My thoughts on the Nokia Microsoft deal

Over the last couple of days, rumours that Nokia would adopt Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform started gaining momentum. I wasn’t suprised when they turned out to be true today. The leaked internal memo by Stephen Elop had made it very clear that drastic measures were in order, and this seemed like the most likely scenario.

Ever since the news was announced, I’ve been reading bitter tweets and blog posts in which Nokia developers and fans detail why they think this deal is a bad move for Nokia. But as understandable as their frustrations are, almost all of those messages are based on a single assumption. That Nokia would be able to maintain market share in the smartphone market with Symbian and/or MeeGo.
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Roy | February 11, 2011 | English,Gadgets | Comments Off
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Comparing apples and robots

Google’s Adroid mobile operating system is in a bit of a tough spot here in The Netherlands. The first phones running it were released exclusively on T-Mobile, who at the same time were offering the iPhone. Besides the fact that the G1 (HTC Dream) and G2 (HTC Magic) weren’t very appealing by comparison, T-Mobile seemed to not market them much. And then there’s the fact that Nokia had a firm grip on the smartphone market in Europe. I too have been using an E71. But not anymore. My HTC Desire arrived last friday, and I’ve spent some time with Android. What I was wondering most was how it would compare to the iPhone OS.
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Opera just made browsing on Symbian fun again

Opera logoI while ago I wrote about how Gravity, a native Twitter client for Symbian added some much-needed sexiness to that somewhat outdated operating system. But what Symbian was really lacking was a good, modern browser. And it seems like Opera has just fixed that.

Symbian’s built-in browser is painfully slow to use. It loads pages and then seems to re-render them using the attached style sheet (meaning it’ll first show you part of the page’s content and then appear to start all over again). It also does not play well with modern web apps that use lots of javascript and AJAX. I used it only if I had no other option, and greatly preferred the browser on my iPod Touch.
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Ovi Store won’t sell me Gravity

calvin gravity bill cartoonThe launch of Nokia’s Ovi app store doesn’t seem to be going very well. Both TechCrunch and Allaboutsymbian are reporting issues, and my initial impressions also weren’t so great either. I tried to find the only Symbian app I’ve ever paid for on store.ovi.com, and I couldn’t. It was available, but just not for my phone.

Gravity has been humming along nicely on my Nokia E71. I love it so much I sometimes tweet from my phone while I’m sitting behind my PC. But if I select the E71 on the Ovi Store, Gravity disappears from all listings. Meanwhile, Mobileways, who created Gravity, even use the E71 as an example of a phone you could use with their product.

It looks like you need to select a touch screen phone in order for Gravity to show up, even though that app absolutely does not require such a phone. Luckily, it seems the mobile version of the website doesn’t seem to filter based on your handset.

Gravity adds some sexiness to Symbian

Gravity screenshotSymbian may be the smartphone OS with the most experience, it does suffer from a certain dullness. It’s like the MS-DOS of mobile phone operating systems. Where the iPhone basically runs a trimmed down version of Apple’s OSX, Symbian was built to be light. Also on eye-candy. And it shows.

Fortunately, there are developers out there that create software that goes beyond that typical boring Symbian look and feel. Like mobileways.de, who recently released Gravity, a native Symbian Twitter client that brings both features and eye-candy.
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Google Sync for Symbian S60 limited on purpose?

Google SyncYesterday, Google announced a new beta version of their Sync service. It’s exactly what many Google Calendar users have been waiting for. It lets you synchronize your contacts and calendar events between ‘gcal’ and your iPhone, Blackberry or Windows Mobile smartphone. There’s also a Symbian (SyncML) version, but that does contacts only. But what puzzles me is why.

I’ve been using GooSync to sync my calendar, and their free service has been great. It’s a little limited (no contacts, one calendar only), but it works flawlessly. GooSync uses SyncML, an open standard supported by many handset and PDA manufacturers. So when I read about Google own SyncML option I was fully expecting it to sync my calendar. But alas. Google’s implementation does contacts only.

This got me thinking. Symbian made headlines last year because it plans to go open source. That means they’ll be entering Android territory. Perhaps Google’s little robot isn’t planning on a long time symbiosis with Nokia’s mobile platform? They wouldn’t… or would they?

Nokia E51 – Substance over style?

Nokia E51 Sony-Ericsson W890i

It was time to renew my cell phone contract this month, and I the first phone that caught my attention was Sony-Ericsson’s new W890i. It’s really flat (10mm), has a 320*240 pixel screen, great network support and all the usual features. But what really made me want one was the design. Boy does it look good. Unfortunately it’s not yet been released, and while I was waiting for it to become available I met the Nokia E51.
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