Archive for April, 2009

Ovi Store won’t support US carrier billing; thank goodness!

Nokia logoIn the past Nokia said that the US was one of the countries that would support carrier billing in the Ovi store. According to a Reuters article Nokia said on Tuesday that operator billing would not be available in the US. While the Reuters writer stated this was a setback for the US market, I am not really sure about that. There are currently very few Nokia devices sold through US carriers with almost all of the higher end Eseries and Nseries devices being sold as SIM-unlocked models. Thus, the impact of carrier billing really should be minor.

I purchase applications on my iPhone through iTunes and a credit card, on my G1 through Google Checkout and a credit card, and on other devices directly through the developer websites. While carrier billing may be more convenient at times, if a credit card is on file in your Ovi account it can be just as easy and maybe even more manageable. How often have you had messed up carrier bills? Now add on a whole other level of application purchases and you can see how you may be spending time arguing with your carrier each month to get bill corrections made.

I prefer to have my applications billed to my more reliable credit card company than my carrier, how about you?

Will the Nokia E71x appeal to the masses?

Will the Nokia E71x appeal to the masses?Michael Mace does a great job posting in-depth analysis articles on the mobile space and just posted one on the different mobile operating systems in the US. The data shows that RIM leads the installed user base by double the percentage over the iPhone and others. Their survey did not capture any Symbian share in the US since the numbers are still quite small and many users may not even know if they have a Symbian device. However, one thing I found interesting that I think can be directly related to the upcoming AT&T Nokia E71x was in his Top features of the average mobile phone user chart that shows the top four features being price of the phone, which carrier offers it, size/weight of the phone, and text messaging.

The Nokia E71x will be coming in at only $99, is offered by AT&T (largest GSM carrier in the US), has an amazing size and weight (not to mention build quality), and has a keyboard optimized for text messaging. The one weakness in text messaging is the lack of threaded SMS capability. The next several top features are also supported by the E71x and if users see this sleek black device in the stores I really do think it could do very well for AT&T.

Best of SPE, 26 April 2009

We’re pretty sure that if you’re reading this, you’re the sort who likes exclusive, breaking details on Smartphones. We had that aplenty this week. Nokia Experts got the full skinny on the AT&T Nokia E71x in the form of PDF guides and a confirmation of a May 4th release. PreCentral.net scored an internal head-to-head between the iPhone and the Palm Pre. CrackBerry.com saw yet another Storm OS leak.

We’re also pretty sure you like free stuff. So you’ll want to check out the What Would You Do for a Palm Pre Giveaway. We’re also incredibly proud that CrackBerry.com reached – wait for it – One Million Members! They’ll be tossing out celebratory gifts to them this week. WMExperts will be giving away a phone (check there on Monday). Also, did you know that The iPhone Blog is approaching their 1 year anniversary in a couple weeks? Expect some fun to happen there soon, too!

Much more more happened in the smartphone world, so as usual, we bring you our "Best of SPE roundup." Come take a look at what’s news!

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Nokia Messaging for 5th Edition available now on Nokia Beta Labs

Nokia Messaging 5th EditionI wrote a bit about the Nokia Messaging client for S60 5th Edition devices and there were so many requests for the application that Nokia decided to make it available to everyone on the Nokia Beta Labs site. If you have a Nokia 5800, then you need to get this application since it blows away the default Messaging client.

There are still some areas that need attention so please try it out and give them feedback so they can make it even better.

The Nokia 5800 is an awesome Amazon VOD player

The Nokia 5800 is an awesome Amazon VOD playerThe big news from yesterday regarding Amazon Video On Demand was the launch of HD movies and TV show support. I actually just ordered a Roku player to be able to watch my Netflix content and see that the Roku will also support this new HD quality content so I am all set on my home TV now.

People have been able to watch video content on various mobile devices for years, but it usually requires you to rip a DVD and then convert it into a format for that specific device. I personally find the free Internet Tablet Video Converter to be an excellent way to use your PC or Mac to get content onto your Nokia device. Apple made the process pretty easy for iPhone users with the ability to transfer videos purchased or rented through iTunes to your iPhone or iPod touch quite a seamless experience.

I wanted to also let all you Nokia fans know that you can get a similar experience with selected Nokia devices and Amazon Video On Demand. As you can see on the Amazon VOD device site the Nokia N85, Nokia N79, and Nokia N96 can be used to view Amazon VOD content. I am pleased to tell you that the Nokia 5800 is also fully supported and you even get a $50 credit to use with VOD in the retail packaging. With the fantastic 3.2 inch, 16×9 aspect ratio, 640×360 pixels resolution display the 5800 is the best of all of these Nokia devices for enjoying Amazon VOD movies. I currently have Slumdog Millionaire, Office Space, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Groundhog Day, Braveheart, and Stargate Special Edition loaded on my 5800 and each plays very well on the device. With the cool included stand, fast access media button, and standard 3.5mm headset jack the Nokia 5800 is a SUPER video player. You can also connect via the TV out cable to your TV or display to enjoy your purchased content there as well.

One thing I do want to point out about the $50 credit you receive with the 5800 since I was a bit confused after applying the discount code to my Amazon account. The $50 credit will not show up anywhere in your Amazon account (at least that I could find), except for when you actually launch the Amazon Video On Demand software on your PC (sorry there is no Mac client available). You can then check your balance through this interface. I found this a bit odd since the client jumps to the web interface to complete purchases and thought I would be able to find this credit somewhere in my account details on the web. I thought the credit code was not accepted and it took me a while to distinguish there was two separate account pieces working here.

Another Nokia 5800 reviewer loves the device

Another Nokia 5800 reviewer loves the deviceThe folks over at All About Symbian have created a fantastic tutorial series on the Nokia 5800 that are must read articles for those looking to buy or who have recently purchased a Nokia 5800 device. I LOVE the 5800 NAM and find my enthusiasm for it grows the more I use it. Today, Tzer2 posted a three months with the 5800 review that breaks down what is liked and disliked about the device in a great format with comprehensive explanations.

I agree with all of the likes in the review and can’t stress enough how awesome the display looks on this device. The overall score is 90% and I would agree with that assessment too.

Why can’t S60 provide a native threaded SMS experience?

Why can't S60 provide a native threaded SMS experience?I am REALLY liking the Nokia E75 (see my first impressions post) and find it to be a super messaging device with the new Nokia Messaging 2.0 software. However, there is one area of messaging that continues to frustrate me and I really wish Nokia would take some time to address the issue. Shoot, with the excellent work done by the recent Twitter application developers maybe one of them can take on this issue and solve it better than Nokia. The issue I am referring to is threaded SMS.

As a father of two teenage daughters and a third getting there, text messaging is something I do quite a bit and am really enjoying as a way to stay in touch with my girls during our busy day. On the iPhone, Windows Mobile devices, BlackBerry devices, and even my T-Mobile G1 I have threaded text messaging. Even the older Palm OS had this capability and actually set the bar with it for years on their Treo devices. I cannot understand why this functionality continues to be skipped by Nokia and am frustrated by this every day. Is threaded SMS something that only Americans prefer or am I missing something here?

Nokia did release the Conversation application on Nokia Beta Labs back in September of 2007. I actually do have this on my E75 and am using it, but I figured if they had it here in 2007 they surely could have integrated it into the OS and improved it since that time. While Conversation does give you a basic threaded SMS experience, it is a separate application and does not integrate into the native text messaging client so you need to launch it as a stand alone app. It does appear as a tab in the Contacts application so there is some integration. I personally have it setup as a Standby screen shortcut. Unfortunately, there is no S60 5th Edition support for my Nokia 5800 yet.

I read about another 3rd party client that looks very promising called iSMS, but it is an unsigned application that requires you to hack your device or sign it yourself for each phone you want to use it on. Ricky Cadden has a good tutorial on the signing process and I plan to try it out soon because I really want a better threaded SMS experience. The signing process looks fairly straightforward, but it really is a shame that users have to go through such a process just to get an application to make their device perform a function that every other mobile operating system now performs out of the box.

Anyone else desire a good threaded SMS experience? Anyone have feedback on using iSMS?

Nokia Experts accessory store launches, come support the site

One of the strengths of the Smartphone Experts family of sites is the integrated stores they support that sell devices, accessories, and software. Now that we have Nokia Experts up and running, we decided to kick off the Nokia Experts store that currently has things like chargers, batteries, cables, memory cards, cases, Bluetooth headsets, car mounts, and more. There are no Nokia devices in the store yet and we haven’t setup a software store. We’ll check to see if SIM unlocked devices can be sold through our store as we continue into the future. The Nokia Ovi software store launches soon so we will have to see if it is possible or worth it to even offer a software store with the on-device store provided by Nokia.

 

Nokia Experts accessory store launches, come support the site

You can see our store link/badge over in the right sidebar and if you ever need accessories or gear for your Nokia device I do hope you consider visiting our store and supporting the site and our continued efforts here. We do plan for more hardware, software, and accessory contests in the future as well so we will continue to give back to our faithful readers.

Nokia dual-slider on FCC is a Series 40 device

Nokia dual-slider on FCC is a Series 40 deviceThere has been a lot of chatter on the Internet about the Nokia 8208 CDMA dual-slider that showed up on the FCC site this week. At first I was excited to hear the words “dual-slider” and immediately thought it may be the new Nokia N86 that was coming to a US CDMA carrier. However, as detailed on MobileBurn last August this is just a Series 40 device that may or may not appear on Verizon or Sprint.

Series 40 devices can be quite good and feature packed, especially for those looking for an inexpensive device from their carrier. T-Mobile’s 7510 is a cool device. I personally can never go back to a feature phone though after using S60 and seeing how functional syncing all of my info to a central server really is to my daily routine.

Nokia E71x to launch on 4 May, check out all the E71x guides

The last we heard, the Nokia E71x was coming to AT&T in April or May for $99.99 after rebate and contract. I had a tipster send in some valid looking information that shows a 4 May launch date so let’s go with that for now. I also received several PDF documents for the E71x that should answer just about every question you have about the device before you get it into your hands.

Nokia E71x to launch on 4 May, check out all the E71x guides

PDF documents on the AT&T Nokia E71x:

There is some great information in these documents and I may just have to swing by my AT&T store to pick one of these up. This purchase could also help to support getting more Nokia S60 devices here in the US, right? I am always looking for ways to justify my purchase 😉

I spent some time with the E71x at CTIA and think it should do well when people see it in the store next to all the other forward facing QWERTY devices. The sleek black stainless steel design and performance should bring a few people to the S60 platform.


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Nokia E73 Mode Guide
Nokia N900 Guide