Thanks to a reminder from WebProNews, it's instructive to look again at the smartphone world via StatCounter, a pro service embedded on many web sites which tracks the browser and OS used to access them. And, reflecting the still enormous installed base of Symbian-powered smartphones across the world, Symbian still (for web access, at least) still dominates the world, at 31%. The full graph is below, along with some comments.
Recent News - Page 7
Anyone with Symbian Belle onboard might like to check out two software items, both free. 'Nokia Car Mode' essentially takes a common subset of applications needed while driving and presents them in large fonted, finger-friendly form, to avoid distractions and make it easier to concentrate on the actual motoring. 'Nokia Play To' uses one-way DLNA to let you show photos and videos (and listen to music) on your mobile wirelessly on your TV/home hi-fi. Links below.
Designed exclusively for China's TD-SCDMA 3G network, Nokia has announced a new Symbian-powered smartphone, the 801T, described as 'a special design for business-focussed elite high-end users'. It's notable for being the 'industry's first stainless steel unibody smartphone' and has a 4" CBD display, NFC, an 8 megapixel EDoF camera with dual-LED flash, 720p HD video recording and built-in CMMB mobile TV (with antenna). More below.
For anyone using Windows who likes to live a little on the wild side, there's a brand new version of Nokia Suite, 3.3, available over on Beta Labs today. There's emphasis on the ease of update to Belle when it becomes available, so I suspect that both backup and firmware handling modules have been improved, plus there are improvements to proxy server handling, to message syncing and organisation. And newer is better when it comes to connectivity, right? Some quotes and links below.
Nokia is clarifying the naming of the user interface of its Symbian smartphones. The user interface will now be referred to as Nokia Belle, rather than Symbian Belle. The operating system will continue to be referred to as Symbian. Thus devices, such as the Nokia 701, will be referred to as Symbian smartphones running the Nokia Belle user interface.
You'll remember that Nokia has been running through numerous iterations of a next-gen Store client over on Beta Labs, built in Qt and QML rather than relying on both Qt and Web runtime? This has now graduated ('deployed commercially') to the mainstream with the release of v3.20.050, offered over-the-air when a user starts up an older version of the 'Ovi Store' - now renamed to 'Nokia Store', of course. Don't panic if you don't get offered this now though, see below...
I make no apologies for another N8-related link of interest. With the end of the year approaching, it's not just me that is rounding up and summarising the smartphone world. The Mobile Tech Bishop has written a detailed and heartfelt analysis of his mobile use, covering several previous Nokia flagships, culminating in the Android-powered Galaxy S II. At which point the N8 starts to edge the SGS II out of the picture - literally. A good read!
Onlyfoolsandmobiles has a nice little Sunday post up, eulogising the Nokia N8's camera (again), specifically for landscape shots, giving a few tips on settings and showing off some truly beautiful examples. Click through his links for Flickr sets from the N8 by other users too.
If you've been brave enough to throw yourself into the Beta Maps Suite, note that there's a big update to Pulse, its core module that allows you to share your location and activities with friends and relatives with other Symbian phones loaded with the software. Changelog and links below, and the usual caveats apply about beta software and backups!
In episode 5, season 2, of the 361 Degrees Podcast the set themselves a 'fun' challenge - to choose a new pre-pay mobile phone costing less than £100 to give as a as a Christmas present. To keep thing fair we limited our shopping spree to UK retailer Carphone Warehouse. The underlying idea of the episode was to look at the products on offer at the lower end of the market, an area that doesn't usually receive much attention.
Another day, another update or two - ho hum... Strictly for those you actually need them, but meriting a quick mention in passing, there are bug fix updates out today to Nokia Maps for Symbian Belle (available via the Store) and to the beta QML Store client for Symbian^3/Anna, fixing a specific 'black screen' error on installation (i.e. if it's working for you, you don't need the fix).
There's a nice piece over on the Nokia Developer blog highlighting the story of ZingMagic, a long time favourite developer here at AAS for polished native Symbian games. The piece covers how the company got started, how its games are built and recent success with advertisement-sponsored versions of its games.
Although Nokia hasn't officially ever claimed a specific date for updates to Symbian Belle for existing Symbian^3/Anna smartphones, many people (including me) had been hoping for the update to start appearing this month, a hope fuelled by the demonstration of all current models running Belle at Nokia World and by Belle firmware appearing on firmware flashing systems. However, we've now had official word, quoted below - the bottom line is that a little more patience is required.
You've got to love someone who respects the past. Sergejs Cuhrajs, as guest writer on Nokia Connects, has put up a heart felt and perspective-laden look at one of this (and my) favourite Nokia designs ever, the first real 'transformer' phone, the N90. This was the first Nokia smartphone to feature Carl Zeiss optics and its form factor remains almost unique even today.
It appears that Google has finally withdrawn its official Gmail client, written in Java, for Symbian smartphones. Version 2.06 hadn't been updated for two years and I'm guessing that changes at the server end meant that at some point in the near future the client was going to stop working anyway. To avoid complaints, Google has simply pulled the download page for the client. A shame, given that many on S60 3rd Edition phones still use it and would have liked the option to re-install it when needed (though see the PS below).