I have been so happy with my Nokia N8 (and Windows Phone 7 device) that I forgot about my Nokia N900. I just received the news that SPB TV is now available for the Maemo platform so I pulled out my N900, charged it up, and installed the new software. It also gave me a chance to update other pieces of software and discover the N900 really is a fantastic piece of work.
SPB TV is the first streaming TV application I have seen for Maemo and with the integrated kickstand on the device it does give you a nice viewing option. SPB TV is available on virtually all of the mobile platforms now and offers some decent content for free. There are actually now more than 150 channels from over 20 countries. SPB Software reported that there are more than 2 million users as well.
As listed in their press release, the main features of SPB TV for Maemo include:
- Full Screen TV player with picture-in-picture mode
- Unique TV browser with fast channel launching and switching
- A wide selection of public live TV channels
- Integrated TV Guide with a list of current and upcoming TV shows
- On-screen control panel
- Video quality switcher
- Advanced Video Codec support
Most of the stations are foreign stations, but I do enjoy the Christian stations and a couple that have football and rugby coverage. Have you tried out SPB TV and if so, what do you think of it?
So the other day I posted that the Nokia N900 was able to run webOS games as shown in the video on Engadget. A reader, Kumar, submitted a comment to my post that linked to his installation guide that gives you step-by-step instructions for getting your N900 up and running. Be aware though that this process is not for the faint of heart and I haven’t personally gotten around to doing it myself yet.
I bought several games when I had a Palm webOS device and I need to check to see if there is anyway to install those games on my N900 since I technically “own” the licenses to them and am not using them at the moment.
Have any of you tried this out yet? Thanks a million to Kumar for posting the instructions and sharing them with everyone.
It looks like it is time to put my SIM back into my N900 and start messing around with the device again. I just uploaded it to the PR1.3 firmware and that went well. We now see that MeeGo 1.1 for the N900 is available so you can dual boot your N900 and check it out.
It seems this process still requires some developer skills, but we will keep an eye out for a process to share with you all. If you find out how we can do it fairly easily, then please share with the group. So now it seems you can dual boot into MeeGo or play webOS games, isn’t it great to have a Nokia N900?
I just saw the below video over on Engadget and am pretty amazed at how well the games are running. I purchased about 20 games for my Palm Pre Plus, but no longer own it and cannot use any of those games. The Engadget post shows webOS games running on the N900 and it sounds as if some enterprising developers made it work with some kind of Preenv utility. I am not sure what was done to make this happen and would love for there to be some way for us to purchase and install games on our N900 devices.
I would like to see Dungeon Hunter and H.A.W.X. on my N900. If you could play webOS games on your N900, which ones would you like to try?
I just read over on The Handheld Blog that PR1.3 for the Nokia N900 is rolling out across different regions right now. This will bring the firmware up to v20.2010.36-2 and is available over the air. I don’t have my N900 with me at the moment so I cannot confirm if it is available in the US yet, but will try when I get home tonight.
I understand the new firmware has some bug fixes, stability improvements, and support for Nokia’s Ovi Suite. It is also supposed to aid developers in dual booting their devices into MeeGo. It is doubtful that any MeeGo hardware will be coming out this year so this should give enterprising users the capability to try out MeeGo for themselves on the N900 and it is something I will be looking into on my N900 soon.
After I get my Nokia N900 updated I will look around and see if I can find any other specific updates and if an official changelog is posted I will include that as well.
I LOVE my Nokia N900 and it is saying a lot for a device if it stays in my collection for a full year or longer and I have now had the N900 for just about a year. I was disappointed to hear it wouldn’t get Maemo 6 or MeeGo, but according to a post on FoneArena the N900 may get support for dual booting Maemo and MeeGo with a PR 1.3 update in November. I don’t know if this is just someone dreaming of the best scenario for N900 owners or what, but if it happens that will make me very happy. I will probably end up getting the N9 or whatever MeeGo device comes out, but if I can try MeeGo on my N900 first that would be fantastic.
Even though I am testing out the Nokia N8 and using it almost exclusively with my T-Mobile SIM I still find my Maemo 5 Nokia N900 to be an excellent device. The service integration and web browser are awesome and today we hear that Firefox 4 beta for mobile is now available to download and install on the N900 and Android devices. This latest release is designed to increase performance and responsiveness, which is always a good thing.
You will find that Firefox Sync is included to sync browsing history, bookmarks, tabs, passwords and form-fill data so you can have a consistent experience between your PC/Mac and mobile phone. I have personally gone on to using Chrome as my preferred web browser, but still will have to try out this latest beta on my N900.
The Awesome Screen is supported in this release too. Have any readers installed it and tried it out yet?
I have talked before about using JoikuSpot on both my S60 and Maemo devices and it is one of the first apps I recommend you install on your devices. JoikuSpot turns your Nokia device into a WiFi hotspot and while there is a free Lite version, the full Premium version has no closed ports or other limitations. I received an email this morning that you can buy the Premium version for only EUR5 ($6.80) today and tomorrow.
Android 2.2 has this capability integrated into the device and I sure wish Nokia would also do this with the Symbian and MeeGo platforms moving forward. Unlike carrier locked devices though, at least you can easily add this with an inexpensive and effective application.
OK, since news is a bit slow as we approach Nokia World (you do know I will be there, right?) it is a good time to see what is cooking over at Nokia Beta Labs. We are at the tail end of the summer here in Washington State and I am finding that mobile phone photos are not turning out very well with all of the background light. I just read on the Nokia Beta Labs blog that there two new applications for the Nokia N900 that look to take the camera to the next level. The HDR Capture application is designed for those situations when you are taking a photo with an open window with light behind the subject. The Lowlight Assistant is designed to help in situations when there is light, but not enough to give you a good photo.
A couple of days ago I mentioned that Sygic sent out an email letting us all know Mobile Maps 10 was available as a free upgrade to N900 owners. I went on a short camping trip and wasn’t able to test out the latest version until last night, but shot the video embedded below and took the screenshots you see below in the image gallery. I am going to do some more extensive testing over the next couple of weeks and will post a review here when I finish checking it out. Here are some initial thoughts on my experiences, along with the video of the program in action.
What is improved?
Even though I have only spent a few hours with Sygic Mobile Maps 10 for Maemo I can tell you already that it is much improved over version 9 that I found wasn’t very useful at all. Here are the following improvements found in Mobile Maps 10:
- A new and better look and feel with default full screen mode.
- Online services for speed traps, traffic (not yet enabled), and incident reports.
- Navigation to addresses stored in your contacts database.
- Improved finger scrolling support.
- Updated maps with more detail.
- Auto & instant rotate between portrait and landscape.
As you can see in my video, I was sitting in the back seat with my Nokia N900 (in default configuration mode) held between my knees and the N900 seemed to secure a GPS signal within a minute. This time Sygic tracked my position accurately where the last time it kept jumping around on the screen and couldn’t seem to find my actual location.
The user interface was quite fluid and it was easy to navigate around the software. I jumped to Navigate to… and entered an address down in Seattle and then a couple seconds later the route was calculated and shown. You can select your country and the voice you want to use for navigation. You can change settings to customize your experience, including how you want the main navigation panel to appear as you drive around. Other settings include 2D/3D toggle, dynamic control settings, day/night control, sounds, online settings, online services, advanced settings (similar to what we say in Sygic Mobile Maps 9), planning preferences, toll charge settings, language and voice selector, and more.