Hot off the press today is a new beta of Nokia's next-gen QML-written Store application, grab it now for Symbian^3/Anna/Belle phones. New for v3.20.044 is support for the Nokia E6's VGA display, plus 'Registration Lite', allowing new users to grab up to 10 free applications without having to register a Nokia Account. Full changelog below.
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Nokia's experimental augmented reality view onto its huge places of interest database, Live View, just got faster and easier to use, updated to version 2.03 r14137, with a more standard 'List' view to add to the standard 'Camera' view, plus a built-in tutorial. The changelog is below, plus download links and a reminder of the launch/concept video.
With the news that mobile (and especially Symbian) stalwarts SPB Software has been bought up by Yandex, a Russian search company, the future of star products such as the free SPB TV was in serious doubt. Happily, it seems that this application has been spun off into a separate, independent enterprise, under the company name MobiWorld Media. This should ensure SPB TV's continued existence for all mobile platforms. More below.
We've seen some ambitious N8-shot projects before, but this one takes the biscuit. Directors Hooman Khalili and Patrick Gilles decided to shoot a full movie on just the N8, sometimes 'bare' and sometimes with a 35mm lens rig 'taped' on the front (to reduce the depth of field in usual 'movie' style). Embedded below is the launch video, behind the scenes look and the first five minutes of the movie. Impressive stuff.
Yes, yes, Phones Show 155 is out later today, but that's all Android and Windows Phone-focussed. But, with the formal All About Symbian review of the Belle-running Nokia 701 now finished (part 1 - part 2) and with all the technology highlights out of the way, I though it worth reminding people of Phones Show 154, which was Symbian all the way. In case you hadn't watched it yet, it had my video review of the 701, plus a humourous view from the future, one in which Nokia and (cough) a dismembered N86 play a part...
With Nokia already putting NFC into all its Symbian smartphones and with RIM and Samsung also launching some models with the technology, plus HTC, Apple and others planning NFC into their roadmaps, Digitimes is reporting that Taiwanese smartphone manufacturers are estimating 50% penetration of NFC within two to three years. From my own observations this seems about right, though I'd put it at 80% for smartphones away from the budget end.
Anecdotally, the Proporta chargers have been hugely popular amongst my Phones Show viewership and 'All About' readers generally - and there's a new monster version now available, clocking in at a stunning 7000mAh. The Turbocharger 7000 has two USB output ports as usual, along with a facelifted exterior, weighs only 175g, and comes with charging heads for all major phone and gadget ports and a carrying case. Watch this space for a full review.
Not available in the Nokia Store yet, but downloadable from get.nimbuzz.com, is a new v3.3 of this popular chat client, picthed as having a completely 'redesigned' home screen and new shortcuts for 'recent' chats, for 'N-World' and for 'Groupchat'. As ever, the Nimbuzz folks offer a premium experience provided you live within the chat systems supported (Windows Live Messenger (MSN), Yahoo IM, AIM, GoogleTalk, Facebook and MySpace are the main ones). The changelog is below.
In the penultimate update to Angry Birds Rio, the furious feathered ones take on the might of a Smuggler's Plane. It joins previous episodes Jungle Escape, Beach Volley, Carnival Upheaval and Airfield Chase, and is a free update to those who already have the application - or you could pick it up in the Nokia Store!
With NFC baked into Symbian Belle (and a few Anna builds!), the number of applications with NFC capability keeps on growing. The latest addition to the number is Foursquare, as detailed in the NFC blog post quoted below. You can now just walk up to a Foursquare check-in poster at an event, tap your phone to it, even if the application isn't already running, and bang, you're checked in.
In June this year, we reviewed version 1.0 of Business Calendar. This was the first serious attempt in years at replacing the built-in Symbian Calendar application. Even though the 1.1 update addressed several of our criticisms, there was still some missing functionality. Fortunately, version 1.3 has been released with a number of new features, including multiple homescreen widgets. Read on to find out whether this is now the ultimate Calendar replacement.
The Indian branch of PCWorld has posted a favourable review of the Nokia 701. PCWorld thought the phone’s best features were its bright IPS TFT screen, Symbian Belle operating system, and classy design inherited from the Nokia C7. You might want to compare the review to our own 701 coverage. PCWorld rates 701’s battery life as “good”, thanks to the new BL–5K battery. The review goes on to make a big point of complaining about the 701’s EDoF camera though. Readers should note that the 701 has a much improved EDoF system than found in other Symbian devices, see our feature on EDoF2.
The Nokia Store application is currently inviting users to claim a number of free gifts. The store has had several rounds of free gifts in the past where users could claim paid-for applications free of charge. On offer in this round of pre-Christmas cheer is: Camera Lover Pack, Angry Birds, Moodagent, Nimbuzz free and eBuddy. However, contents may vary from device to device. Read on for more details.
We periodically link to James Burland's Flickr-based Nokia N8 photo award series - and this month's is a cracker, with my favourite show pasted below. It's still amazing what people get this camera-centric smartphone to do and these examples prove it's still top of the heap, even a year after release.
Not Symbian-related directly, but I did note that Nokia has launched 'Nokia Maps Creator', aimed at letting people make small edits or additions to existing maps - and edits are available to all Nokia Maps users 'immediately'. Initially, this is only for 'previously unmapped' countries, but it's possible that moderated edits might come to other countries in time. Some links and quotes below.