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

  #1  
Old 09-07-2010, 08:51 PM
dez_borders dez_borders is offline
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N900 Test Pilot / Trial

Hi all,

Apologies if N900 is not entirely on-topic here, but the N900 is as close to the N97 as any other current Nokia device...

Anyhow, I have a 2 week 'test pilot' trial of an N900, courtesy of Nokia womworld. Thanks Nokia!

The N900 certainly is a BIG change (and a big fat handset casing!) from Symbian OS to Maemo 5.
It has taken me about 6 hours to find my way around the UI, whereas I can normally pick up an Symbian device and know exactly whats what straight away.

As an HTC Android handset owner, I can see where Nokia is trying to go as there are striking similarities between Android and Maemo OS.

One stunning ommission so far is the lack of native MMS support. I have downloaded a 3rd party MMS app, but so far it's not working, despite me copying the MMS APN settings from my Android handset.

I also cannot play flash videos (YouTube, iPlayer etc) but will keep working on it.

On a plus side, the UI is very fast and the 4 home-screens are totally customisable, way beyond the current S60 Symbian 5 UI handsets.

If anyone is interested, I will post more about my N900 trial over the next few days (assuming Rafe is OK with an N900 thread).

Dez
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Last edited by dez_borders; 09-07-2010 at 08:56 PM.

  #2  
Old 09-07-2010, 09:02 PM
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zxon zxon is offline
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I would've thought the AllAboutMeego forums would've been a more appropriate place for N900 threads. I wouldn't mind having a go with a Maemo/Meego device though, see what it's like.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:51 AM
bchliu bchliu is offline
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Weird.. Flash videos should work out of the box even within the browser. Its one of the best things about the N900 with a proper full browser than the cut down ones on Symbian (with flash "lite").

The N900 is not meant to be super user friendly simply because it is derived from a super unfriendly platform (ie. Linux). Personally, I think its more of a pocket computer that tries to be a phone than a real smart phone just on this reason. Hence why its not really optimised for phone use. Its also one reason why I am carrying two "phones" these days - the N900 as my portable computer (yes, it has replaced my UMPC and performs about 90% of functions as a PC) and a Vivaz (cheap, good camera with Symbian that is more a phone).

BTW.. once you learn to tinker with it, you can replace your Android with it too... because Android 2.2 is almost completely ported to it as a second O/S to run (70% or so complete).

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Old 10-07-2010, 08:50 AM
dez_borders dez_borders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchliu View Post
Weird.. Flash videos should work out of the box even within the browser. Its one of the best things about the N900 with a proper full browser than the cut down ones on Symbian (with flash "lite").

BTW.. once you learn to tinker with it, you can replace your Android with it too... because Android 2.2 is almost completely ported to it as a second O/S to run (70% or so complete).
Yes I am a bit surprised myself. I have the latest Firmware, according to NSU. However Ovi Store says "BETA" when launched, Maps is dated 2008 and doesn't appear to have turn-by turn/voice Nagivation and only has 'directions' function. I don't seem to be able to watch any Flash content i.e. YouTube.

Edit: Actually today the stock browser IS playing BBC iPlayer videos - but after a few seconds the picture freezes but the sound continues!

Unfortunately, as I have to send the device back in 2 weeks, I don't own it therefore can't consider 'tinkering' with it and installing Android.

On a plus side, the hardware build quiality is solid, and the UI is so fast I can take a pic under 2 seconds after I open the lens cover.
What Meemo seems to be is missing is a proper level of apps development, which I guess will now be directed at Meego devices.
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Last edited by dez_borders; 10-07-2010 at 09:07 AM.

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Old 10-07-2010, 09:39 AM
bchliu bchliu is offline
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Yep.. App Store is "beta" and Maps is 3.01 without the turn by turn. That kinda proves Nokia had more comittment towards the N97 (and Symbian) as the flagship (as opposed to the N900). N900 users are getting kinda neglected in the love department since we've been waiting for maps 3.03/4 for like months (without further confirmation from Nokia). The best GPS is Sygic on it as a commercial product.

Have you set up the Maemo.org repositories to get the software? I would highly recommend it.. What it lacks in commercial software is a massive Linux backed community that has converted nearly every piece of linux software to it (that it can handle). Even emulators for PS1 and N64 are running at or near full speed.

Apps development? man.. its massive.. just sign up to Maemo.org and look at the support for it.

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Old 11-07-2010, 08:33 AM
dez_borders dez_borders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchliu View Post
Yep.. App Store is "beta" and Maps is 3.01 without the turn by turn. That kinda proves Nokia had more comittment towards the N97 (and Symbian) as the flagship (as opposed to the N900). N900 users are getting kinda neglected in the love department since we've been waiting for maps 3.03/4 for like months (without further confirmation from Nokia). The best GPS is Sygic on it as a commercial product.

Have you set up the Maemo.org repositories to get the software? I would highly recommend it.. What it lacks in commercial software is a massive Linux backed community that has converted nearly every piece of linux software to it (that it can handle). Even emulators for PS1 and N64 are running at or near full speed.

Apps development? man.. its massive.. just sign up to Maemo.org and look at the support for it.
I wonder tho (hope?) for current N900 owners that Nokia ports the Meego OS to their handset when the N9 comes out.
Do you know if Maemo and Meego apps will be cross-compatible or do they need ported/recompiled for each OS?

I agree with you that Nokia seems to have partially abandoned N900 owners and to have no Free Sat Nav (one of Nokia's big marketing statements these days) on one of their Flagship models is a bit of a let-down for owners.
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:18 AM
bchliu bchliu is offline
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Binaries should be cross compatible.. and given that most things will be standardised to the QT 4.6 libraries, even be portable to Symbian^3 (through a little modification). The main difference however (that everyone is complaining about) is the packaging method is changing. Maemo is Debian based using Apt-Get Debian packages to distribute applications whilst Meego is Intel Moblin based (in turn, Red Hat based) using RPM/YUM.

Meego is coming to the N900 - and will be direct from Nokia since that is the hardware they are developing the platform on. However, they have no plans of supporting the platform, so its "best efforts" if any N900 user wants to move to Meego through the Linux community.

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Old 11-07-2010, 03:26 PM
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Smile MPlayer + KMPlayer

Install MPlayer + KMPlayer from the repositories in Applicationmanager and the N900 will play the .flv files ... (among others)

Regards jApi NL

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Old 12-07-2010, 10:29 AM
bchliu bchliu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jApi NL View Post
Install MPlayer + KMPlayer from the repositories in Applicationmanager and the N900 will play the .flv files ... (among others)

Regards jApi NL
Performance is really average though.. I am dying for VLC to get their act together and solve the memory issues (but it does use the DSP/Video acceleration)..

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Old 12-07-2010, 11:16 AM
dez_borders dez_borders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jApi NL View Post
Install MPlayer + KMPlayer from the repositories in Applicationmanager and the N900 will play the .flv files ... (among others)

Regards jApi NL
cool, I will give it a shot.
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  #11  
Old 12-07-2010, 11:18 AM
dez_borders dez_borders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchliu View Post
Binaries should be cross compatible.. and given that most things will be standardised to the QT 4.6 libraries, even be portable to Symbian^3 (through a little modification). The main difference however (that everyone is complaining about) is the packaging method is changing. Maemo is Debian based using Apt-Get Debian packages to distribute applications whilst Meego is Intel Moblin based (in turn, Red Hat based) using RPM/YUM.

Meego is coming to the N900 - and will be direct from Nokia since that is the hardware they are developing the platform on. However, they have no plans of supporting the platform, so its "best efforts" if any N900 user wants to move to Meego through the Linux community.
Thanks for the very informative post, bchliu!

It sounds as though Nokia have turned their backs on N900 users then. Glad I am on a 2 week trial and not a purchaser/owner...
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