Tag Archives: Symbian Foundat

Nokia announces its 2010 flagship – the 12.0 MP camera toting N8

27 Apr

Nokia today revealed the N8, the handset vendor’s most crucial smartphone of the year. The N8 is the first smartphone running on Symbian^3, the reworked touchscreen version of the Symbian OS. While Nokia and other members of the Symbian Foundation are busy working on the next version of the OS, Nokia has only the N8 and probably a handful of other smartphones running on Symbian^3 to hold on to, while other devices on Android are capturing an ever-increasing share of touchscreen smartphone market. With the N8 expected to hit markets only in the next quarter, this device better does what it is meant to unlike other flagship phones from Nokia (the N97 being the most recent).

Coming back to the N8, it is pretty well stacked against competition. At about €370 before taxes and subsidies, its 12.0 MP camera with HD recording, a refined UI (single click everywhere) and good industrial design, the N8 does seem to be a great multimedia smartphone (the Sony Ericsson Satio and any other Symbian S60 fifth edition are not worthy of being called smartphones). Howevever, I won’t be passing any judgements, not yet, as my experience with Nokia’s flagship products in the past says that it’s better to wait for the real thing than getting excited with press photos and spec sheets.

Nokia delays shipment of first Symbian^3 smartphone

22 Apr

Nokia today announced that the first device running the vendor’s latest version of the Symbian OS will be delayed. The first Symbian^3 based smartphone was earlier expected to be announced in March and released in the second quarter. However, now it will be announced in the second quarter and shipped in the following quarter. “We will not ship the first Symbian^3 device before it is completely ready,” Nokia CEO, Olli Pekka Kallasvuo said during a conference call with analysts after the company declared their first quarter results for the year.

Nokia will also launch its first product based on MeeGo, the result of merging its Maemo platform with Intel’s Moblin, by the end of this year. In the meanwhile, Kallasvuo indicated that its ‘Comes With Music’ service will be launched in India soon.

We are also expecting to see Nokia’s first dual-SIM phone to be introduced in India within the next six months.

Symbian Foundation complete Symbian OS code open

5 Feb

The Symbian Foundation has completed the open source release of the source code of the Symbian OS, according to a press release issued by the Foundation. The release, which was planned to happen in mid-2010 comes four months ahead of schedule and will now enable just about anyone – device manufacturers, developers – to tweak and use the OS.

Pretty neat so far. But the real challenge for the Foundation would be to ensure that the OS does not die a slow death with partners like Samsung and Sony Ericsson relying more on Android for their next generation of smartphones. At the moment, Nokia is the only major handset vendor that is utilising Symbian for its smartphone portfolio. It remains to be seen whether this release of source code would change this situation, though we won’t be betting our chips on that happening any time soon.

Android gets a new Twitter app – TweetCaster

29 Jan

Handmark has launched a new app for Android samrtphones, TweetCaster. Handmark is a leading creator and distributor of mobile apps and sevices.

TweetCaster is a customised application that will simplify your ‘tweeting’ experience from your Android-based device. TweetCaster lets you have multiple Twitter accounts running on one single device. This app will also allow you to customise themes and fonts on your Twitter page. Other cool features include:

Integrated retweets

Incorporated Twitter lists

Push notifications for tweets, mentions and direct messages

Offline tweet caching

URL shortening (and previews)

Photo attachment

Threaded direct messages


The app is pre-installed on the Droid and the Nexus One and is available for a free download on all Android-based smartphones. A premium version of this app is also there and is called TweetCaster Pro. TweetCaster is available as a free download on Android Market while the Pro version will costs $4.99.

Nokia shows off upcoming Symbian OS user interface

15 Jan

Nokia has admitted time and again that it needs to do more with the Symbian OS to make it more relevant to competing OSes like Apple’s iPhone OS, Google’s Android and even Palm’s webOS. Today, via the Symbian Foundation, Nokia has shown what it intends to do with the ageing OS.

Called S^4, this version of the OS is expected to come on devices in 2011 and will be preceded by S^3, which we should see sometime this year (we expect some device announcements in February). What’s interesting to note is how Nokia has picked up the best elements from Android, iPhone and webOS and incorporated them to S^4. We can see a notification panel (a la Android), the elimination of the exit menu (a la webOS) that would also mean better memory utilisation and a better layout for displaying installed apps (a la iPhone).

While it ain’t original, we appreciate the fact that the world’s largest handset vendor is humble enough to appreciate what others have got right and imbibe it into their own OS. Mind you, this is just an initial proposal and we expect things to get even better as the time to launch gets closer. You can read the proposal here.

How to: Set up Google Sync on a Nokia S60 device

9 Dec

I use Google Sync to have my contacts synchronised across all the smartphones I use. At the moment, I’m using three – one on Windows Mobile 6.5, another on Android and then the N97 Mini, which I got from Nokia yesterday (I gave up my iPhone a month ago). Google Sync saves me the trouble of synchronising contacts from one phone to another and enables me to simply pop in my SIM card to any smartphone.

However, I have never been able to make it work with the new breed of Nokia phones that automatically syncronised my Gmail address as a mailbox, with no option to sync my contacts. Unitil today, that is.

The problem with the settings wizard on Nokia’s phones is that as soon as it sees a Gmail address, it proceeds to set up an e-mail account on its own, which is something that I don’t want. Today I learnt how to work around these automatic settings.

Open the Settings Wizard and enter your email address. But instead of yourname@gmail.com, just mention yourname@g.com (basically don’t mention gmail). The wizard will search for settings but won’t find one and will ask you to set it up manually. Select Mail For Exchange from the list you’ll get, enter your complete e-mail address (with @gmail.com), keep the Domain name black and add m.google.com in the server details. You can now opt to sync just your contacts or add tasks as well. And you are all set to go!

Symbian still holds 94 percent share of the total smartphone traffic in India: AdMob

23 Nov

According to AdMob’s latest Mobile Metrics report, worldwide requests from Android devices have increased 5.8 times since April 2009. Globally, the iPhone takes the lead with 50 percent of the smartphone traffic share followed by Symbian with 25 percent. Android, which is barely a year-old platform already accounts for 11 percent of traffic generated on AdMob’s mobile advertising network.


However, India bucks the global trend. Symbian, which accounts a quarter of the global smartphone traffic, generates a whopping 94 percent traffic in India! What’s more, the top 20 Symbian devices are manufactured by Nokia. However, the list of these 20 phones hasn’t changed much this year apart from the inclusion of the 5800 XM phone, which speaks a lot about how the OS has stagnated at the moment.


In India, Android and iPhone account for just one and three percent traffic, which showcases how the market has failed to mature. We believe that the absence of carrier-subsidised smartphones and the relative newness of the Android platform are the main reasons behind this trend.


What’s interesting, however, is that the iPhone has managed to topple Windows Mobile, which accounts for just two percent of traffic generated on AdMob. Well, this figure can be a bit deceptive as Windows Mobile did not have an application store till very recently and hence, users using apps with AdMob’s advertising are expected to be far lower than those using an iPhone. We are certain that Windows Mobile is the second most popular smartphone OS after Symbian in India.

Exclusive: Sony Ericsson prepping U5i, a Symbian phone

19 Nov

We have found evidence of an unannounced Sony Ericsson phone that will be called the U5i. The name might sound like it is a stripped down version of the Aino (the U10i) but names can also be deceptive.

From the user agent profile of the phone, we have found that if’d run on Symbian OS (fifth edition in all likelihood) and will have a 360×640 pixel display. Other specs currently indicate a 2.0 MP camera and no 3G connectivity but it seems to be a very initial profile of the phone and will probably get updated in the coming days.

Nokia to launch N97 Mini in India on November 16

14 Nov

We have been invited to attend Nokia’s N-Tourage event in New Delhi on Monday, November 16, where Nokia is expected to launch the N97 Mini for India. If you may recall, the N97 Mini is the N97’s smaller version with an 8GB internal memory, a slightly smaller 3.2 inch display and a slightly lower capacity battery.

The N97 Mini will come with the latest firmware that Nokia had recently released for the N97, which irons out lots of bugs including stability issues found in the initial units of the N97.

We expect the N97 Mini to be priced between Rs 20,000 and Rs 25,000.

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1,00,000 apps later: Our tuppence of wisdom to App Store wannabes

5 Nov

App Store

The Apple App Store completed 1,00,000
apps recently – a staggering feat, if you consider that it is not
even two years old. With just about every cellphone manufacturer and
platform developer looking at building app reservoirs for its users,
we thought that the moment was opportune for us to come out with a
few pointers for them. These are not high-tech (we are not getting
into approval systems and coding) words of wisdom, but simple points
that we think will make a difference to mobile app store users. And
heck, at the end of the day, all the apps in the world will not save
your app store if there ain’t users lining up to download them.

  1. Make your apps work across as many devices as possible. Having a mishmash of apps that work on some devices and not on others can confuse – and worse, irritate – users
  2. Get all major apps and game titles on your store. As Nintendo found out, innovation ain’t no good if you do not have the software titles to back it up. Heck, developers will be queuing up to make apps for your store if you meet point 1, as it makes app development so much easier.
  3. Get more apps. One of the biggest attractions of the App Store is that one keeps getting new apps for it. They may not all be relevant, but they do ensure more visits. A lsenior executive from one of Apple’s rivals remarked to us that it was the quality, rather than quantity, of apps that mattered. He spoke sooth, but ask a customer to choose between an app store that offers a few hundred apps and one that offers a hundred thousand, and we can bet our lives that we know where he or she will go!
  4. Make payment simple for consumers. One of the App Store’s charms is that one just has to click on a button and enter a password to get downloading.
  5. Do not tie up your market with a desktop software – a person should be able to download apps directly on the phone all the time. Much though we adore the App Store, we are just plain terrified of iTunes and its eccentricities. Strike one for the Android Market!
  6. Have free and extremely usable versions of all paid apps – “lite” versions, so to speak. We did not really like Nokia’s “play it for some time and then pay for it” approach with N-Gage game demos, even though it allowed users to play full-fledged games rather than stripped down demo versions. Users are more relaxed with stuff they know will keep working, even if it is not full featured. And if they get used to it, a purchase of the full app is pretty much on the cards.
  7. The store should be easy to browse. No, we are not talking in terms of categories and interface but simple loading time. One of the things we love about the Android Market on our HTC Hero is that it loads so incredibly fast even on our ‘umble EDGE connection– the App Store takes noticeably longer.
  8. Add videos of how the app works, rather than just screenshots. The video might take a bit longer to download but heck it tells us a lot more than a bunch o’ screens.
  9. Why so serious? Not all apps have to deadly relevant. Even silly apps have their takers. We wish we had a penny for every time we have switched on the light saber app on our iPhones and gone at each other. People laughed at us, but we just had a blast.