It appears that Google has finally withdrawn its official Gmail client, written in Java, for Symbian smartphones. Version 2.06 hadn't been updated for two years and I'm guessing that changes at the server end meant that at some point in the near future the client was going to stop working anyway. To avoid complaints, Google has simply pulled the download page for the client. A shame, given that many on S60 3rd Edition phones still use it and would have liked the option to re-install it when needed (though see the PS below).
Recent News - S60 3rd Edition - Page 2
With the news that mobile (and especially Symbian) stalwarts SPB Software has been bought up by Yandex, a Russian search company, the future of star products such as the free SPB TV was in serious doubt. Happily, it seems that this application has been spun off into a separate, independent enterprise, under the company name MobiWorld Media. This should ensure SPB TV's continued existence for all mobile platforms. More below.
The best web browser for Symbian just got itself an update. Following the update to Opera Mini last week, its big brother, the full-on browser Opera Mobile has also now been updated, to v11.5.1. The main change is enhancements to language choice and predictive text in the search field, but there are also a ton of bug fixes.
Just updated in the Nokia Store but also available via the web directly, is the latest and greatest version of Opera Mini, v6.5.1, adding predictive text input and a choice of input languages in the search field. We've quoted the changelog below, along with the links you might need.
When the Nokia 701 was announced, I leapt up on its specification with my editor's hat firmly in place. "BL-5K battery, 1300mAh" read the press release. Having owned the Nokia N86 and having played with the C7 and X7, all with the same battery, "that's got to be a typo" I asserted and insisted that Rafe fix it to "1200mAh" for our news story. As it turns out, the Nokia 701 ships with a new 'variant' of the BL-5K that we haven't seen before, rated at "1300mAh". Have there been chemical tweaks inside?
Firmware updates are currently rolling out to the venerable Nokia E72, bringing it up to version 81. As usual, there is little information about what the 1.3MB update actually contains, but it is safe to say there will be bug fixes and various optimisations. Web has been upgraded too, to version 188.8.131.52. Only one of the resident E72's in the All About Symbian office has received the update, so your mileage may vary to when the update is available to you too. Read on for more details.
Nokia has finally relaxed its somewhat restrictive policy of only allowing you to download paid content up to five times (it was a draconian three times, originally) - the limit has apparently now been raised to ten times. Given that you also have to be fully signed in as well, many have argued that there shouldn't be any limit, but ten is a reasonable number and should appease even serial phone switchers like ourselves!
A free exhibition is currently running at the London Design Museum (28 Shad Thames, London SE1), entitled, 'People Made - Nokia products that changed the world' and tells the 'inside story of Nokia - past, present and future'. The exhibition is free to enter, but is only running from October 28th to November 2nd, leaving you three days to go along and take a look.
Alongside the Nokia 603, the Luna Bluetooth Headset has also been announced. A playful looking in-ear headset, it comes in five colours as well as being NFC enabled. In practice this makes pairing practical - just tap one of Nokia's NFC handsets to the base and you'll be paired up. Other more traditional methods of scanning the area and pairing are naturally available as the headset conforms to the 2.12 Bluetooth specification. Answering calls is a simple matter of popping the headset out the holder and into your ear.
The Ovi Store and other Ovi services have been transitioning to the new name, i.e. just "Nokia" for a few weeks now, but it's important to note that there's a new URL for the main storefront on the web. Yes, store.nokia.com just went live, though obviously the old store.ovi.com will be supported for a long time to come.
As many people will know, the Apple iPhone 4S was announced last night, with one of the chief improvements being a better camera with better Back Side Illumination, wider aperture and an extra optical element. Leaving aside other elements of the iPhone 4S (which, interestingly, retained its 3.5" screen), such as the Siri voice control, I thought you might be interested in a comment or three on the 4S's camera, as it compares to some of Nokia's camera phone units.
There's a nice article by Aatif Sumar over on ZOMGit'sCJ looking in detail at Nokia Mobile Money, announced two years ago but now seemingly arrived, at least in India, as a Java application compatible with S60 3rd Edition smartphones (and presumably S40 and other devices too, right up to the latest Symbian handsets).
Nokia Beta Labs has announced a new project entitled Nokia Nearby. Aimed at emerging markets, it aims to provide ‘hyper local search’ capability, especially for devices not supported by Nokia Maps. Nokia Nearby is a Java application which runs on almost all S60 and S40 devices; with an emphasis on the latter. Utilizing network-based location, it doesn’t require GPS. The application allows you to search by category or name, and add locations to a list of favourites. Read on for a demonstration and download link.
Nokia's Ovi Store has reached the 9 million downloads a day milestone and is continuing to grow. This follows on from June's announcement that Ovi Store was averaging more than 6 million downloads a day and the 7.62 million mark from last month. The 9 million downloads a day rate annualises to 3.29 billion downloads a year (275 million a month). In addition, AAS' own tracking now shows that Ovi Store has now passed the 2 billion cumulative downloads mark.
Mac owners who enjoy bullet-proof syncing from iCal and Address Book with their Nokia/Symbian smartphone(s) should note that upgrading to the latest (and new) OS X Lion operating system will yield at least one unpleasant surprise: Apple has removed all trace of iSync, the phone-sync application that has had wide manufacturer compatibility. Happily there's a workaround.