Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New N900 software update available! (PR 1.3 aka 20.2010.36-2.002)

A new software update is now available for your Nokia N900. The update adds Ovi Suite support to your N900 and makes it even easier to access and sync files and messages between your device and your desktop. In addition, we’ve added hundreds of tweaks and fixes that will make your N900 run faster and smoother than ever.
And there’s even more great news. Ovi Music Store is now accessible right from your N900 (where available). You can use your inbuilt browser to access music.ovi.com and download your favorite tunes straight to your device in DRM-free format.
Be sure to check out the latest games and apps from Ovi Store, like Angry Birds Level Packs 2 & 3, Kroll, Tower Boxx Deluxe 3D and Joiku WiFi Hot Spot. If you receive a not enough memory warning when you try to update the software, just uninstall a few apps and try again.
Also worth noting is that the phone has less lag and is faster along with Qt Applications support. Don't forget dual booting Meego and Maemo at the same time, although I'm not sure if this was implemented yet.
Happy downloading!
Raw computer power Raw computer power

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4

Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4

The iPhone took the cell phone industry by surprise in 2007, and managed to usurp half of its profits for only three years in active duty, with only 3% of the world's handsets sold. This was mostly at the financial expense of Nokia, which got knocked down from its perch due to some complacency issues, typical of a sprawling empire. Its share of the cell phone industry profits shrunk threefold, and it was even losing money at some point in the epicenter of the financial crisis.

The Finns are no doubt willing to reclaim some of this space back, so they began some movers and shakers at the management level, bringing a foreigner at the helm for the first time in Nokia's history. The swan song of the previous management is personalized in the Nokia N8, the current flagship of the company, on which a lot of hopes are placed for a turnaround.

The Apple iPhone 4, on the other hand, is the culmination of Apple's efforts to craft an outstanding consumer-friendly device, that will keep people’s attention for a year, before the next iteration is introduced. Apple started a new major design cycle with the iPhone 4, introduced the Retina Display  in it, and custom-made one of the fastest smartphone chipsets on the market, making it the most compelling iPhone package so far. Thus the battle lines are drawn, let's see how the two hotties fare against each other...


Designwise, it is the steel and glass of the iPhone 4 vs the aluminum of the Nokia N8. One shows the craftsmanship perfected over the years that culminates on a phone made from a single sheet of anodized aluminum, with an etched Nokia logo on the back.

Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4
Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4
Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4
Designwise, it is the steel and glass of the iPhone 4 vs the aluminum of the Nokia N8

The other has made the thinnest smartphone on the market, out of the most unorthodox materials. The Gorilla Glass casing of the Apple iPhone 4 might have raised questions about its fragility, but coupled with the stainless steel frame around the phone, it also makes for an appearance never before seen in a phone, just what we would expect from the cool kids of the Silicon Valley.

Both phones have 3.5” screens, but the difference in technologies used makes for separate experiences. The iPhone 4's IPS-LCD has been called Retina Display, for its astonishing 640x960 pixels of resolution. It is bright, sharp and clear, and possibly represents the best that the LCD technology can offer for now.

The Nokia N8, on the other hand, has the competing technology in its AMOLED screen, with its high contrast and vivid colors, set back by the 360x640 pixels of resolution, and higher than the iPhone 4 reflectance under bright sunlight, which diminishes visibility. The Nokia N8's display is also protected by the scratch-proof Gorilla Glass, but the touchscreen layer is slightly less responsive than the one on the iPhone 4. On the other hand, Nokia N8's screen has excellent haptic feedback, whereas the iPhone 4 doesn't include that function. The displays offer bright and clear images, with the iPhone 4's higher resolution placing it in the lead.

Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4
Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4
Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4
From left to right - Apple iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S, Nokia N8

Both handsets only have one physical home key under the screens. The one on the Nokia N8, though, is tiny and hard to reach when using the phone with one hand, without the risk of dropping the handset. Speaking of dropping, the iPhone 4 now feels more slippery than the previous generations, because of the glass surface.

The handsets weigh roughly the same and have similar dimensions with the notable exception of thickness. The iPhone 4 is surreally thin at 0.37 inch (9.3 mm), while the Nokia N8 clocks in at 0.51 inches (12.9 mm), excluding the elevated area on the back, where the camera is located, necessary to fit the big sensor of the 12MP shooter, and the Xenon flash. The glass back of the iPhone is smooth, with only the logo, and a small round area for the lens' eye plus the tiny dot of the LED flash in the upper left corner.

Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4
Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4
Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4

There are no less than ten elements, like openings and buttons, around the sides of the Nokia N8, which comes to show the different design approaches in the creation of the handsets.. Both phones sport non-removable batteries, thus their SIM card slots are placed on the sides, but accessing it in the Nokia N8 means just prying open the plastic cover, while the micro SIM tray on the right of the iPhone 4 needs a paper clip to come out.
Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4
Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4
Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4
Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4
Nokia N8 - above, Apple iPhone 4 - bellow

It is immediately apparent that a lot of thought and sleepless nights have gone into the design and manufacturing of the iPhone 4 and the Nokia N8 from multiple teams. The two phones represent some of the best pieces of industrial design in the smartphone universe, each with its own character – the strong but smooth aluminum unibody of the Nokia N8 comes in a bunch of different colors, and the steel and glass construction of the iPhone 4 resembles a concept phone, made by a boutique designer shop in limited series.

Geek Art: 5 Nokia N8s Inside Each Other

Question: What do you do when you have not one but two Nokia N8 review units at hand and a *lot* of free time?
Answer: Well, what any respectable geek would do, you play, you take pictures, and eventually you try to breed them, because you know that ultimately, you have to return both, but you *so* want to make your little N8ties to raise, love and keep when the parents are back with their legitimate owners.
And this is the result. Can you see the 5 Nokia N8s in this photo? (Click on the image to open the full 12MP resolution one). Oh it’s beautiful!

MAKING OF: Here are the 5 steps, in order, to make this one marvelous gem of a photo.
Level 1 – We start with a photo of the Dark Grey Nokia N8 (let’s call him dgN8) taken by the Silver N8 (sN8).

Level 2 – Then, we display this picture on the sN8, and we take a photo of that with the dgN8.

Level 3 – We display that one on the dgN8 and we shoot it with the sN8.

Level 4 – Again, we open that image on the sN8 and we take a photo with the dgN8.

Level 5 – And ultimately, with the sN8, we take a photo of the dgN8 displaying that last picture.

It’s poetic. It’s transcending. It’s… Oh well, it makes me ache to have the 5 colors of the N8 so I could put them all inside each other. If anyone has the 5 colors at hand, please do it :) Or if someone at Nokia wants to send me the 5 colors to do it, then I really don’t mind ;)
Note: I did try to go to the 6 and 7 N8s levels, but ultimately I was beaten by the resolution of the screen, you can’t go past the 5 N8s with the screen still being able to show them all. Too bad.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

MeeGo soon to be available for some Nokia N900 dual-booting fun

The long wait is almost over, dear Nokia N900 owners. The Finnish company's developers are almost done porting MeeGo to the sweet QWERTY slider and promise to release it to the general public in a few days.
The update will be available on the MeeGo site, which should enable dual-booting of Maemo and MeeGo on the Nokia N900 so you can get a taste of the upcoming MeeGo mobile OS.
There is no exact date mentioned for the PR 1.3 update but "quite close now" (MeeGo dev team words, not ours) sounds very promising.
The bad news is that this is a try-at-you-own-risk kind of deal so Nokia won't be offering support for the MeeGo-enabled N900 officially. This is not to say they won't be releasing updates or fixing bugs, but you will be the one taking the risk of something going wrong with the new OS.
So are you on board for the update, or are you going to stick to the dead-end Maemo?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The First Official Interactive Unboxing Of The Nokia N8 -- Unboxing By Brenda

Nokia N8 UI (User Interface) demo Video

Nokia N900 PR 1.3 Firmware Coming Soon? MeeGo calling - on N900

 Hello aMeeGos, After many busy months of MeeGo development, we have finally come to a stage that justifies proud blogging around our MeeGo for N900 adaptation project. As you may already suspect, or have heard from IRC or discussion forums, we now have 3G audio call functionality with proper ofono signaling and pulse audio stack working on N900, including our brand new open source modem adaptation for N900!
The achievement was possible because of extensive co-operation between our MeeGo N900 adaptation team and Nokia's Telephony and Audio team. Special thanks for this goes to people like Kai Vehmanen, Ameya Palande, Pekka Pessi, Jyri Sarha, Jouni Peltonen, and Sami SirkiƤ. There has been a lot of work done around this topic by many people, I am not even aware of many of them, so a big thanks to everyone.
At this point, I need to remind you about the basics: MeeGo is an open source project and if you choose to install the MeeGo image to your N900 device, you do it completely at your own risk. If you are not confident that you know what you are doing with it and why, please don't use it at all. Especially now, if you start playing with call software under development, you need to watch after your phone bill, as well. Also, please use the latest repositories only, or the next weekly image that is downloadable from the MeeGo repositories every Monday.
There has been huge amount of work done in all areas during the summer and fall. Ameya Palande, Carsten Munk, and Marko Saukko managed to handle kernel updates, x-server update, Compiler update, SGX update, and so on. We are now running .35rc5 kernel with support for most devices on N900. Markus Lehtonen fixed the BME for us, so now we have battery loading working. There was also a bug in the wlan driver that was relatively hard to find. After Carsten had proven his theory about the bug, we got good support from Teleca Russia. Big thanks for Juri and others there for fixing that.
Later, during the fall, we have had hard time with some sticky bugs, and filling some smallish but time consuming holes in MeeGo core implementation. One of the hardest ones was the fight with the fennec browser. The ARM compilation of it proved to be especially tricky with the version of gcc compiler that we are using in MeeGo. After weeks of work, it now somewhat works, but we can’t get the latest version onboard before some nasty gcc compiler bugs are patched on MeeGo.
On the Maemo side, there have been interesting, supporting developments going on, as well. The PR 1.3 update is quite close now, and with that you can easily dual boot between Maemo and Meego on your N900. There is also a possibility of developing applications supporting both operating systems, based on Qt and Qt Mobility APIs on the Maemo side. It means that you can develop once in PC with Qt Creator, and test your applications on both Maemo and MeeGo, directly on your N900 device!
In July, Carsten was acting as N900 maintainer when I was on holiday. By now, it is obvious that he has done so much and fixed so many issues in the project, that he has earned that position officially. So, I am proud to announce that we will propose Carsten as the official N900 maintainer for MeeGo in the next TSG meeting. I am fully confident that he is the best single person on this planet to handle that position. Carsten is, of course, doing this fully supported by Nokia (financially and otherwise), but any individual person, like you, may request this important position.
I will continue as team leader for our MeeGo for N900 project, as I did previously. Clearly, technical responsibility for most of the issues related to MeeGo on N900 transfers gradually to Carsten, and I will help him as well as I can from inside Nokia.
We are now in last phase of MeeGo 1.1 finalization, focusing on fixing final release blocker bugs, making sure that everything that is in already actually works, and that the user experience of the first MeeGo version with the Handset UX is good. Creating this version is important because it gives developers, especially handset application developers, a relatively stable ground for stating their work.
At the same time, development of the MeeGo 1.2 release has already started. On N900 side, we will continue by integrating some interesting stuff from the latest Nokia and development repositories, including, SGX drivers, camera stack, and accelerated video decoders. We are trying to keep the 1.2 version as usable as possible, but during development, some images will work better than others, as usual.
Also, keep in mind the MeeGo conference in Dublin in mid-November. As you can see from the title of my talk, I am expecting a bright future for MeeGo on N900!
See you there, with MeeGo on N900,

Friday, October 1, 2010

Nokia N8 Hands-on

Nokia N8 Hands-on We've just received our Nokia N8 review unit and thought we'd give you guys a sneak peak before we got down and dirty to review Nokia's newest flagship phone. It comes in a flat box, matte blue and layered, like opening a present, revealing the Nokia N8 inside. Our version is graphite. The phone doesn't have a removable battery, so underneath it is a quick guide showing you how to put in your SIM card and microSD card.

The box also has a number of connector leads in it such as HDMI to mini HDMI, microUSB to USB (male), microUSB to USB (female, enabling the phone to be used as a USB stick reader), as well as a 2mm Nokia charger. There are also a pair of earbud headphones which have music controls (play/pause, back, forward) and a volume rocker on them, as well as the standard microphone and call/end button.

Nokia N8 Hands-on

Nokia N8 Hands-onNokia N8 Hands-on

On top of that is a bunch of literature in a number of languages guiding you through the phone. We've had a quick play, and our first impressions are: it's very Symbian and the camera is quick. That's all you're getting out of us now, we're going to head off and live with it for a short while so we can give you a comprehensive run-down on Nokia's multimedia powerhouse, the N8.

Nokia N8 Hands-onNokia N8 Hands-onNokia N8 Hands-on

Nokia N8 starts shipping on time, on its way to fulfil pre-orders

As promised, the Nokia N8 has started shipping today, September 30, despite all the rumors of another delay. The N8 is shipping worldwide to shops and people who have pre-ordered the first Symbian^3 device, but availability will vary by country and operator.
The Nokia N8 had some delays, but the latest rumors turned out to be false. The N8 units are leaving the factories in Finland and China and are on their way to the lucky fellas who pre-ordered them.

Nokia N8 leaving the factories in Finland and China
It will be available in brick and mortar and online stores too - but when that is country and operator dependent. Broad availability of the Nokia N8 is expected in the coming weeks.
When you do get it, don't forget to check out the latest Ovi Maps beta for the Nokia N8. It offers free walk and drive voice-guided navigation for over 70 countries with no data connection required.

And off it goes
And in case you missed it, Nokia showcased the N8's multimedia powers by using it as part of the record-breaking cinema screen, which was temporarily set up in Rosengard, Sweden.

Nokia N8 shipments have started
September 30, 2010

Espoo, Finland -Nokia's latest entertainment smartphone, the highly anticipated Nokia N8 with Ovi services, has started shipping. Customers who have placed a pre-order for the Nokia N8 in Nokia Online Shops and Nokia retail stores will be the first to receive their Nokia N8. Market availability will vary by country and by operator, with broad availability in the coming weeks. 
"With the N8, and the new Symbian software, we are bringing a familiar, faster and more intuitive user experience to the world's most popular smartphone platform. The Nokia N8 has received the highest amount of consumer pre-orders in Nokia history and we are thrilled to start shipments of the N8, the first of Nokia's new Symbian smartphone range," says Jo Harlow, Senior Vice President, Smartphones, Nokia.
"To appeal to today's high-end buyers, smartphones have to be enjoyable, useful and beautiful. Ease of use, excellent multimedia performance and elegant design are all essential elements of the package," says John Delaney, Research Director, IDC.
The first of a series of smartphones based on the new Symbian, the Nokia N8 is fast and easy to use and supports true multitasking, allowing users to run multiple apps simultaneously and switch between them easily. Dubbed the world's best camera phone, the Nokia N8 lets you take the highest quality photos and shoot HD-quality videos in supreme clarity with the 12MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics. You can edit photos and videos on-screen and choose from multiple ways to share them; transfer large files to an external hard-drive with USB-on-the-go, or upload photos to social networks like Facebook, Twitter or RenRen straight from the homescreen.  All this is delivered in a robust aluminum body in a range of vibrant colors with a real-glass 3.5" AMOLED display. 
The Nokia N8 has a black belt in entertainment. Its WebTV apps from channels like E! Entertainment, National Geographic and CNN and the intuitive music player inject an element of fun into idle moments.  Plug the device to the home entertainment center to watch HD-quality videos from the big screen with full Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound.  The latest version of Ovi Store, available first on the Nokia N8, gives easy access to more apps - from social networking services like Foursquare to games like Need for Speed Shift or productivity apps like Tesco in the UK.
Like other Nokia smartphones, the Nokia N8 comes with free Ovi Maps walk & drive navigation in more than 70 countries worldwide, with no hidden costs. The latest beta release of Ovi Maps is also available for download from Nokia Beta Labs for the Nokia N8. It features visibility to public transport in 85 cities around the world, as well as real-time traffic, safety camera alerts, visibility to parking and petrol stations, and speed limit warnings.
About NokiaAt Nokia, we are committed to connecting people. We combine advanced technology with personalized services that enable people to stay close to what matters to them. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people connect to one another with a Nokia device - from mobile phones to advanced smartphones and high-performance mobile computers. Today, Nokia is integrating its devices with innovative services through Ovi (www.ovi.com), including music, maps, apps, email and more. Nokia's NAVTEQ is a leader in comprehensive digital mapping and navigation services, while Nokia Siemens Networks provides equipment, services and solutions for communications networks globally.
Media Enquiries:
Tel. +358 71800 34900
Email: press.services@nokia.com