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.
Recent News - Software - Page 2
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.
You may recall from last week that the Belle update for existing Symbian devices had an unintentional incompatibilty with a core Nokia piece of software - Social Networking. The then current release of Social, v1.5(214), didn't get kicked into action when you tried to 'share' an image from your phone's Gallery, producing an error instead. With the update to v1.5(215) this has now been fixed.
With the new QML version of the Ovi Store client now standard on Symbian^3 and upwards, it's interesting to see a brand new version of the Store client for S60 5th Edition now available, v1.22 (the previous latest was 1.16). There's no official changelog, but following new versions of the QML Store, it's likely that the new client is better 'aligned' with changes to the Nokia Store back-end.
Nokia Drop, a desktop browser-based system for pushing content to your smartphone, has just received a big update, detailed below, with silent installations of apps from the Nokia Store and integration with the status drop-down pane in Belle. There's also a welcome tutorial to help new users.
The Beta Labs and official release versions of the Nokia Store client continue to leapfrog each other, with v3.22.054 released a few hours ago for all Symbian^3/Anna/Belle smartphones. This includes bug fixes and better 'alignment' with the Store back-end. Although it's not a compulsory client update, it's strongly recommended.
A beta version of Nokia Maps Suite 2.0 has been released through Nokia Beta Labs for Symbian^3 devices running Nokia Belle. The updates in this release include the addition of a photo layer to maps (displays your photos), the return of standalone route planning, improved map display in Drive, new homescreen widgets, the addition of hands-free voice search, improved coverage and integration for Public Transport, and the addition of a landscape view in Weather.
The Skype app is now available for Nokia's Symbian Belle devices (700, 701 and 603, etc., plus many others once Belle update is available) The application has been updated with the Belle UI look and feel and overall performance has been significantly improved. Nearly all of the core voice calling and IM functionality of Skype is implemented in the Symbian client, making this a must have app for frequent Skype users.
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!
A new version of Nokia Social, version 1.5.214, is now available from the Nokia Store. Following in the footsteps of version 1.4, which was was released a fortnight ago, the new version aims to provides fixes for installation and connectivity issues. However, the new version also includes a new Facebook widget and an update for the generic Social widget.
Even though the QML Store client is now the 'norm' and formally released, the betas continue, with v3.22.044 now supporting in-app purchases, i.e. applications can call the Store client when needed for handling payments. A few screens and links below. Of note is that this client is now built on the very latest Qt 4.7.4 and Qt quick components v1.1, both of which are baked into the upcoming Belle OS update.
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.
Nokia's Maps team has integrated the popular 360Cities database of panoramic photos into Maps 3.6 and Maps 3.8, appearing under 'More' or 'Guides' (depending on version). You can then browse through 360 degree photos shot near you or in the location of your choice, albeit with photos presented as static 2D images rather than the interactive experience offered on the 360Cities web site.
A new version, 1.4.481, of Nokia Social (Social Networking Client) is now available, from the Nokia Store, for Symbian handsets running Nokia Belle. The key changes include a more Belle like UI (toolbar and menus), updated Facebook functionality (notifications, improved photo handling), dedicated homescreen widgets for both Facebook and Twitter, and improved performance.
Yes, Nokia is keeping us waiting for Symbian Belle on our existing handsets, but there are a lot of chess pieces to position beforehand - this is a major OS release and will almost certainly require handling via flashing from a desktop computer. In parallel to the (slower) formal releases of Nokia Suite for Windows, there's a stream of betas being released via Nokia Beta Labs. The latest, v3.3.84, includes specific improvements to help make Nokia Belle updates "smoother". No doubt this will evolve into a formal release at some point, but if you want to live on the bleeding edge then grab the new beta here.