Now getting seriously mature is Symbian Podcatcher, an open source replacement for Nokia Podcasting and of serious use to all the owners of Symbian-powered smartphones without any automatic way of gathering in audio and video podcasts. Today sees the release of v1.0.8 for Symbian^3 devices, screenshotted below. Versions for vanilla S60 5th Edition and 3rd Edition phones are a little behind, but hopefully the developer can back port as many of the bug fixes as are practical. Next stop for Symbian Podcatcher? The Nokia Ovi Store, hopefully! In the meantime, get it here.
Recent News - S60 3rd Edition - Page 7
Xenon-cameraphone fan though I am, it has to be said that at my advanced(!) age and with family responsibilities, I don't get to party til 3am anymore (though see here from 7.45pm tomorrow!), so don't really get a chance to see what the likes of the Nokia N8 can really do in near pitch darkness with real people (as opposed to pot plants and fans!). Luckily, Jay Montano shares my love of Xenon and has put up a feast of N8 Xenon-lit party shots from Halloween, last night. What's even more impressive than the lighting and 'freezing' in time is the power management - seems like the N8 took over 300 photos with Xenon flash without breaking sweat...
My day just got off to a potentially great start. Opera has just released a beta of their proxy-based (read time and money saving) Opera Mini web browser for all Symbian phones. And not just for these phones, but written as a native Symbian application and not as a Java application, so we're talking faster startup times and smoother browsing. Plus you can now switch all text input to use your phone's native system, even T9. And compatibility is, amazingly, right back to Series 60 (effectively S60 2nd Edition). With Web receiving criticism for slow handling of huge web pages, Opera Mini 5.1 beta on Symbian impresses by being many times faster than any native browser on any platform. Some screenshots, links and details below.
Nokia has released their Q3 2010 results, reporting an operating profit of €529 million, with net sales of €10.3 billion. Nokia's device and service division's profits were €807 million, up 3% year on year. Margins in devices and services were 10.5% (down 0.9% YoY and up 0.9% QoQ). The figures beat market expectations. Converged devices sales (smartphones) were significantly up, at 26.5 million, compared with 16.4 million units in Q3 2009 (up 61% YoY) and compared with 24 million units in Q2 2010 (up 10%, QoQ). Worldwide smartphone market share was 38%, down 3% sequentially but up 2% year on year.
Is there still a place for bling in the smartphone world? Nokia’s British-based Vertu, which specialises in luxury phones, thinks so. Their latest model, the (announced but previously not viewed) Constellation Quest, has just cleared the US FCC regulations, which means we’ve got some more details and it looks like that this runs a variant of S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2, with a customised UI theme and additional applications.
I'd been meaning to write up the Socially app for S60 and Symbian for a while, but now I don't have to because Vaibhav beat me to it. In this case he's showing how to automatically sync Facebook photos and birthdays into your Symbian Contacts application on the N8, but compatibility is surprisingly wide. With Nokia Social on the new Symbian^3 devices being somewhat limited in its Facebook integration, Socially promises to help extend the concept, plus it has a few extra tricks up its sleeve, as Vaibhav reveals.
SPB have updated their streaming TV application, SPB TV, to v1.5 and along with some bug fixes, the application is now free to download. Previously a number of streaming IP TV stations were free, but now the whole TV guide is available to every user. You can grab your copy at SPB. More below.
OK, so Google's headline stretches the truth a little - the photos of Antarctica aren't actually from a StreetView car - for errr.... obvious reasons! And, of course, on some continents coverage is a lot more patchy than others. But, regardless, kudos to the Google team for their untiring work to bring the visuals of the world to the (mobile) masses. Some quotes and links below.
Following on from my initial review of Pixelpipe's Send and Share client, I met their CEO, Brett Butterfield, at Nokia World 2010 to find out what was new. Send and Share has had some significant additions that all add together to make the application even more convenient to use.
No, not that gravity. Gravity the much-praised social network client for Symbian. Here's an excellent 17 minute video interview (and written summary) with its creator, Jan Ole Suhr, taken at Nokia World 2010. Did you, for example, know that Gravity was originally intended to be a little freebie giveaway to attract visitors to Jan's other commercial products? The interview also answers whether Jan is worried about Nokia's new native Social application or about a future forced rewrite in Qt.
Never more than in the last year or so, smartphone enthusiasts have been decrying Symbian and advocating switching to an Android smartphone or Apple iPhone. "Enough is enough" they cry, "I'll be able to do so much more if I switch!". Errr... no. Not really. Having used many Android phones and having been using the iPhone and other iOS devices over the last two years, I've come to the conclusion that the grass really isn't greener on the other side of the fence - it's just a different colour altogether.
Nokia World 2010 starts today and the team is on the ground to bring you live coverage from Nokia's premier event. Over the next two days we'll be bringing you the key news, views and information. This news story contains our live coverage, where you can see the latest images and text updates; you can also interact with the team, asking questions and adding your own thoughts. Alternatively you can keep up to date by following our @aas account on Twitter, where we will be posting text updates and images.
Having seen All About Symbian get a serious freshening up this week (design, discussions, structure, etc.), today sees The Phones Show also getting the spring clean treatment... in err....the autumn! As of Phones Show 120, released today, the show is 720p HD - and yes, it's still all filmed on phones. In this case the Samsung i8910, but it's appropriate that show 120 covers my verdict on the top 5 720p-shooting smartphones. You might recognise the no. 1 in the list - and you'll also recognise the E5, the subject of my hands-on video review.
Nokia's UK music service, Ovi Music, is now DRM-free in its pay-per-track store. Nokia started switching its music stores last year; while new country launches moved straight to the DRM-free version, existing countries have been switched over only gradually. Ahead of next week's Nokia World and the launch of the N8, Nokia is moving over most of the remaining countries to the new version of the service, where there are no restrictions on how and when you play any of your music downloads.