In the first of a two part feature, Steve Litchfield looks outside the Symbian world to ask if the current Android flagship could replace a Symbian-powered smartphone. In the process of answering the question, he starts to analyse (in order) the 15 essential functions which devices like the Nokia N97 perform for him - how easy would it then be for a non-Symbian device to step up to the plate?
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Mark Suster makes a good argument that the way forward for the majority of mobile apps is not on-device applications, but in the cloud and accessed through widgets and browsers. Going down the App for everything: “It is a step backward for our industry. It is a waste for most brands. It is a channel disguised in business clothing”. A few more quotes below.
The next round of Apple vs Nokia in the patent wars was announced yesterday. By my mind it goes something like this: Nokia reported Apple to the International Trade Commission; Apple subsequently reported Nokia to the ITC; the ITC announced they would formally look into Nokia’s complaint; and yesterday they said they would also formally look at Apple’s complaint. There’s more lawyer-y talk at the Reuters report of this latest step.
One of the more interesting design choices Nokia have made in their firmware is the dropping of two multimedia applications on the later E-Series devices, namely Internet Radio and Podcasting. While third party applications (such as Escarpod) are available, those of you looking to get the original Nokia application on your device should head over to Symbian-Guru’s latest tutorial, which takes you through the process.
Missed by us in the run up to MWC was Spotify's increased handset support for their streaming music client. They’ve now added support for the Nokia X6, 6700, 6760, E55 and Sony Ericsson’s Vivaz (and presumably the Vivaz Pro). For a monthly fee, Spotify will happily stream a huge catalogue of mainstream music to your handset.
Not great news for Sony Ericsson as the BBC reports on their censure from the Advertising Standards Authority (the ASA) in the UK this morning. The complaints about the advertising of the Satio handset and its Facebook integration – due to firmware problems the Facebook functionality was not present or available in the handset, the ASA have labelled the advert as misleading. Sony Ericsson have now sorted the issue.
Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs confirmed to the Helsingin Sanomat that they are working with Nokia to have a Snapdragon processor running with Symbian by the end of this year (reports Stefan at IntoMobile). Snapdragon is of course the processor inside the Google Nexus 1, and provides built in GPS, BlueTooth, WiFi cellular radio chipsets.
According to the official Ovi blog, the deployment of Nokia Ovi Suite 18.104.22.168 started yesterday, containing "many new improvements, bug fixes and features", including Ovi.com and Mozilla Thunderbird contacts sync, video transfer and playback and support for device application updates. You can get the new version from within an older version(!) or from here. This replaces the old PC Suite and other variants.
A month ago, I pitched the (then) brand new Google Nexus One against the Symbian-powered Samsung i8910 HD, a very close match in terms of form factor and specifications, concluding along similar lines - there was little to choose between them. But with the advancement of the original Nokia N97, a i8910 HD comtemporary, with its new v21 firmware and with hardware issues now largely fixed, I wondered how the N97 would fare when gently pushed into the same hardware-accelerated playground....
Ah, so it's not just me then. Respected über-blogger Jay Montano (far from an N97 fanboy, he's a Maemo 5 user these days) has compiled an interesting and highly illustrated list of ten reasons why Ovi Maps 3.3 utterly rocks on the N97. A good read over your afternoon coffee. (Note that the software itself works on a range of phones, mind you. Do buzz me if you spot Ovi Maps v3.3 (free nav) becoming available for more than the initial eight or so devices.)
One of the subjects that I like to keep coming back to is the lack of visibility that Nokia has in social media, not from content that the company creates itself (their official blog at conversations.nokia.com being one of the better corporate blogs out there), but the visibility created by reporters and consumers using and talking about the device. Because of where Nokia is geographically popular (or not), they've lost the adulation that other rival devices have. Read on for my musings....
Moubail is a handy place for third party S60 5th Edition widgets, being the home of DeviceInfo, which I've used for the last year. IMDb is the latest project, providing touchscreen, Web-like lookup of information in the Internet Movie Database. Read on for some screens, links and comments.
In our latest AAS podcast, Insight 105, Steve and Ewan discuss the news and announcements from Barcelona, including the Sony Ericsson Vivaz pro, Symbian^3, Skype for 5th Edition, Nokia's Maemo/Moblin deal, Windows Phone 7 Series Pocket Pro Mobile (or something like that) and anything else which we thought of interest and relevance.
One of the more widely reported stories from MWC yesterday was the launch of the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC), with a number of networks and manufacturers (including Verizon, Orange, Samsung and LG) promising to “unite a fragmented marketplace by involving players from all related industries”. Sounds a dream come true, but like many similar initiatives, this is unlikely to succeed, I reckon. Read on.
Paul Boutin brings up an interesting question on VentureBeat today; why can’t Nokia sell phones to Americans?" Rather than a tear-down of the Finnish company, Boutin makes his starting point the geek-lust inducing Nokia 8110 that featured in The Matrix and details three area Nokia could address to conquer the continent.