The green movement is sweeping the planet. More and more users are becoming more aware of the environment and their impact on it and are taking measures to help out. Manufacturers are also slowly getting on the bandwagon and are taking their own measures to make make their own contributions as well. [Read more…]
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Maybe you’ve heard of Nokia’s upcoming N8. The new Nseries phone, set to overtake the N97 as Nokia’s new flagship phone, is making a huge buzz here on the web. To think the phone’s not even released yet.
There is a lot to be excited for the N8 anyway. Besides, this is the first phone to run Nokia’s new Symbian ^3 operating system. The specifications of this phone is also astounding:
– Screen size: 3.5″
– Resolution: 16:9 nHD (640 x 360 pixels) OLED
– 16.7 million colours
– Capacitive touch screen
– Finger touch support for text input and UI control
– On-screen alphanumeric keypad and full keyboard
– Dedicated camera and volume keys
– Bluetooth 3.0
– 2mm Charging connector
– Micro USB connector and charging
– High-Speed USB 2.0 (micro USB connector)
– USB On-the-Go
– 3.5 mm AV connector
– FM Radio
– FM Transmitter
– Internal memory: 16 GB
– MicroSD memory card slot, hot swappable, up to 32 GB
– 12 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics
– Xenon flash
– 720p video recording
Whew, that’s quite a lot, isn’t it? The camera alone is enough for anyone to consider getting the Nokia N8. It’s looking like it’s going to be more than a capable content creation device. Throw in the fact that it doubles as a portable entertainment center, people can enjoy HD-quality video with Dolby Digital Plus surround sound by plugging into their home theatre system. I don’t see how you could lose by not having this phone.
Oh yeah. The operating system. The Nokia N8 was already given an early review, and the reviewer panned Symbian ^3, going as far as to jokingly accuse Nokia engineers of sabotaging the brand. To be fair, they were testing an early version of Symbian ^3, and we might find an operating system that might just be able to compete against the iPhone. Although knowing Nokia, the first few iterations of the N8 won’t probably be as good as we’d hope it would be. We’re probably better off waiting for a couple of firmware updates.
Gravity may currently be the king of S60 Twitter applications, but the thing is it’s not free. Also, there really is nothing that should stop any other app developer from making a Twitter application that can rival Gravity’s reign on the Twitter S60 market. Okay, there’s Tweets60, but I honestly find it to be a bit clunky and once you’re used to Gravity’s gorgeous interface, everything else just pales in comparison.
Nokia finally decides to join in the mobile social messaging space with Nokia Messaging for Social Networks Beta. From Symbian World:
The Nokia Beta Labs have announced that Nokia Messaging for Social Networks Beta is now available for three additional devices; the Nokia E71, Nokia E72 and the Nokia E63. Nokia Messaging for Social Networks a great little solution that provides contextual homescreen widgets that allow you to jump directly to your Facebook and Twitter posts and tweets to comment, has support for live Facebook and Twitter updates pushed to your phone homescreen and moreover gives you multiple ways to interact with your friends and social network circles straight from the client.
A bit a warning to those who are going to download Nokia Messaging for Social Networks Beta, though. Since it is beta, the Twitter client is sluggish beyond imagination. I tried it on my Nokia E63 and I had to uninstall it right away. I won’t go as far as to say that it was slowed down to the point where the entire app became unusable, but the speed is really unwieldy. Maybe if it were running on a phone with better hardware like the N97, it won’t be a bad experience.
Download and install here.
Nokia Beta Labs have released a set of widgets that will monitor the way you use your phone and adapt to your habits. These small apps, called Nokia Bots, will then use the data they’ve gained from your activity and they will personalize your phone according to your habits.
These are the Nokia Bots currently available:
- Profile Bot – which automatically changes profiles and is therefore handy for daily and/or weekly meetings.
- Alarm Bot – learns how you set your daily alarms and suggesting alarm and profile changes nightly.
- Shortcut Bot – instead of you picking apps for the shortcut widget, let this Nokia Bot pick apps for you. It learns which apps you use at which time of the day, modifying the widget instead of you.
- Battery Bot – lets you know if battery needs to be charged in the evening before you go to sleep.
This is pretty exciting and all, but currently Nokia Bots work only on the Nokia N97 and N9 mini. We can also assume that Nokia Bots will show up on other Symbian S60 5th edition devices in the future. I can also write off the possibility of Nokia Bots showing up on S60 3rd edition phones and lower.
But then, since Nokia’s on the move to switch the N series from Symbian to Maemo/MeeGo, I don’t know how relevant will Nokia Bots be in the future.
What do you think? If you want to download Nokia Bots to your N97 and N97 mini, click here to give these apps a try!
Nokia is bent on creating the “ultimate concept device,” and it enlisted the help of a very dedicated group of supporters – the internet nerds! The Finnish company’s latest project, called “Design By Community,” is aimed to ask cellphone users to help them create a smartphone device for the future.
The problem with the current system is that phones are designed by a committee and there’s no feedback from the users during the design process if they like the phone’s features or not. Design by Community aims to fix just that. Cellphone users can vote on the following criteria:
Display and user interface – voting opens March 15
How much does size actually matter? If you want a big screen, do you also want a QWERTY keyboard? Compromises need to be made here, so choose wisely. At every point of the design process, all sorts of considerations need to be made. If you add a sliding form factor (to fit that QWERTY keyboard and a big screen) then you’re going to have a big impact on the depth of the device.
Size and shape – voting opens March 22
This will be heavily influenced by the decisions you made with the display and user interface, particularly the depth of the device. Added to that you have the choice of clamshell, tilt ‘n’ slide or monoblock, each of which will have a huge influence on depth.
Materials – voting opens March 29
What about a device toting Kevlar? We’re not there yet, but who knows what will kind of materials our devices will use in the future. As manufacturing techniques improve, so do the opportunities to create seamless designs. Nokia designers work as hard at understanding manufacturing as they do creating new devices. Keep this in mind when making your decisions.
Operating system – voting opens April 5
This is a straight run thing – should this device of the future have Symbian or MeeGo? The choice is yours.
Connectivity – voting opens April 12
We don’t like wires, do you? Of course wireless electricity hasn’t hit us yet, and wireless HD video transfer is still a way off for mobile devices. What do you see as being most important when it comes to connectivity?
Camera – voting opens April 19
The camera has become a staple part of Nokia mobile devices as the phone itself. But where next? More megapixels? Faster speed? Better zoom? Hi-def video recording? You decide.
Enhancements – voting opens April 26
It’s bolt-on time. Adding curious features and functions to the device to make it more interesting, useful and in some cases, more entertaining. We’ve got a couple of gems lined up for you here. What would you have?
What do you think of Design By Community?
I’m sure most of you were waiting for this, right? Since Nokia’s previous Maemo Internet Tablet offerings were also capable of running Google Android, it was only a matter of time before somebody thought of installing Android on Nokia’s intrepid new smartphone. And imagine: installing two open platforms on one excellent phone? It’s a geek’s wet dream come true.
Brandon Roberts is the man responsible for the dual-booting marvel, and while he’s describing it more as a proof of concept right now than a workable solution, from what little is shown in the video he’s come a decent way. The keyboard seems to work, and the display is running at the N900’s WVGA resolution; a boot menu allows you to choose between Maemo and Android.
Right now there are no instructions as to how exactly he did it, but we’ve a feeling this could be a popular hack assuming all the N900’s core hardware could be encouraged to work with Android. The combination of Maemo for experimentation and Android for everyday use could potentially transform the N900.
Okay, it kind of sucks that there are no instructions on how to install Android on the Nokia N900, but I guess the hack’s not yet refined. I can’t wait to see this in the future though.
Okay, sure, old-school gaming emulators are a dime a dozen. You can easily download one off the net for a small price – or if your Google-fu is strong, free – and you can just download the ROMS of the games that you legally (heh) purchased back in the console’s heyday, and play away! I actually have quite a few installed on my computer and a NES and GBA emulator on my Nokia E63 as well.
So what’s the big deal about playing SNES games on the Nokia N900?
Well, I don’t think any other cellphone can allow you to play SNES games through a PS3 SixAxis controller. And if you use the Nokia N900’s TV out function, you can actually connect your diminutive cellphone to a ginormous HDTV and enjoy your games on a huge screen!
Setting it up is a bit complicated though. Pairing the PS3 SixAxis controller to your N900 via bluetooth isn’t as easy as it looks, though. Unfortunately N900’s Maemo does not come with joystick and mouse support in kernel. These instructions will help you reconfigure the device’s kernel to enable joystick device and mouse support.
Were you able to get SNES emulators to work on your N900? Don’t be afraid to try it, and tell me what happens!
Does anybody here remember the Nokia N-gage? Not a lot of you, I’m sure. The N-Gage didn’t really make much of a splash when it first came out, which is sad, because it was way ahead of its time. Back then people scoffed at a gaming phone. I did too. The hardware available back then wasn’t really good for running games, and there wasn’t really a bunch of games you can actually play on the N-Gage platform.
Nokia’s taking another shot at the mobile gaming market with the Ovi Orion. The Ovi Orion is still conceptual as of now, and in theory, it looks like a good gaming phone.
According to Slashgear:
The Ovi Orion doesn’t abandon usability in its race to be a gaming device. We’re not entirely sure of the everyday usability of a QWERTY keyboard (and hidden one-line display) mounted on the back of the handset, but it certainly makes more sense than trying to squeeze a tiny numeric keypad on the fascia somewhere. With the rise of responsive capacitive touchscreens, meanwhile, users are more confident with the idea of non-traditional gaming interfaces.
Now, Nokia would only need a Snapdragon or any other similarly-powered processor slapped on this, and this looks like a great deal. Check out the video below to see how the Nokia Ovi Orion (technically) works. Personally, if Nokia wasn’t killing the N-Gage line, it would actually be a great device to revive the dying brand. I know they’re trying to go Ovi everywhere, but it could’ve worked for the line.
I have a love-hate relationship with the Symbian OS. On one hand, it’s a mature mobile operating system with a huge selection of applications. On the other hand, it’s been pretty restrictive, especially now that you have to sign your applications before you can even install them. Also, it’s pretty old, the UI is horrible, and application programmers everywhere are complaining about how hard it is to make apps for Symbian.
Which is why we’re all keeping an eye on the N900. The N900, if you haven’t heard, is the first phone running Nokia’s Linux-based Maemo. Nokia already released a few internet tablets running Maemo before, but this is the first time we’ve seen Maemo being set up to do mobile phone functions. Also, Maemo has that sexy UI that Nokia’s other OS is sorely missing.
Nokia has held “meetups” throughout the world to celebrate the launch of its new N900, and during one such meetup in London, Nokia dropped a bomb: Nokia’s marketing team has unofficially revealed that they are planning to drop Symbian from N-Series phones by 2012!
This makes sense, really. Have you guys seen how Maemo is able to handle multimedia? The reason I’ve stayed away from the N-Series is the amazingly bad sluggishness these phones acquire after a few weeks of usage. I haven’t used (much less seen) an N900 yet so I can pass judgment on Maemo, but I’m pretty sure it’ll perform way better than Symbian on the multimedia front. It was mad for that purpose, anyway.
If you really, really, really like Symbian and really don’t want to let it go, worry not. Lower-tier phones will still retain Symbian. I don’t see Symbian going away completely in the near future.
Now what do you think of this? Is this a knee-jerk reaction to Google Android or is it something Nokia has been planning for a long time already? Tell me all about it!
Okay, we’re all heavily anticipating Nokia’s new Maemo-powered phone, the N900. I’m one of the few who would atually prefer this over the iPhone. No, seriously.
As you can see, the browser is running on the Mozilla engine, and quite frankly, that’s a huge plus factor for me. As much as I love the Opera Mini 5 beta running on my phone, I’m excited to see a mobile device running a Mozilla browser.
Also, full Flash. How many mobile devices can boast of that? I’m kinda disappointed that they’re using Flash 9.4, but I’m pretty sure they’ll be using Flash 10 once the N900 comes out.
One feature I loved about the browser would be the new finger gestures. Just look at the “spiral” motion to zoom in and out of web pages, which differs from the “pinch and stretch” motion that is favored by most other multi-touch smartphones like the Palm Pre and Apple iPhone.