The BBC's 'Mobile' site has been given (at least, in beta form) a huge refresh, with the code required so that you can customise the stories and features you see. Don't like Sport? Get rid of it. Live in Coventry? Make it your location for weather reports. And so on. Cleverly, there's also an inline panel showing top iPlayer content when the new custom page is viewed on compatible devices. Read on for more.
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Running S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2, Nokia has launched the 5730 XpressMusic, with E75-style side-sliding qwerty keyboard. There's a 3.2 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi and GPS, plus the “Say and Play” feature first introduced in the Nokia 5320. It has the same customised home screen to directly access contacts and Ovi services, as seen in the Nokia 5630. More below, including photos.
Yesterday saw two announcements that further the options for developers to bring their applications to the S60 platform. Qt Software announced a new technology preview of Qt for S60 and Forum Nokia released Mobile Extensions for Qt for S60. More or less at the same time Red Five Labs announced the availability of Net60 version 2.1 with many improvements and support for the S60 5th Edition touch UI.
Gameloft's action adventure Prince Of Persia is now available on the N-Gage platform. Go to your phone's N-Gage application's showroom tab, select "Options" and then "Update Now" to see it. For more info about the N-Gage platform including a list of compatible devices, see All About N-Gage's FAQ section.
After MWC, CeBIT is always a let-down in terms of mobile phones, and noone from AAS has been attending. However, lest you feel like you're missing out, Norman John from SymbianWorld (this being his 'home' event) has produced an illustrated report.
Yes, Ewan's heading off (Twitter feed here) for a three week your of the USA, taking in social media and gaming events. To try and add a little Symbian spice to proceedings, we insisted he take the Nokia 5800 with him, to really try it out 'on the road'. He's going to be sending back regular video reports, hopefully giving a flavour of where he is and what he's doing, but mainly letting us know how he's getting on with S60 5th Edition and the 5800. Embedded below the break is part 1 of this series.
The UK's Gadget Show has always had a soft spot for covering phones and, in the episode embedded below the break here, presenter Jon looks at the Nokia 5800, proclaiming a litany of positives, but with the music DRM, and the fiddliness of some of the touch-adapted dialogs coming in for some stick.
Tzer2 brings us the latest All About N-Gage review - Monopoly: Here & Now - The World Edition, the board classic, brought to life here by Electronic Arts. It seems as though it ticks most of the boxes in terms of gameplay and graphics, and makes a good multiplayer party game through TV Out. But Tzer2 picks it up on having no online multiplayer mode (though you can hand the phone round a group), and no tutorial for those not already au fait with the rules of Monopoly.
In All About Symbian Insight 62 (AAS Podcast 118) we briefly discuss the recently released S60 5.0 SDK (and consider broader uses), follow up on kinetic scrolling on the N97, get Ewan's view point on Monopoly for the N-Gage. In the last part of the podcast Steve and Ewan relate their experience of video recording on the N85 versus the N95. You can listen to AAS Insight 62 here or, if you wish to subscribe, here's the RSS feed.
Via CJ comes news of a new version of Nokia's Energy Profiler (Forum Nokia login required). New in this version 1.2 (for all S60 variants), in addition to the existing energy profiling features, are a graphing feature and plotting of Wi-Fi signal strength in real time. It has an element of 'cool' about, but can also be used to help troubleshoot problems. Rafe says this is a must have tool for every developer and explains more in the full story.
Six months on, it's time for another update to my semi-definitive(!) table of S60 hardware through the ages, over at 3-Lib. As ever, it's not perfect, so be gentle with me and if you can fill in any of the 'Unknown' blanks then please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
The Nokia Events site is showcasing an upcoming Nokia virtual launch (online only) event, which is related to music. It's likely we'll hear about new XpressMusic device(s), as well well as updates around Nokia's music strategy. The announcement will be made at 10am CET (9am GMT). DRM-free music in the Nokia Music Store, updates to Comes with Music, new market roll out plans, price cuts? Let the speculation begin!
As S-F points out, we've been waiting for flashlight functionality to return to our phones ever since the Nokia N93. The new E63 also has this and I've been wondering why Nokia doesn't implement a Torch application in most smartphone firmware. Anyway, Harald Meyer has come to the rescue with PhoneTorch for S60 5th Edition, in full Symbian Signed form. As the author points out, it might be best not to run the dual LEDs for long periods, but this is sure going to be a boon coming back from the pub/theatre late at night. Photo proof below...
Having spent an entire feature slamming Touch in general and perhaps the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic in particular, I think it's only fair to give Nokia some credit and balance the equation with a breakdown of Ten Things that Nokia Did Right in the 5800, things which they didn't have to do but which impressed me nevertheless. Are these ten plus points enough to make the 5800 XpressMusic a must-buy? Maybe, maybe not, but their very existence speaks well of Nokia, of the 5800 and of sister devices to follow.
Another (perhaps derivative) free painting application for the Nokia 5800 has appeared, this time on Nokia Hong Kong's site. It's native S60 and has lots more painting options than the original Forum Nokia example, including import of an existing photo for doodling on. (via S-F)