Latest Symbian Foundation
As I told you a couple of days ago I won a Nokia E7 in a video contest and if you all voted for my video I sincerely appreciate it! Nokia let me choose from a silver or blue E7 and I like color so I went with the blue one. As you can see in my gallery below, I now own three of the latest Symbian^3 devices; the orange Nokia N8, silver Nokia Astound (C7), and blue Nokia E7. No matter what I may think about the response by Nokia regarding software updates you cannot argue they make some amazing hardware and the E7 has fired up my passion once again.
I will be working on my full review of the Nokia E7 as my T-Mobile SIM is back in the device after sending back the evaluation HTC Sensation 4G. Obviously, I am a fan of Nokia and Symbian or I would not write here on this site. I saw a good post on All About Symbian about the powerful and yet simple home screen we have on Symbian devices and it is honestly one of the reasons I use Symbian devices. If we could just get Anna on the E7 and N8 with the email client, web browser, and other improvements I would be happy until Windows Phone comes to Nokia. Even then, I will honestly miss many features of Symbian and plan to hold onto these three devices for quite some time.
Last month at CES Slacker Radio announced it was coming soon to Symbian devices. I just read a Tweet from the NokiaUS account and saw that Slacker Radio is now available in the Ovi Store. I popped my SIM back into my Nokia N8 and downloaded it immediately. Keep in mind, the initial download to get the software is 1.3 MB so make sure you have a solid connection or are connected via WiFi before downloading.
Keep in mind, Slacker is a service with support for those in the US and Canada so this service is only available for these two countries. I understand many other countries have Spotify so it looks like we finally get a client/service in the US before others
I have been using Slacker Radio on my Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7 devices for over a year as my primary streaming music client and find it works very well at providing just the right mix for me. I actually have a Slacker sticker on my MacBook Pro since I love the service. The great thing is that favorite stations are synced to your account so you can pick up a different smartphone and listen to your favorites on any device. I like how the client on other platforms lets you cache music for offline listening so you can load up tunes for your next flight and then stream again when you land. This offline caching feature is not yet in this new Symbian client, but we may see it in the future.
This news for Slacker Radio is timed particularly well since Last.fm is going to start charging a monthly fee to stream music.
As stated on the Ovi Store description:
Listen to free personalized radio on your Nokia phone. The award-winning Slacker Radio application gives you access to the entire Slacker music library featuring millions of songs from thousands of artists. Listen to over 130 expert programmed radio stations or create your own custom stations. Learn more about the music you hear by reading the artist bios and album reviews. Slacker Personal Radio is the best way to discover new artists and hear your favorite songs.
Basic or Radio Plus?
The free account you setup with after downloading Slacker Radio gives you full access to Slacker Radio music, but you are limited to 6 song skips per hour, per station, there are some ads, and you get no lyrics. You can upgrade to Radio Plus and pay $3.99/month to have ad free listening, unlimited song skips, complete lyrics, and ABC News Radio. On my N8 this can actually be billed through T-Mobile. I like the service so pay for the Radio Plus upgrade.
UPDATE: OK, I am using it up here in Alaska and when connected via EDGE the music streams flawlessly. However, if I switch to the task manager or another app the music pauses for 1/2 second and then starts back up again. This is going to be real annoying if I am trying to multi-task with Slacker Radio playing. Hopefully this is something they can fix easily enough and soon.
Also, don’t forget my tip that you can Zune Pass music on your N8 and get a taste of what kind of services a Nokia Windows Phone 7 device will provide.
I LOVE applications and now that the Ovi Store is good on the Nokia N8 I am downloading and purchasing more and more on my device. To celebrate the end of the year and figure out what your favorite Symbian apps are Nokia is holding a fantastic online event called the Ovi Daily App Must Have App of the Year Awards. You can vote for apps in the event from now until 31 December 2010 and by casting your vote you are entering a contest to win a Nokia N8. They will pick from all of those who correctly pick all six winning apps and that device will have those six apps. Check out the contest video below.
Apps are nominated in the following categories: Games, Social Networking, Music, Entertainment, Utilities, and Business & Productivity. Five apps are nominated in each category. I voted for my favorite apps and hope to win a Nokia N8 too.
The winning apps will be announced on 5 January 2011. Keep in mind that the apps for this year’s contest are compatible with Symbian S60 5th Edition devices because that was the main high end operating system this year so you won’t see some Symbian^3 compatible apps. This explains why I did not see Angry Birds in the game category or that would have been the easy winning selection.
Go vote now and good luck everyone. Voting only takes a couple of seconds as you choose your favorite apps in the survey and give them your email address so they can contact you if you win.
I have a rather huge audience over on ZDNet so I posted an article I have been thinking about for a while regarding the Nokia N8 and the fact that Nokia put technology and capability in it that is not matched with any other smartphone today. You can read my uncompromising Nokia N8 article and see some of the idiotic discussions that people make who have likely never even tried the Nokia N8.
I am currently using my Nokia N8 and Samsung Galaxy Tab, both on T-Mobile, and have no plans to change to anything else for the foreseeable future. The Nokia E7 does look sweet and if I do anything it will be move to that and pass my N8 to someone else in my family.
Do you agree or disagree with my take on the fabulous N8 hardware specifications and functions?
I have been participating with Kevin and James on the MobileTechRoundup podcast for a couple of years and every once in a while I get the chance to talk about Nokia. How would you like to listen to, and even participate in, a podcast where you have the chance to win a new piece of gear? Jenna Gonzalez, from My Reality Tech, came up with the idea with Jason Harris, from Tech Craver, to launch a podcast with some mobile tech experts that may develop into a regular show. On the first episode of the Mobile Sense Show, Sloan Bowman and I will be joining Jenna and Jason for one hour to talk primarily about Nokia and the N8.
- What: You are invited to join me LIVE on the debut of our Ustream event, Mobile Sense Show, where we will have an open live discussion about everything mobile! This week’s topic: NOKIA
- Who: I will be joining those mentioned above, Jason Harris of www.techcraver.com Sloan Bowman of www.sloanbowman.com & Jenna Gonzalez of www.myrealitytech.com
- When: Sunday, November 7 at 10 PM ET/ 7 PM PT
- How: You need to RSVP on the Ustream show channel. Also, if you have Facebook, make sure to RSVP that way too. Jenna is a very generous person, but you have to be present during the show on Ustream to win the fantastic prize that is planned for a givaway.
We are giving you plenty of time to plan to sit down for an hour and interact with us on the topic of Nokia and the N8 so please make sure to join us.
I don’t play a lot of console games, but since I have a smartphone with me all the time I do enjoy the occasional game on my phone. Now that Angry Birds is on my N8, I have been happily occupied with it. However, I am always on the lookout for other good games and so it was encouraging to hear that Gameloft released some of their high end games for the Nokia N8, including Asphalt 5 HD, Avatar HD, Hero of Sparta HD, Guitar Rock Tour 2 HD, and GT Racing: Motor Academy. It seems that Gameloft is now using the HD add-on to denote that these games are a premium game for these latest Symbian^3 devices. The games are all priced at $2.99 in the US so that is a killer deal for them IMHO. After checking out these games, I don’t think people can say that Symbian games lag behind other platforms any longer. I personally purchased
There are videos of each of these new Gameloft games below and the great folks at All About Symbian also put together a review of GT Motor Racing Academy.
Asphalt 5 HD
Guitar Rock Tour 2 HD
Have any of you purchased these games and if so, which is your favorite?
Last week Nokia made a couple of important announcements that I meant to cover and just became too busy to focus on what was said. One announcement was on the steps to accelerate its transfomation that unfortunately includes laying off 1,800 employees. The other announcement was very encouraging as Nokia refines its development strategy and does away with the Symbian^3 and Symbian^4 distintion and more. There are some extremely important bits of information in these announcements that should encourage all of us Nokia fans for the future, including the possibility that our wonderful Nokia N8 devices will be upgradeable for quite some time.
When it comes to Nokia strategy and their future, I look to my good friend Rafe Blandford for answers since he is the most knowledgeable person about Nokia and Symbian that I have ever met in my life. I highly recommend you go read Rafe’s article on the future of Symbian. I think you will come away from it as encouraged and excited as I am about the future of Nokia and Symbian.
I saw the news that Nokia’s N8 Social client was updated to version 1.2 on a Tweet yesterday. I went into the software update section and did not see an update so I then went in to the Nokia Social application and was prompted to update the software. I did not have a chance to put together a video or screenshots of the new version, but the gang over at All About Symbian sure did so check out all the details there.
I still think Gravity is king when it comes to social networking apps and it is worth the $10, but this Nokia Social app has gotten much better and may fit the needs for the casual social person. For one thing, you cannot connect more than one Twitter account at once, which is definitely a power user kind of thing. I also need a conversation view so I can follow what is going on.
As Rafe details, this is a major update though and the most talked about problem before, font sizes, has been addressed so that the application does look quite nice and it is great to see an update coming so quickly. It tells me there is some real promise here with this application.
One key new feature that may have me using this for Facebook is the ability to upload videos taken with the N8 directly to your Facebook account. IMHO, that is pretty major!
There are a few differences between the Nokia N8 devices shipping in the US and the Euro version I was checking out at first. One has been mentioned before and is the content provided through the WebTV app. For some odd reason we do not have CNN here in the US and I am trying to find out if we can get it. The other utility I found on my N8 is called CommuniTake. I looked around and found their website and then asked my Nokia contact what this utility was used for because after launching it a PIN was prompted for and it looked like a remote utility.
Nokia confirmed that it indeed is a remote utility that is part of a pilot program with Nokia Care here in the US. Apparently, this utility will allow Nokia Care to “take over” the Nokia N8 to try to help you solve a problem, much like the PC programs out there do. You would call into a Nokia Care center and then receive a PIN/password to activate CommuniTake and give control to Nokia Care. This utility can only be activated through Nokia Care and is not something you can try or some new service I will be providing for readers of Nokia Experts 😉
It will be interesting to find out how this program works after a few months of testing. I imagine it is being tested since AT&T will be launching some kind of Symbian^3 device in January and Nokia is probably gearing up for questions coming from AT&T customers.
I am REALLY loving this evaluation Nokia N8 device and have about 10 days left before I have to return it so I am as anxious as most of you (OK, probably not so much since I actually have one to use) to get our pre-ordered devices. The banner (included here) that is now up on Nokia USA states that the N8 devices are shipping this week. I just got off the phone with customer service and they still don’t have any idea about when that might be and just gave me the standard, “You will receive a confirmation and shipping information when your order is shipped” statement.
It is great to see so much excitement for the devices and I really wish you all had them now as well. I’ll keep working on answering your questions and posting thoughts on the device and imagine there may be even more questions when you get them too.