Calling All Innovators North America extended, is X7 canceled?

Calling All Innovators North America extended, is X7 canceled?It was way back in September when I told you about the North American Calling All Innovators contest and how a Nokia Symbian^3 device would be coming to the US. Actually, the contest details stated that “Nokia will release a new device in the US which is compatible with apps developed for the N8 in early 2011.” While I thought it might be the N8, several people contacted me to say it was more likely the C7 with a lower price range. We then heard about a Nokia X7 device that looks similar to the N8. Pocketnow.com just posted a rumor that the X7 may be getting canceled.

Since we haven’t heard officially from Nokia yet, I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions yet on the Symbian^3 device that is supposed to be coming to AT&T in early 2011. There has actually been quite an enthusiastic response to developing with Qt and Nokia issued the following statement that extended the 10 million dollar prize contest:

Due to overwhelming response from developers adopting Qt and feedback from developers attending the Qt trainings around the world we have extended the deadline for the $10M Calling All Innovators contest to March 31, 2011.
I started working on development for Qt myself and was registered for one of the local events (other obligations prevented me from attending thought). I am trying to find the time to work on this some more, but am not sure I will be able to get any apps up in time for the contest. Are any of you readers developing for the contest?

The contest is still going on and there are LOTS of prizes for developers so even if this rumored X7 is canceled, it looks like AT&T will be getting some kind of Symbian^3 device this Spring.

What happens when you strap a Nokia N8 to a rocket?

I posted about the Nokia N8 Producers contest a couple of weeks ago and have since created three video entries, with a couple more planned before the end of the deadline. The one that carried the most risk and that I thought most people would enjoy was the one I just posted today when I strapped my orange Nokia N8 onto a custom, experimental model rocket that I built many years ago.

While I embedded the YouTube video of the launch preparation, launch of other rockets, and launch of my orange N8 below, please make sure to visit the N8 Producers official video page and Like the video since I understand that this counts for part of the judging.

I won’t give away what happens when the N8 is launched and I’ll let you check it out in the video. Make sure to watch the end since I had the video camera on the N8 turned on and captured the launch from the rocket’s perspective as well.

Do you get foreign transaction fees through the Ovi Store?

Do you get foreign transaction fees through the Ovi Store?When the Nokia Ovi Store launched I was extremely disappointed with it and recommended people stay away. As I recently wrote, the Ovi Store is quite good on Symbian^3 and I have been buying quite a few apps and games lately. I just went and checked the Bank of America credit card account I have tied to my Ovi account and saw foreign transaction fees attached to every Ovi Store purchase I made in the last month or so. Is this an issue with this bank or are others in the US seeing these foreign transaction fees too?

The amounts are small (2.75%) with a $1.99 app costing me $2.18 with tax plus $0.06 for the transaction fee, but it is the principle of the thing that bothers me.

I went into the Ovi Store on my N8 and tried to setup carrier billing, but it stated that this was unavailable at this time. I then added my PayPal MasterCard and made a purchase of the UNO HD game. So far, it looks like PayPal doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee so this may be a Bank of America issue, which doesn’t surprise me given their history with me.

Ovi Daily App announces six 2010 software contest winners

Back in mid-December I let you know about the Ovi Daily App Must Have Apps contest and I was informed that Nokia has announced the winners and are working on notifying the winner of the N8. The N8 winner was selected from the group of people who correctly picked the six winning apps and it was definitely not me.

The six winning apps were as follows:

  • Game: Doodle Jump
  • Business/Productivity: Mobile Documents
  • Entertainment: Touchnote Postcards
  • Music: Shazam
  • Social networking: Gravity
  • Utilities: Joikuspot WiFi Hot Spot
I picked 4 out of 6, but missed the Mobile Documents and Touchnote Postcards apps. I actually just installed Mobile Documents thanks to Rita’s recommendation, but have never tried the Touchnote Postcards app.

Did any readers pick all six of these correctly?

Have a Nokia N8? Check out Rita’s 10 steps post

Have a Nokia N8? Check out Rita's 10 steps postRemember Rita El Khoury from Symbian Guru? Well, she and Ricky Cadden have a site called Mobile R’n'R where they make a post every Monday on something mobile related. This week Rita posted a fantastic post for Symbian owners called 10 Steps to Make Sure Your Symbian Experience is Enjoyable and even though I have been using Symbian for years I discovered a few helpful tips and apps myself.

I tried using the Nokia Situations utility and it does a pretty good job, but I decided to give the Nokia Bots utility a try instead based on what Rita wrote about it. I don’t theme my orange Nokia N8 at the moment since I have an updated version of SPB Mobile Shell 3.7 that fixed that calendar bug I wrote about.

I have Gmail working fairly well for me now with the integrated email client, but it took several tries to get it to this point. I heard about Mobile Documents before, but never knew it handled email so I went and installed it on my N8 as Rita recommended and look forward to trying it out.

I completely agree with the Opera Mobile, Gravity, and Nokia Maps 3.06 recommendations. A couple other apps she recommended that I haven’t yet tried and just downloaded include WhatsApp, Socially, and the new Nokia Big Screen utility. The Nokia N8 is an excellent device (my wife still hugs me regularly in appreciation of her blue N8) and with amazing tips like this you can make it work just how you want it to.

Do you have any steps or apps to add to Rita’s thoughts?

CES 2011: Slacker Radio brings streaming music to Symbian via Qt

CES 2011: Slacker Radio brings streaming music to Symbian via QtThose of us Nokia fans in the US have been bummed out with all of the overseas talk of Ovi Music and Spotify. We do have Mobbler (Last.fm support) for the Nokia N8, but it is always good to have options. On my Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7 devices I have been using the excellent Slacker Radio service and rather excited to reveal that Slacker is coming to Symbian^3 in February. Yes, us Nokia N8 owners in the US will finally get the ability to use Slacker Radio on our devices.

The Slacker Radio for Nokia client will support the following features:

  • Music library featuring millions of songs
  • High-quality stereo playback from any available wireless connection
  • Create custom artist stations based on artists or songs
  • Over 130 professionally programmed and customizable genre stations
  • View artist biographies and photos
  • View album art and read reviews
  • Rate songs as favorites
  • Ban songs and artists from stations
SlackerLogoThe Slacker Radio application will be available for free in February. It was developed using the Qt application development framework and should run on all Symbian^3 devices.

It is encouraging to see Slacker coming to Symbian and now I have my hopes set on Amazon or Barnes & Noble bringing their ebook clients to Symbian too.

SPB TV released for Nokia N900 and Maemo 5

SPB TV released for Nokia N900 and Maemo 5I 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?

Have a Nokia N8 and want to fly?

Have a Nokia N8 and want to fly?I have always wanted to be an astronaut and almost applied for a mission engineer position when I was in the USCG and they were looking for engineering officers, but I really did not want to spend the rest of my life living in Houston. There is no an opportunity for me to get a taste of space with a grand prize of a Zero Gravity Flight through the Nokia N8 Productions contest. I see that this has been going on for nearly two weeks and I just now caught wind of it so I am sorry to all you readers for my tardiness.

If you have a Nokia N8 and want to fly then I encourage you to enter this contest now. If you don’t have a Nokia N8, then you can actually submit your video idea and get a chance for a loaner to use for the contest. I have a couple of ideas for videos and plan to start shooting very soon so keep an eye on that site for my videos and I hope you enjoy them.

Tracy and Matt post a detailed and fair Nokia N8 review

Tracy and Matt post a detailed and fair Nokia N8 reviewIt seems that those who have used Symbian love the N8 while there are many in the media who rarely use Symbian and tend to slam the N8. Thus, I was pleased to read a very fair and balanced review over on Tracy and Matt’s site. Overall, they really liked using the Nokia N8 and pointed out some good apps and aspects of the device to consider.

A part from the 10-second review section that summarizes the article is as follows:

  • Summary: A fantastic new operating system that is a long overdue update for Symbian, the hardware is superb on this phone also and I would have to say that very little disappoints.
  • Best of: Camera, Build Quality, AMOLED screen, Battery life
  • Worst of: OVI Store, buttons a little flimsy, weighty
I have to say I am jealous of those who can use Spotify on their N8 and wish we would get Slacker Radio or even Spotify support here in the U.S.

Deal alert: Nokia N8 available for just $399

Deal alert: Nokia N8 available for just $399Are you looking for a fantastic last minute gift? I just read over on PhoneArena.com that you can get a Nokia N8 on the Nokia USA store for just $399 after the sale and special coupon code. You can see the regular holiday sale price is $449 (down from $549) and then PhoneArena.com stated you can use the coupon code noknow2010 to knock another $50 off the price. $399 is a great deal for the super powerful Nokia N8 and if you were on the fence about picking one up this looks like the time to do it. Shoot, I am even thinking about it for one of my other daughters who is looking for a new device.


Nokia N8 Guide



Nokia E73 Mode Guide
Nokia N900 Guide