Our own David Gilson is fast becoming a self-made expert on resurrecting Symbian^3 phones which have got their (software) knickers in a twist. We've previously posted his “When beta testing goes bad” article, looking at solving Qt install issues. Now David's had problems with the Ovi Store client refusing to start - and found the answer came from an unexpected source.
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Nokia has announced that it has signed a patent license agreement with Apple, ending all patent litigation between the companies. The financial structure of the agreement consists of a one-time payment payable by Apple to Nokia and ongoing regular royalties to be paid by Apple to Nokia. The exact amounts involved are confidential, but the "agreement is expected to have a positive financial impact on Nokia's recently revised outlook for the second quarter 2011", so the sums must be very substantial.
An update to Ovi Store application, version 2.08, is currently being rolled out, by Nokia, for its Symbian^3 devices (N8, C7, C6-01, E7). Along with improvements at the server-side, the update enables the automatic detection and provisioning of updates for applications that have already been installed. Users will be automatically prompted to download and install the client update when they next open the Ovi Store application.
Under the title of "Destination E7", Nokia's latest promotional stunt has been to give two Scots girls E7s and lend them a VW camper and set them the challenge of setting up a 'pop-up shop' in London (postcode E7, get it?) a week later, sourcing all their inventory along the way. Along with a cameraman, of course, to record the results for the embedded highlights video below.
Yesterday Microsoft offered the media a preview of Mango, the next release of the Windows Phone platform. The release will deliver more than 500 new features, with an emphasis on communication, apps and the Internet. Mango will also see wider language support, the addition of 1500 APIs for developers and significant performance improvements. Mango is scheduled to arrive in the autumn and will be the version that Nokia uses on its first Windows Phone devices, scheduled to appear in 2012 in quantity.
According to Carl-Christian Buhr from the Digital Agenda for Europe, the ill fated SYMBEOSE open source project, proposed six months ago, has been quietly cancelled, to noone's surprise, given that Symbian itself is back within Nokia's control and is no longer open source. Apparently, no money ever changed hands, either... making the whole initiative something of a damp squib.
Just a couple of weekend links of interest. The Ovi Store publishing team has announced that application update notifications are coming this week in an update of its Ovi Store client, v2.8, initially for Symbian^3 phones only. Quote below, we'll cover this more when v2.8 actually appears. In other news, the folks at phoneArena have pitted the Nokia N8's camera against those in the LG Optimus 2X, the iPhone 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S II. Suffice it to say that the N8's unit acquits itself very well, but kudos to the feature compiler for the work that's gone into this detailed comparison.
Nokia announced today that it will change its service branding from Ovi to Nokia. This will see the services change from Ovi Service to Nokia Service. For example, Ovi Maps to Nokia Maps. The transition will begin in July and is expected to be completed by the end of 2012 and Nokia says that the rebrand will have no impact on planned updates and improvements to the services.
As a big fan of the long running Desert Island Discs radio programme, I was interested to see that its entire archive is now up for grabs in smartphone-friendly form on the Web, with over 500 of the shows fully downloadable in MP3 form. Thousands of guests, tens of thousands of music picks and a huge amount of auto-biographical chat, all in MP3 form. Screens and links below. Download and enjoy.
Rafe'll be along soon with his own hands-on analysis of the Nokia E6 and X7 prototypes, but until then here's a very interesting little text interview with Chris Probert, the E6 product manager, answering some of the questions that you (and I) have about this new qwerty candybar device, the follow up to the popular E72. The questions cover display brightness, screen size, the lack of an optical sensor, the use of EDoF camera and software compatibility. Worth a read.
I was interested to see that the Nokia N8 made number three in ZDNet's "My top 5 smartphones", as listed by Matt Miller in his regular column. It's an American site, of course, so the number one pick is something we've never even seen in the UK, the HTC Thunderbolt, while numbers two and five aren't exactly widely available. But the N8 slots in quite happily at three, with the iPhone 4 at four.
There's a fascinating look, from Laptop magazine in the USA, embedded below, at a new solar charging technology from Wysips. Using an ultra-thin (less than 100 microns) photo-voltaic layer on top of the usual smartphone touchscreen, it can deliver up to 250mW of power. Although it's unlikely that such a layer could eliminate the need for traditional charging, the extra top-up factor could well double effective battery life. The technology will be launched officially in 2012 and may be in devices within a couple of years.
You'll remember that over the last year or so, I've helped champion the HX series of custom firmwares for the Samsung i8910 HD, stepping into the shoes of Samsung, who effectively abandoned their own device. All good things come to an end though and HyperX himself, the guy who assembled these firmware has announced that he's moving on and that there definitely won't be another release. Of note here is that the final HX-V11 firmware (which had been 'temporarily' withdrawn) is now back up for download, along with all its associated goodies. Download 'em while you can, folks!
“Rafe!” I asked, “can I look at the flying French Quadricopter for Friday?” A subdued nod over Skype was forthcoming, and I headed to the Ovi Store to grab the free Qt download for the AR.Drone. This is Parrot’s Wi-fi enabled, live webcam streaming, computer stabilised, helicopter-esque, flying peripheral – and it’s time for a brief video review. Did I forget to mention that the actual AR.Drone isn’t a free download...
Nokia is continuing to push the photo capture abilities of the Nokia N8. In the HD Horizons project, sponsored by Nokia, Jason Hawkes, who has specialised in taking aerial photographs for twenty years, has been capturing UK landscapes and landmarks from the air. We've got access to some of the early images, which offer a remarkable demonstration of the N8's capabilities.