Latest Nseries

Is N8 Anna update coming end of August? I took action to get it now

I read that Nokia was slapping those loyal customers who have went out and purchased the N8 and other Symbian^3 devices early in the face by shipping new N8 and C7 devices with Anna preloaded. Without question, they should have first provided the update to existing owners and this whole Anna update story is disappointing to me. I also read that Anna for the N8 was leaked and available so I decided to risk it rather than wait for Nokia since my N8 was just sitting around useless anyways and now I have Anna on my N8 performing well so far.

This will void your warranty, risk bricking your device, etc. so I do not recommend any readers take these steps and just wait for Nokia to officially release it. That said, my wife’s blue Nokia N8 constantly locks up and is a piece of crap so I am going to update hers using these steps after I test it out on my orange one for a few more days. So far everything seems to be working just fine. There were a couple of Chinese apps on the N8 that I just uninstalled and so far so good. These steps are not too bad actually and didn’t require any DOS commands or anything like goofing around with my N900 did.

Any readers try this update and if so, how did it go for you?

UPDATE: Here is a page describing a new ROM version with the split screen/context sensitive keyboard and other improvements. I am going to put this one on my N8 now.

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?

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.

Fear not, coming months? Are you kidding me Nokia? Get Anna out TODAY!

Fear not, coming months? Are you kidding me Nokia? Get Anna out TODAY!The Nokia N8 was revealed back in April 2010 and released just in the nick of time in September 2010. Out of the box the browser was crippled and there was no portrait QWERTY keyboard, but we heard that a firmware update would be released in January 2011. Unfortunately, that was just the PR 1.1 update and was rather lame. We now see the release of the Nokia E6 and X7 with a statement at the end of the post, “And fear not Nokia N8, E7, C7 and C6 fans – Symbian Anna will be available for you in the coming months.”

Seriously, the coming months? So you expect people who paid a healthy chunk of cash for a decent smartphone with promised updates to get it where it should have been at launch to hold onto the device for about a year to get that update? We saw details of Anna revealed back in February and today we have the Nokia Astound, Nokia E6, and Nokia X7 all with Anna loaded out of the box. I can’t think of a rational reason why Nokia doesn’t get Anna out to existing and loyal Nokia owners of the N8, E7, C7, and C6. However, I can think of many reasons people will be jumping ship to go to other devices with treatment like this.

Granted, Anna is not a revolutionary update, but after using the Nokia Astound the QWERTY keyboard, much better email UI and appointment support, better browser, and more are enough to keep me using Symbian for several more months. My wife is ready to throw her blue N8 out the window though with constant proximity sensor failures, lockups, and no portrait QWERTY keyboard. I convinced her to get the N8 in large part because I told her Nokia would be providing an update soon. I am no longer going to tell her that and am going to start looking for a good Android device for her that she can count on.

It is lack of attention to the loyal Nokia customer that has me concerned about the future of Nokia and combined with what I have seen with Microsoft there is a lot that these companies are going to have to prove to me before I am completely sold out.

Nokia Care US video contest voting polls are open, win a N8 for yourself

Last week I posted about the Nokia Care US contest and let you know I entered with a video showing how to get Amazon Video On Demand movies and Zune Pass music on your Nokia device. Voting opened up today and runs through 24 May. If you like my video and would like to see more coverage of the Nokia Astound here on Nokia Experts please vote for my video.

To vote for my video, post this from your Twitter account:

@NokiaCareUS Amazon Video & Zune Pass on Nokia N8 #NokiaCareUSContest

You can check out all the video contest entries on the Nokia Care US YouTube site. If you don’t like my video, but like another, then please vote for it too since a vote gets you entered into a drawing for a Nokia N8 (available only to US residents).

Here is a look at my video entry again too:

Thanks everyone and best of luck to all entrants, many of them are my friends so whoever wins deserves it as there are some great tips in there.

Enter the Nokia US support video contest by 16 May

Enter the Nokia US support video contest by 16 MayNokia has been running a lot of contests and Nokia Experts readers seem to have pretty good luck at winning so I wanted to share a US-based contest going on now that has five days left to enter. The Nokia Care US contest is accepting videos that show different “How-tos” for Nokia devices in just three minutes. The contest deadline is 16 May, next Monday.

I entered the video embedded below (it was tough to cut it to 3 minutes and get all the steps in there) that shows how to enjoy Amazon Video On Demand movies and Zune Pass music on your Nokia device. I thought it was timely given that Windows Phone 7 will eventually be on Nokia hardware so using the method I described you can get a glimpse of the Zune Pass functionality on your Nokia device. My video is now in the contest playlist and next week they will Tweet out the voting start with directions on how to vote.

Voting starts 17 May and goes through 24 May so I will post again when it starts so you can all vote for my video if you think it is worthy. Voters also have a chance to win a Nokia N8 so it is in your best interest to vote as well. Remember, you can only vote once during the voting period so make it count 😉

The grand prize is a Nokia E7 and if I win I will post a review of the device here since I have yet to get a loaner eval unit and have only seen it at Nokia World last year. The runner-up prize is a Nokia Astound, which I would also love to win and would follow up here with more articles on that device.

Is your N8 clock too bright to sleep, get Nokia Sleeping Screen

Is your N8 clock too bright to sleep, get Nokia Sleeping ScreenOne thing about Nokia devices that appeals to me is the way they include the little things that just work to make your life better. For example, the always on standby clock on the Nokia N8, and other new Symbian^3 phones, is awesome. On other phones I am often tapping a button or flipping a switch to see the time and date since I rarely wear a watch and with the clock screensaver (on by default) you get this information with very little impact on battery life.

The one issue I do have with this clock screensaver is that at night when my Nokia N8 is next to my bed the clock can be a bit bright. Nokia provides a fix for this though with the Nokia Sleeping Screen utility available now on the Nokia Beta Labs site. By installing this utility you get nine new clock screensavers to choose from, with color, and the automatic capability that turns it off when your device is covered (such as when in your pocket or a bag). You set the range of time when the screensaver will turn off so you can sleep at night.

After installation you go then go to Settings >> Themes >> Screen saver to choose your clock and set the time period for night clock mode. There is no application icon or anything on your device after you install this utility so you must go to this settings area.

Have you found any other cool utilities or apps in the Nokia Beta Labs that you enjoy?

Where has Matt been? New ferry project captured with the N8

I wanted to first start out by saying I am sorry to all of you loyal Nokia Experts readers who continue to read the site. I think you all know, but I am a ship designer/naval architect in my “day job” and have been extremely busy over the last six months or so with a lot of time spent in Ketchikan, Alaska, checking over the shipyard construction of a new vehicle/passenger ferry. That ferry is just about ready to get on the run so my time is starting to get more manageable. I captured quite a few images with my Nokia N8 and included a gallery of them below so you can see what I have been up to.

I also served as the technical editor for one book, wrote another (Facebook Companion), and just started writing yet another (BlackBerry PlayBook Companion) so I am one busy guy. That said, I am making it a point to get back into writing here on Nokia Experts and getting back into the groove again. Thanks for your patience and I look forward to hearing from you all again.

Nokia N8 Guide

Nokia E73 Mode Guide
Nokia N900 Guide