Monday, June 30, 2008

Nokia to acquire social-activity service Plazes

Nokia to acquire social-activity service PlazesNokia has recently announced the acquisition of the context-aware social-activity service Plazes. Under the agreement, the Finnish giant will acquire all assets of the privately-owned start-up company of 13 people with its principal operations in Berlin.

By acquiring Plazes, Nokia will be able to extend its context-based service offering with social presence and time-based activity planning features. Plazes adds the elements of "place" and "time" to social networking through features that allow people to alert friends of their activity and location; review their own and others' past activities; share their experiences and make plans with friends, who are then able to respond with comments and suggestions as well as their own location information.

The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in Q3 2008. After it's completed, Plazes will become part of Nokia's Services & Software unit and will most likely find its way place in Ovi.

maemo in Akademy 2008

Akademy 2008

Nokia will have strong participation in aKademy 2008. Nokia is the platinum sponsor for the event. We have had a strong particiarion in GTK/Gnome community and now we would like to create similar position in Qt/KDE Open Source community and catalyst many Opeopen Source Qt projects for our Internet tablets. There will be multiple maemo related presentations. Kate Alhola and Antonio Aloiso will have a presentation "Adapting Qt for maemo hildon". We try arrange also other presentations like how to develop Qt applications to devices running maemo and how to design mobile UI to Qt/KDE applications, maemo devroom/workshop etc. If you have good ideas or have already made Qt applications for internet tablets, please let us know.

The aKademy will be also a launch event for maemo/hildon Qt port. The port is developed in open source fashion. You can download current snapshot from qt4 maemo garage page.

The Akademy will be a good place to meet maemo/Qt/KDE developers and to start developing your application for internet tablets.

Nokia will be also hiring Qt specialists, please look or contact Jakub Pavelek or Carlos Guerreiro to addresses which are in format

Mobile Dinner Reservations with OpenTable Mobile

One of the handy sites that I use to make dinner reservations while traveling is I remember many years back during Restaurant Week in NYC I was able to score points just by dining at several of the participating restaurants. Lol and also falling in love with Tao.

TechCrunch reports that Open Table now has a mobile version which can be accessed via your phones browser. Very handy, especially for me.

Avoid the hassle of calling around for a restaurant reservation or the panic of securing a last-minute table. With OpenTable Mobile, you can find a restaurant, choose an available table, and book your reservation - right on your mobile phone.

Since I usually dine at the same places everytime I hit NYC I guess this just makes it much easier for me with future visits!

Nokia CEO : Focusing on rural India

During his recent visit to India ,Nokia CEO Olli Pekka Kallasvuo, spoke about what plans they have for India.

He pointed out that the young consumers of India with an average age under 25 years, will lead this transformation of the mobile device becoming their "first screen'' ... full story

Microfinance is going to be one of the pillars of Nokia's strategy. The idea is that while India may be adding 8-million subscribers a month, the country still has a huge untapped base thanks to the initial costs of buying a mobile phone. This is where Nokia will run pilots and trials to gauge consumer response in select markets to come out with specific offerings that make buying mobile phones more affordable. ... full story

LG Secret Phone Released In Korea

LG Secret Phone Released In Korea

LG Electronics today released its brand new Secret phone (LG-SU600/ KU6000/ LU6000) in Korea. The handset is using carbon fiber and tempered glass and adopts 5MP camera with face detection, ISO 800 and video recording at 120 fps. [AVING]

Sunday, June 29, 2008

MyNokia Back-Up = Proper Nokia Syncing

After almost a year of hearing finding out about MyNokia, and of course still wondering why this isn't available to all regions yet, I was reminded about one of the cool features of this site/service.  The MyNokia Back-up site.

MyNokiaBackup - Share on Ovi

CJ, my old N-Gage buddy (yeah we go waaaayyy back) pinged me asking if I had heard of the service.  I definitely had, but tried to wait to see if it would pop up on the US site.  No sense in getting everyones palletes wet!

Besides the tips and tricks and special content offered to MyNokia users, the addition of a web-based syncing feature is definitely attractive.  Why you ask?  Because it allows for proper syncing for your Nokia's plus offers a back-up.

Once registered and logged in, you can sync your contacts and calendar.  It creates a sync profile on your device similar to PC Suite and Lifeblog. 

My question is... why hasn't this made it to the states yet? Forget the fact of users changing Nokia's several times during a year (even 6 months for that matter) but what about users who change pc's or if syncing information is lost? Having the ability to sync directly from your mobile to a trusted web location such as Nokia would be an instant joy. Hmmm, I think I recall seeing this feature in an Ovi demo, so I guess the future looks promising.

CJ gives us his view in his post here.

Symbian vs Android: How they straighten up. Phones.

With the declaration on Tuesday of the formation of the Symbian Foundation, the forces of mobile open source appear to be congregating into two bigger camps: the Symbian Foundation and the Open Handset Alliance, which is developing Google's Android, a compare with mobile platform. Below we compare the membership, licensing and timescales of both the (SF) and the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). What are the two organisations' aims? SF: While Nokia currently owns the lion's share of shares in Symbian, 48 percent, the handset leviathan has pledged to start source Symbian software. Subject to the approval by competition authorities of Nokia's grip of the remainder of Symbian's shares, the foundation said it would be.

Nokia will develop the Symbian stand through the SF conglomerate of organisations. OHA: OHA announced late last year that it would age the Android platform. Android, originally a start-up mobile-phone-software company, was purchased by Google in 2005. Google announced that it would activate source Android under the aegis of OHA. Currently developing the Android platform, OHA is comprised of portable operators, semiconductor companies, handset manufacturers, software companies and commercialisation companies.

android software overseen

Some companies have given scholar property to OHA that will be released under the open-source Apache License construct 2. Some are making sure their chipsets support the platform. Handset manufacturers and sensitive operators are working to develop handsets based on the platform, while commercialisation partners are working on Android services models, as well as developing some of the Android software. Membership SF: The associate companies of SF will be: AT&T, Broadcom, Digia, EA Mobile, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Freescale, LG, Motorola, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Symbian, T-Mobile, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Plusmo, Teleca, Texas Instruments, Vodafone, Wipro and STMicroelectronics. OHA: OHA has a larger membership than SF.

The travelling operators in OHA are: China Mobile Communications Corporation, KDDI Corporation, NTT DoCoMo, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and Telecom Italia/Telefonica. Semiconductor companies concerned in OHA are: Audience, Broadcom, Intel, Marvell Semiconductor, Nvidia Corporation, Qualcomm, SiRF Technology, Synaptics and Texas Instruments. The handset manufacturers in OHA are: HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung. The software companies confused in OHA are: Ascender, eBay, Esmertec, Google, LivingImage, LiveWire Mobile, Nuance Communications, PacketVideo, SkyPop and Sonivox.

The commercialisation companies in OHA are: Aplix, Noser, The Astonishing Tribe and Wind River. Crossover: Some organisations have unconditional to blossom on both platforms, and so have membership of both organisations. Companies that have membership of both OHA and SF are: LG, Motorola, NTT DoCoMo, Samsung, T-Mobile and Texas Instruments. Licensing While SF will use the , OHA will use the.

The Eclipse licensing unity will allow developers and organisations to set up on Symbian horse's mouth cipher and strew that code. Software patents can be applied for and enforced under the licensing agreement. Under the agreement, organisations accede debit for any breaking of patents that may crop up in the encypher under their control.

In contrast, the Apache licensing concord is less unprejudiced of software patents. Signatories of Apache version 2.0 assent to exceptions to the irrevocable nature of software patents granted under the licence. Apart from that major difference, Apache allows developers and organisations to found on Android source code and distribute that code, so sustained as any code modifications are clearly attributed, in a similar way to Eclipse. Timelines SF: According to Alain Mutricy, elder vice president of Motorola, SF will launch in the cardinal half of 2009.

"We expect to launch the Symbian Foundation with all assets made at one's fingertips to members," he said. The first complete SF release can be , including handsets and software. Devices up to this question will continue to be developed using Symbian, Series 60 and UIQ, elbow from the foundation royalty-free.

The reason that SF is expected to take shape in early 2009 is that Nokia's intended damned acquisition of Symbian will come about in the fourth quarter of this year — a condition that is subject to regulatory approval. According to Kai Öistämö, Nokia's head of devices, the elementary handsets bearing the new platform will appear in 2010, around the same time that the platform is fully open-sourced. OHA: This timeline puts SF a certain extent behind OHA.

T-Mobile has repeatedly promised that Android-powered handsets will be on tap by the end of 2008. In February, T-Mobile chief executive Hamid Akhavan said the gathering plans to ship an Android phone late in 2008. T-Mobile confirmed at the beginning of June that its Android-based phone is still on road to arrive in the fourth quarter. Android software overseen by Google will appear in the initially Android phones, but Android software overseen by partner Wind River will appear in later models, expected in the at the outset quarter of 2009.


Author's link: read more

PJSIP 0.9 is Released

Finally, after months of delay, PJSIP version 0.9.0 is released. This has been the longest gap (8 months) between releases, and consequently it has the most modifications in it (there have been 100+ tickets done on this release).

Some of the new features in this release:

  • many improvements in the audio, to reduce audio latency, to have better compatibility with more target platforms (Windows Vista issues have been fixed, as well as sporadic error reports for ALSA), and to maintain the audio quality against impairments such as clock drifts, bursty sound device, and of course, packet loss. Compared to version 0.8, I think we've improved audio latency by few hundred milliseconds.
  • support for TURN-07 in PJNATH, either as standalone client/server library, standalone client/server application (for testing purposes), or integrated with ICE-19. Just as we were the first to release open source ICE library, I think this is also the first open source TURN implementation out there. Unfortunately we haven't had time to update it to TURN-08 as this draft was released late during our QA phase, but we'll update it as soon as possible.
  • fixed the ICE offer/answer rules.
  • support for IPv6.
  • support for Secure RTP (SRTP)
  • better support for Windows Mobile target. We have new and more usable sample application (PocketPJ) and GSM and Speex codec should now be available for this target.
  • better support for Symbian S60 target. There is a more thorough Symbian tutorial available, and GSM and Speex codec should now be available for this target too.
  • implementation of G.722 codec.
  • support for RTCP Extended Report (XR)
  • and many more.

For more information, start from PJSIP download page. Get it while it's hot!

Introducing: The fourth Chinese S60 blog!

I'm happy to announce that the fourth Chinese language S60 blog has been born! Authored by Tongren, an S60 expert whose applications have won numerous awards, the new blog is maybe not surprisingly all about applications. Tongren will talk about the coolest and most innovative applications and also about the latest technologies those. Welcome onboard Tongren!

Below's how Tongren himself describes his topic:

Innovation is an eternal topic. I have always admired Nokia's innovations on mobile phones and applications--from the first smart phone I used (Nokia 6600) to the latest model Nokia N95 8GB--each of them gave me a big surprise! As a 3rd party S60 developer, I am keen on developing innovative applications for s60 phones to enable end users to use their phones in an innovative way. In this blog, I will introduce the most innovative and coolest applications, some of which are developed by me. I hope it will help in your daily life and business, and if you have any good ideas, please share with us!


The Missing Sync for iPhone hits Windows

Are you a Windows user looking for a convenient way to transfer all your data from your BlackBerry, Palm, Windows Mobile, or Sony Ericsson/Motorola/Nokia-made Symbian-powered smartphone to your iPhone or iPhone 3G? Well, here's a bit of good news for you.

Mark/Space has released Missing Sync software for Windows. The software not only allows the user to easily transfer data from other smartphones to an Apple handset, but also allows for archiving of call logs and SMS text messages. It'll also transfer contacts and calendar entries from Outlooks 2003 and Outlook 2007.

Missing Sync for Windows

Missing Sync is available for $39.95 here.

Apple released iPhone SDK beta 8

It's live! The latest iPhone SDK has been seeded to developers looking to get their wares ready for the AppStore launch on July 11. The iPhone SDK beta 8 is the SDK that will work with the final iPhone 2.0 OS firmware - the "Gold Master" if you will.

Today is the day that speculation pegs as the day that the iPhone 2.0 OS firmware goes "gold." If true, the launch of the iPhone SDK beta 8 makes sense. This latest SDK is required to sign and build applications that will work with the final iPhone 2.0 OS version.

iPhone SDK

Download the iPhone SDK here.

What's new in Nokia's S40 6th Edition?

Those of you with sharp eyes may have noticed that two of the 4 products announced by Nokia yesterday have the latest version of S40, 6th Edition. While S40 is not a smart phone operating system due to the lack of a native programming model and the lack of multitasking, it is still impressive and many many many more people use S40 rather than S60. Here is a change log from the S40 Forum Nokia homepage:

Series 40 6th Edition represents a continuing commitment by Nokia to mobile application developers, with support for MIDP 2.1 and the subset of the Mobile Service Architecture (JSR?248). JSR?248 provides a common implementation of seven popular JSRs. These implementations are shared with S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2, and it is expected that other manufacturers of Java™ phones will implement JSR?248. This means that developers will be able to create applications for Nokia platforms that will also run on other manufacturers' devices, with little or no change.

In addition, Series 40 6th Edition delivers exciting new opportunities for the creation of location-based applications, with the introduction of the Location API for J2ME™ (JSR?179). This API can utilize an external Bluetooth GPS unit to obtain location information.

Series 40 6th Edition also provides improved support to Adobe Flash developers with the inclusion of the Flash Lite 3 Player. In addition to playing stand-alone Flash Lite content and applications and offering animated screen savers, Flash Lite can also be used to create animated "organic" wallpaper for Series 40 devices.

For Web developers, Series 40 6th Edition brings new opportunities with a browser based on the WebKit open source components WebCore and JavaScriptCore. This new browser delivers support for HTML 4.01, CSS2, JavaScript™ 1.5, and Ajax. Series 40 users can now experience a desktop-like Web browsing experience, which opens up new possibilities for Web developers to deliver sophisticated Web-based services to the mobile marketplace.

The platform continues to support 240 x 320-pixel screens, meaning media developers continue to benefit from the improved viewing experience and realize continued growth in the consumption of content and media. The platform approach, with its uniform implementation of technologies and supporting tools, documentation, and examples, will continue to offer developers the easiest route to seize mass-market opportunities.

And more information can be had in this PDF, most notably:

An enhanced UI with transitions support providing smooth-state transitions during UI navigation.

Additional audio and video codecs with support for Windows Media Video (WMV) 9, and Windows Media Audio (WMA) 10.

Extended WLAN capabilities.

Series 40 6th Edition — OMA MMS version 1.3 is supported, and the maximum supported message size has been increased to 600 kB.

Small screenshot (not 1:1 pixel scale):


Are you a University student? Enter the Symbian Essay Contest to win £1000!

Symbian wants to know what people in academia think about the direction the smartphone space is heading and where it will be in 2012-2015. If you're a University Student you have until the end of September to submit an essay, 10 winners will be selected, each will get 1000 British Pounds (1991.50 US Dollars or 1263.48 Euros).

More details here, good luck!

[Via: David Wood]

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Flash Enabled Handset spreadsheet had been updated


Bill updated his ongoing Flash Enabled Handset spreadsheet (PDF).

Current #'s of Flash enabled handsets as of June 25, 2008 are:

85 Nokia
71 Sony Ericsson
13 Verizon
149 NTT DoCoMo
110 KDDI
and 60 Softbank handsets.

All the info is in the PDF.

Report all discrepancies and updates to Bill via his blog.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nokia tests Mobile Journalism Toolkit in South Africa!

As you may have laready know Nokia Research Center and Reuters are working together on a mobile journalism project that could transform the way journalists file news reports when on the move by allowing reporters to file and publish text, photo, audio and video news stories from handheld devices, rather than laptops.

Nokia today announced a project with the WITS Journalism programme, DStv Mobile and CityVarsity. The students will be using the devices to capture video footage, high resolution images and audio files which they will need to upload for others to view," says Mathia Nalappan, general manager for Noki... .. .

Read more:
Nokia tests Mobile Journalism Toolkit - full story

Microsoft buys MobiComp, Portuguese mobile sync firm

Microsoft has announced plans to buy MobiComp, a Portuguese software company that develops applications for storing cellphone data online.

MobiComp's products allow you to perform over the air backups of your contacts, calendar, and other mobile data. The company's MobileKeeper Sharing & Communities software also lets you share and download content from social networks including Flickr and Hi5.

The acquisition is described as Microsoft's largest investment in Portugal. Nobody's saying exactly what Microsoft is planning to do with MobiComp's technology, but we'd say it's a safe bet that you could eventually see some sort of data backup/synchronization software for Windows Mobile devices, perhaps as part of the Windows Live suite of web-based services.

[via Electronista]

LiPS Forum climbs into LiMO

Having lasted less than three years, the Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum is folding itself into the Linux Mobile (LiMO) Foundation. The closure comes a scant six months after the completion of version one of its standard.

LiPS was always something of a second fiddle to LiMO, though the Forum strove to distinguish itself from the Foundation by emphasising how it would create standards for LiMO to endorse. But LiMO started creating standards too, which rather undermined that argument.

General manager at LiPS Bill Weinberg told us that members have been offered favourable rates for LiMO membership, though many were members of both groups anyway. In any case, where the two standards don't overlap, the work done by the LiPS Forum will live on.

LiPS Forum president Haila Wang said in a statement: "Today, our membership agrees that LiPS' greatest impact can be realized by adding our members' expertise and resources to LiMo Foundation. Together, the member companies can better strive for a unified and ubiquitous Linux-based mobile platform."

Perhaps this could be better achieved by everyone signing up to the Open Handset Alliance, but without various different and incompatible versions it would hardly be Linux at all. ®

Nokia's strategic reaction to the iPhone

The key to how the iPhone would fundamentally affect the mobile industry was always going to be how it forced innovation at the incumbent players. The latest example is Nokia's bold step to buy its partners out of their shares of Symbian, make it free for developers to develop on, and free to handset makers to put on their devices (

It seems Nokia has recognised just how it is that Apple managed to do so much better a job at building a mobile phone than businesses who'd been in the game for decades.

In our view, the key to the iPhone's amazing (we will soon forget just what a leap forward it represented) design, usability and functionality is Steve Jobs' insistence on having the development of device, operating system and software, in one place.

If you consider the businesses a user has to go through to get to a piece of mobile content, you end up with a mobile ecosystem where standards could hardly exist.

This journey mirrors our experience on PCs but the difference is that competition in each of these elements has led to a complete lack of standards at any point. As most understand, Microsoft's dominance of desktop operating systems has been absolutely fundamental to the success of personal computers and everything that emerged as a result, including the web.

In mobile, the lack of a 'standard' in any part of the ecosystem means, most significantly, that handsets look completely different from each other – even those sold by the same manufacturer - and operating systems are utterly incompatible. This has hampered the overall usability of mobile phones for advanced content and services in many ways, not least the development of applications. One developer is famous for revealing that, for one mobile service his company built (a game around the new Transformers film), it had to build 25,000 different versions.

Apple cut through all this and it appears Nokia has recognised that if it stands any hope of competing, it too needs to fully integrate the conception, planning and development of handset with operating system. The point is further demonstrated by the problems Android is having in getting off the ground ( With so many stakeholders on the project, things are bound to get pulled in different directions – it will be hard not to produce a product that isn't built by committee. A Google owned and produced 'G-Phone' could well have proven a better strategy.

Nokia is by far the largest player in handset sales and Symbian is, by an even greater margin, the largest player in smartphone operating systems ( Together they stand a strong chance of protecting – and potentially growing - their share.

Strong challenges remain. How will its former handset partners in Symbian react. Will they continue to take its rival's OS for their devices? (This explains why Nokia is making Symbian free to other manufacturers.) Will the resulting improvements to Nokia phones be enough to supersede the iPhone, and whatever Android is able to deliver? Meanwhile, how will the operators – the current gatekeepers of the mobile sector – react? They are already upset about Nokia's plans to become a mobile player ( Further strides across the value chain will have them studying the implications hard.

When people ask whether 2008 is the year of the mobile, you first have to ask what the hell they mean. But then you might say yes. Thanks to the iPhone, 2008 is year dot in terms of the mobile phone becoming a viable media channel. Nokia's new [£200m] investment acts as further evidence to underline that view.

Nokia acquires Symbian: Start of something new for UIQ?

Yes, I may be a day or two late in posting this press release from Sony Ericsson on Nokia acquiring Symbian and forming the Symbian Foundation to create one "open mobile software platform", but there is much to mull about in this big announcement.

What does this mean for the UIQ platform?
Now that Symbian and all of it's different 'flavours' or 'variations' are under the Symbian Foundation, we're going to see more of a common core between all Symbian platforms. As stated in the press conference:
From these contributions, the Foundation will provide a unified platform with common UI framework. A full platform will be available for all Foundation members under a royalty-free license, from the Foundation's first day of operations.
So yes, there would be a lot more in common between the Symbian S60 platform (which Nokia is known for) and the UIQ platform in the future. Perhaps in the long term we may see applications and programs that can be easily ported from UIQ to S60, and vice versa?

How does this relate to the dropping of Beibei and the 'Paris' P5 from SE?
Good question. Under the Symbian Foundation's guidance, UIQ is definitely a winner in this case, as the press statement claims:
Contributions from Foundation members through open collaboration will be integrated to further enhance the platform.
The UIQ platform could be so much more with open collaboration with other Symbian flavours, such as S60 or the Japanese MOAP platform. By taking the strengths and shunting out the weaknesses, there is just so much potential for future Symbian phones and the UIQ platform in particular.

However, with SE deciding to dump both of it's upcoming flagships and focus on the Xperia X1, this may mean that it's ready to jump ship to embrace Windows Mobile for its business devices and give up UIQ entirely. The SE P5 was destined to be the successor of the current P1 business flagship - but now it seems that the big man at the top has intervened to change the successor to the Xperia X1. So it seems like along with the Xperia's release, the P-series will be slowly and quietly pushed to the fringes of the SE family.

This Engadget article states that both Motorola and Sony Ericsson have signed up to contribute UIQ assets to the Foundation, but how long do you think SE will commit to it's promise? 10 quid that SE will have 'nothing left to contribute' by the end of 2008.

Symbian Foundation looking to deliver first handsets in 2010

Nokia's announcement that they'll be buying-out the rest of Symbian in order to seed the Symbian Foundation might have Google worried about some serious open-source competition to their upcoming Android mobile platform. But, it looks like Google's going to have a few years to refine their Android platform before the Symbian Foundation poses a tangible threat.

Symbian Foundation

The Symbian Foundation is slated to solidify its Symbian, S60 (Series 60), UIQ, MOAP code-base in 2009. And, the open-source mobile OS collaborative is aiming to deliver the first handsets powered by the new platform in 2010, according to Kai Öistämö, Nokia's head of devices. It will take a couple years to fully integrate all the code and bring the code-base up to open-source status, but S60 elements will be available from the "get-go."

"The first S60 elements will be available for all Foundation members from the get-go in early 2009," said Öistämö. "The final piece of the integrated code, where we have integrated all the elements, will be available in two years' time. All development done on Symbian version 9 and S60 3rd edition will be forward-compatible into the Symbian Foundation releases. For application developers, you can start developing today for this new platform and be sure that your investments will be maintained."

In contrast, the Android-backing Open Handset Alliance (OHA) is on track to deliver the first Android-powered handset as early as Q4 2008, with more handsets expected throughout 2009. That gives Google and the OHA plenty of time to refine Android in preparation for the open-source mobile platform-wars that are starting to take form.

For the time being, Android seems to be the open-source platform to beat. And, in the face of competition from Apple's Mac OS used on the iPhone, Android will be the mobile platform to look to as the next big thing. It'll take some time to see just how the Symbian Foundation plans to take on Android and Mac OS.

[Via: CNET]

Wired: How and Why Android Came to Be

You might already know that Google bought Android for $50 million in 2005 after Danger co-founder Andy Rubin just asked them for an endorsement of it. But did you know that Google feared Windows Mobile? Yep, that one, Wired's massive top-to-bottom Android feature (with awesome art) reveals. Google thought Microsoft had beat it to mobile—it had a quickly growing platform, tied to Microsoft's ends. Google, on the other hand, was having its apps, like mobile Picasa, shot down by carriers who wanted to extort users to do the same thing Google offered for free.

That's just one reason it needed Android. Unlike Windows Mobile, which is all tangled up with Windows, Android's totally centered the web—where people naturally go to Google. While Android vs. iPhone is shaping up to be the new Windows vs. Mac (or open vs. closed), the iPhone actually proved the thesis that easy mobile net access is really easy access to Google: Christmas Day, the iPhone, "fewer than 5 percent of all smartphones worldwide, drove more traffic to Google than any other mobile device." By making Android all about net connectivity and giving developers a common platform to develop for hundreds of phone, the bet is that even with tons of third-party apps, it all comes back to Google. The web is the platform as much as the actual code-y bits.

Naturally, handset makers fear losing their brand in the hype, even as Google argues it means they don't have to waste time on the OS, but can concentrate on hardware and their own proprietary apps. (Course, if you're of the mind it's all about software now, then Google's argument is funky bunk. Hardware will matter maybe as much as Dell vs. HP—maybe that's a lot to you, maybe not so much. Besides, has HTC really had an identity in the first place?) Motorola is actually betting big, putting the original team behind the Razr on its Android phones, hoping it'll be a path to newfound glory.

Even if it (or anyone else) succeeds, ultimately they'll still just be a cog in the Android machine. By the same token, even if Android itself bombs out, as long as it forces open access to the internet, Google still stands to rake in the rewards. [Wired]

Microsoft to support Windows XP through at least 2014

Windows XP SP3Microsoft may finally be phasing out Windows XP sales, but the company is telling customers that it will offer support for the operating system through 2014.

June 30th is the last day you'll be able to pick up a retail copy of Windows XP. But you will still be able to purchase a computer running Windows Vista Business or Ultimate editions and ask the computer maker to downgrade the system to XP for you. Some PC makers may offer this option for free while others will charge a fee.

Microsoft is also making an exception to the no-sales-beyond-June 30th rule for some low-cost, low-power devices like the Asus Eee PC. So it makes sense for the company to offer a few more years of support. Add to this the fact that Windows Vista adoption has been slow in some sectors, and it honestly seems like Microsoft didn't have much choice but to offer extended support for an operating system that was first released in 2001.

Ubuntu mobile 8.0.4 now available to developers

Canonical has made the Mobile Internet Device (MID) version of Ubuntu available to developers. Developers can now make the necessary changes to their desktop applications to better match the smaller screen sizes and processing power of these devices as well as take advantage of the touchscreen interface to improve the user experience.

Ubuntu MID is based on the desktop version of the Ubuntu operating system but has the necessary tweaks made to run efficiently on smaller and less powerful devices like the Samsung Q1U which currently ships with Vista. We had an opportunity to demo this unit running on Vista with the standard 800MHz CPU and 1GB of RAM and the Q1U was really sluggish and not as responsive as we would like.

Hopefully, Ubuntu MID will be well optimized to make devices like the Q1U more usable as it will include a Gecko based browser, email, calendaring and media player specifically designed for these types of devices.

But does the recent announcement of Ubuntu Linux Remix and Symbian going open source possibly take some of the potential Ubuntu MID sales away?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nokia to acquire Symbian Limited to enable evolution of the leading open mobile platform

Nokia today announced it has launched a cash offer to acquire all of the shares of Symbian Limited that Nokia does not already own, at a price of EUR 3.647 per share.

Symbian preparing for a new start

The news is hot and one needs to really take some time, let it cool down and then analyse it from all angles. But here it goes, straight from Nokia's press release:

"Mobile leaders to unify the Symbian software platform and set the future of mobile free

London, UK - Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and NTT DOCOMO announced today their intent to unite Symbian OS(TM), S60, UIQ and MOAP(S) to create one open mobile software platform. Together with AT&T, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone they plan to establish the Symbian Foundation to extend the appeal of this unified software platform. Membership of this non-profit Foundation will be open to all organizations. This initiative is supported by current shareholders and management of Symbian Limited, who have been actively involved in its development.  Plans for the Foundation have already received wide support from other industry leaders.

To enable the Foundation, Nokia today announced plans to acquire the remaining shares of Symbian Limited that Nokia does not already own and then contribute the Symbian and S60 software to the Foundation. Sony Ericsson and Motorola today announced their intention to contribute technology from UIQ and DOCOMO has also indicated its willingness to contribute its MOAP(S) assets. From these contributions, the Foundation will provide a unified platform with common UI framework. A full platform will be available for all Foundation members under a royalty-free license, from the Foundation's first day of operations.
Contributions from Foundation members through open collaboration will be integrated to further enhance the platform. The Foundation will make selected components available as open source at launch. It will then work to establish the most complete mobile software offering available in open source. This will be made available over the next two years and is intended to be released under Eclipse Public License (EPL) 1.0. 
The Foundation's platform will build on the leading open mobile software platform, with more than 200 million phones, across 235 models, already shipped by multiple vendors and tens of thousands of third-party applications already available for Symbian OS-based devices. ..."
More info can be found in Nokia Press Releases and of course at the Symbian Foundation web site.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Google Android facing delays?

android.pngAccording to Reuters, some of Google's third party partners may not be ready to deliver Android based handsets before 2009. Several companies are expected to ship finished hardware before the end of the year but some carriers and software developers are short on time with some predicting that they will not be ready for the launch.

The good news is that us Europeans should be able to get our hands on an Android handset this year as Deutsche Telekom (owners of T-Mobile) still plans to launch at least one handset before 2009, (perhaps in the US too). The US carrier, Sprint Nextel, may not be quite so prepared and similarly China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier, might also struggle to bring an Android handset to market before 2009.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Android has not won broad support from large mobile-software developers, with some claiming the platform is hard to develop programs for as Google is consistently making changes to it as it gets closer to finishing it.

Google's director of mobile platforms, Andy Rubin, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying "This is where the pain happens… We are very, very close."

We can only assume that he means that Google is approaching the final hurdle and in all fairness, considering the scope of a project like Android, it would be unrealistic to expect there to be no hiccups whatsoever on the run up to launch. Here's hoping that if there are any delays, that they don't last long.

Nokia to launch 'Ad Labs'


Nokia is apparently going to open a series of "Ad Labs", to train traditional ad agency staff in the ways of mobile advertising - hopefully catalysing the relatively dormant sector. The Labs will open initially in those boltholes of Advertising, London, and Boston.

Obviously we know that Nokia acquirted Enpocket last year to further it's advertising ambitions - so this marks another key step forward in the software and services strategy now in place. Enpocket will surely form the cornerstone of this "Ad Labs" push.

The first step for Ad Lab will be to work with Nokia's global agency partners, which include WPP-owned JWT, Wieden & Kennedy, Lowe Worldwide, RG/A and MediaCom.

[Via: The Guardian]

Saucy SMS sending sees Scots slide in to slammer!


The Register is reporting on a new Sexual Offences Bill just published in Scotland, which means that people can face up to 10 YEARS in jail for sending SMS/MMS/emails with (inappropriate) sexual content…

The offence will be committed if someone sends an unsolicited text message to someone else which a court finds was designed to give the sender sexual gratification or to humiliate, distress or alarm the receiver. Causing a person to see or hear an indecent communication is also an offence. It can be committed by reading "a passage in a book or magazine" or by communicating the sounds of actual or simulated sexual activity or by communicating in sign language.

Of course, there is going to be an element of judgement as to where a message crosses from being flirty to abusive or humiliating - and given modern language in use in this country, I wouldn't like to be the person/people responsible for that decision - nuance are everything in a language, and English certain has it's share of them!

[Via: The Register]

Player X to bring 'Love Guru' to Mobile gaming…


Player X are going to be bringing us the mobile game of the new Mike Myers vee-hicle called "The Love Guru". From the looks of things we could be on to a good one here, as it's not going to be a standard-fare platformer/shooter, but rather a series of mini-games where players have to pass "mental challenges" …

Mike Myers cracks me up by the way - the new film looks extremely funny, and given Myers' penchant for wicked-good accents, this should be a cracker - check out the official movie site here, and Player X's site here.

Nokia Music PC client updated: over one hundred issues fixed/improved, and more supported devices added

Nokia Music lets you play and organise your music, discover and download new music, all seamlessly integrated with your PC and your Nokia device.

Give every day a soundtrack with Nokia Music. Move your favourite CDs to your Nokia device with one simple click. Create and share playlists with your friends and family. A complete music experience in one easy to use application.

Note: Nokia Music Store is still deactivated from this beta release.

Download (EXE, 61.4 MB)

PLEASE NOTE: Vista users will need to MANUALLY uninstall any earlier versions of the Nokia Music PC Client before installing this new version.

Nokia buys Plazes

Nokia has snapped up Berlin-based Plazes, an SMS-based location-aware social network. Plazeshas been in beta for ages and the developers promise that all their plans will carrry on under the new ownership. Now - I wonder whether Nokia can go the extra mile and add GPS-support to Plazes? - OS X Subversion with Style

One of the fundamental tools for developers is not just their development environment of choice, but also their version control system of choice. The debate over just which version control system is undoubtedly set to rage on for eternity, however one of the more popular systems is Subversion. On the Mac, up until now there's been a number of choices: Terminal (command-line) which is built into the OS and includes Subversion as part of OS X Leopard, svnX - another open-source graphical user interface, or using the built-in Subversion support in Apple's OS X development IDE Xcode.

For some of us here at Download Squad, a fear of the command-line, compounded with a little loathing of the svnX interface made the announcement of - over a year ago - more than a little exciting. Promising an elegant and truly OS X interface to work with Subversion, it's taken a long time to come to fruition - however the betas to date do appear to deliver.

After having used Versions on a daily basis since its debut 2 weeks ago, it's certainly showing a great deal of promise - and makes version control far friendlier. As others have noted, the application not only makes working with existing repositories easy, but also has quick links to Subversion web-service Beanstalk, allowing you to easily create a new online repository and add it to Versions.

Pricing for Versions will be set 'when version 1.0 ships', and currently all (free-to-use) betas expire on July 1st.

OpenSUSE 11.0 box set with all the trimmings!

openSUSE box of goodness

The people at the OpenSUSE project are so excited about their recent 11.0 release, they're ready to share the love with a lucky Download Squad reader! And it's not that garden variety elementary school crush sort of love, either. It's the bona fide, dyed in the wool, hand-holding sort of love, complete with instruction manuals, quick start guides and 90 days of end-user installation support bliss!

The OpenSUSE 11.0 boxed version is especially nice for new users, not only because of the support and great manuals, but because it has every iteration of OpenSUSE 11.0 you could ever imagine. Need the x86 version? There it is! Got a 64 bit processor and a ridiculous amount of RAM to support? Hey, the 64 bit version's there too!

There's the usual Linux suspects, too, of course: KDE, GNOME, Xfce, OpenOffice, Firefox, GIMP, Amarok, firewall software, and AppArmor. But lest your heart become overwhelmed, there are a few hoops you have to jump through to get up close and personal with the OpenSUSE 11.0 box set of love.

In order to win the OpenSUSE 11.0 team's heart (or at least the fruits of their labor):
  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older
  • Leave a comment on this post and tell us what you like best about free speech and/or free beer (and keep in mind that our moms visit this site, so go easy on the free speechconcerning the free beer, okay?)
  • Contest is open until 11:59 pm Eastern Time, June 26, 2008
  • You may enter once.
  • One winner will be selected in a random drawing.
  • Prize is one boxed copy of OpenSUSE 11.0, including manuals and 90 days of end-user installation support. (valued at $60)
  • Click here for complete official rules.

SkypeSync ports your mobile phone contacts to Skype

SkypeSync is a new service you can use to get all those numbers from your phone into your Skype list, so you can call them with SkypeOut, the Skype feature that lets you call regular phone numbers. It's built using the SyncML standard, which is supported by most recent phones, so the odds are pretty good that it'll work for your cell. 

Here's how to use it: point your phone's browser at, a free synchronization server recently acquired by Vodafone, and store your contacts there. Download and open SkypeSync (it's only available for Windows right now) and use its Synchronization Wizard to import your contacts from Zyb to Skype. Voila! You now have all your phone numbers ready for use with SkypeOut.

Obviously, the service is somewhat limited right now, since it only works with Zyb, but there are plans to support other synchronization servers soon. Right now, this looks like a decent solution if you're a big SkypeOut user, and don't want to face the prospect of manually entering every number you want to call on Skype.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

UPDATE: Google Search v1.01

New update to the Google Search app for the N95 8GB and they've added the new Google icon.

Just goto the mobile google pages and download.

Second Life Goes Mobile

Screenshot0048 - Share on Ovi3D software company, Vollee has brought Second Life to mobile devices all around.

Now I will admit... I have been on Second Life, but not long enough to warrant using this app on a daily basis.  I have checked it out and it seems like they have the screen rendering pretty well done. 

  • Works on over 45 handsets already (more being added), with a data plan
  • Works on 3G or WiFi enabled handsets
  • Fly or Teleport yourself anywhere in the world
  • See when your friends are online and Chat or IM
  • Completely free

Make sure to visit their FAQ's for more information.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

fring opens fringAPI to developers


The mobile VoIP wizz kid, fring, could never be accused of laziness. Having recently rolled out abunch of updates to the Windows Mobile version of the fring application as well as launching iPhone and iPod touch variants, the company has now decided to go the whole hog and release the fringAPI, opening the fring core network and mobile client to developers so that almost any web application can be deployed to the fring community.

One of the benefits of this is that any new apps developed by third parties in conjunction with the fringAPI will be automatically enhanced with fring's core features such as presence, talk, chat, file transfer, auto-roaming and all the rest of it.

new developer site containing the fringAPI documentation and a simple fringAdd-on example has been launched for developers to get started with (though the fringAPI is only available for the fring client on Symbian S60 9.2 at the moment with support for more platforms promised soon). On the user side the coming weeks will see the release of several examples of fringAdd-ons for you to play about with.

The full catalog with all the new developed fringAdd-ons will launch towards the end of July.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Microsoft Mistakes Browser War for Browser Party, Sends Firefox a Lovely Cake

Just like they did when Firefox 2 dropped, Microsoft has sent the guys over at Mozilla a congratulatory cake. The nerd food was delivered in person and was graciously accepted by the Firefox crew, who managed to hold back snide remarks about the cake's standard compliance and proprietary recipe long enough to take a few pictures. At least Microsoft has a sense of humor about their eroding market share. [Al Billings]

Firefox 3 launches today; Five reasons you can't live without it

After a long wait, version 3 of the popular Firefox browser is officially available today -- get yours here. It's likely the most anticipated Firefox release ever, poised to break a world record for the most downloads in a single day but, does it live up to its lofty expectations? 

Frankly, without the browser in widespread circulation it's hard judge it an unmitigated success. Mozilla's new baby contains a claimed 15,000 improvements. With a list that long, there are bound to be a few new features you'll love, a few you'll hate -- and -- maybe a few you'll wonder how you ever lived without. 

After putting the betas through their paces and having a nice long chat with Mike Beltzner -- one of the user experience gurus from Mozilla -- here are five of our favorite things about the newest member of the Firefox family.

Continue reading Firefox 3 launches today; Five reasons you can't live without it

Wine 1.0 pops the cork: Run Windows apps on Linux

Wine 1.0
It may have taken 15 years, but the developers behind Wine have finally decided the Windows emulation layer for Linux and Unix-based systems is stable enough to wear a 1.0 label. Now, don't get too excited. That doesn't mean every last Windows app will run on Linux under Wine. But it does mean that Wine's more stable than ever, and thousands of Windows applications have been reported to work.

Wine 1.0 installation instructions are available for a whole slew of distributions, including Fedora, Red Hat, SUSE, Mandriva, Slackware, Ubuntu, Debian, FreeBSD and Solaris. Or if you wait a few days there's a good chance the latest version of Wine will be added to your distro's official repositories.

To be perfectly honest, you might not notice a ton of changes from previous versions of Wine. But the latest build does include a ton of fixes for specific applications including WinRAR, Skype, Dragon Naturally Speaking, and video games like Call of Duty 1.0

[via Digg]

Midomi Software Allows You To Find Music With Your Voice

MidomiOne of the features that I loved with the N75 was the music recognition app.  Something like that really needs to be implemented in all of the Nseries devices, but as you know it was an AT&T customized app. 

Although its not quite the same... if you can sing the lyrics, Midomi can help you find the music.

What was that tune? It goes like this: "Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm."

Imagine being able to track down that elusive tune in your head by singing or humming it. With midomi mobile on your S60 3rd Edition device, you can soon not only know the tune, but also be able to hear renditions of the song submitted by's many other users and contributors. After analyzing the pitch, melody, rhythm, speech, and other features that make up your rendition of a song, midomi compares them to those measurements in a database of hundreds of thousands of tunes that have been sung and submitted by other users. The artificial intelligence (AI) software finds the correct matches 95 percent of the time if the correct song is in the database. It even does so when you have to sing or hum the tune softly into your S60 device so as not to disturb the person in the next cubicle at work or at a neighboring table in a restaurant.

Midomi is available for free from the company website, or you can download via your mobile

Sony Ericsson announces 5 new phones, 3 Bluetooth headsets, 2 HSPA USB modems

Sony Ericsson announcement

It's Sony Ericsson news day as the company has announced an array of new products. Let's quickly go through them.

  • First there are two new low-end phones, J132 and K330, which we've covered in the previous article.
  • Then there's the "Motion Gaming" ready F305 and S302 Snapshot, which we also covered alongside three Bluetooth headsets (also announced today).
  • The baddest Cyber-shot is now officially official. The C905 is the first mobile phone with 8.1 megapixel camera, and also has WiFi and GPS support. Once it hits the market in Q4, it will be the best feature phone. Three color options are available - "Night Black," "Ice Silver" and "Copper Gold" and three variations - C905 (for Europe), C905a (for North America) and C905c (for China).
  • Finally, the Swedish-Japanese company also announced two HSPA USB modems - MD400 and MD400g. Aside from the HSPA radio, both devices also pack microSD and Memory Stick Micro (M2) slots and the latter model (MD400g) even boasts the built-in GPS receiver. They'll hit the market in last quarter of this year.

And that's it. Nice day for Sony Ericsson fans, even though we also hoped to see BeiBei and Parisunveiled as well… Keep reading cause we have more photos after the jump.

Sony Ericsson F305

Sony Ericsson S302

Sony Ericsson headsets

Sony Ericsson MD400 USB modem

Sony Ericsson C905


Germany's Mobile 3.0 now in test phase for DVB-H


Germany's Mobile 3.0 is apparently now offering broadcast Mobile TV, having launched a test service based on a Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) solution.

The service, initially available in four cities – Hamburg, Hanover, Frankfurt and Munich – includes nine TV channels (ARD, ZDF, Deutschland 24, RTL, VOX, SAT 1, Pro 7, N-TV and N24) and three radio stations (bigMUSIC, MyFun Radio, and 90elf). It will help gather information on actual demand, expected consumption patterns, coverage and reception conditions in order to fine-tune the broadcasts and identify commercial services to be launched in the future, once Mobile 3.0 receives all the remaining licenses.

NSN is running the whole show during the test, utilising the DVB-H standard, and Nokia is providing the handsets.

[Via: Financial Mirror]

Nokia completes Trolltech acquisition

Nokia completes Trolltech acquisition

Following the approval by the European Commission, Nokia today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Trolltech.

Nokia got both the technology (software assets) and the people, who will "play an important role in accelerating the implementation of Nokia's software strategy." The idea is to accelerate the cross-platform software strategy for mobile devices and desktop applications, and develop Internet services business.

As of today (June 17, 2008), Oslo Stock Exchange will delist Trolltech ASA.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Nokia unveils two new Nokia Eseries devices, Nokia E71 & Nokia E66

Nokia introduced today the Nokia E71 and Nokia E66 - the latest email-optimized devices from the Nokia Eseries product range.

The sleek Nokia E71 with full QWERTY keyboard and the stylish, slide-to-open Nokia E66 easily mobilize a broad range of personal or professional messaging needs, including Microsoft Exchange, the world's most widely adopted corporate email solution.

Both devices are expected to begin shipping in key markets in July. The Nokia E71 and the Nokia E66 are expected to retail at EUR 350, before applicable taxes and subsidies.

"The Nokia E71 and Nokia E66 were designed for people who lead a mobile lifestyle and want quick and easy access to their personal and work email. With both of these devices, we have responded to consumer feedback by making cale.. .. .

Read more: 
Nokia unveils Nokia E71 & Nokia E66 - full story

eReader coming to iPhone near you


Here's one more reason to consider getting the iPhone (3G) - eReader is coming to Apple's handset, allowing users to enjoy reading on the iPhone's huge 3.5-inch screen while on-the-go.

We don't have the information about the exact release date, but jkOnTheRun's James Kendrick asked Fictionwise (eReader's owner) about their iPlans. They answered - "yes, we're working on it," but because of Apple's policy to approve each application that will enter the AppStore they are in the midst of "seeking information about what the criteria are to qualify." Hopefully Apple will let them "do their thing" on the iPhone and voila, soon enough you'll have thousands of book titles available at your disposal. We'll certainly keep you posted on this one…

[Via: jkOnTheRun]

Twitterrific coming to iPhone

Twitterrific for iPhoneIf there's one thing that Twitter as made for, it's the mobile space. The micro-blogging masses will know Twitterrific as the gotta-have Twitter client for anyone using a Mac (you are using a Mac, aren't you?), and the uber-popular Twitter client is set to make its way to the iPhone's Mac OS platform. Being able to "tweet" from your handset is convenient, but not always pleasurable - what with tiny displays and clunky UIs getting in the way. Twitterrific hopes to bring the same intuitive UI that we see in the Mac OS X version to a rock-solid native application for iPhone and iPod Touch users.

Twitterrific coming to iPhoneWith the AppStore being prepared to go live in the next few weeks, Twitterrific developer Icon Factory is putting the final touches on their Twitterrific iPhone client. As a native application, Twitterrific is set to take on the likes of the already-available "Twinkle" twitter client. And, with Hahlo having recently updated its web-app UI to make Twitter all that much more convenient, Twitterrific has some seriously entrenched competition to face.

Twitterrific for iPhone is designed with the user in mind. Buttons are arranged with thumb-position in mind - more frequently used functions are easier to access than others, and checking up on your Twitter-friend is as easy as a simple double-tap of the multi-touch display. Composing a tweet is a simple matter of a button press and your off tapping away at the iPhone's keyboard. And, to make it easier to follow embedded hyperlinks, Twitterrific offers an integrated mini-browser.

All in all, Twitterrific for the iPhone seems like a promising application.

[Via: iPhone Central]

Reminder: Windows Vista SP1 RC expires on June 30

Windows VistaNow that Windows Vista SP1 has been out for a few months, there's no particularly good reason that you should be running an early release candidate of the service pack. But if you're too lazy to have uninstalled it, you've got about two weeks before Microsoft forces you to do so.

Starting June 30th, any machines running a release candidate of Windows Vista SP1 will only be able to run for about an hour at a time. Basically, you boot your system, it runs normally for an hour, and thenthe kernel shuts down and you get a message that says END_OF_NT_EVALUATION_PERIOD. At least it's fairly easy to understand.

But wait! Didn't Microsoft push Windows Vista SP1 final out through automatic updates? Well, yes, it did. But you can only install Windows SP1 if you've first rolled back any release candidates of the service pack. So if you haven't done that yet, there's no time like the present.

[via Flexbeta]

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Nokia urges Linux developers to learn business

While doing my daily new readings, came across an article written by David Meyer from ZDNet UK which highlights difference between Open source and the current handset practice and definitely worth checking out. Open-source developers targeting the mobile space need to learn business rules including digital rights management, Nokia's software chief has claimed.

Speaking at the Handsets World conference in Berlin on Tuesday, Dr Ari Jaaksi told delegates that the open-source community needed to be 'educated' in the way the mobile industry currently works, because the industry has not yet moved bey... ..

Read more: 
Learn the cellphones business - full story

Nokia open sourcing their Internet Tablet OS brand, design their logo!


Are you familiar with the Nokia Internet Tablet? The few of you with your hands still up in the air, are you aware that the OS it runs is called Maemo? Well you're in for a treat, Nokia wants to update the logo and instead of hiring some fresh out of college Northern European designer who will probably design the furniture that goes into the minuscule studio apartment you're forced to live in after your girlfriend kicks you out due to your dangerous mobile phone purchasing habits, they're looking for the community for inspiration!

Good PR move, hit this link for the details. You have until August, and if you win you get to go to Germany for the first Maemo Summit. Have yet to decide if I want to go, I don't have any close contacts with the Maemo team. Guess it is time to sit with those smelly Linux geeks on the opposite side of the cafeteria; just kidding <3!

[Via: Internet Tablet Talk]