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Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Gallery: MeeGo 1.1 on the Nexus One (plus instructions!)

November 3, 2010 2 comments

Back in September we saw a host of Android Devices trying out MeeGo.  Japanese Moblin developer Mitsutaka from blog.mitsutaka.org has ported over MeeGo 1.1 to his Nexus One giving detailed instructions too if you wanna give it a go yourself. News comes by way of Siraj from MeeGoArena

It looks a tad stretched and if you look at Mitsutaka’s older blog posts, you’ll see certain things aren’t working fully yet but he says this one is more responsive.

blog.mitsutaka.org via MeeGoArena

Categories: MeeGo, Nokia Tags: , , ,

Video: Nokia and NAVTEQ taking on Google Street View demoed on Nokia N900 and TV-out: Nokia City Scene

September 17, 2010 3 comments

An unmissable feature on Nokia World Experience Lounge show floor was the big-ass camera mounted car which resembled google’s own street view car. Now, I was told by Nokia-NAVTEQ folk Nick and Robert that this particular car wasn’t actually for street view but to improve map accuracy (or words to that effect). However there was another car that could do that (though they were very strict in comparing it at all to a google product).

Just like the previous pixelpipe video, this was unfortunately only a short demo as the closing speech was quickly dawning. Also, due to the cripped WiFi, they weren’t able to pull down the data to move along the streets. Nick and Robert mentioned that they would have improved implementation of street navigation with much respect for user privacy with face blurring and getting permission to capture and store street images.

It’s noted that 3D mapping is something that will evolve into ovi maps. Here you can see clicking on buildings gives you info and you can navigate within the 3D map.

I think streetview would be great for pedestrian navigation (you can see exactly what’s supposed to be around you) and for property checking (looking to rent/buy, what’s the city area look like?). Car navigation probably not so much as you’d whiz by too fast for any of this to be useful.

Video: Google Chrome (Chromium) on the Nokia N900!

April 10, 2010 3 comments

You might have seen some screenshots floating around yesterday showing Google’s Chrome Browser on Maemo 5’s N900.

Below is a video by Test-Mobile.fr demonstrating Chrome on N900 in action.

I still think the default MicroB rocks the pants off any alternative browser (being faster, better flash support, kinetic scrolling, multiwindow in multitask mode – though Chrome’s tabs is nicer than firefox’s)

Test-Mobile.fr via @Camb078

Ovi Store Rant: 7 things wrong with the Ovi Store

September 26, 2009 8 comments

I just watched Episode 91 of Steve Litchfield’s “The Phones Show” where in this episode, he covers Application Stores:

  • Apple’s App Store
  • Nokia’s Ovi Store
  • Google’s Android Market.

The Ovi Store is supposed to be Nokia’s one stop shop for Applications, Games, and other content such as ringtones, videos, wallpapers and themes.

I’ve been using the Ovi Store since the N97 came out. It’s good for what it does until you experience how stores work on other platforms- namely, App Store on the iPhone. Furthermore, there are annoyances in user experience that I would have had anyway were there no other app stores around.

The problems are listed with increasing hindrance to user experience as you decend the topics. (Hmm, for some reason, most of my list posts coincidentally end up having 7 items)

7. Inability to update the client within the app

Unless I go to the browser version of the Ovi Store and attempt to redownload Ovi Store for my N97, there’s no way for me to find out what version of the Ovi Store I’m using, let alone update it directly from the client itself. This is highly annoying since, with the stability issues (see next point), I need to know if there’s a new update that might improve my user experience of the Ovi Store so I won’t experience stupid error messages.

6. Stability issues

– on every update of the Ovi Store application, I have received annoying error messages that I’m not in fact signed in and Ovi Store refuses further navigation or download of applications.  At times it gets so frustrating that I use the browser version of Ovi Store.Fortunately, these error messages occur less frequently, but it’s annoying that it still happens.

Whislt writing this post, Ovi Store crashed my N97.

5. Poor Searching

– Searching for an application by name is almost impossible. The best option is to describe it. E.G. instead of looking for “tweet60/tweet 60” (which comes up with NO results) , I have to search “Twitter”. At the moment, the search function seems to be completely broken as it comes out with nothing for twitter

4. Poor, inconsistent preview style of apps before downloads.

The very first hurdle of the app store is getting a consumer to download an app. That’s the best way to really find out how good an app is. Good descriptions and previews help a lot if you’re unfamiliar with an application.

In Ovi Store, you get a short description, perhaps a thumbnail icon and if you’re lucky, a cropped screenshot of the app itself. In Apple’s App Store, the description varies, but it can get very detailed, lengthy and informative, whereas it’ll only ever be a short summary in Ovi Store. Also, you’ll get actual screenshots from the iPhone app.

Although the added information makes browsing for apps slower on the iPhone, the added detail in information makes it worth it (especially if you’re going to be forking over money!). Yes you could just find a dedicated review for that app, but it’s just so much more convenient to have that sort of detail within the app store itself.

not a n97

Ovi Store, Web Version. Small descriptions, cropped screenshot. Demonstrates what google shows as an N97 but that's NOT the N97. That's not even a REAL PHONE for goodness sakes. Who filters the Ovi Store submissions?

3. Poor Navigation

On the N97, you’ve got a huge 3.5″ 640X360 screen, but as with most S60 5th edition apps, Ovi Store does not take full advantage of all the available space. Instead, Ovi Store opts to bury things within options that should be easily viewable at all times.

  • Categories
  • Most Recent
  • Most Popular (time scale please…today, this week, this month? etc)
  • Filter paid/freeware
  • Search

In Ovi Store you have a switch thing at the top so change from “Recommended downloads, applications, games, audio/video and personalization”. Then there’s a bar for search. Categories/most popular etc are hidden two clicks away (one click for options, another to select) in options.

MNB4000017Why couldn’t the additional be set up simply as icons? Simple, easily visible, just one click away.

ip

Navigating both browser and mobile version of Ovi Store feels so unintuitive after using the App Store on either PC or iPhone. With the App Store in iTunes, it takes advantage of the bigger screen, displaying more apps, several categories/lists, different layouts of app description etc. Ovi Store on the browser has the same limited feel of the mobile app. Perhaps this is because Ovi Store doesn’t have a dedicated PC counterpart like iTunes and is just basically a browser version that’s also friendly to mobile browsers. But why can’t Ovi Store users have an improved PC version too?

Maybe more apps are just being downloaded directly from the mobile app? If so, then Nokia really need to invest in improving its user interface.

2. Lack of Content

…Both in quantity and quality. Launched late May 09 – so slightly understandable then for the lack of content at launch. 4 months on, there are few worthwhile additions for an N97 (or S60 5th edition) user looking for some great applications.

The Ovi Store attempts to cater for a lot of devices on Nokia’s various platforms, and not just in terms of applications but also audio and video customizations.

This fragmentation leads to a diluted content of applications with only

  • 565 compatible applications for the N97 …with several variants, e.g. English dictionary, Spanish Dictionary and several other reference dictionaries, several eBook titles (which should really be just 1 eBook app, with separate eBook purchase within the app). I reckon under 10% of the paid apps on the Ovi Store are anywhere near worth their price label.
  • 211 Games on the Ovi Store.
  • The bulk content for the N97 are audio/video and personalization with rank up 227+718 pieces respectively.

This does not account for the several hundred apps available for S60 5th edition, or the abundant themes which are yet (if at all) to make it on the Ovi Store.

[Fragmentation within the Nokia OSes means that there are more great apps for S60 that just never got ported over to 3rd/5th edition so will just be resigned to the history books]

1. Poor Pricing

One of my biggest loves for Apple’s App Store is not only the fantastic quality and vast numbers of applications available but the relatively cheap prices for paid applications. A lot of applications on the App Store are priced around $1/£0.59.

59 pence – that’s enough for what, 1 donut in Greggs (UK bakery). That price is so low, I wouldn’t even consider price as a factor in the purchase. Just whether it’s interesting enough for me to click and download it.

This makes it easy to make spontaneous purchases on applications that generate a slight interest.  That’s great for both the consumer (as we don’t pay that much for an app) and even more so for the developer as lots of people can make quick purchases which adds up! (1USD x 300,000 > 25GBP X 30).

One of the biggest faults (and hindrances for me anyway) on the Ovi Store is pricing. When you price an application high enough that I have to consider whether it’s worth it, almost always, I won’t buy it.

If I were to allocate myself £10 monthly app purchases, I’d easily spend that on 16 x £0.59 great applications, possibly more. But the moment prices creep up to £3, £4, £8, to £26, instead of making that spontaneous purchase, I reflect on whether the app is worth it, and just don’t bother buying.

It’s not simply the price but the value for money. £1.50, £3 or even £6 is a lot for an app that I may just use on a rare occasion, but more than worth it for apps I’d be using frequently, maybe on a daily basis like Gravity or are simply just very good quality applications like SmartMovie. Unfortunately, going back to content, there are few paid apps on Ovi Store that (I think) are worth the what they’ve valued themselves to be. Content quality and price go hand in hand. If some of the crappier apps on Ovi Store were priced cheaply, I think I’d take a punt and buy them because they would be cheap enough. But they aren’t.

Sell great apps for cheap/great value > make lots of sales and lots of money > attract other developers to make other fantastic apps > sell fantastic apps for cheap/great value > make lots of sales and lots of money > attract other developers to make other amazing apps > etc etc etc.

Poor pricing acts as a block to this cycle.

(There are additional factors involved such as ease of making apps and distribution base – I’ve just over simplified it)

I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong and Nokia and the developers are making megabucks with Ovi Store as it is.

Nokia to make Android Netbook for 2010?

June 27, 2009 5 comments

Here’s me thinking that Nokia would be too stubborn and stick with just Symbian or Linux for their netbook OS, but it seems Nokia’s venturing out and dipping their toes into Google Android (though, powered by ARM and not Intel).

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netbook pic by engadget.

As a fail-safe, Nokia’s collaboration with Intel will see an alternative non-Android netbook. Although it will be a practically vertical uphill struggle, maybe Nokia can shake things up from what people expect from your standard netbook.

Linux wouldn’t be too bad of a detour. I do miss the multiple browser windows that my N800 had been capable of on Maemo (OS 2008) and its faithful rendering of desktop like internet.

1. Internet and email – check.

But what about document creation? If the browser is good enough, maybe it could just take advantage of google documents?

2. Document creation – check.

Multimedia – decent music and video playback should be standard. Please let us have one player that has all the major codecs. –

3. Multimedia – check.

Those are the three main points I’d be looking for in this sup’d up smartphone or micro netbook.

Possible extras to bring it up to something worth taking notice:

  • Extremely good battery life. Maybe 12 hours, single charge?
  • Decent CPU/GPU, and more than sufficient RAM – not just for resource intensive apps, and heavy multi tasking but perhaps even for mobile gaming?
  • Be a phone too. Voice calls, data, SMS and MMS.
  • Size wise, I want something that I could perhaps place on a desk and type with ease, but also pick it up and have a decent experience typing with the device held in my hands.
  • Similarly, (and dependent on the keyboard configuration) The screen should be at least 5″  (horizontal) – but under 10″.
  • imagesMaybe to solve the keyboard/screen size issue, the device would be two-screened and multitouch capable?
  • Or, going with the split screen – imagine a passport sized device: it opens up, the top the two halves join seamlessly in the middle to form a widescreen display, and the bottom becomes a full qwerty keyboard. Meh. Just an idea.
  • What about a slightly longer and wider (but slimmer) N97, with a 5 row keyboard (with NO Dpad), and a max of 5mm border around the screen to optimize screen size.
  • A not so daunting price. *cough*sony vaio p-series*. Max £500? – perhaps even subsidized on a carrier? Though on the high end for a notebook, it’s not just a notebook. It’s a smartphone too – so not only convenient in carrying one device instead of two but slightly justifies the higher price.

Via gigaom

Categories: Nokia Tags: , , , ,

Nokia N97 vs Samsung Omnia HD vs Sony Ericsson Idou

February 23, 2009 15 comments

Nokia N97 vs Samsung Omnia HD vs Sony Ericsson Idou

I was all set on the N97 until a three way ruckus broke out with the Omnia HD and Idou both diving in to join the Super-Mobile-Convergence-Device war.

Samsung and Sony Ericsson have extremely strong contenders, with:

The Omnia HD packing in a most gorgeous 3.7” AMOLED display, Symbian S60 V 5.0, 8MP camera and 720p 24fps widescreen HD video recording and

The code-named Idou, bringing in 3.5” widescreen display, as well as Symbian S60 V 5.0 and a 12MP camera with Xenon.

They all run on Symbian S60 V 5.0; even with their own specific interface ‘quirks’, they should all be pretty similar to each other. We’ll just have to see when they’re all at production level to see who makes the most to bring the best user friendly and innovative interface.

Is the 32GB of memory and physical keyboard enough to keep you from straying to the Samsung or Sony-Ericsson camp? We’ve seen most of the wow features on the N97 along while ago from the aged classic that is the N95 announced in 2006! On-board GPS, A2DP, 3G, HSDPA, WiFi, 5MP Carl Zeiss camera with LED flash, 3.5mm audio/tv out jack (most of which the mass public easily overlooked). Whilst the N95 was ahead of its time for quite a while the N97 which hasn’t even hit the shops is already flanked by two other very powerful rivals.

It seems it won’t be long until the hardware battle becomes saturated, all phones being more or less identical in shape, size and features where everything will come down to who’s providing the best software, online services and community/ecosystem interaction.

So, in this combat of flagships, do any pack enough artillery to sink the infamous iPhone? Or will that be accomplished by the elusive Palm Pré, or perhaps an Android?