Although Nokia hasn't officially ever claimed a specific date for updates to Symbian Belle for existing Symbian^3/Anna smartphones, many people (including me) had been hoping for the update to start appearing this month, a hope fuelled by the demonstration of all current models running Belle at Nokia World and by Belle firmware appearing on firmware flashing systems. However, we've now had official word, quoted below - the bottom line is that a little more patience is required.
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Anecdotally, the Proporta chargers have been hugely popular amongst my Phones Show viewership and 'All About' readers generally - and there's a new monster version now available, clocking in at a stunning 7000mAh. The Turbocharger 7000 has two USB output ports as usual, along with a facelifted exterior, weighs only 175g, and comes with charging heads for all major phone and gadget ports and a carrying case. Watch this space for a full review.
Not Symbian-related directly, but I did note that Nokia has launched 'Nokia Maps Creator', aimed at letting people make small edits or additions to existing maps - and edits are available to all Nokia Maps users 'immediately'. Initially, this is only for 'previously unmapped' countries, but it's possible that moderated edits might come to other countries in time. Some links and quotes below.
Andrew Orlowski's posts on Psion, Nokia and Symbian over at The Register are often a rollicking read, especially for geeks interested in Symbian's past. This five page article is all about Hildon, the UI (and indeed 'platform', or so argues the piece) that was evolved to Series 90, used in the Nokia 7710, and which underpinned a revamped Series 80, used in the Nokia 9500 and 9300. One for Symbian historians, definitely!
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?
After a month in beta, Nokia Suite (for Windows) has been formally released via the usual Nokia PC connectivity pages, replacing the former Ovi Suite. It's not just a name change though. In addition to the label, there are functional changes, we've included a brief changelog below. The new release version is 3.2.100, replacing the latest beta 3.2.98 that had been in Nokia Beta Labs.
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!
Figures are now in from IDC for the world phone market in Quarter 3, 2011, showing the market flattening in the USA and Western Europe as saturation sets in. However, the proportion of smartphones in the overall mix continues to rise. Nokia is still king in terms of sheer numbers, selling over a hundred million phones in the quarter, although Samsung is catching up relatively quickly. IDC's stats table is quoted below, though we don't yet have a breakdown of smartphone-only sales.
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.
The 361 Degrees Podcast has returned for season 2. To kick off our second season we headed to Nokia World and recorded our first ever 'live' edition in front of an invited audience of bloggers and mobile gurus. The episode primarily consists of a conversation, based on a question and answer format, between the audience and the three hosts (Ben Smith, Ewan MacLeod, and Rafe Blandford).
The focus at Nokia World 2011 was, of course, very much on the launch of Nokia's first Windows Phone devices (Lumia 800 and 710), but there was plenty of Symbian Anna and Belle goodness across the various booths and stands too. To give you a flavour of the Symbian presence at the event, here's a virtual tour of (some of) what was on display.
Being rolled out with only a day or so to spare before Nokia World hits is a 'service pack' for Symbian Anna, claimed to bring performance and usability benefits, plus faster email and messaging, quicker GPS fixes and a mysterious 'more' (presumably including minor bug fixes). So far we've only seen this (today) for our Nokia N8s, though I'd expect other Anna devices to also get offered this fairly soon. What's not to like?
Nokia Maps 3D is a desktop browser-based 3D mapping tech demo, with (currently) 23 major cities around the world mapped in glorious, true 3D, with data and textures gathered from satellites, planes and cars, using conventional cameras and laser rangefinders. Anyway, Nokia just released a rather cute 'making of' video, demonstrating in public-friendly form, roughly how it all gets put together. It's embedded below - comments welcome. Oh, and apparently you'll soon not even have to install a plug-in into your browser...
Nokia Conversations, the public-facing site where stories from inside Nokia are brought to the wider world, has been given a rather impressive overhaul. Far more than just a cosmetic facelift, there's a 'notifications bar' (on the left) with dynamic links to breaking content and language controls, there's an emphasis on the 'big story of the day', the ability to contact individual story authors and a general de-cluttering of the interface.
Nokia's old ovi.com is undergoing a butterfly-like transformation, it seems. ovi.com, as of right now, simply redirects to maps.nokia.com. The Ovi blog explains it all (quote below), but don't panic if you use a particular Ovi service, the old landing pages are still there on the server (e.g. Contacts, Music, Mail), so just bookmark these instead, if you haven't already.