The truly venerable Nokia X6, Nokia's first ever capacitive-screened touch-driven smartphone and with monstrous stereo speakers, running S60 5th Edition, has received a major firmware update, a whopping 9MB over-the-air upgrade. It installs neatly in place and gives the old phone much the same browser as is found in Symbian Anna, plus the fairly recent Ovi Maps 3.6, itself a big upgrade on previous shipping versions. In addition, there are the usual performance tweaks and bug fixes.
Recent News - S60 5th Edition - Page 3
Nokia has finally relaxed its somewhat restrictive policy of only allowing you to download paid content up to five times (it was a draconian three times, originally) - the limit has apparently now been raised to ten times. Given that you also have to be fully signed in as well, many have argued that there shouldn't be any limit, but ten is a reasonable number and should appease even serial phone switchers like ourselves!
A free exhibition is currently running at the London Design Museum (28 Shad Thames, London SE1), entitled, 'People Made - Nokia products that changed the world' and tells the 'inside story of Nokia - past, present and future'. The exhibition is free to enter, but is only running from October 28th to November 2nd, leaving you three days to go along and take a look.
The latest firmware for both the 5800 and 5530 are now rolling out and are available for over the air (OTA) update. The updates take the 5800 to version 60, and the 5530 to version 40. The update is mostly for performance improvements and bug fixing. However, Web has received a big update, taking it from version 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124. This is only a few iterations behind the Symbian Anna browser, which is reflected in the updated user interface. Read on for screenshots and more details.
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.
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.
Alongside the Nokia 603, the Luna Bluetooth Headset has also been announced. A playful looking in-ear headset, it comes in five colours as well as being NFC enabled. In practice this makes pairing practical - just tap one of Nokia's NFC handsets to the base and you'll be paired up. Other more traditional methods of scanning the area and pairing are naturally available as the headset conforms to the 2.12 Bluetooth specification. Answering calls is a simple matter of popping the headset out the holder and into your ear.
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.
Remember Nokia Conversations were asking for people to create a new ringtone for Nokia to ship on their handsets? They've announced a winner, Italian DJ Valerio Alessandro Sizzi and his twenty-four second dub-step reimagining of Tarrega's Grande Valse. You can have a listen to it below, or just wait for it to be one of the default ringtones on the new Nokia handsets.
Swype, a company which has developed a finger-slide style input technology, which is used in millions of mobile devices is set to be acquired by Nuance, according to Uncrunched. Swype is currently available for Symbian and Android, but not Windows Phone, but with Nokia as one of its early investors and key industry partners it is possible this could change in the future.
I was very interested in a Nokia utility that's appeared in the Ovi Store for most regions, promising location of, and information on, the various Nokia Care Centres around us. Most impressively, there's a full Qt-written, glossy interface and there's clearly been a lot of work gone into the project. Screenshots below. Unfortunately, it's (so far) only for Nokia KSA, i.e. for Saudi Arabia. Here's hoping the work can be extended to other countries and regions!
One of the problems with the Nokia Ovi Store is that the sheer number of (ahem) novelties and other incidental items that get approved means that finding the good stuff isn't easy. What's needed is a storefront that's a hundred times smaller. But has the 1% of content that's really good. This is what I've attempted over on my 3-Lib site in 'The Curated Symbian Application Store'. Hopefully newcomers to Symbian will find it a good time-saver.
The Ovi Store client for S60 3rd and 5th Edition phones got itself a big update today, to v1.16, complete with Nokia branding through and through - there's no Ovi logo, just a blue store icon, plus a complete Nokia-blue makeover, cosmetically. The Help system has been simplified to a multipage scrolling FAQ, nicely done. Screenshots below. Further transformations, to the Web version of the Store and to the Symbian^3 client, are also rolling out.
Swype, the alternative keyboard for Symbian and Android, has been updated to version 2.0. While Swype is available on the Ovi Store, this latest version is exclusively available via Nokia Beta Labs. Swype has been updated to support Symbian Anna's split screen keyboards. Feedback from Symbian and Android users has been implemented to create "incremental" user experience improvements. This update also includes "hundreds" of bug fixes. Read on for screenshots and more information.
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).