Day 1 for the MeeGo UI is here and with that comes a ‘developer preview’ of how the OS is shaping up. There are a bunch of screenshots available on the official MeeGo website but if you are feeling adventurous, there is a N900 version you can play with. The current release comes with a dialer, sms, photo viewer, browser, and personal connection management applications. These apps are a works in progress, and the MeeGo UI is no where near ready for mainstream adoption yet.
The idea behind MeeGo 1.0 for handsets is to give everyone an idea of how the MeeGo 1.1 release (due in October) is shaping up. The release is not bug free and here is a list of some workarounds to those issues. The MeeGo team has also published a video showing off the UI, take a look for yourself and let us know what you think? A nice mashup of the best from the popular platforms with some bonus features?
I will reserve judgment till I play with it on my N900, it is also worthy to note that Nokia’s next Nseries will probably not look very similar to the UI we’re seeing above. Although they do have a tendency to keep most most of its as they are usually the ones who’ve worked the most on it. (Symbian for example, the other manufactures have their UI layers)
So what do you think of the MeeGo 1.1 developer release?
Last week we announced five winners who’d won the title of ‘Maemo Masters’ which enabled them to purchase a ‘Maemo Masters Edition’ of the N900 that comes with special goodies (including a Maemo Masters T-Shirt and a cool BH-214 stereo bluetooth headset) for the readers of The MeeGo Blog.
For those of you who missed out, I have some great news. If you entered the first or second week’s contest, I will also consider the same entry for the contests coming in the following weeks AND you can also take part in the third week’s contest again to triple your chances of winning! Sweet?
For those of you who’ve just seen this contest, don’t worry we still have 3 weeks and 15 Maemo Masters to be crowned. So how do you enter this week’s contest? Simple, just enter your name in the comments section to enter. No questions to answer. Good luck!
Winners of week 2:
Many congratulations! I’ll be in touch via email with the details.
PS: Please note that this contest is geographically limited to those of you in India only.
The N900 comes with a pretty basic photo editor that allows you to crop and resize, but if you want to do a bit of quick colour correction or editing, you were pretty much out of luck. Enter Ansel-A by lostinmirkwood.
It is a ‘digital darkroom’ for the N900 that can perform:
Brightness, Saturation, Contrast and Sharpening
Pixel-level-Cropping (Portrait is still a little fishy)
Kinetic Photo Browser
Is Multi-Platform (Qt4.6, PyQt)
By looking at the above list if you are not quite sure as to what the software does, the following video should help.
The app takes a little while to load because it pulls recent images from the camera roll, you can also load more images or manually select the one you want. The controls are intuitive and you always have the safety of undo when you try and experiment. Some actions like rotation, are pretty impressive and not not many apps support editing so extensively.
Ansel-A is available for installation from extras-testing and is virtually a must have if you consider yourself a photographer of any kind. The best part is that the developer is taking feedback, bugs and feature requests, so if you like the app get involved at this TMO thread or leave a comment on his blog.
I am not someone who likes changing themes often. I like themes that look elegant, polished and definitely not brash. Over the last seven or so months of owning the N900, I have tried almost every theme that is available and have come away with the following as my picks.
Most of these themes comes from the Maemo repositories so make sure you have them enabled. Then just type the name to search in the Application Manager and install. So without further adieu, here are my must have themes for the N900, in no particular order.
Black Plastic – The lists in this theme are shaded differently, nice change.
an-DROID – One of my favorites. Love the colours on this one.
Bossa Teal – For times when you want custom icons. Seems to slow down the phone though and takes 6MB in rootfs.
Carbon – Brilliant. Dark. Polished. Makes the N900 look good.
D-Theme Red – I like red themes. They go well with the black on the N900. This is part of the D-Theme series, check them out for different colours.
iStyle Black – Part of the iStyle series. Best of the lot.
Matrix – Its here because it goes amazingly well with the Matrix live wallpaper. Plus I like the vibrant colours too.
Red Alert – Another red theme, but sadly not part of the repositories so you will have to manually download and install if you liked it. Get the .deb here, locate it in the file manager and tap to install.
R-Style Green – Part of the beautiful R-Style series that features similar design in new colours. Green is easily my favourite.
So there you have it, those were my picks. Think there is a theme that deserves to be in this list that I have missed out? Please let me know. What themes do you like?
Right after the N900 India launch event, I sat down with a group of bloggers that Nokia had invited to talk all things N900. The best part was that it was a diverse mix, which included bloggers from different avenues.
Some of us were very familiar with the in’s and out’s of the N900, while we also had people who were still new to the device. While we were talking, I was filming so here’s a 10 minute video capturing everyone’s thoughts with a few agreements and disagreements thrown in.
The N900 is finally in India, is seven months late, but is still a compelling device. I am sure a lot of you in are in the market for an N900 and this post should bring a cheer to you.
We have teamed up with Nokia India to host the ‘Maemo Masters Invitational‘ in which I will be able to invite 25 of you to purchase a ‘Maemo Masters Edition’ of the N900. The best part is that it will cost the same as the N900 you can buy at your local store, but will come with a bunch of really nice goodies.
The Nokia N900 of course.
A pair of BH-214 Bluetooth Headphones.
A specially crafted ‘Maemo Master’ T-shirt.
The official Nokia title of a ‘Maemo Master’.
I will be randomly selecting 5 names each week, for the next 5 weeks and the names of the winners will be revealed on the Maemo Masters blog every week (first set of winners announced on June 15th). A few days ago I had received a package of my own from Nokia India and this is what it was.
To enter this week’s challenge to become a ‘Maemo Master’ and get invited to purchase the Maemo Masters Edition of the N900, all you need to do is answers the following questions in the comments section below.
Question 1. – Right out of the box, what operating system does the N900 run? (Hint: M_e_o 5)
Question 2. – What was The MeeGo Blog formerly called? (Hint: Look under the title)