What's the next step for mobile phone and car integration? One option is Nokia's Terminal Mode technology, which proposes an industry standard for the integration of mobile phones (and their applications) into the car environment. Nokia has developed Terminal Mode in conjunction with CE4A (Consumer Electronics for Automotive) and recently held the Terminal Mode Summit at their Espoo offices in Finland. This gives us a good opportunity to review what Terminal Mode is about and what progress has been made to date. Read on....
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The popular misconception about camera phones is that the higher the spec level, the better the photos you'll take. While I'll accept that there is correlation there, another big factor is the skill (or, more accurately, imagination and common sense) of the user. In truth, you don't have to own the current top-rated camera smartphone costing megabucks in order to turn out pleasing photos. Check out the sample photos at the top of this feature - I've got a mini-quiz for you...
With both classic and (ahem) 'pursuit' game modes, Trivial Pursuit in the Ovi Store has been impressing Ewan in terms of sheer playability and implementation - here's our Ovi Gaming review. The only flaws seem to be the relatively low number of possible questions and the lack of true multiplayer action, but hey, isn't this on sale at the moment as well? Run, don't walk around the TP board to the Ovi Store and grab this for the holidays right now.
Last week Qt quietly rolled out the public beta its new developer website, Qt Developer Network, which aims to provide a one-stop portal for Qt developers and consolidate resources that were previously spread across the main Qt website. It also provides a more vendor neutral destination for developers than Forum Nokia, something that could be important in helping drive adoption of the Symbian and MeeGo platforms by manufacturers other than Nokia.
Furtiv, the creators of plugins for Nokia Share Online, have announced (on their blog) a new beta version plugin to upload photos to the popular cloud storage service, Dropbox. This provides the ability for a user to synchronise their files across multiple computers, and so photos uploaded from an S60 phone to Dropbox will be available to every computer a user has Dropbox installed on. Anyone wanting to try out this new plugin just needs to go to http://furtiv.mobi with their S60 browser and select the Dropbox plugin.
Here's some Wednesday coffee break reading: you'll remember Steve Jobs claiming in 2007 that the original iPhone was five years ahead of the competition? Now AT&T's CTO has been bragging that "in the past 3 years, the US has been the clear leader when it comes to phones, design, operating systems and applications." Like a red rag to a bull - top industry analyst Tomi Ahonen here rips into the claims and points out the innovation from Japan and Finland, among others. His metrics also point to the USA now rising to 19th in the world in terms of mobile adoption and technology, now level with, ahem... Portugal. Grab a hot drink and treat yourself!
We've all seen the semi-viral videos, where someone (apparently) knocks up a faux-impressionist masterpiece using nothing more than a smartphone touchscreen. It may be that I simply don't have the talent, but I'm a little sceptical, given the sizes of phone screens. Mind you, with software like HandyPaint, reviewed here for S60 5th Edition and UIQ 3, at least the tools are there to get close to the picture in your imagination. HandyPaint is something of a labour of love and it shows - it's not perfect, but is powerful and still improving.
For those following the HX firmware saga on the otherwise neglected Samsung i8910 HD (aka 'Omnia HD'), note that the much-anticipated HX7 firmware, codenamed 'Black Pearl', just went live (video demo below). Among many other little fixes and tying up loose ends, HX7 offers a custom utility to le t you adjust a mountain of interface settings on the fly, right down to microphone sensitivity and kinetic scrolling mechanics, without having to mess around with patch files and extra SISx installs. There's also a new 'tsunami' homescreen...
The Ovi Store has regular discount offers on applications, and the current one is for some of the great games available for your Symbian smartphone. The list includes some favourites from Ovi Gaming, including Farm Frenzy (reviewed here), Doodle Jump (review) and UniWar (review). No word on how long this will last (or which regions it’s available in, so your mileage may vary), so have a look around and see if anything catches your eye.
There's been a lot of noise on the internet this week about issues in the smartphone world. And while the initial reading of all these words is to tell a story, it's actually more about controlling the PR message and protecting a brand (and ergo sales) of software and hardware. There's a lesson in all of this for Nokia and the Symbian Foundation. You've either got it, or you haven't. And right now Symbian and S60 don't have it. Read on...
In an article written some 15 months ago, just after the first S60 5th Edition smartphone had appeared (the Nokia 5800), I went in depth into the pros and cons of resistive versus capacitive touchscreens, pronouncing both technologies as being equally valid, but for different use cases. We're now mid 2010 and it's clear that capacitive technology is winning out, for mid and high priced smartphones at least. So what's changed? Who moved the goalposts?
Forum Nokia recently took the covers of Forum Nokia Projects (projects.forum.nokia.com), a free service providing online project hosting for collaborative software development, documentation, or any other project. The service is built on top of the open source Trac software and is fully integrated with Forum Nokia. The service includes the usual tools such as source-code browser, wiki, forums, tickets and support for three version control systems (SVN, Git, and Mercurial).
Damian Dinning, the designer of the Nokia N8's camera system, has been monitoring reactions to news about the N8's much vaunted camera, and has compiled a comprehensive set of FAQ's. In this, Damian covers topics ranging from why is there no lens cover to how to best hold the N8 while recording video, and discusses the performance of the N8's sensor, the largest ever used in a mobile phone. Also published today is an interview with Jonathan Jowitt from Dolby, which goes to equal amounts of obscene detail in looking at the digital audio capabilities that underpin the N8. Read on for some take-home points from each.
Rob Glaser has a new word – 'superphone' – to describe the latest batch of mobile phones on the market. Given the fun we’ve had defining the smartphone in the last few years, adding a new level to the nomenclature might seem a cheap marketing move, but it has allowed Glaser, chairman of RealNetworks, to expand his view on where mobile technology is moving. Read on for my thoughts.
Christina Warren has put together an interesting selection of tips for mobile application developers over on Mashable. It’s cross platform, and is worth printing out and pasting in front of whatever ever big printed PDF you use while coding.