Posts Tagged ‘n97’

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Nokia N97 Gets v20 Firmware Update

October 27, 2009

Nokia Software Update application Today saw the release of the long awaited v20 firmware update which was expected to bring kinetic scrolling throughout all menus on the N97, being able to hold keys down to access the alternative character/number when typing as well as some other much needed bug fixes. One important feature which was expected, Skype, is not included and is expected again, at a later date.

An excerpt of the change list from Steve Litchfield at All About Symbian:
Improvements in firmware 20.2.019 are:

  • A reworked memory mapping model – this means that applications use the (relatively) limited RAM much more efficiently and you should rarely see any memory errors. Note that the available ‘Free RAM’ after booting is now a lot less (around 47MB), but don’t take this raw number too literally – apps apparently use less RAM than before
  • Kinetic scrolling in the User Interface in all lists and larger-than-screen views
  • The keyboard driver has been enhanced so that a long press on any key brings up its associated ‘function’ symbol (or number)
  • Music player shows album art more reliably, plus extra MP3 ID3 information
  • Half a dozen new social media and services widgets have been added by default
  • Camera still and video improvements…

For those of you running a sim-free unlocked UK Nokia N97, the v12 update has only been able since the 17th of October, there may be quite a wait for v20 unless the posts on the Nokia forum have been read.

The update is probably only available to Euro sim-free variants but worth a try if you have a non-operator branded handset from another region. For more information check out this post on how to update your N97 firmware. Over the air updates using the built-in Software app may not be available for a few days.

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Opera Mini Beta 5 – Optimised for N97 et al.

September 21, 2009

The previous version of Opera Mini worked well on Symbian S60 3rd Edition handsets but wasn’t conceived in anticipation of the touch-screen version of the S60, S60 5th Edition, which can be found on the Nokia N97 and the 5800, to name two. As a result touch functionality didn’t work and the user had to fall back to the hardware keys of the N97 and the virtual keypad of the 5800.

Opera has now released Opera Mini Beta 5 which is a godsend for those with a touch-screen mobiles and brings with it some great new features that should have been part of the inbuilt browser of the Nokia N97, in particular. So, what does Opera Mini Beta 5 offer besides touch friendly browsing.

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Tabbed Browsing
An awesome feature especially on a mobile device which has a small screen. The native S60 browser doesn’t handle multiple windows well and to force a new window you have to create a custom page/bookmark hack as the feature is not available natively. The way this has been implemented on S60 5th adds to the usability as the thumbnails of the page are shown in the tab, which will work well for those who prefer to see the colours/images of a page rather than read the name of the tab to identify it.

Select Text/Copy
One thing that Nokia have missed the boat on is the copying of content from the web browser with their S60 devices. Opera opens up this feature and is activated by pressing down on the screen until a balloon with “Select Text” appears. Once text is highlighted, by dragging a finger or stylus across the screen, another balloon pops up offering options to “Copy,” “Search,” or “Search with,” which allows you to select a search engine. Nice time saving features allowing information to be freed from the browser.

Save Page
You can save web pages to the device so they can be viewed offline. Another cool feature allowing pages to be saved, just like on a PC browser but for a mobile device, options can be set as to where you would like pages saved on the phone, to prevent those ‘low disk space’ errors!

On-Screen QWERTY Keyboard
A handy feature for the N97 which doesn’t have this natively. Sure, there is a physical keyboard but sometimes you aren’t typing enough to warrant opening the keyboard, but just enough that the on-screen number pad becomes an inconvenience.

Speed Dial
Opera Mini b5 can be set to open up on the Speed Dial page, a grid of 9 thumbnails representing your favourite sites, providing you with quick access to them from start up. This has replaced my Start.io homepage and instead the Start.io page can have a speed dial box.

Password Manager
If you hate signing-in to sites over and over again, the password manager will be a boon, although if you frequently misplace your phones, this feature may be better left unused.

I have been Opera Mini Beta 5 briefly, but some sites aren’t formatted correctly, resulting in text overlaps, yet these pages appear normally in the default S60 browser. There’s no bookmark sync, which might have been the feature to get me to install Opera on my PC! Due to the addition of kinetic scrolling for touch-screen devices, the screen no longer snaps to the edges of paragraphs, so when scrolling up and down, unless you keep your finger, thumb or stylus on a perfectly vertical trail, you will find the page moving horizontally also. On a positive note, browsing on Opera Mini remains snappy, great access to pages using speed dial and tabs adds to the experience. With the addition of the qwerty keyboard, convenience and speed seems to have been the primary focus of this release. This is great progress on a great app and a lot of thought seems to have gone into improving the mobile browsing experience, which can be a chore at times!

Give the app a try if you haven’t used it before: opera.com/mini/next.

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MWC 2009 Barcelona – Day 1 Nokia

February 17, 2009

Yesterday saw the start of the 2009 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. A large number of mobile hardware, software and accessory manufacturers gather to show off their wares to the world, it could be considered the mobile telephony version of CES.

Nokia’s conference revealed a number of devices and services for the coming year further improving on offerings from 2008.

The useless Download app on Nokia phones has for a while now been an after-thought for getting applications and utilities to peoples’ phones. It seems there may be a decent solution in the form of the Ovi Store with a url, publish.ovi.com, for anyone wanting to get their content onto the Ovi Store. Signups for developers/publishers is open now with the Ovi Store available to compatible devices in May. The long anticipated N97 will be the first Nokia to have the Ovi Store software pre-installed.

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The Ovi store will also be location aware and as Nokia put it, can provide “…targeted content based on their social connections and physical location.” How this will be useful beyond the given example of Spanish content items when in Spain, remains to be explored. Perhaps those travel/audio guides would be handy.

 

When it comes to hardware, Nokia devices are universal with handsets available for all budgets and with various capabilities. Yesterday a number of handsets were announced to build on their existing portfolio.

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Nokia wanted to create the worlds thinnest smartphone and why not, what suit-wearing person wants a bulge in their jacket or trouser pocket. In this case, the bulge will only be 9.9mm thick. The Nokia E55 is that handset and claims 28 days of standby time, good if you don’t use your phone, and up to eight hours of talk time. This is the first Nokia handset that I know of to have neither a standard abc, def, keypad or a full qwerty. Instead, the E55 uses what Blackberry users know as SureType, two letters per key in a qwerty fashion. Other features include GPS, digital compass, wi-fi and in this thin handset, a 3.5mm headphone jack. The handset will be available in March, this year, for €265 sim-free, available in Black, Aluminium and White Aluminium.

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Also announced was the Nokia E75, another E-series business smartphone with standard corporate email access and the first to come integrated with Nokia Messaging. It has a horizontal slide-out fully qwerty keyboard. The handset will be available next month for €375 sim-free in Silver/black, Red and Copper Yellow.

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Nokia’s Navigator range of handsets are reinforced with the addition of the 6710 Navigator, which comes with a Nokia Maps and navigation licences pre-installed so the device is ready to use. The 6710 Navigator is a vertical slider handset which will also come with a car holder and is expected to be around €300 sim-free; available during Q3 2009 in Titanium and Brown.

 

The Nokia 6720 Classic was also announced, a candybar smartphone running S60 9.2. It is what I would consider, a common/standard-level smartphone, with 5MP camera and LED flash (LED!…*groan*), TV-out connection and built-in GPS. It has nothing exceptional that hasn’t been seen on previous top end N-series handsets and it probably serves to bring the technology to more people as prices drop. Available in Titanium, Grey and Brown for around €245 in Q2 2009.

 

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N86 is Nokia’s answer to the megapixel race (and hopefully the image quality race too!) at 8mp, it has exceeded their stale 5MP barrier. Is this new 8MP vertical slide handset going to be the new standard for this and next year’s Nokias?

Claims of aperture akin to that of a dedicated digital camera and shorter latency and fast mechanical shutter aim this squarely at the multimedia and photography demographic. No Xenon flash, instead there are two LEDs With all the features one would expect of an N-series device, such as wi-fi, 3g, GPS, TV-out along with 8GB of built-in storage and additional Micro-SD card slot. the N86 also features an OLED screen providing better contrast and colours, important for a phone where the photographic capability is being touted. Expect it to be available Q2 2009 €375 sim-free.

tags: MWC 2009, mobile world congress, conference, Nokia, Navigator, ovi, store, n86, 6720 classic, 6710 navigator, e75, e55, n97, barcelona