Archive for June, 2011

Synchronica to acquire Nokia’s operator-branded messaging business

Nokia Messaging has been a bit of a confusing service in the past, which is why I created the Nokia Messaging reference guide a couple of years ago. I have been disappointed in the current Nokia Email app and lack of full support for Gmail so when I heard today that Synchronica acquired Nokia’s operator-branded messaging business my hopes were raised that some attention would be given to making the experience better.

With this acquisition Synchronica will gain the opportunity to service more than six million active end users just in North America. Approximately 250 employees, externals, and contractors are planned to transfer from Nokia to Synchronica.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of July 2011.

Nokia USA online store now closed

I saw recently that the overseas online Nokia stores were closing, but figured the US one would stay open given that just a small number of carriers sell Nokia smartphones. However, if you go visit the Nokia USA store website you will find that it is now CLOSED. After the crazy Nokia N8 experiences I had, I have to say good riddance. You were much better off finding phones at Amazon, Newegg, Dell, and through other online retailers anyway.

This is what is posted on the Nokia USA site:

The Nokia US Online Store has been closed from June 30, 2011. Below you will find information on where to purchase a new Nokia product and/or compatible accessory and information on where to find support for your current online order from the Nokia Store.

The site lists the various questions and answers you may have regarding current orders, promotions, and service issues.

Nokia Shorts 2011 N8 film maker winner announced

It is clear that the Nokia N8 is the best cameraphone available and should hold onto that title even though T-Mobile is promoting the new myTouch 4G Slide as having the best camera on a smartphone. I use my N8 quite a bit to capture video of my daughters’ sports and other events, but need to learn how to do better so I can hang with folks that turn out videos like these taken for the Nokia Shorts 2011 video contest.

Thousands of videos were submitted and judged over a four month period and JW Griffiths, from Great Britain, was selected as the winner with his Splitscreen: A Love Story movie (embedded below). He earned a $10,000 USD prize.

Splitscreen: A Love Story from JW Griffiths on Vimeo.

Seven others were selected as finalists and all of these can be viewed on the Nokia Shorts 2011 website. These include the following videos:

1. ‘Pearls of Wisdom ‘
Jason Van Genderen – Australia
A unique, short documentary featuring ‘pearls of wisdom’ from homeless and displaced people

2. ‘The Adventures of a Cardboard Box’
Temujin Doran – UK
The escapades of one boy and his cardboard box – his own gateway to a million, fantasy adventures

3. ‘Dirt’
Joseph Marcantonio – UK
A post-apocalyptic cowboy film

4. ‘The Rider’
Josh Brooks – USA
A classic story with a twist set in the hills of Montana

5. ‘Thunk in Public’
Ryan Maples – USA
A comedy short on unfiltered thoughts, leading to awkward situations

6. Homecoming
Teemu Nikki – Finland
Humourous film featuring key props including salmon, knife and a pair of gloves

7. Daniel
Aurora Fearnley – UK
A drama fantasy about one person coming to terms with a special, mystery gift

These are great to view for motivation to capture even better movies myself. Do you capture video with your Nokia N8?

Mr. Elop shows off Nokia’s Sea Ray Windows Phone device

OK, I’ll admit I was a bit harsh on the Nokia N9 and maybe it is due to my frustration with the lack of a simple Anna update on my existing devices. How can they show something as slick as the N9 and MeeGo and not even provide the update to existing loyal customers? Anyway, I was thinking early today I would likely buy a Nokia N9 (and I still might), but when I saw the same form factor running Windows Phone as the Sea Ray I became much more excited about Nokia.

I understand that the meeting was an internal meeting and someone, either accidentally or purposely, leaked out the video where Mr. Elop showed off this slick Windows Phone device. There are still a ton of questions about the device (processor, camera, Nokia Maps, etc.) and I am sure there is a lot of work to do, but the fact that it looks to be just about the same as the N9 is promising.

Both the N9 and this Sea Ray device show me that Nokia continues to create nice hardware and I look forward to both MeeGo and Windows Phone devices. Shoot, I am still buying Symbian devices since I like what Nokia has to offer. After seeing the N9 and playing more with my Nokia E7, I also came to realize it isn’t that important to have thousands of 3rd party apps when the operating system itself provides nearly all the functionality that you really use on a daily basis.

Nokia announces the N9 as first MeeGo device, US not part of the launch

We have heard rumors of a MeeGo device coming from Nokia for some time and late last night Nokia announced the Nokia N9 MeeGo device. As much as I like Nokia products, I don’t know why they want to again have four operating systems to support with Symbian, Series 40, Windows Phone, and MeeGo. I think MeeGo will just end up being another hobby device, like the N900, and according to FoneArena the US is not a launch country so we may not even see it here until 2012.

Their press release states it will ship later this year and honestly I would rather just see Nokia devote these resources to Windows Phone or even improving Symbian rather than spending time on a phone that will appeal only to the most die hard Nokia fan who doesn’t care about smartphones being part of a complete ecosystem.

The N9 specifications include the following:

  • 1 GHz Arm Cortex A8 OMAP3630 processor
  • MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan operating system
  • Penta-band 3G radio (Yeah Nokia, why can’t anyone else do this?) at just 14.4 Mbps
  • 8 megapixel Carl Zeiss camera with dual LED flash
  • Front facing camera for video calls
  • 3.9 inch AMOLED display at 854×480 pixel resolution
  • NFC chip
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • A-GPS
  • 1450 mAh battery
  • Dimenions of 116.45 x 61.2 x 7.6 mm and 135 grams

It looks to have specs matching current devices, except for the processor and slower wireless cellular radio and in six months won’t stand out in the crowd at all. There are no buttons on the front and everything is controlled by the touchscreen interface. The N9 will come in Magenta, Cyan, and Black and the design does look beautiful with the curved Gorilla glass.

Check out some Nokia N9 resource sites for more information:

Anna update scheduled for existing devices in August

It will be just about a year after the release of the Nokia N8 when we will be getting the update that was talked about during the release. According to a post on Nokia Conversations, Anna will ship on new N8, C7, and C6-01s that are bought starting in July while the E6 and X7 already have it loaded. As you know, my Nokia Astound also has Anna and I love it! I also have my own Nokia E6 coming this week that has Anna preloaded so by the time it comes to existing devices I may no longer even have those devices.

Speaking of existing devices, I had to pass my orange Nokia N8 on to my wife since her blue one is a lemon and hangs and shuts down on her all the time. You do not want a wife with a goofy phone that you recommended and since I prefer the E7 to the N8 myself I have no problem passing it along to her.

Hopefully, Nokia can keep this August date at least since I told my wife when we bought her blue N8 back in February that Swype in portrait would be coming very soon and these update delays are killing my reputation.

Nokia E6 up on Amazon for pre-order, I bought mine on ebay

Nokia E6 up on Amazon for pre-order, I bought mine on ebayI currently have the Nokia Astound, Nokia E7, and Nokia N8, not to mention other devices like the Nokia E73 Mode and Nokia N97 Mini. I cannot find my Nokia N900 :( So then, why in the world am I considering pre-ordering a Nokia E6 from Amazon for $446?

The Eseries with front facing QWERTY was always one of my favorite form factors that I found extremely useful and functional. Nokia provided some optimal calendar and messaging experiences with the Eseries and they were all built like tanks. The Nokia E6 has that same wonderful form factor with the addition of a touchscreen and Symbian Anna OS. Here are some other key specifications that look to make this the best front facing Eseries device ever:

  • Quad-band GSM and penta-band 3G (Thank you Nokia!)
  • Symbian Anna OS
  • 8GB internal memory and microSD card slot for up to 32GB more
  • 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and 720p video capture
  • Front facing VGA camera
  • 2.46 inch 640×480 pixels touchscreen display (That’s 326 ppi which is the same as the iPhone 4 retina display.)
  • Dedicated graphics processor with OpenGL 2.0 support
  • BP-4L 1500 mAh battery
  • A-GPS
  • WiFi (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • FM radio with RDS
  • USB on-the-to support
  • 3.5mm headset jack with TV-out support
  • Both microUSB and 2mm charging ports

nokia_e6_white_left_400x400

My only real complaint with the last front facing QWERTY Eseries I tested, the Nokia E73 Mode, was the lower resolution display and this E6 fixes that with specs that sound fantastic for such a small display.

I went ahead and purchased one from Star Telecom Mobile on eBay since the tax alone for me to buy from Amazon was nearly $50 over the purchase price and they have the E6 available NOW! Stay tuned for E6 coverage here on Nokia Experts since the E6 should arrive next week.

Does Nokia deserve a break? Yes, except for the Anna update

Regular readers know I have been a long time fan of Nokia products and I still am or I would not spend my time writing here on Nokia Experts. While I am one of Nokia biggest fans, I am also a critic and point out when I think they need to step up to the plate. Rita, previously of Symbian Guru, posted on the Mobile R’n’R site that we should all give Nokia a break.

I agree with much of what Rita wrote, except I am not willing to give up on the lack of the Anna update for existing N8, E7, and C7 owners because they should have the update if there are devices shipping with it too and there are no excuses as we approach one year without the update that was promised when the N8 was released.

I do think it is ridiculous to make any judgements about the success of Nokia with Windows Phone since we have no idea when we might see a device and what that will look like with Mango or later on the devices. Like Rita, there is a place in my heart for the people of Nokia and the company itself with its Finnish heritage. I wish Nokia would have seen that Symbian needed to be refreshed earlier because I honestly still do like Symbian and am loving this Nokia E7 and Nokia Astound devices.

It’s good to see Rita is excited about Nokia and Windows Phone as I thought I was one of the few that is looking forward to two of my favorites getting together. I would LOVE to see a Nokia E7 device with Windows Phone 7.

Do you agree with Rita that Nokia deserves a break?

Apple acknowledges Nokia innovation, finally becomes a licensee

Back in late 2009 Nokia sued Apple for using their patented technologies while not paying any license fees like many others in the wireless industry were doing. Apple then countersued and acted like a child who was ticked that someone had the nerve to take action. When all the others were licensing these patents that Nokia had spent billions developing, it was pretty obvious Apple was just trying to show they didn’t have to follow the rules like everyone else. Nokia just announced that Apple has now become a licensee and lawsuits related to patent infringement are now dropped.

While Nokia’s market share is falling during this transitional phase and increasing competition from Apple and Google, they still are due recognition and payment for the billions they spent on R&D over the years as they led the world in wireless technologies. It is nice to finally see Apple realize Nokia was due such payments and will be making a one time lump sum payment followed by future royalty payments so when Apple succeeds Nokia gets a piece of the pie too. The length and financials of the agreement were not disclosed.

Ovi Store gets updated to 2.08 with app update notifications

Ovi Store gets updated to 2.08 with app update notificationsI read about the Ovi Store version 2.08 update on All About Symbian and fired up my Nokia N8 to see that the update had arrived. After signing in to the Ovi Store I saw that there was one application update available for my device, as shown in the screenshot to the right.

Getting application update notices is essential in today’s mobile world so I am happy to see it finally come to Nokia’s Symbian line. According to the guys at AAS, here is what is improved in the new Ovi Store client:

  • Users are able to review and apply updates to apps they’ve downloaded from the Ovi Store. The server now sends version numbers automatically down to the client on the phone.
  • Nokia’s algorithm for delivering ‘Top Free’ and ‘Best Sellers’ has been tweaked, to “make app and game listings more relevant for consumers”. Internal rankings are now filtered better by device and region, so that popularity in one niche won’t skew the whole.
  • Finding relevant apps has been made easier, with the addition of a “users who downloaded x also downloaded y” system.
  • Localization of S60 clients to Arabic Store clients for S60 5th Edition and S60 3rd Edition.

My new Nokia E7 also received the update the first time I launched the Ovi Store on it. I also fired up my Nokia Astound to check for the Ovi Store update and found it too had the update available so now all three of my newer Symbian devices are running the latest Ovi Store client!


Nokia N8 Guide



Nokia E73 Mode Guide
Nokia N900 Guide