Guest writer Ow Kah Leong reports here on Spotify, the subscription music streaming service, which has opened its virtual doors to extra countries around the world, including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Mexico, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland. Yet Spotify is not necessarily in the Nokia Store in those countries. Of course not - that would be far too easy. All is not lost though, as Kah writes below.
Recent News - Links of Interest
Google has announced the end of life for Google Sync, which was designed to give access to Gmail, Google Calendar and Conatcts via Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync protocol. Starting from January 30th 2013, consumers will no longer be able to set up new devices using Google Sync, although existing connections will continue to function. Below, I explain what impact, if any, this will have on Symbian users.
Big software house Digia has announced that it has 'signed an agreement to acquire Qt software technologies and Qt business from Nokia'. Once the acquisition is completed, Digia will become responsible for all the Qt activities formerly carried out by Nokia, including product development, licensing and service. Digia 'plans to quickly enable Qt on the Android, iOS and Windows 8 platforms'. As part of the transaction, a maximum of 125 people from Nokia will transfer to Digia, mostly based in Oslo, Norway and Berlin, Germany.
No, 'NFC Interactor' isn't a new smartphone particle weapon plug-in, it's actually a cool diagnostic for tag-reading purposes and an even cooler tool to let you write your own NFC tags, should you have some that are unlocked and writeable. And remember that if NFC is all Greek to you, check out my NFC Primer. NFC Interactor is cool in another way, too, in that it's one of the first Symbian applications to use in-app purchasing via the Nokia Store.
Nokia has published a video on YouTube, which in its description urges people to "stay tuned for the latest news from Nokia at Mobile World Congress". The video doesn't give much away, but with captions like "pure detail", "pure depth", "pure definition" and a title of "get ready to capture a pure view" speculation will inevitably focus around a high-end camera phone successor to the N8.
It was interesting to see various sites round the web today linking to dial-a-phone's comparison of the camera results from the new Sony Xperia S and the Nokia N8, especially given the conclusion that the newcomer is the 'clear winner'. However, such comparisons are more than a little misleading - there's far more to testing out a phone camera than shots of still subjects in bright....
Following on from our extensive story on the Symbian Nokia Belle update availability, I wanted to highlight Nokia's own, surprisingly comprehensive, Belle Update FAQ. With five major sections, covering roll out, how to update, application compatibility, music license problems and troubleshooting, there's plenty of meat in here, and most users should find an answer to their update queries.
I've been very impressed by the technical knowhow of 'theycallthislife' and there's a new post up comparing the cameras of the Nokia N8, Apple iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S II, the three best camera phones in the world right now. With good example shots that can be examined in full detail and with interesting analysis, it's well worth a ten minute read. As to the winner, let's just say that the iPhone 4S comes closer than any other contender has in the eighteen months the N8 has been available....(!)
Corning, the company behind the Gorilla Glass in our smartphones, has produced another of its inspirational 'here's the future' videos and, as with the original one, it's well worth watching. There are two versions of the video, actually, I've embedded the expanded one below, complete with video guide to all the (probable) tech used. Seems like touchscreens really are the new buttons? [PS. Watch out for the medical sequence - it's something we're used to seeing only in Sci-fi]
When Nokia introduced CBD (ClearBlack Display) at Nokia World 2010, for the C6-01 and E7 models, there was an element of uncertainty involved as to how this technology worked. Certainly it was incredibly effective at cutting out reflections from ambient light, but noone seemed to know the full details. After much digging, we established it was something to do with polarising layers, but only now do we see a clear depiction of how CBD works.
Most of the numbers are now in for Q4, 2011 and, while some are estimates, we now have a pretty good idea of the state of the mobile industry for the last quarter. Phones grew 6% year on year, smartphones by a whopping 63%, with the latter now at 36% of the overall market. The top three companies were the same by either metric - Apple, Samsung and Nokia are way ahead of the rest.
An updated version of the Qt SDK, version 1.2, was released today. It contains all the tools required to create Qt applications for Nokia's Symbian devices. The new version includes Qt Creator 2.4 (bringing improvement to the QML editor and numerous bug fixes) and Qt Mobility 1.2 (improved API access to Bluetooth and NFC).
Available free for a 'limited time' are four 'Premium' themes from one of our favourite S60 3rd Edition/S60 5th Edition/Symbian designers, Pizero. The themes are Aurora, Paradise, Magma and Azure and I've included links to all the free download pages below. Grab 'em while you can!
The popular JoikuSpot wi-fi tethering utility for Symbian just got itself a big '2012 Edition' product update, now re-implemented in Qt and working just on Symbian Anna and Belle handsets only. More details below, but the main functional changes are better control over who connects to your phone-hosted signal and how much data they use, plus a My JoikuSpot service to keep a log of (and optionally share) when you've connected and what transpired.
TechRadar has updated its set of camera phone reviews to pitch the N8 against the iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S II, Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and others - you may not be surprised that, even 15 months after first availability, the N8 still came up as top dog, though the new iPhone also got a special mention or two.