Saturday, July 2, 2011

Windows Phone 7 reaches 25,000 app milestone -

Windows Phone 7 reaches 25,000 app milestone -

Over 3,100 hitting the marketplace each month

Windows Phone 7 - appsolutely fabulous
Windows Phone 7 has racked up an impressive 25,000 apps to populate its app store despite being launched just eight months ago.
Although not official figures from Microsoft itself, app tracker WindowsPhoneApplist pegs the total number of apps in the Windows Phone 7 marketplace at 25,076.
Meanwhile, a second tracker, WP7Applications, reckons it's more like 24,878 in total, but let's face it; it all amounts to the same thing – that the Windows Phone app market is going great guns.
Appy days
The stats indicate that just over half of the apps in the market are free to use, with games and books taking the largest slices of the category pie.
Despite being dwarfed by the likes of the Android Market, which recently hit 4.5 billion downloads, and the Apple iOS App Store which claims over 425,000 apps, Microsoft's burgeoning OS is scrambling to catch up.
Now if only those device sales were looking a little healthier...

Read more:

Nokia: Windows Phone 7 apps boom down to us -

Applications News

Nokia: Windows Phone 7 apps boom down to us -

Exclusive: Without even releasing a device

Microsoft is probably feeling pretty chuffed that Windows Phone 7 has hit the 25,000 app milestone, but Nokia reckons it can take some of the credit after announcing its intention to create Windows Phone devices.
As Marco Argenti, Nokia's Senior Vice President of Developer and Marketplace, told TechRadar:
"After we announced our partnership with Microsoft, the amount of apps coming in to the marketplace has actually gone up quite a bit, has almost tripled.
"So we've seen this inflection point very clearly that even without launching a device because they [developers] see greater opportunities come."
Mine, all mine
Nokia is keen to woo its army of Symbian developers over to its new smartphone platform, luring them over with the promise of success in their local markets as well as a new and bigger global audience to target.
Argenti concluded, "That's one of the messages we're giving to our developers – to embrace the Windows [Phone 7] platform because we're going to bring it to all these markets that we will launch the device in.
"We're going to merchandise locally, we're going to build a local ecosystem; so there's a lot of excitement for developers."

Hands on: Windows Phone 7 Mango review -

Hands on: Windows Phone 7 Mango review -

Updated: 500 new Windows Phone updates land on the OS

Hands on with Windows Phone 7 Mango

There's a big smartphone operating system upgrade coming this autumn.
We're not talking about iOS 5 – although fans of this will be just as desperate to get their hands on Redmond's latest offering.
It's the best part of a year since Microsoft pressed CTRL, ALT + DEL on its Windows Mobile operating system and unveiled a new smartphone system called Windows Phone 7.
Up against Apple's iPhone, the young pretender Windows Phone 7 is as removed from the clunkiness of its forefather as it probably could be, heralding a new direction for the dominant force in desktop computing.
But it came with some glaring omissions, and now is the time for 'Mango', the first major update to fix all that.
Windows phone 7 mango
500 APIs have now been opened for developers. Journalists have been given a 60-plus page guide to the latest additions so that nothing is missed. The question is – is it enough?
Note that we're reviewing the upgrade to Windows Phone 7 here rather than a specific handset. This article concentrates on some of the new features and is not a detailed review of the entire operating system.
For comparison, we're looking at an HTC 7 Trophy running Mango (pictured left) and an HTC HD7 running the original Windows Phone 7 operating system. Please bear in mind that this is a preview build of Mango and, therefore, is missing some features which will be released when it is officially rolled out in autumn 2011.

Nokia says sayonara to Japan, one last time - news

02 July, 2011 
Nokia has finally decided to pull out of the Japanese market entirely once and for all. Although Nokia stopped supplying handsets to Japanese carriers in 2008, Nokia’s luxury brand of handsets – Vertu – still had some presence in Japan.

However, now Nokia will be shutting down the Vertu stores in the Shibuya and Ginza districts of Japan by the end of July. As for their phone service, run on network infrastructure leased from NTT DoCoMo Inc. it will be discontinued when its contract expires at the end of August.
Meanwhile, Nokia’s Tokyo office will remain open till the end of the year to handle fee refunds and other matters but then that too will be shut down, thus ending Nokia’s presence in Japan completely.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Anonymous RIM employee writes a scalding open letter to BlackBerry bosses, points out exactly where it hurts -

Yesterday BGR received an open letter by an anonymous high-level RIM employee, address to Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, CEOs of RIM. The employee pulled no punches as he (or she) outlined everything that is currently wrong with RIM and the reason they are losing so badly to Apple and Google.

gsmarena 001 Anonymous RIM employee writes a scalding open letter to BlackBerry bosses, points out exactly where it hurts

Among the things that the employee addressed the first was about BlackBerry devices lagging behind Apple’s when it comes to user experience. He also noted that Android devices lacked when it comes to simplicity and elegance and that BlackBerry has the opportunity to build something new and “uniquely BlackBerry” with QNX platform.

He also mentions the lack of a senior software leader at RIM who can make good decisions and come up with something that is comparable to what Apple, Google and Microsoft is doing. A lack of communication within the team was also highlighted.

He says RIM needs to concentrate on consumer demands instead of pleasing the carriers and that they should not be shipping products that aren’t 100% complete. A lack of applications was also mentioned and the need to bond with developers and again, not carriers.

The next point that was targeted was the lazy marketing and how RIM advertised the negatives of their competitors to sell their products instead of focusing on their own positive aspects.

There is also an apparent lack of accountability at RIM and that incompetent people are allowed to stay on and handle important decisions despite their past failures. He says that Canadians are too nice and if a company has to progress such people need to be showed the door and replaced with someone better.

The employee mentions the need for a new, fresh CEO who would understand the current scenario and handle the situation properly without snapping at the media.

Lastly he mentions the lack of interaction within the office and how some of them feel like Soviet-era government workplaces. The employees have lost confidence in the company and are likely to move elsewhere if the situation does not change.

Now RIM decided to respond to this letter in their typical business-like manner. Instead of acknowledging or even understanding the issues, they found it hard to believe it could be from any of their employees and then went on a rant of how everything is peachy. To sum it up, their response was basically someone putting fingers in their ears and going “LALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” when you try to give them some good advice.

The entire employee letter and RIM’s response to it is in the source links. Read them and do let us know what you think of them.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Symbian 3.2 and 5.0 get a browser and navigation update - news

29 June, 2011

Nowadays taking care of its latest smartphones is mandatory for every manufacturer with any kind of long term ambitions. However releasing an update for three-year old smartphones, ranging from entry level phones to former high-enders, and showing their owners that they aren't forgotten should certainly earn Nokia some bonus points.
The Finnish company just announced through their blog that they will be releasing an update for their Symbian 3.2 and 5.0 platforms. There's a whole bunch of handsets running those - check out the lengthy list:
  • Nokia E72
  • Nokia E52
  • Nokia E5
  • Nokia C5-00
  • Nokia 6700 slide
  • Nokia C6-00
  • Nokia C5-03
  • Nokia 5230
  • Nokia 5235
  • Nokia 5250
  • Nokia X6
  • Nokia N97 mini
  • Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
  • Nokia 5530 XpressMusic
  • Nokia 5530 XpressMusic
The update will bring the new Nokia browser v7.3 to the aging phones, which should significantly improve their browsing experience. This is the same browser that owners of newer Symbian phones will get when the Anna update is released. The benefits of the new browser include improved performance, support for International Domain Names (IDNs) and also supports non-ASCII letters such as Arabic or Chinese.
The other major feature of the firmware update is the updated Ovi Maps app. The software offering free voice-guided navigation will go to version Ovi Maps 3 SR4 on Symbian 3.2 devices, bringing indoor positioning through WiFi, as well as travel and recommendation services such as those through Lonely Planet. Those with Symbian 5.0 devices will get Ovi Maps 3 SR6, adding public transport lines and check-in services to social networking sites.
The final good bit about this update is the addition of a set of emoticons to the listed devices, which can be used when sending MMS.
Nokia C6-00 and Nokia 5230 are already eligible for the update, while the rest of the smartphones will get it in the next few weeks. So make sure you have the software update autocheck switched on in your phone.

Nokia X7-00 review: The stealth xpress -


Dressed to kill and with a fresh coat of paint on the interface, the Nokia X7 is keen to show there's still fight left in Symbian. The screen is a definite high point and the stainless steel body is fashioned like a stealth jet fighter. Symbian Anna adds in features that have been lacking in the OS, closing the gap on the competition.

Nokia X7 official photos
The Nokia X7 combines stainless steel and Gorilla glass into one seriously attractive package. It boasts stereo speakers (just two, rather than four as you might think looking at it) to justify its Xseries spot and an 8MP camera with 720p video recording.
The screen impressed us quite a bit as you'll see in our hardware chapter but that's not all we liked about the hardware. The software changes are not as far-reaching as we would have liked, but there are some key developments that that give Symbian a usability boost.
Here's the short version of what the Nokia X7 is about and what didn’t work out very well.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Penta-band 3G with 10.2 Mbps HSDPA and 2 Mbps HSUPA support
  • Stainless steel body
  • 4" 16M-color AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of 640 x 360 pixel resolution; Impressive brightness and Gorilla glass protection
  • 8 megapixel fixed-focus camera with dual-LED flash and 720p video @ 25fps recording; geotagging, face detection, smart zoom in video
  • Symbian Anna OS
  • 680 MHz ARM 11 CPU and 256 MB RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • GPS receiver with A-GPS support and free lifetime voice-guided navigation
  • Digital compass
  • microSD card slot (8GB card pre-installed)
  • DivX and XviD video support
  • Built-in accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Stereo FM Radio with RDS
  • microUSB port
  • Flash and Java support for the web browser
  • Stereo Bluetooth 3.0
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Smart dialing and voice commands
  • Social networking integration

Main disadvantages

  • Symbian Anna is still catching up with Android and iOS
  • Uncomfortable volume rocker, SIM tray and microSD card slot
  • Camera lacks auto focus, oversharpens images
  • Relatively limited 3rd party software availability
  • No office document editing (without a paid upgrade)
  • Battery life is not on par with the best in business
Despite our complaints, this is the best that Symbian has ever looked and Nokia has picked excellent devices to carry it. While the other one, the Nokia E6, is a business phone through and through, the X7 focuses on the fun stuff. From taking photos and videos, through deeper social networking integration, to watching HD videos and browsing the web on the large 4" screen.
The Nokia X7 is something you'll want to show off to your friends. The Nokia designers have done a good job of breaking the touchscreen mould that makes so many phones look uniformly similar.
Nokia X7 00 Nokia X7 00 Nokia X7 00 Nokia X7 00
Nokia X7 in our office
The Nokia X7 comes more as a successor to the C7 than a stand-alone version. But the C7 itself will be getting Symbian Anna soon, so the X7 needs to bring more to the battlefield than just the (admittedly great) bigger screen.
First we'll check on the arsenal in the box and then we're off to inspect the phone's angular charms. Join us on the next page to feast your eyes on the cool screen and discover the Nokia X7.

Press Here for the complete article


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nokia quietly unveils the Symbian-running C5 5MP - news

28 June, 2011 
Recently Nokia quietly added the specs of C5-00 5MP to its multiple websites. The candybar Symbian smartphone is virtually identical to its C5-00 sibling, but for the doubled RAM and boosted camera.
The name of the Nokia C5 5MP says it all. It's an 5MP version of the good old C5 smartphone. It has the same measurements, processor, Symbian S60 OS and features. There are just two differences - more memory (256MB RAM and 512MB ROM) and higher-resolution (5 megapixel) camera sensor.

Nokia C5 5MP
Perhaps Nokia is mum on this fella because the Finns think there's nothing to talk about here. Well, there might be no reason to call a press conference and heap praise on it, but it wouldn't have hurt anyone.
Anyway you may head this way to full specs or compare it to its older 3MP C5 sibling.
The Nokia C5 5MP should become available some time in the next quarter, but we don't have any information on its pricing just yet.

We have photos of the Nokia 700 (Zeta), Symbian Belle inside - news

28 June, 2011
A tipster just sent us photos of the Nokia 700, a.k.a. Zeta, along with some specs though they didn’t confirm if there really is a 1GHz processor inside. In one of the photos you can see the new homescreen of Symbian Belle, the successor of Anna.
They did give us some specs though - a 3.2" nHD AMOLED screen, which points to this being a Nokia C6-01 replacement. The Nokia 700 is also reportedly quite light (a bit over 80g) and measures 110 x 51 x 10mm, which doesn’t quite mesh with the "thinnest smartphone ever" claim, but those measurements can change as its design is still being developed.

Nokia 700 spy shots
From the photo, you can see that the camera is a 5MP unit and has a LED flash. We can't guess at whether or not it has autofocus though. Also, the Nokia 700 has NFC connectivity, which Nokia seems to be warming up to following the Nokia N9 announcement.
Other specs that the tipster managed to get out of the Nokia 700 (which as we speculated might be called N7) is that it runs Symbian Belle (an update to Anna) and packs Wi-Fi b/g/n. There's also fast HSPA speeds (10.2Mbps or 14.4Mbps downlink and 5.76Mbps downlink). The battery was a 1080mAh unit.
That's all we've got for now. We're not quite sure what the differences between the Nokia 700 and the N5 are yet or the other devices from the leaked specs sheets.
Thanks to our anonymous tipster!

Nokia to launch four new 1GHz Symbian smartphones? - news

28 June, 2011
Yesterday, we saw the Nokia N5 making a brief appearance on camera, running an updated version of Symbian Anna, otherwise known as Symbian Belle. We also found out that it will be followed by the N6 as well as the N7. Today we came across specifications of four new yet to be announced Symbian handsets and they all seem to be running on a 1GHz processor, a first for any Symbian device.
The first and the one with the best specs out of the bunch is the Helen or Nokia 701. It will have a 3.5-inch ClearBlack LCD, which is a bit curious as ClearBlack was limited to AMOLED displays so far. It will also have an 8 megapixel camera and is apparently a successor to the Nokia C7.
The second is Zeta or Nokia N700, which is supposed to be very thin and will have a 3.2-inch AMOLED display and NFC technology.

Next is Cindy, which too has NFC tech and a 3.2-inch AMOLED display, along with a 5 megapixel camera and will be a youth focused device, along the lines of the current Nokia X7, probably.
Lastly, there’s the Fate or Nokia 500, which will be the cheapest of the lot with the only redeeming features being its low price and a 5 megapixel camera.

We have a suspicion that the N5 that was leaked yesterday is actually the N500 and the N6 and N7 that are supposed to arrive later are the N600 and N700 (the Nokia 701 could be N7-01 or something). The fact that the N500 is going to be low-priced means it will be replacing the current low-end Symbian smartphones, which is exactly what we speculated about the N5 yesterday.
We don’t have any further details about these phones or any pictures. As usual, we will be looking out for them and when we find them, you’ll be the first to know.

Nokia N950 teardown reveals a 12 megapixel camera - news

27 June, 2011

It seems FCC has gotten their hands on the developer exclusive Nokia N950 and they have managed to tear it apart and expose its internals for the camera, which has led to a rather interesting discovery.

It seems that the N950 is rocking a 12 megapixel sensor, unlike the 8 megapixel unit on the N9. Although Nokia did say it will be different they forgot to mention it will be better than the camera on the N9, even though the N950 is a developer device.

Nokia N950 torn apart
Other interesting things that surfaced from the teardown are that the N950 has an LCD instead of an AMOLED display and a smaller 1320mAh battery compared to the 1450mAh battery on the N9, which would be fine for a developer handset.

Nokia camera guru D. Dinning reveals the N9 camera secrets - news

27 June, 2011
The 8 megapixel snapper at the back of the Nokia N9 might not be as much of a selling point as the 12 megapixel monster that the N8 packed, but that doesn't mean that its development took less effort. If you doubted this fact, you should definitely check out the interview with the Nokia Senior Manager for Solutions Planning Damian Dinning.
The man who played a key role in developing the imaging experience and the camera/video quality for a series of Nokia flagships including the N95, N86 8MP and, of course, the Nokia N8 camera, stepped on stage to reveal some of the secrets that the N9 snapper hides. Here are some of the key points that Mr. Dinning talked about.
Now you might have noticed that earlier, but the N9 camera isn't exactly 8 megapixels. The number MeeGo flagship sensor actually has 8.7 million active pixels and an unorthodox 1.45:1 aspect ratio. This allows it to shoot in both 4:3 and 16:9 modes without much resolution loss.
So while the N8 loses a quarter of its 12 megapixels to produce a 16:9 image, the N9 only sacrifices 1.6 megapixels to go widescreen. The price that the Nokia N9 paid is that it's unable to shoot at its full 8.7 megapixel resolution at all and 8 megapixels is the best it can do. Check out the illustration below to see how this actually works.

Next, Damian Dinning, highlighted that Nokia has equipped the N9 with a sharp Carl-Zeiss lens that offer the largest aperture (f/2.2) in business. A larger aperture (indicated by a smaller F-number) allows more light to reach the sensor, which usually results in better low-light images. You see with a brighter lens the camera can choose to use lower ISO or higher shutter speed, which results in less noisy or less shaky images.
And to those of you wondering just how bright f/2.2 is, it is 75% brighter than the N8 lens. So if the two cameras decide to use the same shutter speed the N9 will be able to pick a significantly lower ISO setting than its sibling, and still get the same exposure. So while the N8 does pack a 70% larger sensor, you should expect a similar image quality from the N9.
By the way the Nokia N9 camera also packs 28mm wide-angle lens, so you will be able to fit more in the frame with it.
The N9 flash unit also got some attention. Now it's no xenon, but it's the most powerful LED produced by Nokia yet. The gain compared to the previous best is 20%, which isn't bad at all considering its compact size.
We'd like to remind you that the first batch of Nokia N9 camera samples surfaced earlier today. You should definitely go and check them out in our blog if you haven't done so already.
And if you feel like reading more about the Nokia N9 camera, feel free to follow the source link for more from Mr. Dinning.

Nokia N5 images leaks, powered by updated Symbian Anna - news

27 June, 2011

We have got our hands on some exclusive pictures of the upcoming Nokia N5. The device is based on an updated version of Symbian Anna, as can be seen from the revised interface and looks a lot like Harmattan on the N9.

The N5 will be available in black and white colored versions, with the white colored model having a lime green rear. On the front you can see the touchscreen display, which looks like it could be around 3.2-inch in size and call, end and menu buttons below it. The right side has the volume control and camera shutter buttons while the left side is left blank. On the back is a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and a loudspeaker below.
Nokia N5 Nokia N5 Nokia N5 Nokia N5 Nokia N5 Nokia N5 Nokia N5 Nokia N5
The source has confirmed that the N5 will be followed by N6 and N7, possibly with larger displays and higher resolution cameras. These phones will quite possibly replace Nokia’s current low-end Symbian touchscreen smartphones, which are still running on the archaic Symbian S60 5th Edition.
No more information is available on these at the moment but we will keep you posted.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Interesting facts about the new Nokia N9 - news

27 June, 2011

We try to bring you as much news as possible about the new Nokia N9 because we are excited about the device and the platform, even if Nokia isn’t. So when we came across a whole stash of interesting facts about this phone, we couldn’t resist posting it here.

Website ShootSpeak has compiled this list of facts about the Nokia N9 and if you want to read all of them we suggest you hit the source link but here are the ones we found the most interesting.
  • There is currently no way to create folders in the main application menu although it may be added later.
  • You can close applications instead of just minimizing them if you swipe from the top of the display instead of the side, although this function has to be enabled first from the settings menu.
  • N9 can play Flash videos in the video player, along with other formats such as MKV up to 720p resolution but it cannot play Flash videos in the web browser due to a lack of Adobe Flash player plugin.
  • The N9 has hardware support for an FM radio but currently there is no software for it, although it can be added later. This is similar to the N900, which too shipped without an FM radio application.
  • There is a possibility that the homescreen will be open-sourced so that its functionality can be increased by adding widgets and stuff.
  • Colin Guiles, Executive VP of Sales for Nokia, said in a meeting with Malaysian journalists that the N9 will be retailing for $600 and $749 for the 16GB and 64GB respectively, although the prices could change later.
  • Games can include the ability to disable the swipe feature to prevent accidentally minimizing the game while playing.
  • The camera architecture is open on the N9, so third-party camera applications and RAW access is possible later on.