Guest writer David Addington brings us a detailed review of one of the landmark texts in the smartphone industry and a superbly detailed history of Symbian itself. Read the review and then grab the (e)book!
Recent Reviews - S60 5th Edition
Somewhat eyeing up the OIS in the cameras of many of the Nokia Lumia smartphones, guest writer Keir Brython got to wondering how he could stabilise photos for extreme low light shots on his Symbian-running Nokia N8 and 808 PureView. His ponderings led him to the two titled Joby tripod mounts and his full illustrated review is below.
It's fair to say that ViewRanger has come a long way in seven years, since my initial 2006 review on a sub-QVGA device and I can only apologise to all concerned that we haven't updated our coverage of it on All About Symbian since then. The first versions concentrated more on the unique 'panorama' and photo sharing functions, but it's fair to say that ViewRanger is much more of a general GPS and off-road navigation tool now. Best of all, it's now much more Internet aware in terms of getting new maps as and when needed.
File this review well and truly under 'Really? This app is still going?' - ChessGenius has been around the Symbian world for many years, we even looked at it in 2006 briefly, on S60 3rd Edition. Wow. Seven years ago. Making it all the more remarkable that ChessGenius has not only survived well into the era of nHD screens and Symbian^3, it's fully compatible with the latest Belle FP2 phones and had even had updates in the fairly recent past. And, with that seven year gap in mind, here's a 2013 review of ChessGenius on the Nokia 808, powered by the fastest processor in the Symbian world. Taking on the game's chess engine under these circumstances was more than a little daunting...
Everybody loves a good mash up scenario. Take Nokia's classic 'Snake' game from the earliest mono-screened feature phones. Take a modern multi-level, multi-scenario game framework. Mash the two together with lashings of timers, powerups, customisation options, cut scenes, high score tables and help pop-ups. The end result is Snake Deluxe 2, a major Symbian title that has been around for ages but which we haven't covered for at least five years, and certainly not in this latest touchscreen, nHD resolution, Belle FP2-compatibility-fixed version, updated recently, here tested on the Nokia E7.
If FixTheNet's screens (below) look familiar, that's because the game is a port of QtNetWalk, itself a version of the NetWalk arcade puzzler 'for system administrators' (available in numerous forms, including here for playing in a desktop browser). Think Pipemania but for geeks. And the result is a mind mangling success, now brought to Symbian for the first time, with level after level in which your task is to rotate ethernet junctions and terminals in order to 'light up' every screen. OK, ok, so noone in this scenario has heard of Wi-fi, but go with the concept for the game itself is not only tremendous fun but also completely free 'for a limited time' - so best grab it now, just in case!
For all touchscreen Symbian-powered phones, Genius Button Football offers a taste of 'Subuteo', i.e. table top flick football - it's well implemented, surprisingly addictive once you get the hang of it, and with half times of only a minute or so, makes for a quick and satisfying casual game.
If Greek legend is your taste, then the official Symbian game for the movie Wrath of the Titans is something to take a look at. That is, if you like the idea of romping around ancient Greece slashing your way through hordes of monsters and hybrid beasts. If you're wondering whether you'll find an enchanting Andromeda at the end of it all, there's only one way to find out!
Are you in the mood for some good old fashioned block dropping puzzle action? If so then we have a review for you. DownFall is a retro-looking Columns clone that adds a few novel twists to the tried and tested genre. On first impressions DownFall appears to be just another Columns clone, in some ways it is, in some ways it is more limited, and in other ways it is a lot more.
Look away touchscreen-only users, Shortcuts is designed for Symbian smartphones with physical keyboards, so we're talking N97, N97 mini, C6-00, E6 and E7. What it promises though, is a wonderland of keyboard shortcuts that let you fly around the applications running on your fully multitasking smartphone. It's slick, it works, but it's currently in need of extra development and I was also puzzled that some potential shortcuts seem blocked for some reason.