'd rather go with Nokia's built-in solutions for Symbian^3 because they're far better integrated into the homescreen and Contacts. Go have a read and see if you agree.