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.
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I did report on Nokia's (beta) launch of its Maps Suite last week and was intending to write up my thoughts, but I've been beaten to it by The Mobile Tech Bishop in an excellently argued piece, in which the positives are acknowledged but the phrase "bloated mass" also makes a justified appearance.
Nokia Maps 3D is a desktop browser-based 3D mapping tech demo, with (currently) 23 major cities around the world mapped in glorious, true 3D, with data and textures gathered from satellites, planes and cars, using conventional cameras and laser rangefinders. Anyway, Nokia just released a rather cute 'making of' video, demonstrating in public-friendly form, roughly how it all gets put together. It's embedded below - comments welcome. Oh, and apparently you'll soon not even have to install a plug-in into your browser...
You might have noticed that the team behind All About Symbian launched a new web site today. All About Windows Phone is now live and already stocked with content, covering Nokia's other smartphone platform going forwards. We did think a few words of reassurance appropriate for the AAS audience, however - we're not going anywhere!
Nokia Conversations, the public-facing site where stories from inside Nokia are brought to the wider world, has been given a rather impressive overhaul. Far more than just a cosmetic facelift, there's a 'notifications bar' (on the left) with dynamic links to breaking content and language controls, there's an emphasis on the 'big story of the day', the ability to contact individual story authors and a general de-cluttering of the interface.
Two of the most popular Nokia Beta Labs projects have recently ended, with very differing outcomes. Nokia Sleeping Screen, which enables custom bitmaps to be used as your OLED always-on time display, has graduated and is now in the main Nokia Store on-device. Meanwhile, Nokia Bubbles, which enabled an active lock screen in which you had to chase and drag the bubble for the app or shortcut you wanted onto the unlock icon, has been terminated. Some quotes and links below.
You've heard of top of the line smartphones costing over £500, you've heard of the original Nokia Communicator coming in near £1000 back in the day, but today's launch of the Vertu Constellation sees a Symbian smartphone in the "£4,000 to £10,000" region, according to the Telegraph. Or, as I like to put it, "if you have to ask the price then you can't afford it" territory.
Nokia's old ovi.com is undergoing a butterfly-like transformation, it seems. ovi.com, as of right now, simply redirects to maps.nokia.com. The Ovi blog explains it all (quote below), but don't panic if you use a particular Ovi service, the old landing pages are still there on the server (e.g. Contacts, Music, Mail), so just bookmark these instead, if you haven't already.
More a super-geek plaything than a mainstream set of games at present, but I can see where Nokia is going with this... Beta Labs just released a small set of NFC games, simple titles that leverage the NFC chip in the C7 and the newer Belle devices. You'll need a compatible device (obviously) and a number of NFC chips (e.g. in cards and stickers) to play though. Video and quotes below.
Yes, you can turn stats to prove almost anything and goodness knows we've seen enough of that from the tech media in recent years. So time for a shot across the bows with a look at that favourite stat from the 'superphone' brigade: mobile web browsing, sorted by smartphone platform. It'll be iPhone and Android all the way, right? Wrong. Hopelessly wrong.
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.
You'll remember my popular feature "There's a Bookmark for that"? The mobile-friendly sites in that feature were all taken from my much larger home-compiled (and slightly UK-biased) directory. Which I just updated, removing sites which no longer worked and adding over a dozen others. The idea is that you bookmark this one page on your small-screened smartphone and then you've got all the mobile versions on tap, without having to remember the 'mobile' syntax for each.
You'll remember that a new Qt-ified version of the Nokia Store client was released in beta form a week ago? There's now an 'important' (i.e. bug fix) update available, v3.16.034, go grab it here. This is for Symbian^3/Anna smartphones only, as before.
Nokia's manufacturing capability is very distributed and very large - but it all got a bit smaller with today's announcement to close the facility in Romania by the end of 2011 and with the possibilty of future changes of focus in plants in Finland, Hungary and Mexico. In addition, there are closures of Nokia offices in Bonn and Malvern. See below for quotes from the press release.
Another week, another camera-toting smartphone comparison, this time from Hannah Bouckley of 'recombu', comparing the Nokia N8 to the Samsung Galaxy S II, the iPhone 4, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and (for some reason) the Samsung Omnia 7. Despite the author seemingly failing to understand how to use the N8 after dark*, the N8 was given the overall verdict of winner across the different test shots.