Archive for November 8, 2010

Video: Armin Van Buuren gig and Nokia N8 party in Dubai (Filmed by Nokia N8 – Crazy Low Light Win)

November 8, 2010 13 comments

Below is a video of Armin Van Buuren, Dutch Trance DJ and Producer and his army of fans in white at a N8 party in Dubai.

We’ve seen Nokia N8 videos many times before but this one is ridiculously good quality in low light.

Great N8 clips + some really good editing + switch track audio = excellent result.

woops wrong video:


Nokia taking Symbian development back in house, Foundation remains to control licensing and patents

November 8, 2010 24 comments


As mentioned before in the press release Jay posted, and has been rumored in the blogosphere for quite a while, it seems that Nokia and the Symbian board have taken a decisive step towards improving the Symbian OS, speeding up time to market, improving developer and OEM relations and at the same time cut out some of the bureaucracy that has held Symbian development up for so long. This move was hinted at when Lee Williams stepped down from the Symbian Foundation as executive director and was replaced by Tim Holbrow (former CFO) with rumors circling that winding down operations would commence imminently.  It seems that such a guess was not far off the mark.

I’m certain that a large percentage of people in the blogosphere are now shouting at the top of their voices that Symbian is dead, Nokia is down the toilet and are doomed and that Symbian has no place in the smartphone market (Engadget commenters are truly  remarkable no?). But I’d have to respectfully say that they are patently wrong. Below I’ll outline a few of the reasons why this change has happened and what the future may/may not hold for Symbian development in light of current news.

One of the most telling statements concerning Symbian development were the announcements of Sony Ericsson (SE) and Samsung, that they were discontinuing Symbian development and had no plans for the continued support and/or production of Symbian devices. Looking at those two announcements in a vacuum one might be inclined to think that two of the three major OEM  supporters and Foundation contributors (not dissing Fujitsu here) had withdrawn from an OS that was seemingly about to fail miserably.

Looking at the situation in context however, yields a starkly different story. Having tracked code package submissions to the Symbian Foundation from the fledgling days of S^2 & S^3, I’d yet to see any significant contributions of code by either company. While that’s not to say they didn’t provide any monetary support, the fact that the entire idea of the foundation was to distribute work amongst large companies with significant resources in the hope of faster iterating the OS than any single company could possibly achieve. Unfortunately for the Symbian Foundation, this was not to be, and Nokia has and will continue to contribute the VAST majority of the code.




Worse still, Android came along whereby OEM’s could get a free ride in essence, contributing little if any code, little if any monetary support while getting an OS that they could basically flash onto the base hardware provided by Qualcomm and run with it. While that’s not to say that this is a “bad” approach, in some ways it leaves the OEM’s at the mercy of Google’s whim and provides no real benefit, in the long term at least, for OEM’s looking to differentiate, grow profits significantly and control their own fates.


Android also had the benefit of provided an app store that integrated directly into the OS in the form of Android Marketplace, something that Symbian had categorically lacked before 2008. When Nokia came out with the Ovi Store in 2009, it became clearer still to all OEM’s involved with Symbian that not only could they not compete with Nokia in terms of hardware costs, reliability and scale, but they also couldn’t compete in terms of value added services to Symbian OS.  Worse still, Symbian Horizon, which would have been the go-to application repository for Symbian applications for all OEM’s, failed spectacularly leaving Samsung and SE high and dry with regards to added services, through no fault of the Symbian Foundation of course.

NB. Symbian in it’s base implementation comes without mapping applications and application stores


Having realized that there would be no financial benefit in sticking around, both companies decided to jump ship to an OS where all the work was done for them and they simply needed to toss an OS on some hardware and meet some nebulous requirements concerning the use of Google services and market and they’d be just peachy.



The second most telling statement made was by Nokia where they said that they had no intentions of sticking to the large-scale generational changes to the Symbian platform formerly known as S^3, S^4.x , S^5 etc and that they would be sticking to continuous, smaller scale improvements to what they would call “Symbian” with most recent devices getting the changes initially slated for the generational S^4 release. Furthermore, they publicly stated that Symbian development would give way to Qt development, in essence both dog-fooding and relegation of Symbian C++ to legacy status.

In hindsight, these events in addition to the rapid pace of development of both software and hardware in the mobile sphere has led to the predicament the Foundation has faced, and thusly the decision made in the conference call and board meetings today.




On the bright side of course, SEE2010 begins tomorrow with the MeeGo conference slated for the following week. Here’s to hoping for at least SOME positive news and seeing positive strides being taken in both domains.  Keep your browsers pointed here for more news on both Expos in coming days.


Video: @janole and Gravity’s pretty awesome Portrait keyboard.

November 8, 2010 16 comments

I’m sure a lot of us here have heard, at least at some point, about the awesome social networking client gravity. The new client being developed for S^3 devices primarily, seems to be taking a departure from the default text input options available for S^3.  A key bit of work being undertaken by @janole (creator of gravity and one-man-dev army 🙂 ) is to

1. Do away with the separate text box

2. Provide a decent QWERTY keyboard

3. Provide a transparent area where users can input text, see the messages being replied to and interact with the non-text input areas.

The following video is a demonstration of the keyboard in its current iteration and I must say, it’s quite the looker. My only issue here is the lack of consistency that users will likely find when going between apps on their phones.  Opera mobile for example provides its own, distinct input options while in the browser as opposed to utilising the  default option (for good reason mind you). And now gravity is about to do the same. When Nokia does finally implement an improved input method, what will users think and feel when forced to use a myriad of different options to input the same text. Then, what of the different styles looks and feels of applications which while they may provide great user experience lead to inconsistencies that may frustrate the end-user.

Personally, if I was in charge of Symbian development, I’d take a long hard look at what Jan Ole Suhr is doing and either buy the implementation from him, or work with him to improve the current input options. Because if I’m honest, his looks a sad sight better than the one’s we’ve seen leaked recently.

Video can be found here


Cheers on the gravity keyboard tips Adnan and Fahoum

Categories: Nokia, Video Tags:

Nokia E7 Scheduled Shipping Date: December 10 (2010:p)

November 8, 2010 11 comments

Early today @Nokia tweeted that:

“E7 is scheduled to ship starting from Dec10. Exact availability varies country-by-country”

UPDATE: Mark at TheNokiaBlog says Dec10 Means December 2010. Not December 10 2010. So for all we know another end of the month type trick to still be within the said time frame. Like N8 shipping 3rd Quarter – at the very last day of the third quarter – though still not for sale in  many areas.

Hopefully in time for Christmas sales eh?

It’s not as quick to  release as the C7  or C6-01 but this is the first TOUCH Symbian^3 phone and the first ever TOUCH Eseries phone (with the biggest touch screen on a Nokia phone). So expect some major software tweaking to be going on behind the scenes. Hey, at least it’s not the same wait as N8.

It should be well worth the wait – absolutely stunning 4″ CBD AMOLED display, the best keyboard ever on a Nokia, Rugged N8-esque design.

Whilst we wait for the Nokia E7 here are some E7 related posts you might have missed:

Thanks to webby for the heads up

Categories: Eseries, Nokia, Symbian Tags: , ,


November 8, 2010 5 comments

It seems now doing full circle and completing expected changes. By March Nokia will be in charge of Symbian Development. Stronger sign of commitment to Nokia’s own OS and quicker updates for the consumer maybe? Soz late – was in lecture.
From the Press Release in the email:

Nokia commits to make the Symbian platform available under an alternative open model:

AMSTERDAM, SYMBIAN EXCHANGE & EXPOSITION (SEE), NOVEMBER 8, 2010 – Following a strategy review, the board of the Symbian Foundation has today decided to transition the role of the non-profit organisation. The foundation will become a legal entity responsible for licensing software and other intellectual property, such as the Symbian trademark. Nokia has committed to make the future development of the Symbian platform available to the ecosystem via an alternative direct and open model.

“The founding board members took a bold strategic step in setting up the foundation, which was absolutely the right decision at the time,” says Tim Holbrow, executive director, Symbian Foundation. “There has since been a seismic change in the mobile market but also more generally in the economy, which has led to a change in focus for some of our funding board members. The result of this is that the current governance structure for the Symbian platform – the foundation – is no longer appropriate.

“However, the platform enjoys strong support from some of the largest and most innovative device creators in the world. And we continue to see solid momentum behind the platform, with 25 percent of all Symbian-based devices shipping in the last 12 months.*

“I’m immensely proud of the work we’ve done at the Symbian Foundation. Perhaps most notably, in the last year we’ve delivered the biggest open source project ever in releasing the entire Symbian codebase under an open source license, and we did it four months ahead of schedule.”

The first phase of the foundation’s transition will involve a reduction in operations and staff numbers. By April 2011, the Symbian Foundation will be governed by a group of non-executive directors tasked with overseeing the organisation’s licensing function.

“Nokia remains committed to Symbian as the most used smartphone platform around the world,” said Jo Harlow, senior vice president, Smartphones, Nokia.  “The Nokia N8 generated the highest online pre-orders we’ve ever experienced and we have a family of Symbian^3 smartphones including the Nokia N8, Nokia C7, and Nokia C6-01 which are available now, as well as the Nokia E7 which is expected to ship before the end of 2010. Nokia expects to sell more than 50 million Symbian^3 smartphones.”The Symbian Foundation leadership team will work together with Nokia to ensure that the reduction in operations of the foundation will bring as little disruption to the ecosystem as possible. Further details of this process will be shared at a later date.

Today’s announcement does not affect the Symbian Exchange & Exposition (SEE 2010), which will commence on November 9th in Amsterdam. SEE 2010 will bring together attendees from over 55 countries to engage, exchange and explore opportunities offered by the Symbian platform. For more information about the event, visit
Thanks to Cathy, Chris and Rant for the heads up.

Categories: Nokia, Symbian Tags: ,

Video: Nokia N8 Advert India

November 8, 2010 1 comment

Below is an official Nokia N8 advert for India. It seems that it’s pretty much the same shell as some other N8 ads just with regional variations – such as the contacts and voice over.

A difference here is that this is being marketed with Airtel which is providing 6 months FREE mobile internet with the N8. (btw, what’s Mobile Internet like in India? Speed/Price? I was pleasantly surprised with how good 3G was in the Philippines – with Globe being  5 times faster than T-Mobile UK)


Categories: Nokia, Nseries Tags: , ,

Video: Typing Office Documents on the proto Nokia E7 and Embeded Flash Playback on Proto Nokia E7

November 8, 2010 1 comment

Here’s video 2 of some re-discovered unpublished videos of the Nokia E7.

I don’t know what I was doing here, apparently messing about in Office. Well you can see my typing on this Amazingly worked out keyboard. You can see my post about the Nokia E7 physical QWERTY here.

Copy and paste is a little cumbersome. It should pop up once highlighted text (Copy/Cut) and then when long pressed perhaps (Paste). Or at least not be buried under edit (just appear after pressing a button like on N900). N900 has another neat but geeky solution in that Ctrl+C/Ctrl+X and Ctrl+V (and various other Desktop solutions) all work.

Video Three

Here’s the Nokia E7 playing a youtube video that’s embedded at – as you know not really optimized for mobile and possibly even desktop viewing as it is EXTREMELY bandwidth hungry. It even makes certain desktops I view it on hiccup on first load.

Note when they mention it’s the new web browser there may have been some confusion as to what “new” is.  I don’t know if this was just the latest Nokia Browser built, unlikely to be the new up and coming one (even in progress – I hope not anyway). It was probably not the best website to choose to demo web browsing.

Video playback – the videos played back pretty quickly and was very clear, helped by that beautiful 4″ CBD AMOLED but frames were dropped. Note this does not happen when playing youtube videos directly from

Mmm…I can’t wait for the MeeGo tilt QWERTY. Aaaargh! Possibly the best thing N97 did was prove this form factor was fantastic.

Video: Nokia E7 Proto Camera

November 8, 2010 2 comments

I found some old videos uploaded during Nokia World 2010 that I somehow forgot to post about.

This first one shows the Proto Nokia E7 Camera. It’s not autofocus and as you’ll see here I had problems taking a non blurry shot of folks. This was possibly due to the camera shake. If I remember correctly the shutter felt a little harder than the two-step Nokia N8 as you can see the E7 shakes when pressing one handed.

Oddly the E7 did not have sport-mode i.e. very fast shutter speed that could capture (in good lighting) fast movement, e.g. someone jumping in the air.

Also the camera does “suffer” from the old smudging having no camera cover – which is excacerbated with Flash.

But that’s a fault of many camera phones. I’m just being very picky here.

This below btw is a sample of the PreProduction firmware Nokia E7 HD Video

I have several qualms with the Nokia Camera UI which I will get around to ranting about.

Video: Symbian^3 Draggable Homescreen, Portrait QWERTY keyboard and New Browser on the Nokia N8

November 8, 2010 18 comments

This is a short and sweet video following up on the previous posts about the new homescreen/browser and the new portrait QWERTY.

This comes by way of Alex68

  • Note the homescreen which you can now drag at will. No need to wait for a swipe motion and then see the swipe happen. This was NOT a lag, but actually designed into the N8. Glad to see the back of that.
  • Next we’ll see the “new” T9 whereby it does not take you to a new text box. You can kind of see what this would be like when you use the search widget as that already partially displays the screen text of the app AND the keyboard.

  • Going into options you’ll see “QWERTY Keyboard”.
  • Note the Scandanavian layout with those extra letters (which make the keyboard look cramped). I suspect the English one will look slightly more roomy. I don’t know if it will be redesigned or if we’ll keep this straight aligned keyboard. It’s a touch annoying when we see so many better examples. KEYBOARD input is absolutely important and should NEVER have been an afterthought.
  • Next a brief look at the browser. As mentioned before the new look has a persistent back button, a web address/search bar at the top
  • This browser has a lot to live up to if it should meet Nokia’s claims of being as good as any mobile browser – Not sure what parameters but I hope rendering wise anyway. This was said back at Nokia World. As good as MicroB – big shoes to fill.

As noted before by Alex: It is a still very much evolving and developing product, any arguments about performance and interface might not be fair for the time being.

VIA MoNoBrow

I don’t know about you but I’m just looking forward to this – which by the inclusion of portrait QWERTY means should work soon.

Video: SPB Mobile Shell on the Nokia C7

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

SPB Mobile Shell as you knnow basically revamps the Symbian User Interface.

Here it is on jaloh567‘s Nokia C7, shot in very clear 720p by a Canon 500D.

BTW, I really like the on screen menu button. My housemate’s Satio on Orange has that. I don’t really see the need for “Options” and such a big button at that.

Categories: Nokia, Video Tags: , , ,