In anticipation of a new browser coming to Symbian^3, it's time to do a little hypothetical thinking about the browsing scene on Symbian. In this editorial, I consider the case for Nokia cooperating with the Mozilla Foundation, for Fennec to be shipped with Symbian devices. This is of course blue sky thinking, as Web is deeply integrated into Symbian and Nokia have already said the future of the Symbian browser is Qt Webkit based. Despite that, there is an interesting, theoretical, case to be made, which I explore in this editorial. Whether you agree or not, read on to see what you make of my arguments - comments are invited.
You'll remember that I've been evolving a number of theories on the subject of just what makes a 'smartphone' smart? I postulated that Nokia's definition (and mine) of a 'smartphone' differed rather wildly from that of the popular tech media, who are really talking about what we're now starting to term 'superphones'. In the feature below, I present more analysis of the mobile device world, showing that there are in fact four specific 'bands' of form and functionality - bands that will always exist - one size really can't fit all.
Nokia World 2010 played host to a number of mini exhibitions, including the inspiring and fun hacking competition, Nokia Push, which now includes the N8 alongside the N900. As well as ingenious and geeky N900 hacks, kite and skateboard mountings for both the N900 and N8 were on display. The latter were built to be given out to film makers so that they could use these Nokia handsets to obtain otherwise unobtainable camera angles. Read on for photos and more information.
Watching the feeds and blog sites in the last week would get a hypochondriac very worried, as multiple sites are reporting a “dangerous and new threat” from touchscreen smartphones, specifically that there are highly infectious virii being transmitted by sharing phones (stories like ”The Ultimate Bacteria Carrier” being typical). Really? You know, a bit of research and some common sense proves exactly the opposite. If you want to read more than the first paragraph, that is.
Navteq were present at Nokia World 2010, with one of their GeoData collection cars taking centre stage. They were also showing a promotional video of their LIDAR based 3D data collection system. Also on display was the first showing of a mobile client to actually make use of Navteq's 3D street maps, running on the Maemo-powered Nokia N900. Read on for more details and a demonstration video.
One of the future technology demonstrations at Nokia World 2010 was an innovative system for providing indoor location services. Indoor positioning has always been a missing link in navigation software because GPS signals cannot penetrate into buildings. This new system from Nokia Research Centre has the potential to revolutionise navigation, providing a seamless transition between outdoor and indoor navigation. For example, allowing people to navigate to a public place, and then find their way around once inside, and much more. Read on.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee's keynote speech started day two of Nokia World 2010 and I was there for All About Symbian to try and bring you his key points, summarised below. Sir Tim talked about the underlying principles that effect every member of the information society, not just Nokia users. As ever, he championed and promoted an open Internet and stands by the need for Net Neutrality. He currently holds a position at MIT, where the World Wide Web Consotium (WC3), of which Nokia are a member, is currently hosted.
David Gilson has a theory. It concerns correlating the aspect ratio of a smartphone's virtual or physical qwerty keyboard with text entry speed, on the grounds that one's thumbs have more (or less) work to do, depending on form factor. Read on for his data and the theory in detail - and see if you can help produce more data points with your own device(s).
Playing devil's advocate, but only to a degree, Steve Litchfield turns the entire smartphone world on its head by rejecting its latest darling - large touchscreens. Ask any pundit in the mobile world about smartphones and you'll get the answer that it's all about touch. About large displays that can be caressed and programmed and manipulated with your fingers. Except that traditional, non-touch form factors have these 2010 'flagships' well and truly beat - here are the Top 10 Reasons Why Touchscreens Suck.
Over the last few years, I've had a burning conviction that's been growing and growing as I watch the current craze for 'Apps' blossom. Now, I've nothing against genuine applications or games, but it has to be said that a large number of so-called 'Apps' are simply scraping or managing exactly the same data as you get right now, on any phone, for free. And my way there are no installations, no complications and no hassle. Apps? Pah - I've a new slogan to rival Apple's. "There's a Bookmark for that!"