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.
Recent News - UIQ
Well worth bookmarking for late evening reading over a beer or two is Andrew Orlowski's epic two part essay on the history of Symbian from creation in 1998 up to near the present day. Interviewing a number of past employees, admittedly, there's a strong aftertaste of 'these are all the bits that went wrong' and there's little in the way of acknowledgement of success stories, but Orlowski's text is readable and well researched. Here's part one: Dark Star, covering Symbian's creation and here's part two: The battle for Symbian's soul.
Thanks to my kind editor at Smartphone Essentials magazine, he's let me republish a truck load of my own Q&A mini-articles from 2009's issues right here on All About Symbian. I've been adding these to our Support section (what do you mean, you didn't know we had one?) and a summary of the questions in part 1 of my big update is listed below, with links. All part of keeping AAS a definitive resource!
From AAS's department of the bleedin' obvious come comments from me after looking into data from the last ten years in the Symbian world, looking at screen sizes across a range of form factors and interfaces (including Series 80 and UIQ). Yes, form factors are gradually converging, and yes, screens are getting larger. No real surprise there then, but I thought you might be interested in the charts themselves below...
Over the last few years, I've had a burning conviction that's been growing and growing as I watch the current craze for 'Apps' blossom. Now, I've nothing against genuine applications or games, but it has to be said that a large number of so-called 'Apps' are simply scraping or managing exactly the same data as you can get right now, on any phone, for free. And, my way, there are no installations, no complications and no hassle. Apps? Pah - I've a new slogan to rival Apple's. "There's a Bookmark for that!"
I was asked a very good question last week: "Why do you stay with Symbian when there's a world of wonder with iPhone and Android?" I have to admit to finding a number of positives in these other platforms, sometimes accompanied by positives in their hardware, but it's true that I do keep coming back to Symbian as the OS powering my smartphone-of-choice. Investigating my own leanings and trying to justify them, here are the top 10 reasons why I stay with Symbian.
It's true that the accessory title rather gives the game away and isn't inspiring, but this is an accessory that's much needed in the smartphone (and general camera phone) world. Steve Litchfield muses on a predecessor and and reviews the latest product that claims to be able to hold your phone while it snaps or videos away.
In All About Symbian Insight 100 (AAS Podcast 164), we first look back at the decade just gone and consider how far we've come, before looking ahead to what will happen in the next decade. Steve brings news of an i8910 firmware update, Ovi Maps Racing and more and the teams answer questions relating to N97 Exchange support and briefly discuss what to expect at MWC You can listen to AAS Insight 100 here or, if you wish to subscribe, here's the RSS feed.
I asked an eclectic selection of 20 luminaries, bloggers and power users from the Symbian ecosystem: "Which is the Symbian-powered smartphone of the Decade? Which one was most significant, the most memorable, the most game-changing and the most loved?" Here are their answers, for your interest and amusement - and yes, a clear winner emerged...
Long-time readers may remember we gave Lonely Cat Games' card game Mau Mau quite a positive review, and for those who don't know it's basically Uno played with normal cards. Well, it now appears that the game is available free of charge from LCG's website for all S60 editions and UIQ2 as well. Just download the file from the download page, then head on over to the free unlock code page and use your phone's IMEI. (UPDATE: Apparently there's the old annoying "expired certificate" problem with this file, but you should be able to get round this by altering your phone's date settings to March 2008 instead of March 2009. You can then alter the dates back to normal after installation.)
The C64 emulator Frodo for S60 3rd Edition has been updated to version 1.5, and now includes support for accelerometers in selected phones, which lets you tilt the phone to simulate a joystick or steering wheel (you can see a demo video below). There's also an on-screen keyboard and vibration support. Frodo comes in versions available for older Symbian devices too such as S60 1st and 2nd Edition, Series 80 and UIQ, just scroll down the same page. Apparently Frodo for S60 3rd Edition should work in theory on the 5800, though it may run very slowly as the application hasn't been optimised for S60 5th Edition yet. (For more S60 3rd Edition emulators, see AAS's special feature.)
Westward, originally released on the PC, is a cocktail that mixes in elements of town simulation, real sime strategy, adventure and humour. Does it combine the best of all worlds, or is it an unwieldy mess? Read Tzer2's review of Westward to find out... (Incidentally, this game is available for both S60 3rd and UIQ3, links for both at the end of the review.)
ProfiMail has been around on all the Symbian OS sub-platforms for longer than I can remember. But did you know that the developers have been making great strides recently with full on IMAP Idle support and better integrated file and attachment browsers? Nick Anstee's been using ProfiMail for ages on his Nokia E90 and presents details of his personal email client quest, together with a detailed list of pros and cons for this quirky application from Lonely Cat Games.
The BBC News website is reporting that Sony Ericsson is to cut two thousand jobs over the next year, in order to cut operating costs. The company was making a profit this time last year, but in the last quarter it reported a small loss.
I know quite a few of you rely on my definitive pub-quiz-helper, Trivopaedia. It's now been brought up to 2008 levels, with up to date stats for v2.3 . It's available in Mobipocket reader and iSilo formats (i.e. compatible with any portable device or any platform), in addition to being fully online as well - and of course it's still free.