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 - Software - Page 2
Today is N8 day here on AAS, launching with the news that, now available in most markets for the Symbian^3 generation devices like the Nokia N8 and E7, most of which have been successively upgraded and should now be using Belle Refresh firmware, is a 'Upload to SkyDrive' enhancement. This is a much expanded version of a photo uploader which appeared briefly a year or so ago. In this case, your contacts are also (optionally) uploaded to Microsoft's free cloud service. Screenshots and details below. Taken with the Nokia Suite changes in the last year or so, it seems that Nokia really is trying hard at last to help Symbian die hards transition over to Windows Phone and Microsoft services. How's it doing? Your comments welcome.
Never mind the appallingly old YouTube client which still sits decadently in the Nokia Store (and should have been pulled years ago), it's good to see Google's YouTube HTML5 site now serving up an even better version for all mobiles, but specifically Symbian - the existing site (featured in my story here) was very fiddly to use. Screenshots of the new version are below, along with proof that the version served up for Symbian is now identical to that for Windows Phone and Android.
Nokia Music, the online music store that has limped along with a largely web-based client for so many years, has now received a slick new Qt-based client for Symbian phones running Belle Feature Pack 2. Early updaters to FP2 may have noted that the 'Nokia Music' icon didn't do anything after updating - this not only fixes things, it provides a whole new music browsing and buying experience, screenshotted below. Proof that Nokia is still actively developing first party software on Symbian?
Nokia is pushing an application update (not a firmware update), via both the Nokia Suite desktop application and Software Update mobile app, to Symbian devices that have not yet received the Nokia Belle Refresh update. The application in question is called Homescreen Widgets, and adds a set of widgets that were seen in the Refresh update.
Nokia Store, the application and game download service for Nokia's Symbian and Series 40 devices, now serves more than 16 million downloads a day and has reached a cumulative total of 6 billion downloads. Just over half the daily downloads comes from Series 40 devices, with the remaining downloads mainly coming from Symbian devices.
Available now for my Nokia N8 (screenshots below) and E7 Communicator, and rolling out around the world for various other product codes over the next few weeks, is Belle Refresh, characterised by firmware version 111.40.xxx. The main improvements for this Symbian release are more widgets, a Music player refresh, plus updates to other core components, including Web and Qt, and fixes for various issues, including the longstanding Flash video playback problem.
Nokia Situations, which makes your Symbian phone smarter and is one of our favourite Symbian apps, has gone through an evolution. Following the completion of spin-off negotiations with Nokia, Pastilli Labs, founded by two of the core members of the original Nokia Situations team, has developed an updated version of the app.
Well spotted by Nokialino, there are new maps available for Nokia Maps, adding latest road information along with extra traffic coverage. Some screenshots below, you will want to seek out a Wi-fi hotspot before checking for the update, since the downloads are large (typically hundreds of megabytes) and can't be done over 3G.
Good to see Nokia porting some of their newer Maps Suite back to fill out the mapping and navigation options on older devices, with today's new v2.0.3 beta release of Nokia Public Transport for all Symbian touch-driven smartphones, including now for the first time S60 5th Edition and (also, some) pre-Belle Symbian^3 smartphones. New for this release are visual improvements, coverage information and extra language localisations.
The roll out of the Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1 firmware update for the Nokia 701, Nokia 700 and Nokia 603 has commenced. The update, which is available over-the-air (OTA), includes new homescreen widgets, improvements to the notification bar, an updated version of the browser (8.2), an improved multi-tasking view, Dolby Digital Plus functionality, and increases the speed of the processor (on the 701 and 700) from 1.0 to 1.3GHz. The update also includes a number of recent application updates, including Microsoft Apps (first phase) and Nokia Maps Suite 2.0.
Released in the last hour is the official version of Nokia Maps Suite 2.0, with the core maps component version-labelled as 3.9(4). It's now rolling out to all Symbian^3/Anna/Belle class devices (that have been upgraded to Belle) and without a 'beta' flag attached. Think of Maps Suite 2.0 as the latest versions of Maps/Drive, together with Transport, Weather and some fancy new widgets, all rolled into a convenient update.
We've seen Nokia's weather widgets in numerous demos and promo screens, but they're here for real now, albeit nominally in 'beta'. You will need a phone that's running Symbian Nokia Belle though and you will need to have the latest Nokia Maps Suite installed if you want it all running smoothly. Here's a walkthrough and some comments.
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.
As part of Microsoft’s expanding support for mobile platforms, OneNote, Document Connection, Lync 2010 and PowerPoint Broadcast are now rolling out for most Nokia Belle devices. While these applications mostly benefit those in a corporate environment, OneNote has a general appeal and allows users to sync richly formatted notes between their desktop and their Symbian smartphone. The update also includes improvements to the Microsoft Exchange handling in Symbian Belle.