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.
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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)
The upcoming Ovi Store application is due to replace Nokia's existing Download!, MOSH and Software Market services, and there has been speculation about what else it might absorb. However, Nokia has now gone on record to say the N-Gage application will be kept as a separate service, at least for the moment, though they also said that their medium term goal is to "converge everything into a single distribution channel".
Just a note that The Phones Show 77 is now live, with a discussion of TV and video for free on your phone (demoed on the Nokia 5800), demos of five musician's aids on the Apple iPhone and a declaration of a winner in the video editing race for handling phone-shot MP4 video. You can subscribe to the QVGA or hi-res VGA RSS feeds (iTunes versions here and here) if you want to catch the show regularly.
Here's the final batch of high resolution images from Mobile World Congress 2009 from Rafe. Immaculately done as usual, click through any image for the full size JPG. Featured here are the Nokia E55 (compact qwerty keyboard), the Nokia E75 (side-sliding qwerty) and Nokia 5630 XpressMusic (mid-range music phone, with 'Say and Play'). Enjoy. See the comments threads on the individual galleries.
TextArt is a new 'generative' text-to-MMS applet from Nokia, ostensibly for the E71 but working on other qwerty devices such as the E63 and E90, I'm sure. It's Java-based, but don't let that put you off. Eye-candy, to be sure, but cool. (via NC)
The full version, 1.0, of the S60 5th Edition SDK is now available for download from Forum Nokia (previously available was version 0.9). Changes include support for keypad-off display in the emulator, support for additional languages, a start-up progress indicator for the emulator and fixes for a number issues and deficiencies. A number of new plug-ins are also now available for the SDK.