Archive for November, 2010

Best of Smartphone Experts, 21 Nov 2010

Fill out the SPB Software survey for a chance to win a smartphone

Fill out the SPB Software survey for a chance to win a smartphoneSpb Software develops some fantastic software for various mobile platforms, including Windows Mobile, Symbian, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, webOS, and Maemo. Every year they conduct a survey of the mobile space and this year they offered to provide us with some feedback on what my readers think about various topics through a dedicated link. Last year, their survey had 11,000 respondents with some interesting results. Please take part in the survey this year by following this survey link.

Some of the issues covered by the survey and questions asked of you will include the following topics:

  • Do the users really care about the underlying mobile OS platform?
  • iPhone vs Android: which one captures the users’ interest?
  • Are the media tablets as popular as they are believed to be?
  • How much are the users ready to pay for the apps they are using?

If you do participate in the survey you will be entered into a contest where one lucky person will win a mobile device of their choice, up to $1,000 in value from a site like Amazon or expanses. A second place winner will receive $100 in accessories from Smartphone Experts’ store. Both first and second place winners will also get a $100 gift certificate for SPB Software apps while a third place winner will also get this $100 certificate. The survey is available from now until 7 December at 8:00 pm GMT. Results of the survey will be posted on 20 December. You can check out the full press release.

Contest: I’ve got orange, who wants my gray Nokia N8?

Contest: I have orange, you can have my gray Nokia N8Now that I am happily sporting my orange Nokia N8 we wanted to go ahead and giveaway my dark gray N8 to one lucky Nokia Experts reader. It has been about a year since we have held a contest here so to get the word out about the site and find out why you think you deserve the Nokia N8 you have to complete the tasks listed below to get in a valid entry. People that have purchased my phones in the past can attest to the pristine condition I keep them in so this dark gray N8 is nearly perfect and comes with the USA warranty that is good until October 2011. The original box and all included accessories are of course part of this package. Remember that the Nokia N8 works with the 3G networks on both AT&T and T-Mobile and is worth $549!

UPDATE: OK, I’ll pay to ship it to Canada too so let’s open this up to my northern neighbors as well.

This contest is only open to US and Canadian residents since we are continuing our focus on the US perspective of Nokia and the N8, so please do not enter if live outside the 50 States or the District of Columbia. You can only enter once so don’t try to create multiple Twitter accounts or fool us to cheat for the win. Follow the directions below and good luck to everyone.

How to Enter

In order to ensure you can capture those wonderful moments this Christmas we are going to run the contest from now until 4 December 2010 so I can ship the N8 out to you that week. To continue to spread the word out about the site and find out why you think you deserve the Nokia N8 you have to complete the following tasks:

  • Follow Nokia Experts on Twitter.
  • Create a Tweet with the following info:
    • @nokiaexperts so we get your entry
    • Photo that includes the Nokia Experts site or logo and something else cool (you, old Nokia collection, beautiful nature shot, etc.)
    • Reason why you deserve the dark gray Nokia N8 (I know there won’t be many characters left, but that is the challenge now isn’t it?)

For a bonus second entry, follow my primary Twitter account @palmsolo and Reply that you followed me as part of the Nokia Experts N8 contest.

The Fine Print and More Rules

  • One entry per person.
  • Full contest will end at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time on Saturday, 4 December.
  • You cannot be a contractor, moderator, or employee of any Smartphone Experts or Axel Ltd. sites. All of the restrictions of Smartphone Experts stores apply. This unfortunately means that we cannot ship to a PO, APO, or FPO box.
  • The contest is open to those in the US and CANADA ONLY.
  • We’ll pick the winner and that selection is final (no whining).
  • Please send any questions to

Nokia Ovi Store rocks 3 million daily downloads

Nokia Ovi Store rocks 3 million daily downloadsI was quite the hater of the Ovi Store back when it launched in May 2009 because it did not live up to its promise and had some major issues. As you know, my thoughts about it have been changing as it continued to improve and develop and I actually enjoy it on my N8 and have been using it for 99% of the apps I install on my N8. Nokia announced some extremely impressive stats today with 3 million downloads of apps per day, 400,000 new developers in the past 12 months, 92 developers each reaching the 1 million download mark, and 1.5 million downloads of the Qt software development kit.

The top downloaded free app is Q Torch that simply turns your display white and helps you see in the dark. I have not downloaded or tried this since I want the functionality seen before with the flash being used as a light. I wonder if there are issues making the Xenon perform in this manner though.

The top paid app is one that I am sure you all have loaded, Angry Birds. The third most popular is Need for Speed Shift HD, which is an entertaining racing game on the N8.

The top three apps for North America are AccuWeather Widget, Opera Mobile web browser, and Angry Birds. I don’t have a weather widget on my N8 so I will go try this one out now myself.

I have something like apps loaded on my N8 and honestly the only additional ones I would really like to see that I have on other platforms is good ebook readers like Kindle or Nook and maybe a streaming TV client like Netflix or Hulu Plus.

What are your favorite apps and are you also becoming a fan of the Ovi Store?

My wife looks at the latest and greatest smartphones, Nokia N8 is her choice

My wife looks at the latest and greatest smartphones, Nokia N8 is her choiceI wanted to share a short story with you about my wife and her recent experiences with smartphones and my Nokia N8. I think all of you here reading Nokia Experts will appreciate the ending too.

Once upon a time my wife saw all of excellent smartphones I had in my collection and switched to a T-Mobile Dash. She used three of these over the next couple of years, she drops her phones a lot, and was fairly pleased with the ability to smart filter her contacts and have access to a QWERTY keyboard. She also learned about text messaging from me and my girls and seemed to be quite a fan of QWERTY devices.

The last Dash died and she said she wanted something more durable with a QWERTY keyboard. I gave her my Nokia E71 and she was happy again. She used the E71 for over a year, but then kept finding the need to take pictures and video of our girls on the go without having to remember to always carry a camera. She tried the E71 camera, but is not happy with it. I let her use the E73 Mode for a bit, but for some reason calls kept dropping for her with this device and I am not sure it was the Bluetooth headset connection or what. It really didn’t matter though because she wasn’t happy and did not want to take the time to troubleshoot it.

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I finally have my own orange Nokia N8!

As you know, I have lusted after the orange Nokia N8 since I first saw it, but the Nokia USA store tried there best to keep me from getting one. Both Dieter and I failed miserably at buying one from the Nokia USA store and I will likely never try to purchase from them again and caution you when using this pathetic online store [Sincerely, the worst online purchasing experience I have ever had – Dieter]. I recommend you look to Dell, Amazon, Newegg, or other online retailer for your Nokia purchase. Dieter had to actually resort to ebay to find an orange Nokia N8 for me, but I am extremely pleased to tell you that I now have my OWN ORANGE NOKIA N8!

The great news for you all here is that I will be giving away my dark gray Nokia N8 to one lucky Nokia Experts reader in time for you to have a Christmas full of Xenon flash goodness. Stay tuned for the upcoming contest post and in the meantime check out my lovely new orange Nokia N8.

Best of Smartphone Experts, 14 Nov 2010

You have to check out the Fone Arena N8 review series

The Nokia N8 Starter GuideI have been reading and following an incredible review series of the Nokia N8 and wanted to make sure all of my readers here went over to check the posts out. The Fone Arena review series is listed below, but what makes these intensive series of articles even more compelling is that they are written by the likes of Rita El Khoury, Sloan Bowman, Sandeep Sarma, and Michael Hell so you are getting a wide range of opinions and experiences. I have listed these in my Definitive Nokia N8 Guide too.

Fone Arena Review Series

I also wanted to let you know that Steve Litchfield posted the All About Symbian part 6 that includes the cutting edge technology found on the N8 that you won’t see in other smartphones. These features are extremely appealing to me and are some major reasons I keep going back to my N8.

Listen to us talk about the N8 on the Mobile Sense Show

Listen to us talk about the N8 on the Mobile Sense ShowI told you I was going to be on a new podcast with Jason Harris, Jenna Gonzalez, and Sloan Bowman last week. I have been on the road and traveling quite a bit so I did not yet have the chance to circle back and let you know that you can now listen to the show. There was a technical glitch so we do not have a downloadable copy of the show and you will have to play the Ustream version (embedded below). If there are future shows, we will try to work this out and make sure you can get a copy to take with you on your Nokia device.

Listen in after the break!

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Swype and Mobbler released for the Nokia N8

Swype and Mobbler released for the Nokia N8As you might have read on my ZDNet blog, I purchased an HTC HD7 this week and have been spending a lot of time with the new Windows Phone 7 platform. While it is slick and fun to use, the battery life is not very good and there are definitely limitations in this version 1.0 product. I put my SIM back into the Nokia N8 after receiving information that the official release of Swype has come to the N8 along with a beta version of Mobbler that supports the N8. Both are now installed and working well on my N8 and my device is now much better.


About a month ago I was given access to an early beta version of Swype for the Nokia N8. It performed pretty well, but it would lag at times too and I understood it was still in beta so didn’t worry too much about what the final product would be like. I read over on The Handheld Blog that the official version of Swype for the Nokia N8 is now available and confirmed this by visiting the Ovi Store on my N8. I removed the beta version and installed the new official release and so far it is performing wonderfully.

I highly recommend all N8 owners download and try out the free Swype keyboard. You will be amazed by how accurate and functional it is on your device. It still does not work in portrait orientation and as I have stated before this is due to a required N8 update from Nokia to provide this support.


Here is one cool tip to keep in mind: slide your finger from the Swype icon in the bottom left to the Sym key to reveal some cool controls. After making this gesture you will see the controls as shown in the screenshot above with directional arrows and other controls.


In other news that also makes my Nokia N8 that much better, I was informed that Mobbler was released with support for Symbian^3. You can visit the Mobbler download page and get the 0.10(80) beta version that supports the N8. I installed it last night and it works like a champ! I am a big fan of streaming music apps and with Mobbler and my Zune Pass music I have a rocking Nokia N8!

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Nokia N8 Guide

Nokia E73 Mode Guide
Nokia N900 Guide