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.
Recent News - Software - Page 3
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.
11 million content items are being downloaded from Nokia Store every day, according to figures recently released by Nokia. This annualises to a rate of 4 billion downloads a year, or 1 billion a quarter. The top five countries for downloads from Nokia Store are India, China, Russia, Brazil and Turkey. The top device is the N8, followed by the 5800, 5233, 5230 and C3.
With all the teething troubles seen by the Qt application scene over the last year - at least at the cutting edge, geekier end - there have been times when all of us have had to go searching for and installing certain aspects of the Qt runtimes all over again. FixQt has been a great resource for such emergencies, but now the wider world has discovered a new tool in our armoury: QtInfo, previously available for developers prepared to sign it but now released to the great unwashed via Nokia Store. This reports back on exactly which Qt modules/versions are installed on a particular phone. See below for screens, notes and links.
After months of BBC iPlayer downloads that wouldn't play, following a DRM change on the BBC's servers, it seems that Nokia and the Beeb have worked out the problem, releasing a 'WMDRM DLA iPlayer plugin' for many Symbian smartphones. At least, those based in the UK, presumably worked out via network or IP. As with similar updates, the gradual nature of the roll out means that you may have to wait a little longer for this to appear in your copy of Nokia Suite.
Apparently, Nokia Car Mode for Nokia Belle based devices is now available at the Nokia Store, in two versions, with and without MirrorLink, see the quoted links below. Nokia Car Mode provides easy access and a simplified user interface to the most relevant applications on your phone for in-car use. "The simplified user interface and well designed interaction creates less distraction for the driver than a traditional smartphone user interface."
Anyone with Symbian Belle onboard might like to check out two software items, both free. 'Nokia Car Mode' essentially takes a common subset of applications needed while driving and presents them in large fonted, finger-friendly form, to avoid distractions and make it easier to concentrate on the actual motoring. 'Nokia Play To' uses one-way DLNA to let you show photos and videos (and listen to music) on your mobile wirelessly on your TV/home hi-fi. Links below.
For anyone using Windows who likes to live a little on the wild side, there's a brand new version of Nokia Suite, 3.3, available over on Beta Labs today. There's emphasis on the ease of update to Belle when it becomes available, so I suspect that both backup and firmware handling modules have been improved, plus there are improvements to proxy server handling, to message syncing and organisation. And newer is better when it comes to connectivity, right? Some quotes and links below.
Nokia is clarifying the naming of the user interface of its Symbian smartphones. The user interface will now be referred to as Nokia Belle, rather than Symbian Belle. The operating system will continue to be referred to as Symbian. Thus devices, such as the Nokia 701, will be referred to as Symbian smartphones running the Nokia Belle user interface.
You'll remember that Nokia has been running through numerous iterations of a next-gen Store client over on Beta Labs, built in Qt and QML rather than relying on both Qt and Web runtime? This has now graduated ('deployed commercially') to the mainstream with the release of v3.20.050, offered over-the-air when a user starts up an older version of the 'Ovi Store' - now renamed to 'Nokia Store', of course. Don't panic if you don't get offered this now though, see below...
It appears that Google has finally withdrawn its official Gmail client, written in Java, for Symbian smartphones. Version 2.06 hadn't been updated for two years and I'm guessing that changes at the server end meant that at some point in the near future the client was going to stop working anyway. To avoid complaints, Google has simply pulled the download page for the client. A shame, given that many on S60 3rd Edition phones still use it and would have liked the option to re-install it when needed (though see the PS below).
Hot off the press today is a new beta of Nokia's next-gen QML-written Store application, grab it now for Symbian^3/Anna/Belle phones. New for v3.20.044 is support for the Nokia E6's VGA display, plus 'Registration Lite', allowing new users to grab up to 10 free applications without having to register a Nokia Account. Full changelog below.
Nokia's experimental augmented reality view onto its huge places of interest database, Live View, just got faster and easier to use, updated to version 2.03 r14137, with a more standard 'List' view to add to the standard 'Camera' view, plus a built-in tutorial. The changelog is below, plus download links and a reminder of the launch/concept video.