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Old 01-03-2010, 07:08 PM
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AAS Insight 107 - Ovi Maps and N97 video discussion

In All About Symbian Insight 107 (AAS Podcast 171), Rafe, Ewan and Steve chat about some the information from the Anssi Vanjoki interview. We respond to some of the questions around what Nokia could have done, the implications of device families, and the awareness of the issue. Steve then reports back on Ovi Maps 3.4, before we finish with a discussion of how Nokia is like Batman (thanks Ewan). You can listen to AAS Insight 107 here or, if you wish to subscribe, here's the RSS feed.

Read on in the full article.

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Old 01-03-2010, 09:53 PM
RogerPodacter RogerPodacter is offline
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Rafe, I'm sorry but i just dont quite buy into nokia's response about thier grouping of devices as far as the RAM, CPU was chosen up front, and hence not changeable, because nokia quite easily noticed the C drive was insufficient, and increased the C drive with the n97 mini. now how could they have done that so easily and not, at the same time, noticed the RAM was low and increased that as well? is there some fundamental difference between RAM and flash memory?

they were obviously able to identify the problem and react in a timely manner with the mini. so there's no reason why they couldnt have done that with the RAM as well. just another "excuse" if you ask me. sorry for being so negative lately...but i'm just disappointed.

  #3  
Old 01-03-2010, 10:10 PM
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Great podcast, fellas. First time listener here; it helped pass a few minutes of time here in Queens, NY, while home recovering from a nasty stomach virus.

You guys did have points as far as Nokia's value-add to their devices with Ovi Maps; the only thing I'd point out though is that their hand may have been forced by Google giving away their Maps applications for free as well. Just sayin'.

BTW, any update if the new Symbian-compatible SPB Mobile Shell will run on S60v5 devices? I hear it's coming in a couple of months, but not which S60 platforms it'll support.

I hope it isn't similar to the excellent Kinoma Play only supporting v3 devices, while touch enables ones aren't included.

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Old 01-03-2010, 11:26 PM
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wifi positioning

With regards to nokia collecting wifi information for mapping:

There is (and has been for a while if i recall correctly) a setting in Ovi maps labelled "Maps Improvement" that can be turned on and off. This suggests to me that Nokia has been collecting data and sending it back to their servers.

I'm really liking the performance of the new Ovi maps version. Especially since down here in Australia the skyhook map booster app is still not available in the ovi store!

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Old 01-03-2010, 11:49 PM
walmark walmark is offline
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I really enjoy your podcasts, so congratulations on doing a good job.

Now to the point. I don't understand how you make claims that some add on applications like maps and nokia messaging (which doesn't seem to work correctly anyway, as judged by personal experience and other forum posts) will help the nokia devices and make them more attractive, when basic phone functionality is in jeopardy here! Face it, nokia has become more and more unstable. Almost every nokia owner is used to having to reset their completely unresponsive device by removing the battery on at least weekly basis (or at LEAST monthly). That very rarely, if ever, happens to devices from competition. The fact that you will not be able to receive calls or messages because the phone is nicely frozen in your pocket definitely doesn't help convince new users to buy it. Plus all the neverending bugs (ringtones reverting to Nokia Tune at random, predictive text crashing and closing messaging application) or simple lack of responsiveness (look at iPhone vs. even the mini, on iPhone you touch the screen/swipe it and it happens whereas on the mini you can easily count to 3 or 5 before messaging, contacts, or default music app opens) is where nokia is having the most trouble when competing with others. After 2.5 years of love/hate relationship with my E51 I decided to upgrade and get n97 mini, based on several reviews including one from this site. I could not believe how slow to respond it is! I don't want to return it as I will have to easily pay $100 to dell for return shipping and restocking fee, but as we are in 2010, I am appalled. Just today, I was browsing Nokia discussion forums on the built in browser. First, it took about 15 seconds AFTER loading the website before it would start responding to touch and scrolling the site. After that the screen rotation crashed, and I could not turn the screen to landscape mode, even with opening the keyboard (Ii didn't disable it anywhere, it was fine couple minutes before), after which the entire screen and unlock button became unresponsive, after which I had to remove the battery. Interestingly, when I pressed volume buttons I was kindly informed that I should use the unlock slider, but that wasn't working anyway...

My point is, free navigation is a gimmick that may convince some people who haven't held any of the recent nokias before, but it will sure not convince people who used nokias for many years and were forced to jump ship to iphone/winmo/android because of the bugginess and lack of reliability even in simple functions, even in devices that cost significant money! What good is the free navigation if I can ask people for directions faster than the app successfully opens (without crashing) and lets me find what I'm looking for? I think you should mention that as well...

Last edited by walmark; 01-03-2010 at 11:55 PM.

  #6  
Old 01-03-2010, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerPodacter View Post

they were obviously able to identify the problem and react in a timely manner with the mini. so there's no reason why they couldnt have done that with the RAM as well. just another "excuse" if you ask me. .
How do you know there is no reason?

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Old 02-03-2010, 01:21 AM
t4inc t4inc is offline
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Walmark:

I've had the N97 for about 7 months now. In the time I've had it, I've NEVER -- not once -- had to take out the battery because it stopped dead and I've only experienced a reboot once while running maps and web simultaneously.

It's certainly far from a perfect device: the C Drive is small and the reboot I (and other users have experienced) is a product of insufficient RAM. I wish it were a better device but for average daily use of a few calls here and there, some light web-surfing, expense tracking (or other productivity-related activity), SMS every few minutes, it's not a bad device at all.

That said, I'm confused at your generalization that Nokias are unstable and unusable nowadays. You're making an assertion based on what statistics or what evidence? Is it purely anecdotal and based on what others are saying? If your purpose is to help Nokia build better devices, then provide better data -- it might be good enough to get Nokia's attention.

Otherwise, you're just ranting. None of us have time for that.

I get the distinct impression that you -- and most of those who've been posting on AAS to counter Steve's arguments -- are basing their assertions purely on what the forum posters are saying. That would be a mistake: the sample size of data is quite small and usually coming from the same people over and over again.

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Old 02-03-2010, 03:20 AM
walmark walmark is offline
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Ok, thanks for bringing me back to reality. I guess I was ranting a little. But my post did express some of the concerns I am having as a long time nokia user.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t4inc View Post
Walmark:

I've had the N97 for about 7 months now. In the time I've had it, I've NEVER -- not once -- had to take out the battery because it stopped dead and I've only experienced a reboot once while running maps and web simultaneously.
Well, I guess you're lucky. Or I'm terribly unlucky. I consider myself a "modest power user" in that I do not run highly demanding software on my phone, but I do try to take advantage of whatever it offers. Previously I had E51, and with crashing calendar, active standby, and email, I had to restart it with battery removal every day. Currently I have N97 mini (for almost 2 weeks) and I "only" need to restart it with battery removal every 2-3 days. I guess that's progress... So, as I say, highly unstable.

Quote:
It's certainly far from a perfect device: the C Drive is small and the reboot I (and other users have experienced) is a product of insufficient RAM.
Haha, and I didn't even go there!

Quote:
That said, I'm confused at your generalization that Nokias are unstable and unusable nowadays. You're making an assertion based on what statistics or what evidence? Is it purely anecdotal and based on what others are saying? If your purpose is to help Nokia build better devices, then provide better data -- it might be good enough to get Nokia's attention.
This statement I don't agree with. My opinions are based on my thorough experience with above mentioned 2 devices, modest experience with several others (5800, n97, e52), AND THEN opinions of others that I read on forums. I did not make claims based on what others think. Rather, others experiences seem similar to mine and reinforce my opinion.

Quote:
Otherwise, you're just ranting. None of us have time for that.
As I said, maybe I was ranting a little, but now I'm serious. There are serious issues. I don't know why they are not mentioned often enough. The devices I experienced where slow. Painfully so. Clicking on a log and waiting for several seconds for it to display is unacceptable today. Especially when others make it better. Nokia has cutting edge hardware. But if it keeps being crippled by their software, their client base will keep shrinking, not the other way around. In my case I switched from 3 year old device to brand new, and didn't experience much difference. Interface still slow. Apps still randomly close. Email client is still crappy... But now the touch is also half-responsive, the screen freezes, and the prediction makes even simple SMS shut down. And that is progress? Those are my complaints.

  #9  
Old 02-03-2010, 05:41 AM
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Great Ppodcast guys. Poor Steve, could hear him blowing his nose during the podcast. Know the feeling, as our girl brought back a cold from school too. Get well soon.

  #10  
Old 02-03-2010, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by walmark View Post

This statement I don't agree with. My opinions are based on my thorough experience with above mentioned 2 devices, modest experience with several others (5800, n97, e52), AND THEN opinions of others that I read on forums. I did not make claims based on what others think. Rather, others experiences seem similar to mine and reinforce my opinion.

.
I've had a 5800 since the early firmware and my experience has been good, I've never once had to take a battery out to reset it. I've had the browser close on some websites occasionally but I've seen that behaviour on other phones too, and it hasn't been often (two or three times in 13 months and never since I went to V40.

If you read forums then you will find it generally attracts the unhappy, who are more verbose about their experience. Those users who are happy generally just get on with things and have nothing to say. Forums offer a skered opinion and to illustrate this, I read forums across all phones and makers and they all have forums where people are complaining about their phones. None of them escape the kind of critisism that you are bringing to this forum, not even the iPhone.

  #11  
Old 02-03-2010, 08:47 AM
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Rafe: Symbian~3 doesn't just need to be good - it needs to be outstanding. Aim for good and you are lucky if you get mediocre. Aim for outstanding and with a bit of luck you'll get good.

And cheerleading of Symbian? Not at the expense of objectivity I hope? :-)

  #12  
Old 02-03-2010, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerPodacter View Post
they were obviously able to identify the problem and react in a timely manner with the mini. so there's no reason why they couldnt have done that with the RAM as well. just another "excuse" if you ask me. sorry for being so negative lately...but i'm just disappointed.
Don't apologise - it is a fair comment. The RAM is linked to the hardware family more than the intenral memory. You'll see internal memory vary quite a bit between models (e.g. Eseries have alays been more generous in this department in general). However RAM does not - it is more tied to the processor and thus is more fixed. I'm not saying it can not possibly be changed - just that it tends not to be - I imagine there are cost / integration reasons for this that effectively mean RAM is fixed within a device family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy1 View Post
Great podcast, fellas. First time listener here; it helped pass a few minutes of time here in Queens, NY, while home recovering from a nasty stomach virus.

You guys did have points as far as Nokia's value-add to their devices with Ovi Maps; the only thing I'd point out though is that their hand may have been forced by Google giving away their Maps applications for free as well. Just sayin'.

BTW, any update if the new Symbian-compatible SPB Mobile Shell will run on S60v5 devices? I hear it's coming in a couple of months, but not which S60 platforms it'll support.
Thanks for the feedback. Absolutely right about Google - whether it forced Nokia is open to debate of course. I do know that Nokia have been planning this for a long time - so the only effect may have been to make it slightly earlier than it might have been.

SPB Mobile Shell - saw an impressive demo at MWC - should be out in a few months. Keep an eye on the site - we'll be reviewing it when we can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by j d View Post
With regards to nokia collecting wifi information for mapping:

There is (and has been for a while if i recall correctly) a setting in Ovi maps labelled "Maps Improvement" that can be turned on and off. This suggests to me that Nokia has been collecting data and sending it back to their servers.

I'm really liking the performance of the new Ovi maps version. Especially since down here in Australia the skyhook map booster app is still not available in the ovi store!
Yes, good point. I think Maps Improvements may also be about routing and tarffic information / road speed too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by walmark View Post
I really enjoy your podcasts, so congratulations on doing a good job.

My point is, free navigation is a gimmick that may convince some people who haven't held any of the recent nokias before, but it will sure not convince people who used nokias for many years and were forced to jump ship to iphone/winmo/android because of the bugginess and lack of reliability even in simple functions, even in devices that cost significant money! What good is the free navigation if I can ask people for directions faster than the app successfully opens (without crashing) and lets me find what I'm looking for? I think you should mention that as well...
I'm not so sure about that. Free Navigation has real perceieved value to a lot of people. I can see it pushing a lot of people over the edge, especially in the lower cost devices.

There's no doubt at all in my mind that solutions (hardware+software combo) is the way forward, but yes it does need to be executed properly. What's interesting is that Nokia are far ahead of most of their rivals here...

To your early point about buggy devices - I don't think this is unique to Nokia by any means - I think you can always find examples to point to. It sounds like your experience has been away from the norm. With so many Nokia users out there inevitably there is more noise when things go wrong (Nokia messaging is a good example - I know some have had issues, but it has been rock solid for me). However I don't think it is proportionally more than anyone else (in fact I think the reverse is probably true).

Still Nokia does need to be aware that some users, such as yourself, have strong views here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by morpheus2702 View Post
Rafe: Symbian~3 doesn't just need to be good - it needs to be outstanding. Aim for good and you are lucky if you get mediocre. Aim for outstanding and with a bit of luck you'll get good.

And cheerleading of Symbian? Not at the expense of objectivity I hope? :-)
Symbian^3 does need to be good, but I think Symbian is already very good in many areas. I think the trick with Symbian^3 and ^4 is to get the UI to good. The signs I've seen are promising, but these days getting all the factors right (hardware, software, services) is hard - even those 3 factors break down into multiple categories / areas

We always andeavour to remain objective, but we do like to explain why we put our own point of view
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2010, 11:56 AM
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Another nice podcast guys. My 5800 is at last running v4 and I have put on 3.4 maps which apart from the odd routing is fab. However in your podcast you talk about being able to take an address from contacts. How is that done, ever since the podcast I have been trying to work it out, am I missing something? Get well soon, Rob

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Old 02-03-2010, 12:09 PM
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Is it physically possible for Nokia to swop/change the ram in the n97 ?

If so I would definitely be prepared to pay half of the cost to Nokia to improve this phone.

which is on a 2 year contract :(

surely in this day and age its got to be an easy thing to do.

  #15  
Old 02-03-2010, 03:07 PM
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I'm going to try and avoid this becoming a rant about the N97 but...

On the subject of ram
the lessons with insufficient ram should have been learnt with the N95 classic which also suffered at launch from low ram (64 mb)
The fact is that Nokia ignored the problems with N95 Classic's ram and didn't think it would be an issue on the N97, of course it was, why they didn't subsequently add more the the N97 mini is beyond me. (The fact that the N95 8GB then had 128 mb of ram basically destroys Rafe's theory that the ram is more closely tied in with the processor and thus not possible to change within the same product family.)

On GPS and Ovi maps
On the way back from Reading to Portsmouth after attending Steve Litchfield's Pub Meet we did a bit of a GPS/Sat Nav Comparsion with a Nokia 5800 vs N97 vs Apple iPhone 3GS.
The 5800 and N97 (with ovi maps 3.3) gave identical routes, the 5800 never gps lost it's lock once, the N97 however spent much of the journey in surrounding fields, forever losing gps lock and thus recalculating the route every few minutes, we got fed up and turned it off after a ten mile or so.
The iPhone (using TomTom) gave a route that was 8 miles shorter than that of Ovi Maps, most likely due to TomTom's IQ Routes technology, which basically takes factors like 'time of day' into consideration.
I'd use the iphone or 5800 as satnav quite happily, not so the N97, it's GPS was awful, and out local Nokia Service Centre still denies all knowledge of a fix for it.

On Nokia.
I am a geek and an early adopter, I've bought all the major Nokia devices at launch and sim free, I rushed to buy the sim free N97 at launch, regretted it within days, didn't come close (and imho still doesn't) to what it should have been or even what Nokia showed with their promo videos.
I agree with Steve, Nokia should have compensated the people that bought it at launch, the N97 ruined the Nokia experience for me, I will never buy another Nokia device at launch again.
And it isn't just the geeks, Vodafone had a 40% return rate on the N97, nearly halve the people who took one of contract returned it with 14 days, those are massive figures, no wonder Vodafone quickly dropped it as soon as the N97 mini became available.
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Last edited by Ratkat; 02-03-2010 at 03:10 PM.
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