You'll remember that over the last year or so, I've helped champion the HX series of custom firmwares for the Samsung i8910 HD, stepping into the shoes of Samsung, who effectively abandoned their own device. All good things come to an end though and HyperX himself, the guy who assembled these firmware has announced that he's moving on and that there definitely won't be another release. Of note here is that the final HX-V11 firmware (which had been 'temporarily' withdrawn) is now back up for download, along with all its associated goodies. Download 'em while you can, folks!
Recent News - S60 5th Edition - Page 7
Nokia has officially 'graduated' Ovi Maps 3.6 (the version with Social check-ins, live traffic services and on-device country map loading) from Beta Labs and into the Ovi Store. This doesn't preclude further updates of course, but the application is stable and complete for now. If you want to check what version you have installed, tap on the "?" icon, then "About Maps" and then "Versions". The version of Ovi Maps now in the Ovi Store is v3.06 11wk10 b01.
We do like to highlight bargains every now and then and, thanks to a tip off from reader Gary Moncrieff, it seems that most of the Smartphoneware titles in the Ovi Store have been reduced from their usual $10 (or so) tickets to just 1 pound (or local equivalent). If you've been eyeing up any of the following: Best Safe, Best Reminder, Best Crypto, Best TaskMan, Best SpamKiller, Best Jotter, Best Converter, Best Blacklist or Best Full Screen Message (among others), then grab them now rather than later. A few titles remain at higher prices, so do please check, etc.
As a hardened (and probably wizened) AAS reader, you've been with us through the ups and downs of the last decade, of course. And I was interested to read Alvin Wong's 'Symbian Story', taking him through many of the devices that we too have loved and hated over the years - it's a good read. And yet, here's the kicker, Alvin is still only 17. Which means that he started his Symbian Story when he was only 12, incredibly.
I was impressed by Peter Krass's write-up over on the Ovi Daily App blog, looking at three free weather forecasting solutions for Symbian smartphones. He reviews ForecaWeather Free, AccuWeather and Weather Touch, all free or ad-supported. In particular, I had a 'duh' moment when he revealed that Weather Touch has a second, forecast screen that you only see when you rotate your phone into landscape mode. How the heck didn't I spot that before?
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.
An official PayPal mobile application, written in Java, is now available for download in the Ovi Store. It allows you to send and receive money, review your recent transactions, set a mobile PIN for easy mobile log-in and carry out other common PayPal tasks. The application is available in select markets for most S60 5th Edition devices and some Symbian^3 devices.
Joy unbounded. It seems that the mythical, legendary, v22 firmware for the Vodafone-locked Nokia N97 has just become available. A mere eight months after SIM-free N97 classics received the update. If ever there was an example of why you should buy SIM-free smartphones where possible then this is it - network variants have to be approved by the network in question and it can take.... ages. Anyway, as shown in the screenshot below, my Vodafone-locked N97 has now been upgraded to v22, so frustrated 'classic' users everywhere can at last relax.
A group of companies, drawn from both the consumer electronics and automotive industries, today announced the formation of the Car Connectivity Consortium, to help develop, maintain and promote in-vehicle connectivity solutions such as Terminal Mode, NFC and wireless charging. The stated goal of the organisation is to have "a seamless, safe, effortless and delightful user experience when using a smartphone in a car".
Now available as an 'experimental beta' for all S60 5th Edition and Symbian^3 phones, Nokia Shoot & Tag is a camera-centric utility that allows video capture with automatic scene detection and then lets you browse through scenes later on. The idea, as usual, is to get the public to try the interface and ideas before the concept is (or isn't) rolled out into device firmware. Links and a video below.
The Ovi Store client has been updated today, with v2.06.00042 being enforced for Symbian^3-powered phones, and v1.9.008 for S60 3rd Edition and 5th Edition phones. The new version is to maintain compatibility with architecture changes at Nokia's end and also provides performance improvements on all devices.
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.
For all Symbian/S60 3rd Edition/5th Edition phones, SPB TV has been re-launched with a new version number, v2.0, adding higher quality TV streams, better performance and wider device compatibility. As before, SPB TV is marketing and advert-driven, with a registration process and with occasional static adverts displayed during channel loading pauses. Some screens and a link below.
Layar, an augmented reality browser, is now available in Ovi Store. Layar provides an augmented view of the world around you by overlaying information ('layers') on to your smartphone's field of vision (as seen through the camera). For example, this can be used to visualise local search (overlay local businesses), orientate the position of nearby landmarks and attractions and see nearby social activity (Twitter, YouTube, etc). Layar is available for all Symbian^3 devices, plus the N97 and N97 mini.
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.