When it was announced, the Nokia Essence Bluetooth headset was overshadowed by the buzz surrounding the Symbian Belle devices. However, according to an interview with product manager Karolina Järvensivu over at Nokia Conversations, this unassuming headset warrants further attention. The most remarkable technology in this device is its active noise cancellation, optimised for specific frequencies. Not only is the speech microphone used to remove external noise, but there are microphones inside the earpieces to help reduce the noise of the blood flow inside your ears! Read on for more tidbits.
In All About Symbian Insight 182, we start with the news of Tero Ojanpera's departure from Nokia and arrival at investment fund Vision+. The team then discuss patents, with mentions for Samsung and Mosaid. In a software round up, Steve talks about 3D World Gaze and Vlingo (voice recognition) going free, Rafe talks Qt SDK updates and David brings us the latest news of NuevaSync. Finally, the team offer some helpful suggestions for the naming of Nokia's new Windows Phone devices.
It's a problem, to be sure. You're on holiday and you want to take your Nokia N8 or X7 or similar onto the beach. But, rightly, you're utterly paranoid about sand and splashed seawater ruining your expensive smartphone. Or perhaps you like hiking - or canoeing or any other outdoor pursuit that involved water in any quantity. What you need is this, the BeachBuoy Waterproof Case - I have to say that I'm enormously impressed.
NuevaSync is a paid-for Mail for Exchange service tailored to help all kinds of mobile devices synchronise successfully with Google’s PIM services. We reviewed NuevaSync last year, and found it to be a great help with getting Nokia devices to work painlessly with the Google cloud. NuevaSync has now added support for adding events to multiple Google calendars. Read on to find out how well it works and how to set it up.
A quick heads up to those of you with websites or blogs that use AdMob to target mobile devices - Google will be stopping delivering adverts via AdMob to publishers of mobile websites. It actually makes sense, as AdSense continues to be available for publishers, while AdMob will now be targeted to application developers. It mirrors the move earlier in the year when app developers were told to stop using AdSense and switch to AdMob.
Now this looks like a fun idea for a Friday - Nokia Maps is now available for various Apple and Android devices. Strictly speaking, it's an HTML5 web app, so any compliant browser should be able to give you the mapping, location and routing data, but this is officially targeted at iOS 4.3 and above, plus Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices.
We've published our fair share of 'how to' articles here on AAS over the years, wo we can recognise a decent article when we see it. In this case it's the Mobile Tech Bishop's "Guide to Getting the most out of your Symbian Device", quoted below. In this feature he covers, expertly, device maintenance, PIM syncing, media transfer, data security, and much more. And it's all Anna-aware and up to date, with hyperlinks everywhere necessary. Nice job!
While I don't think for a moment that Nokia would actually crowdsource the name of their upcoming Windows Phone through a random poll site (for a start, can you imagine the legal department working out if they actually had the right to use the winning name?), it's created a nice buzz online, and I could see the marketing department giving time to a few of them.
Over at Nokia Conversations, I've been moonlighting in helping create their Appstravaganza series of developer interviews. In this case, chatting to Harald Meyer, of CameraPro and PhoneTorch fame... What makes Harald tick and what development tips does he have for others?
In All About Symbian Insight 181 we start with an update on the status of the Symbian Anna software update roll out. The main part of the podcast covers the announcement of Symbian Belle (user interface and NFC focused software update) and its likely impact. We also cover the trio of new Symbian Belle devices - the Nokia 600 (loudest Nokia smartphone), Nokia 700 (smallest Nokia smartphone) and the Nokia 701 (brightest screen smartphone).
In All About Symbian Insight 180 we start with a discussion of two big pieces of mobile industry news, the planned acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google and the announcement that HP is to cease production of its WebOS hardware. The second half of the longer-than-usual podcast focuses on Symbian Anna. We talk about what's in the update, the key usability improvements, how to get the update and what impact Symbian Anna will have on the platform, operators and consumers.
It's all very well me posting the odd snap onto Twitter and occasionally writing a generic 'how to' for All About Symbian. But I thought it might be instructive to take a few photos from my three current Symbian smartphones, taken in the last week, one from each, and put you inside my head, hearing my thought processes as I snapped the shot and looking at any important settings changes or physical setup that were required. At the very least, some of the same ideas might help you when you venture out into the real world, whichever camera-toting smartphone you own.
Barranger Ridler is a Windows Phone 7 developer, and was recently asked to join Nokia for a "getting to know you" style event called #NokiaUnfenced. His blog on Nokia's approach to WP7 is worth reading, answering some of the questions about what Nokia is doing to get developers on board for the new devices and OS widely assumed to be coming before the end of the year. No hardware news, but his thoughts on the Nokia touchstones (camera, build quality and software stability) are good indicators of what could attract developers to Nokia.
In All About Symbian Insight 179 we start by highlighting Gartner's Q2 smartphone sales statistics, which suggest Nokia's sales performance may have been better than previously thought. We then touch on the theme of Nokia strategy in North America, following reports that Nokia is exiting the Symbian and Series 40 business in the US. In the second half of the podcast Steve has a warning for Apple iSync users, David talks about NestDrop and the team discuss the closure of Ovi Calendar, which leads to a more general PIM and sync discussion.
Thanks to Web Runtime Widgets (WRTs) and QtWebKit, presenting web apps as native apps has become a quick and efficient way of publishing to Symbian devices. The same applies on other mobile platforms with their equivalent development tools too. However, when anyone can sell an application in the Ovi Store which encapsulates any website, do we need to become cannier shoppers? Read on for a cautionary tale.
Gartner has released a summary of its worldwide analysis for the mobile industry for Q2 2011 and it, as expected, shows that the in-demand Android smartphones have leapfrogged Symbian in the rankings. I've quoted the main tables below, but in summary, Symbian OS's marketshare worldwide is now 22%, with 23.8 million smartphones being sold.
You may remember the announcement of Nokia Drop earlier this year, for pushing content from a desktop browser to your Symbian phone. A similar project, NestDrop, has appeared with similar aspirations. NestDrop is a web based service, in which you use a bookmarklet to save URLs or text notes to your NestDrop account. The phone end of the service lacks notifications, instead saved items are displayed via a web page. The page is accessed via browser bookmarks or a Web RunTime (WRT) widget. The latter can be downloaded from the developer's website. Read on for more details.
In All About Symbian Insight 178 the main focus is on the Nokia 500. We cover the device's key specifications and positioning, but also look at the underlying hardware family and consider the implications of the 1GHz processor. We also briefly discuss Nokia's new naming scheme. To top and tail the podcast Ewan summarises part two of his monetising app series and David describes using a Symbian phone as a remote control for SemperXBMC.
Mac owners who enjoy bullet-proof syncing from iCal and Address Book with their Nokia/Symbian smartphone(s) should note that upgrading to the latest (and new) OS X Lion operating system will yield at least one unpleasant surprise: Apple has removed all trace of iSync, the phone-sync application that has had wide manufacturer compatibility. Happily there's a workaround.
I've recently got rather fed up with a part of modern smartphone life: every time I want to take a decent photo on any device, it's out with a clean tissue (or a corner of my t-shirt!), I breathe on the camera 'glass' (it's not really glass) and then wipe gently away, removing the inevitable finger smudges, face grease and dust. After all, not doing so means a blurry photo (and with sunlight flares, if the sun's out). But what's the alternative?