One of the problems with the Nokia Ovi Store is that the sheer number of (ahem) novelties and other incidental items that get approved means that finding the good stuff isn't easy. What's needed is a storefront that's a hundred times smaller. But has the 1% of content that's really good. This is what I've attempted over on my 3-Lib site in 'The Curated Symbian Application Store'. Hopefully newcomers to Symbian will find it a good time-saver.
Recent News - Links of Interest - Page 5
According to the official Opera Mini blog, our favourite proxy-based web browser just got a significant update. The version number only changes from 6.1.25380 to 6.1.26266 but, crucially, Opera Mini now works with Symbian Belle phones and also now uses the built-in Symbian Anna portrait keyboard, at least in generic text entry fields (if not URL entry). In a matching move, Opera Mobile, the proxy-less but more capable browser, has also been updated, with the same compatibility changelog. Links and screens from Opera Mini below.
The Ovi Store client for S60 3rd and 5th Edition phones got itself a big update today, to v1.16, complete with Nokia branding through and through - there's no Ovi logo, just a blue store icon, plus a complete Nokia-blue makeover, cosmetically. The Help system has been simplified to a multipage scrolling FAQ, nicely done. Screenshots below. Further transformations, to the Web version of the Store and to the Symbian^3 client, are also rolling out.
SanDisk just announced a new range of microSD cards, starting at a monstrous 64GB. Dubbed 'Mobile Ultra', these cards use the SDXC standard, which is why you shouldn't get too excited yet - no current or announced Symbian smartphones or firmwares support SDXC. Official compatibility will doubtless come in time, through 2012, which will also give time for the card to drop to sensible price levels. But hey, it's the future, so worth bearing in mind.
Here comes the Nokia Gift Machine! As part of Social Media Week, Nokia have installed a "Social Gift Machine" in Glasgow. Hooked up to the internet, with its own hash-tag on the side, all you need to do is check in via Foursquare to the vending machine and you'll be rewarded with a gift. Beyond "It's doesn't just hold candy" we've no idea what you might get, but we know of one Nokia N8 that has been given out!
There's a nice article by Aatif Sumar over on ZOMGit'sCJ looking in detail at Nokia Mobile Money, announced two years ago but now seemingly arrived, at least in India, as a Java application compatible with S60 3rd Edition smartphones (and presumably S40 and other devices too, right up to the latest Symbian handsets).
Dropbox has announced an update to its mobile website, which can be found at dropbox.com/m. Dropbox states that it officially supports iPhone, Android (2.1+) and Windows Phone 7. The browser built-in to pre-Anna Symbian devices will not support this new HTML5 website, but Symbian^3 users can still take advantage either by updating to Anna or using Opera Mobile 11. Read on for screenshots and more.
I was interested to see the starting of the "Near Field Connectivity Blog", under the auspices of Nokia's Developer program, along with some titbits about Nokia's plans for NFC and its devices. Read on for more links and quotes.
NuevaSync is a paid-for Mail for Exchange service tailored to help all kinds of mobile devices synchronise successfully with Google’s PIM services. We reviewed NuevaSync last year, and found it to be a great help with getting Nokia devices to work painlessly with the Google cloud. NuevaSync has now added support for adding events to multiple Google calendars. Read on to find out how well it works and how to set it up.
As noted by Nokialino and others, Nokia has a page dedicated to the attractions of Symbian Belle, including a number of well done videos (one is embedded below). Each of the three new smartphones are featured in detail and there's even a shout out to the likes of the N8, C7 and E7 as being fully Symbian Belle compatible, with the update to come 'later'.
Vlingo, the voice recognition system that has been bundled in limited form with most Nokia smartphones over the last few years, has finally gone completely free, with Vlingo Premium now available for all through the Ovi Store. The utility lets you call contacts, dictate messages, emails, notes and Facebook updates - and more.
Another month, another set of stellar (or in this case, lunar) photos taken on the Nokia N8 and showcased by the Nokia Creative blog. It should be noted that some of these example photos are taken with the aid of external lenses (e.g. the telescope one of the moon), but even so, the N8 still has to grab the image itself. Comments welcome, feel free to link to your own N8 Flickr exploits...
Now this looks like a fun idea for a Friday - Nokia Maps is now available for various Apple and Android devices. Strictly speaking, it's an HTML5 web app, so any compliant browser should be able to give you the mapping, location and routing data, but this is officially targeted at iOS 4.3 and above, plus Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices.
We've published our fair share of 'how to' articles here on AAS over the years, wo we can recognise a decent article when we see it. In this case it's the Mobile Tech Bishop's "Guide to Getting the most out of your Symbian Device", quoted below. In this feature he covers, expertly, device maintenance, PIM syncing, media transfer, data security, and much more. And it's all Anna-aware and up to date, with hyperlinks everywhere necessary. Nice job!
While I don't think for a moment that Nokia would actually crowdsource the name of their upcoming Windows Phone through a random poll site (for a start, can you imagine the legal department working out if they actually had the right to use the winning name?), it's created a nice buzz online, and I could see the marketing department giving time to a few of them.