Posted on August 9th, 2007 No comments
As a Forum Nokia member, I got an early-bird invite to Nokia Mosh (now in beta), a mobile sharing community from my favorite mobile company. Being given the opportunity to join another networking site (and, of course, preserve my username), I promptly signed up. The site is described as a user-generated content platform designed for use with any mobile device.
Any, except the iPhone anyway. The “mobile” version of the site is available at mosh.nokia.mobi and, the chump that I am, I logged in using the iPhone. Sure, accessing the website is not a problem. But what the frick do you do when you can’t upload or download the content? That’s how stupid the iPhone is, in case you haven’t noticed. Anyway, if I click on the audio content available on Mosh, I can play it on the iPhone. Big whoop.
Well, I am getting a Nokia N73 Music Edition in a couple of weeks’ time and I am all excited. In the near future, I may probably end up buying a Nokia N95.
The idea behind MOSH is simple: users should be able to create, collect and share their content and applications without having to bother about the device manufacturer or make. Obviously some restrictions apply here; you can’t expect to download an S60 application and expect it to work on your S40 phone.
I am still exploring the site. I like it so far.
Posted on July 21st, 2007 7 comments
I was using a Nokia 6680 phone for the last few months. When I got the iPhone, I realized that transferring contacts to it is a two-step process: first, I had to transfer all the contacts on the Nokia 6680 onto my Windows Address Book (over Bluetooth, thankyouverymuch), then I had to fire up iTunes to sync them to the iPhone.
That’s wrong. That’s so friggin’ wrong. What is Apple’s rationale in not including something as basic as the OBEX profile with Bluetooth? Are we to use Bluetooth only with a wireless headset and nothing more? Or was it something forced down Apple’s throat by AT&T?
By the way, I did not return the iPhone. I am holding on to it for just a bit longer. There are various reasons, but I’m not going into the details – maybe some other time, but it’s definitely not because I am convinced with it.
Posted on July 17th, 2007 No comments
Seriously, whoever thought a “smartphone” can do without copy-paste?
Posted on July 6th, 2007 3 comments
Yes, I got an iPhone. I have until July 15 to return it. All preliminary tests indicate that I will be returning it before that date. Too many first-version bugs to make it a usable phone, I am better off using the Nokia N73 that’s on its way from Bangalore ;)
I guess I’m too much of a Nokia fan. The big plus points of the iPhone are, of course, the iTunes integration, large screen and touch screen interface. But I am too slow when it comes to typing on its QWERTY keyboard. Also, the music player (or “iPod application if you will) sometimes crashes for no apparent reason when browsing the web on Safari.
Thanks to the large screen, rendering on Safari is pretty good. I don’t have my Wi-Fi router with me yet, so I have been using AT&T’s EDGE network (reportedly giving me around 150 kbps). It drains the battery a lot faster than I imagined (it must be all the YouTube videos I’m watching).
Other hiccups include slower app switching – you have to hit the Home screen and open another application to switch between running applications. So far, there seems to be no alternate way of doing it. Heck, there’s no way to transfer contact information over Bluetooth. Or download files from the web.
I am on a pre-paid plan and just yesterday canceled my auto-refill option. The only one thing that’s keeping me from returning it is that I could cancel my AT&T plan and continue to use it as an iPod/Wi-Fi device for browsing. It definitely doesn’t justify the price (I paid $549.79 for a 4GB iPod) to use it as a developer test bed. Let’s see, I still have more than a week to decide if this will end up in my pocket or go back to the Fifth Avenue store where I bought it.
Posted on April 4th, 2007 2 comments
So now you downloaded the Open C SDK plugin, but don’t have a device to test your cool-ass applications? There’s a solution: previously available only to Forum Nokia Pro members, Forum Nokia users now get remote device access. These devices can be reserved to a user, and is limited by the number of credits a user has. The credits are assigned on a daily basis, with an initial value of 40.
Some very neat devices are available for your apps: E61, E65, E70, N73, N80, N95 and my favorite, Nokia 5500 Sport (before it was stolen). These phones don’t have a SIM, so you can’t use them for apps that do things like send an SMS. Oh, and you can’t access the GPS capabilities of the N95 as well.
- Sounds are not carried with captured stream (= no audio support).
- There is no direct access to device hardware features (remove/reattach battery, etc.).
- No additional peripherals are available by default.
- Forum Nokia does not offer technical support for the service. In case of serious issues, please contact the system administrator.
- There is no guarantee that the devices are always accessible, there may be service breaks.
Posted on April 4th, 2007 No comments
How many times did you think, “Wow, that’s a cool application — wish I had that on my mobile?” Well, you are now closer to realizing it. Porting Linux-based apps onto Symbian S60 devices just got easier with the Open C SDK plugin from Nokia for S60 3rd Ed devices. You get your standard dose of C libraries for immediate code reuse, including OpenSSL, pthreads conforming to IEEE Std 1003.1 and libz.
Some of the features of the plugin include:
- ARMv5/GCCE/WINSCW headers and libraries
- Emulator DLLs
- Signed SIS package for installing Open C libraries onto 3rd Ed devices
- Example applications
- API documentation
All this comes under the GNU LGPL. Source code is available from http://opensource.nokia.com/projects/openc/.
Linux-based smartphones, anyone?
Posted on February 13th, 2007 2 comments
Well, it was scheduled for a Feb 10 release, but numerous page refreshes later, it’s finally out today. Unfortunately, I saw it only now – AAS had already posted the news a couple of hours ago.
Go get smart2go. Not that the site is terribly accessible at the moment.
And no, it’s not available for the Nokia 5500 Sport. I bet the tiny screen on the Sport had something to do with it. But that won’t stop me from trying to install the N93 version :-)
Posted on February 8th, 2007 No comments
Come Saturday (that’s Feb 10), Nokia will offer smart2go, a free mapping and navigation platform. Claimed as the most comprehensive map coverage offered on a mobile device, the app lets you find where you are on a map, and helps in reaching your destination.
The catch, of course, is that you need a Bluetooth-capable GPS device, which is in the form of Nokia LD-3W. smart2go offers map data from Tele-Atlas and Navteq, and maps can be downloaded over any wireless interface (GPRS/3G/WLAN). And if you store them on your memory card, you won’t even have to worry about exceeding your mobile bill.
The free version does not come with voice directions, but that should be okay. At present, it will be made available to select S60 and Windows Mobile 5.0 devices. I have my fingers crossed for Nokia 5500 support.
Posted on January 17th, 2007 No comments
Good news! Symbian will be releasing POSIX libraries, including libc, libm, libpthread and libdl, on Symbian OS. The beta is expected end of Q1 2007.
From the press release:
Symbian introduces POSIX libraries on Symbian OS
P.I.P.S. – ‘PIPS is POSIX on Symbian’- enables easy migration of desktop and server applications to smartphones
Beijing, China – 16 January 2007 – At the official opening event of its Beijing office, Symbian Ltd today announced the introduction of POSIX libraries on Symbian OS™, which will significantly reduce the effort required to migrate existing desktop and server components, and mobile applications from other platforms, onto Symbian OS. The move will help broaden and deepen application development for Symbian OS and help improve developer productivity. Symbian OS is the market leading operating system for smartphones.
P.I.P.S. – PIPS Is POSIX on Symbian – will enable C programmers to more easily migrate existing middleware and applications, either commercial or open source, to Symbian OS by providing standard POSIX C APIs on Symbian OS. This has been achieved by supplying a new framework of POSIX C APIs for use by both C and C++ programmers. The new APIs are packaged into industry standard libraries – libc, libm, libpthread and libdl – and are tightly integrated with Symbian OS to optimise performance and memory usage. In addition, an updated tool chain will further reduce migration effort.
“Symbian smartphones are becoming increasingly powerful, and it is now realistic and desirable to migrate desktop and server code onto mobile devices, opening up exciting possibilities and attracting differently skilled developers to the Symbian ecosystem”, said Jørgen Behrens, executive vice-president, marketing, Symbian. “With P.I.P.S., Symbian further demonstrates its commitment to open standards in the industry.”
POSIX support is a natural step for Symbian which will allow an ever increasing number of popular desktop middleware and applications such as web servers and file sharing software as well as applications based on other mobile operating systems to be easily ported to Symbian OS. With over 100 million Symbian smartphones in the market, P.I.P.S. makes it even more compelling for developers to target Symbian OS.
“P.I.P.S. is part of Symbian’s ongoing investment to enhance the development experience on Symbian OS,” said Bruce Carney, head of developer marketing, Symbian. “Native Symbian C++ continues to offer the richest set of APIs for smartphone functionality, with Symbian also enabling familiar frameworks, virtual machines and run-time-environments such as POSIX, Crossfire, Java, Python, Flash and OPL to help move any developer onto the market’s leading and richest mobile OS. In addition, the market momentum for smartphones is growing quickly, making it even more attractive to move to mobile and Symbian OS.”
IBM Software Group
Commenting on the announcement’s implications for developer productivity, IBM Software Group’s Dr. Michael Karasick, Director of Development, Client Platforms and Technologies, said, “Supporting open standards such as a POSIX layer for Symbian OS is a key part of our commitment to our customers. Using POSIX, IBM developers are given a simplified approach to porting customer solutions across a variety of platforms, now including Symbian OS, which is a very important platform for us.”
A beta version of P.I.P.S. will be available for Symbian OS v9.1 and above as a downloadable .SIS file from the Symbian Developer Network http://developer.symbian.com/. by the end of Q1 2007.
P.I.P.S. includes the following libraries:
- libc – The “C Standard Library” with system APIs mapped to Symbian OS APIs for better performance
- libm – A mathematical library
- libpthread – Implements POSIX-style threading support in terms of the underlying Symbian OS thread support
- libdl – Implements POSIX-style dynamic linking which extends the dynamic loading model of Symbian OS
Posted on December 19th, 2006 1 comment
Yes! That’s the phone. Albeit ours is the black-and-silver model. The Nokia 5500 Sport is everything I wanted, and then some. First impressions confirmed that the phone is rock-solid at least in terms of build. Underneath, it runs my favorite mobile operating system, Symbian OS v9.1, making this a S60 3rd Edition device from Nokia.
The phone came bundled with stylish headphones – the same ones you see there in the image – and a 512MB microSD memory card. The thing is about as big as my nail. Fortunately, it comes with an SD adaptor, so in case I have to transfer files using my trusty old card reader (when the data cable is not lying around, that is), I can safely use it. The USB data cable offers a USB 2.0 interface, which is expected. While initially I had trouble with the FM radio – it wouldn’t tune a few stations at first – it worked like a charm after a while.
The buttons on the 5500 seem a bit hard. The keypad looks like a rubber layer on the phone, leaving no room for dust to enter. But I simply loved the 5-way navigation pad. Mind you, it’s not a joystick as it may seem by the little depression in the center. It felt really slick and comfortable to use. Definitely plus points for Nokia here. I haven’t played with a whole lot of other 3rd Ed phones, but from those that I did use, I think I like the 5500′s the best.
Because it’s based on v9.1, the 5500 is not backward compatible with a whole lot of apps available for the older devices. But that’s just for a short time, I’m sure we will get tons more for these as well. An interesting add-on to the phone is a 3D sensor used to track your exercise routine – how many steps you’ve run, speed and calories burnt. It’s not very functional when driving a car, but while walking you can see it in action. Though the screen on the device is small, the readouts are big and clear.
A dedicated key on the side lets you switch between phone-music player-sports modes in an instant. Thanks to an integrated text-to-speech module, you can listen to your SMS messages with a couple of taps when jogging, for example.
Next post: bundled applications, PC Suite, monitoring your exercise routine, audio playback and more.