Archive for March, 2009
I will be heading out to catch my flight to CTIA in Vegas in a few hours and ran across this story on the Nokia Conversations site that discusses the release of the new Nokia Photo Browser on the Nokia Beta Labs site. I have been using PhotoFlow for checking out photos on my Nokia 5800 and just downloaded and installed this new photo utility to try out.
As I understand from the Beta Labs site the Nokia Photo Browser supports the 5800 and N97 S60 5th Edition with:
- Strokes, drags, and taps should work as you’d expect
- In the single image view:
- Long press to start the magnifier
- Double-tap will start the regular zoom
- Double-tap on a face will start the face browsing
- In the face browsing mode, a stroke will travel between faces
There is a version for S60 3rd Edition under development too. Check out the video below of Nokia Photo Browser in action.
BTW, I have my 5800 loaded up with podcasts, some music, videos (including one from Amazon Unbox that I bought using the $50 credit coupon in the 5800 box), and lots of apps. I plan to Qik some things from the show so you can check out videos I take here on my Qik site if you like.
I had the pleasure of chatting Todd Ogasawara about all things Nokia and S60 on MobileViews podcast 20 last week. Todd asked me to join him for a conversation and we ran through some of my Nokia history, thoughts on current devices, thoughts on future devices, and what Nokia can do to have an impact in the US. It was a very enjoyable experience and I hope you enjoy the show while listening to it from your Nokia device 😉
OK we can now move the Nokia E71x device out of the rumor mill category and put it into the confirmed device category. According to Sascha Segan AT&T announced 6 new devices coming to their network soon, including the E71x. The E71x will have 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS capabilities so it doesn’t look like AT&T took out anything. It should be available in late April or early May for $149.99 $99.99 with a two-year contract and $50 rebate. (not sure about rebates).
I hope to get one to review for a bit since I am still very curious about the firmware version and if the camera performance has improved. At this price, I am most likely going to see if I am eligible for the upgrade (I bought a HTC Fuze back in the Fall) and pick myself up one of these. The E71 is fantastic and will look great in all black.
Even though Nokia is the worldwide leader in the mobile market, there has not been a single non-Java Twitter client available while the iPhone has several of them. That all changed dramatically today when Gravity was released. I loaded up Gravity on my new Nokia 5800 XM NAM device during my morning train commute and find it to even be better than any Twitter client I have tried on the iPhone. If you use Twitter and have a S60 device, this software is a must have application. There is a free 10-day trial with the full version coming in at $9.95.
Gravity allows you to post tweets, replies, direct messages, and pictures via TwitPic. You can simply tap on a person and have color coded options to reply, direct message, retweet, add as a favourite, apply hashtags, jump to links that may be in the tweet, view that person’s recent Twitter stream, and follow/unfollow the person. And these options appear fluidly with a cool shade up and down animation. If you select a link it opens up a web browser window right in the application so that your dedicated web browser is not affected, which is nice if you are multitasking.
There are tabs for timeline, replies, direct messages, your tweets, favourites, friends, and folowers. I also like that I can have multiple Twitter accounts setup and in use since I have one dedicated to Nokia Experts and one for my standard usage.
When looking at the main “home” screen you will see your labeled Twitter accounts with the photo icons of the most recent tweets along with the time and person who last updated. Twitter Search is also present on the “home” screen view. Some images on your device are present and you can simply tap and select one of them to TwitPic it up via Gravity.
Kinetic scrolling is supported on the 5800 and upcoming Nokia N97 so the experience is quite enjoyable. I actually find Gravity to be one of the most pleasant applications to use on my 5800.
The only thing I would ask for at this time is the ability to load more tweets when I scroll to the bottom of what is currently provided. I am not sure how many appear by default, but I often go long periods of time between checking them and may like to see the history back a bit further. I haven’t seen this supported on my G1 or some iPhone apps either so maybe there is a limit with the Twitter API.
I highly recommend you try out Gravity and I will try to post a video of it in action later tonight.
Each week we round up the best of the Smartphone Experts Network in a few pithy paragraphs designed for your reading pleasure. Everything from a new leaked Storm ROM to waiting on any number of new smartphones to finally arrive to a comprehensive look at iPhone 3.0 can be found here.
You’ll want to stay tuned to the Smartphone Experts family of sites next week – we’ll be live at the CTIA Wireless convention, bringing you all the latest from every manufacturer on all of our sites. Will Android finally have its coming out party? Will Palm finally tell us when the Pre is being released? Will the AT&T Nokia E71 ever get official? Whatever happens, we’ll give you the scoop.
Read on for the Best of SPE!
You may have noticed I have been a bit critical and cynical the last couple of weeks at times when talking about Nokia, which is primarily due to my frustration with the lack of Nokia in the US. The issues are unclear why this is the case (Nokia focus, US carriers, etc.) and I hope it changes in the future. My passion for S60 was rekindled yesterday when a Nokia 5800 XpressMusic NAM device (black color with silver highlight sides) arrived and I went through and set it up with my favorite apps and settings. This one appears to have the latest firmware since 3.5G is working like a champ all over the place for me. The 5800 XM is a FANTASTIC phone with excellent voice quality and the same cool proximity sensor found in the iPhone (screen turns off when you hold it to your face).
I loaded up some music, put on some videos, added some wallpaper images, customized the folder arrangement (what other platform gives you this much customizability), customized the ringtone and loaded it up with 3rd party apps. The 3rd party apps that I have loaded up include Opera Mini, WeatherBug, Joikuspot, Spb Wallet (see my review), Mobbler, PhotoFlow, HAVA Player, Screensnap, QuickOffice, Y-Browser, fring, Gmail, S60Bible, Mail For Exchange (there is no version of RoadSync for the 5800 yet), Google Maps, Nokia Sports Tracker, Spb Brain Evolution, StyleTap Palm OS emulator, and LightSabre.
My plan is to keep my AT&T SIM in the 5800 for quite a while and really get into the experience. My T-Mobile SIM is in my G1 and may still hop around some more.
Stay tuned for more S60 reviews and lots of coverage from CTIA next week here as I finally get some hands-on time with the E55, E75, and N97. The N97 is a device I am saving up for, but the E55 also looks quite compelling to me too.
My pal Rafe Blandford posted the first part of his more detailed hands-on preview of the Samsung OMNIA HD and you have to admit that is one slick device. If I wasn’t such a huge QWERTY keyboard fan this would definitely be on my list of prime devices. Even though it doesn’t, it is still quite compelling with that beautiful display and other design features.
I owned a Samsung OMNIA Windows Mobile phone for about a month and thought it was a fantastic media focused device. The lack of a hardware keyboard was actually the primary reason I traded it away and the only touch only device that I have found works pretty well for my is the Apple iPhone.
Readers here know the Nokia E71 is my favorite S60 device, even with the lame camera. There were a couple new Eseries devices announced back in February, the Nokia E55 and E75 and I personally still have not seen them in person. That will change next week when I go to CTIA so keep your eye here starting next Tuesday night. In the meantime, check out what Steve O’Hear has to say about the E75 after spending some time with it.
Both of these devices actually interest me for a few reasons, including fantastic quality hardware (common in Eseries), reasonable price, and S60 OS power and customizability. I am not sure yet about the E75 because I am not sure if I like this form factor over a front mounted QWERTY. This is actually the same concern that Steve mentioned so I was very interested in checking out all his thoughts.
The E55 with the SureType-like keyboard seems to be a more compact E71 and should be a great single hand device. I have been recommending this type of keyboard in a Nseries so maybe we can get one with a heavy media focus too.
I just read some news on The Boy Genius Report that is not good for those of us who enjoy streaming radio content. It seems that applications that stream Last.fm content that were not created by them will no longer work on mobile phones due to licensing agreements. Developers may be able to work with them to still support streaming, but it may also cost money for them to do so. I have been using Mobbler on my S60 device and Pocket Scrobbler on my Windows Mobile devices to stream music.
I just launched Mobbler and was prompted to upgrade to a new version a few minutes ago. It still works on my E71 so I don’t know when it will be cut off from Last.fm.
I have a rather small music collection so enjoy streaming music clients. I also use imeem Mobile and FlyCast on my G1, Pandora on my iPhone and Palm Treo Pro, and Slacker and FlyCast on my BB Curve 8900 so there are lots of alternatives for me personally. However, I don’t think there are alternatives other than Mobbler on the S60 platform, right?
My fellow ZDNet technical blogger, Andrew Nusca, had a chance to sit down with a couple of Nokia folks to chat about the Ovi Store and come up very impressed, as clearly stated in his article. If you remember Dieter was also very impressed with the Ovi Store and it seems there are lots of people who are excited about the functionality and depth of the store.
I will be meeting with Nokia next week at CTIA and plan to find out more myself as we get closer to the Ovi Store launch. I look forward to a consistent application purchasing experience on my Nokia devices and get more excited every time I read a story like this that goes into all the details.