Nokia today made an announcement that clarifies and simplifies its developer and software platform strategy. Nokia will focus on Qt as the sole application development framework across both MeeGo and Symbian, reinforcing and accelerating Nokia's previous commitment to it. Nokia will also develop its own future UI applications using Qt.
The planned and future development of the higher layers of Symbian OS itself will also rely heavily on Qt; Nokia says this will "allow a continuous improvement of the Symbian experience" and, critically, will be compatible with the existing Symbian^3 platform and devices. This will mean that existing Symbian^3 devices will be included in future updates and will receive many of the user experience and application improvements originally planned for Symbian^4. Going forward, Nokia will simply refer to the platform as 'Symbian', without any version specifics.
Since before the launch of the Nokia N95, the handset manufacturers have been pushing the idea that “Location is the next big thing”, not just in mobile but over the whole Internet. With GPS chips being installed into hundreds of millions of handsets; with the Web 2.0 backbone of everyone sharing everything; with developers and the venture capitalists throwing money at the social web... what could go wrong?
It used to be that mobile phone networks were scared of being nothing more than pipes for data and calls, so they added extra features to make them portals rather than pipes. But the increasing number of smartphones coming to market mean they now have another approach to ward off this fear – the added value on top of the Operating System to make the network version of a popular handset 'better' than the stock factory model. But in the process, this creates a handset that's not what the end-user expects, creates user interface discrepancies, and frustrates their own customers as to the capabilities of the device they see talked about online, and the one in their hand. Have the networks forgetten how to balance their needs with the needs of the users?
Let's say you worked in Nokia marketing and had a great idea. Given that the company was sponsoring the X Factor, one of the largest entertainment shows in the world, each year, why not have an X Factor application? One that could be promoted before each ad break, riding the current wave of app-frenzy, showing off what the phones can do and also getting an even wider audience for the content? Fabulous. Meanwhile, back in reality....
Forgive the blatant plug, but this is one Phones Show programme that you might want to catch. Inside show 122 there's my video review of the Nokia N8 - trying to summarise this device in 1500 spoken words over 10 screen minutes wasn't easy - you can judge my efforts below, as the show is embedded for your convenience. There's also a mini review of the Motorola Flipout, a diminutive but capable qwerty smartphone.
Following on from my initial review of Pixelpipe's Send and Share client, I met their CEO, Brett Butterfield, at Nokia World 2010 to find out what was new. Send and Share has had some significant additions that all add together to make the application even more convenient to use.
We don't often mention themes on AAS, but when we do we try to make them good ones. With the new generation of OLED (CBD) displays now imminent from Nokia, I thought I'd highlight a few themes designed to make the most of the vivid OLED colours without taking the overall brightness too far into excessive battery-draining territory. It goes without saying that they'll also work on the Samsung i8910 - and probably every other S60 5th Edition (and possibly 3rd Edition) smartphone too. Comments welcome - which is your favourite theme for OLED?
NyTeknik, a weekly Swedish technology newspaper, is reporting that Jan Uddenfeldt, Sony Ericsson's new CTO, said that the company "have no plans for new products with Symbian". While this is not a definitive statement, it would appear to rule out any Symbian^3 handsets from Sony Ericsson and leave longer term plans uncertain. It follows on from the recent news that Samsung also has no current plans for Symbian handsets.
This week we've seen an increasing amount of speculation that the Nokia N8 has been delayed. This speculation is the latest in a long line of rumours about the N8's availability; something which has seemingly become almost standard for high profile devices. This time round the rumours range from a delay of a few weeks up to around a month and a half. So what's the reality? Has the N8 been delayed?
Both Gartner and IDC recently published predictions of where the smartphone world will go over the next four years, in part backing up each others conclusions, but with some divergence. Pulling out the trends and actual figures needed a little more digging, but I've averaged the two sets of predictions and filled in (and interpolated where necessary) to give you a chart that's a lot easier to take in. Are both Gartner and IDC infallible? Certainly not, but the combined chart should give a more balanced prediction than the current fashionable 'Symbian is toast' rhetoric...
Never more than in the last year or so, smartphone enthusiasts have been decrying Symbian and advocating switching to an Android smartphone or Apple iPhone. "Enough is enough" they cry, "I'll be able to do so much more if I switch!". Errr... no. Not really. Having used many Android phones and having been using the iPhone and other iOS devices over the last two years, I've come to the conclusion that the grass really isn't greener on the other side of the fence - it's just a different colour altogether.
Sometimes journalists put two and 'x' together to make four, and when they're right, careers are made. This weekend, TechCrunch have tried to make a similar jump and announced that they reckon that "Facebook is Secretly Building A Phone," a claim that Facebook have denied (reported at Mashable and others). With a broader stroke of a brush, I hope the Symbian Foundation is paying attention, because Symbian OS in a short production run of handsets would have made a lot of sense.
Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President in charge of Mobile Solutions (Symbian and MeeGo devices) and a member of the Nokia Group Executive Board, has resigned. He will work out his six month notice period, will continue in his current tasks for the time being and will be attending Nokia World. Coming just days after the appointment of Stephen Elop as the new CEO of Nokia, it seems very likely that Vanjoki was one of the internal candidates passed over for the job, consequently he has decided to move on.
Nokia's Board of Directors has appointed Stephen Elop, currently head of Microsoft's Business division, to replace Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo as CEO of Nokia as of September 21st. As a Canadian, he becomes the first non-Finn to lead the company, reflecting Nokia's increasingly global management and work force. The market is responding positively to the news, with Nokia shares up 5% in early trading.
One of the things that first aiders are taught is triage – the initial assessment of patients to work out which ones have a genuine problem and need to be looked at as soon as possible; and which ones are shouting loudly because they’ve broken a nail. In the online noise of social media and blogging, that triage skill is just as vital, because the companies making the loudest noises aren’t always telling the whole story.