Nov 102010
 

Now that the fate of Symbian as an open OS is all but fixed, its time for recapitulation.

TechCrunch has a great and insightful article by a Symbian insider called Tim Ocock – he takes a detailed and very interesting look at the mistakes made in the history of Symbian.

One cool tidbit is here:

Nokia blocked inclusion of a standard camera API in the Symbian product roadmap claiming it would be years before anyone built a cameraphone, weeks before the launch of the 7650, the first GSM cameraphone. …

Definitely hit the URL below:
http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/11/08/guest-post-symbian-os-one-of-the-most-successful-failures-in-tech-history/

Jul 252010
 

Nokia’s Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo got about as much press as Steve Jobs recently – with the difference that he wasn’t praised but rather asked to “step back”.

Tomi T. Ahonen, on the other hand, is known mostly for writing long posts. He has recently written a “verdict” on Olli-Pekka’s life at Nokia:

Nokia is the world’s bestselling mobile phone brand – selling more mobile phones as numbers 2 and 3 combined. Nokia is also the world’s largest smartphone maker – selling more smartphones than numbers 2 and 3 combined. Nokia is profitable where most rivals are struggling to make profits. None of Nokia’s big 5 global handset makers have managed to migrate customers to smartphones in meaningful ways, while Nokia’s market share in smartphones is better than its market share in dumbphones. By all measures Nokia is executing well. Why is Wall Street demanding his head on a plate?

I think its a combination of 6 factors. There is Apple’s iPhone of course. Then there is the question of Nokia’s profits. There is one particular Nokia phone model, the N97. There is the smartphone operating system Symbian. There is OPK’s promise to investors that he would restore Nokia’s market share in the US market. And lastly – but very importantly – there is the relative lack of sophistication and knowledge of the US based analysts who are far more familiar with the easier and simpler PC industry than the complex mobile industry. This is another very long article, so please bookmark the page and read it when you have good time.

Grab yourself a cup of coffee and hit the URL below:
http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2010/07/ …

Feb 232010
 

Long-term followers of Tamoggemon know that the products usually have a minimized interface – this is due to fanatic tap counting in the UI design department. However, tap counting is but part of a successful mobile UI – you usually also need to adhere to common design patterns.

So far, no collection of design patterns for mobile applications has been published in book form. However, the design4mobile wiki is a more than adequate replacement:
mobile design patterns Mobile Design Patterns   the list

Hit the link below to find out more:
http://patterns.design4mobile.com/index.php/Main_Page

Jul 152009
 

James Burland has run a so-called “Creative N95 photo award” for quite some time: even though there were no cash prices AFAIK, hundreds of N95 users submitted their bnest pictures to Flickr in order to have them judged. Some of the pictures turned out to be really stunning (after a bit of post-processing)…and were an excellent testimonial to the power of the N95.

Unfortunately, the device is now two years old – which has made James feel like ending the show. His statement reads as follows:

Would you believe that these awards have been running since September 2007! Amazing isn’t it? In those 2 years, we’ve witnessed the N95 go from strength to strength, selling by the millions and cementing its place in gadget history. But all good things must come to an end and with the introduction of the N97 and N86, the N95 is no longer the flagship device it once was.

Even though I cannot share his enthusiasm for the N86 8MP (samples coming shortly – was Nokia involved here??), I nevertheless encourage you all to hit their web site at the link below in order to see a few stunning shots:
http://web.me.com/jamesburland/

Jan 072009
 

My FH Hagenberg friend Andreas Jakl (best regards – hope to see you again soon) has just stumbled across a highly interesting web site called whatisinmysis.com. He describes it as following:

The website whatisinmysis.com is an online interface to the sisinfo Python-script. You simply upload the .sis-file to the website, and it will display all the information about its contents. Easy, fast and free. No setup on your PC is required. The privacy statement on the site ensures that your uploaded files are deleted immediately after analysis.

whatisinmysis.com will display the following:

* Contents of .sis file and installation directory of each entry
* Capabilities of each executable (exe, dll, .pyd)
* Certificate chain

This one could be highly useful for all of you who want to look at a sis file before installing it – visit his blog via the link above to find out about more useful sis-related web sites!

Dec 092008
 

Red Five Labs’s Net60 application allows you to run .NET CF apps on S60 and UIQ phones – while NetS60 would be more adequate, the company has chosen to name their product Net60 instead.

As I frequently google for NetS60 rather than NetS60, I have decided to post this post to help all my confused mates – the URL’s below should satisfy all your .NET CF on S60 needs:

Net60 home page

Evaluation license

Support forums

Nov 292008
 

Nokia has just released its N-Gage game sales ranking for this week. Unsurprisingly, the top-three games are casual gamer titles:

  1. Tetris
  2. World Series of Poker
  3. Café Solitaire 12-Pack
  4. ONE
  5. Asphalt 3

I personally think that these figures are highly interesting, as they show that the N-Gage platform is being accepted by more and more end customers who are not exceptionally tech-savvy.

While the developers of “big” games aren’t too happy about this, I personally predict that this is good for the N-Gage platform as whole. Gamers which appeal to casual customers are much easier to develop than games for power users (and sell better) – the higher ROI will lead to more developers wanting to join the N-Gage arena (if Nokia lets them)…

P.S. The developers of real “pro games” usually don’t make it into N-Gage anyways. Did anyone of you hear from Great Ape making it on there with their highly realistic driving sim, for example…

Nov 262008
 

Snake oil Most gamers not addicts   Keith Bakker, addiction expertHospital wards all over the world fill up as more and more snake oil salesmen get cerebral stroked and heart attacks. Austria’s hospital system is breaking down, parent mortality rate exceeds 50%.

The horror scenario outlined above could very well become truth if Keith Bakker, head of Europe’s only clinic for gaming addicted people, gets more media attention. His bold claim:

“These kids come in showing some kind of symptoms that are similar to other addictions and chemical dependencies,” he says.

“But the more we work with these kids the less I believe we can call this addiction. What many of these kids need is their parents and their school teachers – this is a social problem.”

Paddy Maguire (BBC News) visited him in Amsterdam, and interviewed him on a variety of gaming-related topics. Another popular myth was debunked in the process:

This kind of aggression is not uncommon in young gamers who feel frustrated with their real lives. Besides addiction, aggression and violence form part of the ongoing debate about the influence of gaming on impressionable minds.

When two students killed twelve pupils and a teacher in the Columbine High School shooting in the US in 1999, many believed that their common interest in playing violent games had helped to trigger the massacre.

Research at Smith & Jones seems to imply that feelings of anger and powerlessness often pre-exist a compulsion to play violent games. In some cases these people find each other in the gaming world and form a bond based on those feelings of alienation and anger.

Do your editor a favour and be a good net citizen: pass this story on to your friends and colleagues. Millions of gamers will love for you…it’s a karma thing. Deal? Thank you!

Oct 062008
 

Eldar Muratsin has finally posted an English version of his impressions from the XpressMusic 5800′s launch to his web site mobile-review.

Everybody who is interested in the Tube must hit the URL above immediately: Eldar provides over 50 photos of the event and the device, and also looks at the background behind the XpressMusic 5800.

He provides a detailed analysis of the content economy behind the device, and also looks at past XpressMusic device sales. Of course, a full preliminary review of the box is there, too.

What are you waiting for? Hit the link asap :-) .

Sep 202008
 

Being based in Austria has some unfortunate side effects: I am talking about things like press departments not knowing about S60. Apparently, the press departments on other countries are far more advanced – symbian-freak just posted a nice camera comparison between the Samsung INNOV8 and Nokia’s now-classic N93.

Nokia’s image processing algorithms have never been too good: apparently, the company believes in creating images that “look good” rather than images that are very rich of detail (similar, to some extent, to my Olympus E520).

According to symbian-freak’s, this manifests itself in sharpening halos and excessive noise/moire reduction (leading to washed-out images). Samsung’s INNOV8 can’t hide its Samsung heritage (the company has a long history of producing decent digital cameras) and performs significantly better…

Get the full scoop here:
http://www.symbian-freak.com/reviews/photography/n93_vs_innov8/giants_battle__nokia_93_vs_samsung_i8510.htm

Aug 282008
 

LG’s KT610 has always been an oddball device to some extent – it was similar to Nokia’s E90 communicator, but was smaller and…generally different. The boys at GSMArena now managed to get a sample, and bring the first review ever!

Unfortunately, LG decided to adopt a few boneheaded ideas from Asus – namely the idea that small screens are better than big ones. The external screen of the device is said to be useless, the internal screen isn’t that big either.

The device’s build quality is said to be very good, as is the internal screen’s quality, sound quality and the keyboard. Unfortunately, the device’s camera and software aren’t too good, and lacks WiFi.

Get the full scoop here!

Aug 282008
 

Providing ads to mobile web sites gives you loads of data about mobile web browsers. Intelligent companies like AdMob make parts of this data available to the press to gain free PR (here you go) by helping the press do its job.

Anyways, this month’s “Mobile Metrics Report” was especially interesting, as it looked at worldwide browser market shares for mobile web browsers. The chart below is from the report linked above:
Unbenannt AdMob on browser market share

Classic smartphone web browsers surprisingly make up a minuscule of requests: Palm’s Blazer and Apple’s mobile Safari (which is a much better browser) both have 2% market share, Microsoft’s Pocket Internet Explorer and RIM’s browser both don’t exceed the 4% mark.

Nokia’s browsers (S40 and S60) and OpenWave (a classic dumbphone browser) both have about 30% of the market each, with Access’s Netfront (deployed on smartphones and embedded) coming in as a distant third with 12%. Amusingly, Sony’s CLIE handhelds make up for 4% of these 12%, which gives them a total market share of about 0.5%.

The real lesson which can be learned here is that smartphones and their users are an almost-ignorable minority when it comes to mobile web usage. We may be the most vocal bunch, but our numbers diminish compared to the millions of “dumbphone” users populating the mobile internet (and likely having a data contract). As each and every phone that has a web browser also is Java capable nowadays, the implications that this has on the size of the J2ME market are obvious: it is huge.

What do you think?

A big thank-you goes out to AdMob for providing the data!

Aug 232008
 

Nokia’s attempts to market the E71 in the USA have just received a huge boost – Joel Spolsky (a very influential US tech blogger) has just published a “rave review” of the device.

Joel was very impressed with the “launch party”, and stzates that the E71 is the best phone he ever used.

Further information (and a comparision with the iPhone) can be found at Joel Spolsky’s blog!

Aug 232008
 

The Nokia E90 has been reviewed all over the place in the last months – however, all reviews were based on a slightly reddish model. YouTube user erikhumstad now got his hands on an all-black one…and created an unboxing video!

People with a YouTube-capable Browser can watch his movie(called “Unboxing the Nokia E90 Communicator Black”) at the link below. It takes about 4 minutes, and has truly annoying background music (so turn these speakers off)…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMIWnmqurIA

Aug 162008
 

I have no idea how the folks at AllAboutSymbian’s manage to get their hands onto Samsung’s S60 handsets – Samsung Austria’s press department doesn’t even know about them(!!) and thus can’t give out any samples either.

Nevertheless, the boys took a look at the SGH-i550w with the latest firmware updates. Steve Lichfield was pretty happy with the device, but disliked the trackball found on the machine as it doesn’t work together too well with S60 applications. Furthermore, the camera software doesn’t allow you to lock focus(there’s no “focus lock” facility that allows you to recompose the picture after focusing).

Click the link below for the full scoop:
http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/reviews/item/Samsung_SGH-i550.php