Nokia has announced that it plans to close web-based access to Ovi Calendar at the end of August. The sync service will continue to be available, but will now only operate as a backup for data. This means it will no longer be possible to view or edit calendar information through the Ovi.com website. Nokia says this was a business decision and that it "will help us to concentrate on our core service offerings". In reality, the decision is likely driven by the low numbers of active users of the web-based portion of the service.
Recent News - S60 3rd Edition - Page 3
Nokia have updated the dedicated Foursquare application to version 1.02 (9). You can pick up the update from the Ovi Store either through the updates tab, or going to the Foursquare app page and selecting the update option from there. The major change in this version is to accommodate the new Foursquare API methodology.
Although we haven't seen a new version of Google Maps for Mobile (for Symbian) for an eternity now (it's frozen at v4.1.1), it doesn't mean that we Symbian users aren't benefitting from Google's back-end improvements, not least the ever-growing place and business databases, transit lines, better satellite and street views etc. Shown below is a recent addition, of real time traffic status for a whopping 13 extra countries across the world.
Nokia's Ovi Store recently recorded 7.62 million downloads in a single day. This follows on from June's announcement that Ovi Store was averaging more than 6 million downloads a day. The greater than expected jump between June and July is primarily due to the "removal of the registration and log-in requirement for free items in the mobile web channel".
This may seem like something you kind of knew already, but just in case... the mass of 'official' Anna themes appearing regularly in the Ovi Store (i.e. with all the new icons, animations, background and transitions) also work fine with many of the older S60 3rd Edition (i.e. non-touch-driven) smartphones. See below for an example.
Nokia has released its Q2 2011 results, reporting an operating loss of -€487 million, with net sales of €9.275 billion (down 7% YoY). Nokia's Devices and Services division's losses were -€247 million. Margins in devices and services were -4.5% (down 14% YoY and down 14.2% QoQ). However, non-IFRS operating profit was €391 million (down 41% YoY and down 44% QoQ), with Devices and Services non-IFRS profit at €369 million, and margins at 6.7%. Total smartphone device sales were 16.7 million, compared with 24 million units in Q2 2010 (down 34% YoY) and 25.2 million units in Q1 2011 (down 31%, QoQ).
Thanks to Yash for the heads-up that Nokia has added the much-respected Joikuspot Premium to its 'Gift' section in the Ovi Store for some S60 3rd Edition phones, the E52, E55 and E72. Screenshot proof below - essentially, Joikuspot Premium turns your phone into a full Wifi-tethering solution for hooking up your tablet and laptop. The usually free 'Lite' version is restricted to just 'http' traffic (i.e. web browsing), so it's great to see this full solution, also without cost.
Having recently started updating the browsers and Maps of many older devices, running S60 3rd Edition and S60 5th Edition, Nokia has now released a performance update across the board for the Ovi Store client for all (most?) pre-Symbian^3 smartphones. Version 1.12(5) is an optional (rather than mandatory) update and replaces v1.10 in most cases. There's no official changelog yet, but I did see noticeably snappier performance on my test devices.
Synchronica, a UK based company that provides mobile messaging solution, is to acquire Nokia's operator branded messaging business. This business provides a number of American operators with branded email and IM applications and services. In addition, under a professional services contract (outsourcing), Synchronica will take over the development of the related Series 40 client software and the messaging gateway, which is used by both Series 40 and Symbian devices.
Well spotted Yash for noticing that both Opera Mini and Opera Mobile have received big updates, to versions 6.1 and 11.1 respectively. There's the main changelog below, but I'd highlight the iPhone-like web page text selection as the main reason to upgrade. They're both free, work on all Symbian phones, and are available now from m.opera.com in the 'other' web browser on your Symbian device.
Yesterday Nokia quietly released an update to its C5-00 smartphone, in the form of the C5-00 5MP. The variant replaces the original 3.2 megapixel EDoF camera unit with a 5.0 megapixel EDoF unit. Other changes include additional internal memory (50MB to 270MB) and RAM (128MB to 256MB), and an increase in weight from 89.3g to 95g. The C5-00 5MP will go on sale in Q3 2011.
Nokia today announced a raft of updates coming soon for many S60 3rd Edition and S60 5th Edition phones (listed below), giving them an updated version of the browser (Web v7.3 - the same as Symbian Anna), updates to Ovi Maps and the addition of emoticons for use in SMS and MMS messages. The browser update is the most significant and should breathe life into many older Symbian smartphones.
Nokia's Ovi Store is continuing to grow at a rapid pace; it recently passed the 6 million downloads per day mark and now contains more than 48,000 content items, with approximately 1,000 news items being added each week. Symbian phones make up approximately 75% of the downloads (4.5 million), with Series 40 accounting for most of the remaining downloads (1.5 million). A total of 1.8 billion content items have been downloaded since June 2009.
What a great idea - step through the alphabet and pick the best Symbian application starting with that letter. And, impressively, every letter has a great suggestion here in 'The Essential A-Z of Nokia Apps', from Angry Birds to Zuma. Well worth a quick scan - maybe you can come up with better suggestion here and there?
Following on from last week's episode, which focused on Windows Phone Mango, here is the seventh episode of the 361 Degrees podcast. This week it's a nostalgia fest as we remember devices we've owned and that we think have helped shaped the industry. 361 Degrees is a podcast all about mobile technology, created by Ben Smith of Wireless Worker and co-hosted by Ewan MacLeod of Mobile Industry Review and Rafe Blandford of All About Symbian.