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Archive for May, 2010

Video: Nokia N8 Ad – Nokia’s N8 Foosball Fever – Greatest match ever played?

A new Nokia N8 ad has popped up complete with several interactive behind the scenes and tricks.

The theme continues the whole “it’s not the technology, it’s what you do with it” and in this ad, we see the N8 recording HD and showing HDMI out on a big screen TV.

Whilst it would have been cool for the entire ad to be shot on the N8, the behind the scenes suggest otherwise (with that big bulky camera – as well as the fade focus in recording which N8 isn’t capable of)

Expect some more videos from Nokia showing off the N8. There’s an even cooler one coming up.

All about Symbian

Anyone noticing a resemblance between the N8 videos? (I have this thing for similar faces)…

Categories: Nokia, Nseries, Symbian, Video Tags: , , , ,

Video: Skype Video Calling on N900

May 30, 2010 1 comment

Titanas demonstrates a new inbuilt feature of Skype Video Calling that came with the new N900 firmware.

Previously, video calling was only capable with google-chat – and you couldn’t initiate video calls, only receive them.

[YOUTUBE=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCGenvooc6s]

Categories: Maemo, Nokia, Nseries, Video Tags: , , ,

Video: Nokia N8 USB On The Go tutorial

May 29, 2010 10 comments

Hot off the press, ahmedp800 posts another N8 video for your enjoyment.

This time showing off a neat new feature of USB OTG. The ability to access memory cards, external hard drives and even OTHER PHONES (e.g. Nokia C5 in this video) by attaching them to your Nokia N8.

This is super useful as you can completely bypass a computer for file transfer and even forget about switching memory cards.

USB OTG makes it easier to transfer files on the go. With larger powered hard drives, they’ll need to be hooked up to the mains. Imagine the use of larger external hard drives filled with your videos. No need to transfer to N8, just connect with N8 and connect N8 to your TV via TV out or HDMI. Instant Media centre.

ahmedp800 Via @rissvi

Video: MeeGo Q&A with Alberto Torres, Nokia EVP, MeeGo Computers at #openmobile

May 29, 2010 17 comments

On Thursday (Day Two of Open Mobile Summit) thanks to Nokia and WOMWorldNokia, Iain, Sergejs and I had the privilege of an unscheduled Q&A with Nokia’s EVP, MeeGo Computers: Alberto Torres who had just finished a Keynote Speech on “Transforming Nokia” and a panel on “Platforms Vs Networks”.

Video is below along with a transcript. We weren’t in the best place for sound recording so some things in (parentheses) are those where I’m not sure what’s been said. Feel free to add corrections to transcript in comments.

Key points:

  • MeeGo phone being announced this year
  • MeeGo phone will push the boudaries of processing power
  • MeeGo phone will be a very high end product
  • MeeGo is an opportunity to create something well beyond what others are doing
  • MeeGo phone is step 5 of 5 and intended for mass market
  • MeeGo phone will be something everyone wants to own
  • MeeGo phone will try to satisfy all needs into one plate
  • MeeGo phone will be capacitive, more stylish and more beautiful with simpler UI that average users will find as equally compelling as tech leaders.
  • MeeGo has potential to be something deeper than typical smartphone
  • Maemo apps not directly backwards compatible with MeeGo
  • Nokia N8 will be Nokia’s flagship in a few months
  • All future flagships will be built on MeeGo
  • MeeGo phone will be on Nseries (not rumoured Sseries)
  • MeeGo will have higher experience level than Symbian
  • Symbian^3 and MeeGo will have certain minimum base level specification to ensure apps created on one device works in another.
  • N8 is first step in reclaiming momentum at high end.
  • MeeGo is the next step.

Iain: I’ve a question that kinda relates to your talk earlier. You talked a lot about encouraging developers, you feel this is important for expanding Nokia ecosystem -that’s great-you talked a lot about the developing markets. You’re selling millions of devices, but they want services on their devices not just the phone. But what you didn’t talk about is the (gap?). How are you going to encourage developers who are predominantly developing for high end devices in the developed world, how are you going to educate them or enable them to target this massive developing market that you can quickly put devices in the hands of millions of people

Alberto Torres: So two things. First of all we believe we need to encourage those developers that are building for the high end to build for Nokia too. So we are not just tryign to say “Ok the high end guys (control losing me out?)”. We believe that particularly with MeeGo we have a chance to attract top developers in the world. But then I think there’s a couple of aspects interesting for us as well is that one, we are building quite a sort of regional, almost sort of local network to support developers in different places.

Iain: So, my follow up question: Are you supporting development in these local markets:

AT: Absolutely, and I think also at the same time we’re going to create some (event) in places like Silicone Valley, and there’s a lot of people from certain communities; a lot of people from India, a lot of people from Israel, and some of these people also want to develop for the phone market. So we are having first focus on all best developers but then really taking a role for localized focus. Then the third thing is perhaps, beyond regional developers, I think you’ll see even this afternoon, this app wizard. I think the App Wizard is one example to bring essentially who have a website and want to (monitor?) that website without knowing how to program.

Jay: We have some Questions from the community: [@TheMeeGoBlog] Considering work on MeeGo UX has already started, will the MeeGo phone from Nokia be announced this year?

AT: Yes.

Jay…OK. Nice and short. Fantastic [I expected the line of – we can’t comment on that.]

Sergejs: Is the recent restructuring in Nokia mean that there will be a shift again from services and software back to the devices?

AT: Not necessarily. I think what we are, what was done already with the solutions unit that was created eight months ago is now taking the next step to really recognize that the majority of the value that we’ll provide with services is going to be delivered through our devices. So they have to be working together very closely. And I thin kthere’s going to be more focus into integrating the devices and services to be more similar

S: Is there gong to be an increase in numbers of high end devices..

AT: Absolutely

S:..Like now I only see Nokia release more and more  mid tier Symbian smartphones to developed markets. Is there going to be like a shift to the higher end again?

AT: Absolutely, without a doubt. We recognize that we have a lost some momentum in the high end. It’s not necessarily about the number of devices but just getting those devices to become as good as selling in very competitive volume, so that’s very much the focus. I think the N8 is the first step and MeeGo in my mind is the next step.

I: I have a question that leads on from that. Going back to something you said in your presentation where you mentioned constraining the device roadmap to reduce fragmentation. Does that mean it’s going to be artificially imposed as it were (sling?) on the limit to ensure that developers aren’t coding for functionality that’s only in a subset of hteir handsets or like the wiindows phone approach where they’ve said there’s this minimum hardware specs in windows phone. Are we going to see a minimum baseline..

AT: Absolutely, I think essentially what’s going to happen. If you think about Symbian today, the strength of Symbian has been the ability to create so many different variations but from a developer perspective this is a bit too much, but then you have different screen sizes, some of them have certain buttons some have other buttons, so it’s quite difficult to write an application that works in more than one or two devices. So I think what we’re doing already with Symbian^3 is all the devices that are going after N8 are essentially going to have a minimum configuration…

I:…Nice big nHD screen..

AT: ..exactly, the screen is going to be within a certain limit so you can scale it rapidly so you won’t have to rewrite everything, The capability, the memory is going to have certain limits. I think that’s going to be exactly the same as MeeGo The limit that we will have – so we will set the experience level higher on MeeGo – it’s the same approach with Symbian.

I: So would you restrict, so from a personal view, I like Nokia phones because of the high technology in them now, excellent cameras, things like this, N95 for example – successful as it’s so much better than anything else. Is there going to be an artificially high limit, an artificial sling on the limit on the limit of technology on the devices because you don’t want devices that were so vastly different from one another…So to give a hypothetical example. Arm are currently trialling a dual processor cortex chip right?

AT: Yes..

I: So twice as powerful as N900..if you’re doing a phone like that now and someone developing something that would run on that but wouldn’t run on anything else because it doesn’t have the power, are you going to be artificially capping…

AT: No, no, not at all. Absolutely not. I think we need to keep at the forefront of innovation. Particularly with MeeGo we are going to be pushing  the envelope for processing power. But at the same time, it’s just a matter of finding the right balance. You don’t want to introduce at the same time  8 devices and all of them so many small differences that make it very difficult to develop applications. But at the same time you have to evolve. Every time you risk capabilities you leave something behind.

J: Will MeeGo be on Nseries or on a rumoured other series [Sseries]

AT: Yes. Today we have N900 which is Maemo Nseries..

J: Also, when people think of high end devices a lot of the trend now has not been to think of Nokia. Will MeeGo change that so that when they think of high end smartphones….

AT: Absolutely, I think Symbian^3 is already a big step to change that. But I think MeeGo in my mind is the opportunity to really put something out there that is well beyond what others are doing.

I: Actually it just made me think of another related question, because currently, Adobe and Apple are having this big fight about Flash and Adobe are saying we can have Flash on phones. You can have Flash on a N900, why aren’t Adobe shouting about the N900 on your behalf

AT: That’s a good point, that’s a very good point. I know those guys so I’ll make that point to them…

I: There’s a lot of publicity

J: Will MeeGo claim the high end for Nokia, because at the moment Symbian is the one thatclaiming the high end, Symbian (phone) is the one that’s regarded as the flagship, e.g. N97 is called the flagship even though N900 has more power. Will the flagship now when MeeGo phone is released, will the flagship title be given to the MeeGo phone

AT: The intent is to build the flagship product on MeeGo. But I mean of course in the mean time we have a lot of really good products coming out on Symbian. And certainly the N8 will be our flagship in the next few months. But I think it’s very much clear that MeeGo has the potential of creating something that’s deeper than you find on a typical smartphone.

S: Is that going to be aknowledged though as flagship or is it going to be a true all in one solution of everything in combination of everything that’s best in Nokia

AT: Absolutely, I think it’s important – I try to make a point that this will be a very high end product or will be at a high end position but it’s not going to be..the N900 today I think it’s a relatively niche product for technology leaders The intent is not to do just that. We want to create a product that everybody will want to own. And it’s really sort of satisfying all those needs in one plate.

I: Sorry – I just have a brief follow up question to this: So does this mean we’re going to see Eseries devices running MeeGo?

at: We don’t have..we’ll have to see how it goes. It’s not really, for the moment on the enterprise side, particularly with collaboration with Microsoft, there’s really good plans for Symbian for easier devices. B ut you know, of course, who knows,

J: Last year at Nokia World, the N900 was said to be step 4 out of step p5 in the path to..

AT: Yes..

J:…Is the MeeGo phone going to be finally step 5 of 5.

AT: Yes. MeeGo one, I mean we’re not going to do another separate step.

J: So this is the final one ready for the mass market.

AT: Yes.

S: I’ve got a question for Maemo, so how will Nokia handle the (transition) of existing Maemo community to that of MeeGo.

AT: I think it’s happening as we speak. We are very much, there’s already quite some overlap in Maemo Community, Mobilin community. I think their architechtures are very similar. I think it would be natural for the community to move to MeeGo where there’s a lot more opportunities there.

S: Is the Maemo apps going to be backwards compatible with MeeGo.

AT: Not necessarily. Our simple answer is no. We might have some applications that could be transfered but we’re not looking at that capability.

S: It will need additional work from developers for it to work.

AT: Exactly, and we’re not going to keep the comparability.

S: So I have this question: What is your phone.

AT: At the moment I have two actually. I have a N900 and E72. And I’m also trialling a N8.

S. So maybe you won’t be able to talk about N8, but maybe you can talk about what you like and dislike about Nokia N900.

AT: I think that the N900- I’m going to have to go after this one – what I really like about the N900 is so many things. I think the multitasking as an element to the UI is very powerful. I think the browsing experience is excellent. I think the speed that it works is very good. I think there are some things I don’t like so much. The resistive screen, the touch side is not as good as it needs to be. Obviously it will be better in MeeGo. The interface is good but you can get lost occasionally on that. And I think again, it was really developed for technology leaders. We are going to make it (MeeGo) just a touch simpler so your average consumer can find it equally compelling. That has to be the key thing. And then the other bit are two things. Make it more stylish and more beautiful.

Video: Nokia N8 and REAL multitasking

May 29, 2010 3 comments

ahmedp800 has posted a new video demonstrating REAL multitasking on the Nokia N8. Something Maemo and Symbian users have been enjoying for several years now.

The Symbian multitasking interface as you know has been given a slight face lift. You have snapshots of running apps instead of just icons and they’re aligned in a linear fashion. This means scrolling from left/right to switch between apps.

Although I much prefer the brilliant Maemo 5 interface (of live windows, 12-16 viewable at the same time, and changing in size to accodomate number of windows open) this may be better for those who are used to alternatives of “my first smartphone”. This interface is a little bit more obvious to those not used to multitasking on a phone and with the larger windows it’s easier to recognize exactly what other tasks/apps you have running.

  • In this video you’ll see the N8 holding well with 15 applications simultaneously.
  • You’ll also notice some slight UI effects when switching to an open app instead of just blandly opening that app. It’s a welcome improvement but I’d like to see much more.
  • To close apps, you have a big fat X button (no gesture/swipe away WebOS stylie) but this should be obvious enough to people.(Maybe an advantage over Maemo as some had found the smaller X difficult to press.)

ahmedp800

Video: 7 minute hands on video with Nokia N8 – Part 1 of 3

May 28, 2010 8 comments

Nokia Conversations has published the first out of 3 hands on video overviews with the Nokia N8. Go check it out.

Based on the RSS this video may have been made about a week ago (20th March on RSS)

  • Note that this N8 has C0 on the front. Newer N8s actually are now branded “N8”
  • Dissolve animation from homescreen to 2×6 grid menu
  • Album art/coverflow scrolling is fast
  • Conversation view for messaging, new keyboard demo with smilies.
  • I don’t get why scrolling is considered “intuitive”
  • Ugly god forsaken sidebar in browser is still there and doesn’t seem to have manual appear/disappear
  • Heavy flash seems to be rendering quite well
  • Ovi Maps demo

[YOUTUBE=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rER1fnBrJg]

Categories: Nokia, Nseries, Symbian, Video Tags: , , ,

Pics: Nokia N8 spotted again at #openmobile and showing off 3D gaming with Need For Speed Shift and Sims 3.

May 28, 2010 8 comments

Rendered video demoes - obviously not convincing enough! Also note, this is of course stretched and out of proportion. You guys want real 3D gaming shown on N8 right? Scroll down below.

Click here to skip to the bottom if you want to get straight to the juicy bits. In short – I was shown on a real N8, NFS and Sims 3 which looked miles better than the video clips we saw in the video trailer.

Thanks to @WOMWorldNokia for taking me to Open Mobile Summit (have a few upcoming posts on this). Although most of my posts so far being on the N8, the event of course was not about the N8. N8 was not part of the programme, but as a Nokia fan, it was impossible not to notice it (especially in shiny green!).

I want to also thank the two N8 owners for demonstrating the N8 to a blogger which was probably NOT what they were expecting in doing at OMS.

___________

Spotting N8 number 2

On Wednesday, we saw a fantastic trailer type video demo from EA showcasing some fantastic 3D gaming on the Nokia N8. I should have filmed Jurjen Söhne, from EA, who was giving some great insight into the fantastic potential of gaming on the N8, but admittedly was in awe of the advert demo.

However, you some were a little doubtful given the N97 fiasco of video demos supposedly bringing something spectacular but in reality not delivering. I must admit – I also wanted to see proof on handset.

Well, yesterday afternoon whilst at the Nokia corner chatting/brainstorming about what questions we would ask Nokia’s EVP, MeeGo computers – Alberto Torres (upcoming post!) I saw another Nokia N8 at the corner of my eye.

This time, even more exciting as it belonged to Jurgen who was demoing some EA games to Nokia’s Nisha Malhan.

Nokia corner. Taking a test snap, and some moments later, Jurgen arrives and pulls out an N8!!

Will we get a second Nokia N8 Demo?

I cheekily approached both and asked if it would be OK to take photos. After some talk on what was OK to publish and what wasn’t – I got the go ahead from Zohe Mustafa, Nokia Marketing (and I think another Nokia staff member but I forgot their name).

Video footage I have taken won’t be allowed for publishing but photos were OK. Nokia have been very strict across all media/blogger encounters to prevent any live images of the OS and especially NOT video as  Nokia want everyone to see Symbian^3 on N8 when it’s properly buffed and polished.

This is understandable given the early lashings N8 and Symbian^3 got from a proto review. Sometimes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and only when you have the full and final piece will the user experience be greatest. That’s what I’m hoping for, at least.

The short clip showed Need For Speed Shift looking glorious on the Real N8, MUCH BETTER THAN THE VIDEO DEMO!!! But alas, I can’t publish that. Despite it being fantastic news for Nokia and potential N8 consumers, Zohe said that they still have a few things to sort out and improve.

I was very pleased to hear of these (Nokia imposed) high standards expected of the user experience with N8. Zohe mentioned that Nokia have learned from their mistakes with N97.  Nokia seems to paying much attention to detail to ensure that people handing over hard earned cash for N8 get the mobile experience they deserve (ha, and not the frustration that we N97 users have been subjected to :p).

Anyway, enough walls of texts, this is what you clicked to see: (Note, Jurgen’s N8 is a “proto” version with C0 and not N8 branding like the first N8 I spotted at Open Mobile Summit.

NEED FOR SPEED SHIFT on Nokia N8

This looked completely beautiful on the N8. Knowing I couldn’t publish videos and that time with N8 was short due to imminent arrival of Alberto Torres, I took as many snaps as I could (so some snaps maybe blurry as I didn’t give sufficient autofocus time).

Jurgen controlled NFS with the accelerometer and showed off his excellence in upside down driving (to demo the in game experience)!

The cinematics looked nice, but will the game be this good?

Loading screen showing instructions. Uh oh – it’s plain 2D. Nothing glitsy. Will the game visuals fail to impress?

Hell no!

It looks AWESOME! Easily the best looking game I had ever seen on a Symbian phone (Maemo 5 showed promise with Bounce Evolution, Zen Bound and Jurassic Roller Coaster 3D)

SIMS 3 on the Nokia N8

I was really pleased to see SIMS 3 loading full screen.

I had some apprehension that due to the screen ratio of the game originally developed on iPhone, there would be some black bars as suggested by the trailer demo. But no, it runs in full screen.  Jurgen did mention in our first meeting that these weren’t just ports, but were tailor made to take advantage of what the N8 has to offer. So, higher resolution, true widescreen gaming!

Did you know that 4/5 top grossing applications in Apple’s app store were EA titles, the number one of which was Sims 3?

I’m a big fan of the Sims franchise – the first iteration got me hooked straight away. Now you’ve got the latest version coming soon to a Nokia N8 that’s as visually delightful if not more than the iPhone competition. We do of course, already have Sims 3 at Ovi store but only a stripped down, 1990s looking version.

That was as far as I got, I didn’t get the chance to see in game but I think there’s enough evidence here to show N8 can and will pull off some graphically demanding games.