All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

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  #31  
Old 07-12-2009, 04:26 PM
clonmult clonmult is offline
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Interesting discussion on the potential for having later operating systems/firmwares available on older devices.

Previously Nokia have differentiated the various releases by improvements in the firmware, and very rarely adding any new functionality to the older products (N73 added A2DP, thats the only one that springs to mind).

I believe that Nokias Symbian development has closely tied the hardware and the software with no obvious benefits. For example, i would have expected the N85 SMS subsystems to be similar to that on the N95, but they can't be, as I'm having bugs in N85 v30 that didn't ever exist on the N95 in either v20 or v30 from.

Nokia ideally need to separate out/divorce the hardware, kernel, user level functionality and user interface elements to allow them to keep the same core for all devices, and only leverage the facilities on that hardware.

This would require a standard interface to various elements - GPS, camera/flash, digital compass, wifi, 3G/UMTS, etc. There is absolutely no technical reason why they can't do it - purely political.

If the N85 firmware were available on the N95, and if it was enabled to make use of the graphics acceleration, I'd go back to my N95 in a heartbeat. But to allow such would reduce the impact and sales of the older devices.

Nokias potential lead in the marketplace is being eroded, at the very least at the mindshare level - they need to do something as soon as possible to reduce this potential impact to their bottom line.

  #32  
Old 07-12-2009, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by clonmult View Post

This would require a standard interface to various elements - GPS, camera/flash, digital compass, wifi, 3G/UMTS, etc. There is absolutely no technical reason why they can't do it - purely political.
If Nokia wish to remain flexible and source components from the value/best/most available supplier at any point in time then a standard interface becomes more difficult, due to incompatibilities between the same component from different makers. Component supplies are often subject ot sudden shortage.

An approach would be to use the Windows model - abstracting the interface with a 'device driver' but this brings its own set of problems.

  #33  
Old 07-12-2009, 05:21 PM
jonnybruha jonnybruha is offline
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Steve, I can't help but feel like you just dug up a list of excuses rather than realistic reasons why YOU (not the average smartphone consumer) aren't using the device. Are you really trying to argue that YOU, a veteran in the world of smartphones are legitimately daunted by installing cooked firmware and concerned with Samsung's support in the future? C'mon now.

I will agree with you about the lack of UDP for those rare occassions that updating firmware is necessary. That said, I haven't missed it since my i8910 has been running exceptionally well for almost 3 months now without the need for an update. Everything else you mentioned is fixable with minor tweaks, if not already fixed as is.

You're still a fanboy, but for Symbian, not just Nokia.

  #34  
Old 07-12-2009, 05:49 PM
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Ammar_Dento Ammar_Dento is offline
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Originally Posted by malerocks View Post
I am confused. Someone help me please. AFAIK, don't capacitive screens need the electrical energy / pulse or something from your fingers to work and that is why they don't work with gloves on, stylus, etc. How do raindrops get the i8910 HD capacitive screen to work??
Correct me if am wrong but i think water have some electrical energy or at least it transfer some electrical energy and this is enough to operate something in a Capacitive screen.
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  #35  
Old 07-12-2009, 06:07 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnybruha View Post
Steve, I can't help but feel like you just dug up a list of excuses rather than realistic reasons why YOU (not the average smartphone consumer) aren't using the device. Are you really trying to argue that YOU, a veteran in the world of smartphones are legitimately daunted by installing cooked firmware and concerned with Samsung's support in the future? C'mon now.
In looking at devices for review, I try and represent 'everyman', rather than the hardened geek/hacker. The i8910 HD is clearly the Symbian hAcK3R's dream - and if I had any free time, I'd have fun with it, as you all obviously are - but for all the reasons quoted, it's not ready for the mainstream yet.
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  #36  
Old 07-12-2009, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Ammar_Dento View Post
Correct me if am wrong but i think water have some electrical energy or at least it transfer some electrical energy and this is enough to operate something in a Capacitive screen.
I was curious about this because I wouldn't expect water droplets to operate a screen, they are conductive but not substantial enough to have the effect of dropping the charge on a screen.

So I have done some experiments with an iPhone and an 8910 using a pipette and I can't get either screen to respond to water regardless of what I do.

This is a good thing, because a touch screen that sensitive would have been unusable.

  #37  
Old 07-12-2009, 07:52 PM
rvirga rvirga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slitchfield View Post
I was looking over the last 5 years. Nokia have experimented with 6 or 7 different form factors and screen sizes, plus have dallied with digital compass, Xenon flash, FM Transmitters, stereo speakers, multimedia playback controls, active kick stands, variable aperture cameras, LED torch mode, dual screens, active noise cancellation and a lot more, all more or less unique to Nokia - I'm sure readers here could pick out more gadgets. And they all need integrating in various ways to the on-board software.
I had no idea Symbian was so badly engineered that even something trivial like stereo speakers or an active stand would require heavy customization, making it hard to port it to a new OS release! Every phone has its hardware gimmicks, even Android ones. The G1 for example has a trackball. The Droid has lots of gimmicks: two extra buttons on the keyboard, two special docks that trigger the activation of particular programs (the Droid Car Mount and the Multimedia Dock), and CrystalTalk noise reduction technology to name a few. Yet they both are Google Experience phones, and hence upgradeable to future OS releases from Google.
Linux-based operating systems cope with the extra hardware elegantly: it is all handled by kernel modules that get loaded at boot time only if the corresponding hw is detected, and otherwise stay dormant. If a userspace program or plugin is needed to control the hardware 'gadget', this is can be implemented so that it can be trivially ported to subsequent OS releases with a simple recompile.
I am shocked to learn that adding support for even the most trivial gimmick is such a hassle on Symbian. I always thought that the non-upgradeability of Symbian phones was an evil marketing ploy by Nokia to force us to buy always new handsets, even when the new phone's hardware was no better than the old one's. Instead, it turns out that Symbian phones are non-upgradeable to new OS releases because Symbian is a very shitty OS. Thanks for opening my eyes.

  #38  
Old 07-12-2009, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rvirga View Post
I had no idea Symbian was so badly engineered that even something trivial like stereo speakers or an active stand would require heavy customization, making it hard to port it to a new OS release! Every phone has its hardware gimmicks, even Android ones. The G1 for example has a trackball. The Droid has lots of gimmicks: two extra buttons on the keyboard, two special docks that trigger the activation of particular programs (the Droid Car Mount and the Multimedia Dock), and CrystalTalk noise reduction technology to name a few. Yet they both are Google Experience phones, and hence upgradeable to future OS releases from Google.
Linux-based operating systems cope with the extra hardware elegantly: it is all handled by kernel modules that get loaded at boot time only if the corresponding hw is detected, and otherwise stay dormant. If a userspace program or plugin is needed to control the hardware 'gadget', this is can be implemented so that it can be trivially ported to subsequent OS releases with a simple recompile.
I am shocked to learn that adding support for even the most trivial gimmick is such a hassle on Symbian. I always thought that the non-upgradeability of Symbian phones was an evil marketing ploy by Nokia to force us to buy always new handsets, even when the new phone's hardware was no better than the old one's. Instead, it turns out that Symbian phones are non-upgradeable to new OS releases because Symbian is a very shitty OS. Thanks for opening my eyes.
What a drama queen.

  #39  
Old 07-12-2009, 08:52 PM
UKJeeper UKJeeper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ammar_Dento View Post
Correct me if am wrong but i think water have some electrical energy or at least it transfer some electrical energy and this is enough to operate something in a Capacitive screen.
Next time i'm out in the rain, i'll try and repeat the experience.

  #40  
Old 07-12-2009, 10:39 PM
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Take care man. dont break your device.
I said that because i want to explain the previous comment about water drops activating the screen. I didnt own a Samsing phone,and i dont have anything against it either.
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  #41  
Old 08-12-2009, 09:32 AM
clonmult clonmult is offline
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
What a drama queen.
Drama queen indeed.

Nokia have just made a conscious business decision (or as rvirga would say evil) to (so far) not allow upgrades to later operating systems - there is no technical reason why it can't be done.

For example, Nokia never released N-gage on the N73, but it was possible to run it with some tinkering, although ultimately the N73 wasn't totally suited as you had to run it in flight mode, kill off background apps - not something that the typical end-user should be expected to do.

Nope, its purely a business decision, not particularly evil - they're in the business of selling phones, and in their eyes and possibly the eyes of their shareholders, its not a good business decision to allow older devices access to functionality available on newer phones.

  #42  
Old 08-12-2009, 12:59 PM
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Thumbs up Great article!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stuclark View Post
The two big problems with this article are:

Yet again it concentrates merely on negatives, and over-eggs them somewhat.

Yet again a lot of the facts are wrong.
Yeah stu, why is he wrong? While I don't agree 100% with Steve, he's largely spot on.
My issues are:
- on the 'puzzling' media handling - it hardly is.
- Issue with BBC iPlayer is relevant only to those in the UK and it was never meant to be a tv anyway.
- I find TouchWiz quite pleasant, only wish there were more widgets but I like it anyway, it sets it apart...in a good way.
- The whole 'zealot' issue - it's not that we don't see the positives, its because we see the potential.

This is my personal opinion but otherwise I stand by what I said, great article!

  #43  
Old 08-12-2009, 01:47 PM
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"Nope, its purely a business decision, not particularly evil - they're in the business of selling phones, and in their eyes and possibly the eyes of their shareholders, its not a good business decision to allow older devices access to functionality available on newer phones."

Why don't you tell that to Apple? They seem to do fine by providing update after update FREE OF CHARGE to iPhone 2G users since 2007 :-)

  #44  
Old 08-12-2009, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Oneruleofthumb View Post
"Nope, its purely a business decision, not particularly evil - they're in the business of selling phones, and in their eyes and possibly the eyes of their shareholders, its not a good business decision to allow older devices access to functionality available on newer phones."

Why don't you tell that to Apple? They seem to do fine by providing update after update FREE OF CHARGE to iPhone 2G users since 2007 :-)
Nobody wants an original iPhone, latest OS or not.

  #45  
Old 08-12-2009, 04:20 PM
daos daos is offline
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Originally Posted by slitchfield View Post
In looking at devices for review, I try and represent 'everyman', rather than the hardened geek/hacker. The i8910 HD is clearly the Symbian hAcK3R's dream - and if I had any free time, I'd have fun with it, as you all obviously are - but for all the reasons quoted, it's not ready for the mainstream yet.
If device costs more then 400$ - it is not mainstream anyway and never will be. But this is not the issue. 8 from 10 of mentioned Musings are common to most of the smartphones to the date, so they are not unique of Omnia. Therefore we have misleading conclusions here.
 

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