A very promising press release hit my inbox today morning, the Myriad Group has announced Alien Dalvik, a solution that will let users take advantage of applications made for Android devices on their MeeGo smartphones. According to the press release, Alien Dalvik ‘enables the majority of Android applications to run unmodified, allowing application store owners to quickly kick start Android application store services by simply repackaging Android Package (APK) files’.
The best part about the solution is that Alien Dalvik applications will appear as native and can be seamlessly installed on devices, as you can see from the demo video below, they appear just as any other native Maemo app would. Myriad Alien Dalvik is slated to become commercially available later this year on the MeeGo platform with support for other platforms to be announced in the coming months.
The press release only mentions MeeGo, however the demo video has been shot on the N900, running Maemo 5 and other documentation also mentions it, so chances are N900 owners might get some love as well. Alien Dalvik will also be demonstrated publicly for the first time on the Nokia N900 at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 14th-17th at the Myriad hospitality suite located at The Avenue, Stand AV91.
Myriad claims that the Alien Dalvik solution will let Android apps run on non Android smartphones with the same speed and performance as they would on a native Android device. ‘A very tight integration to both the Android SDK and the MeeGo SDK (QTCreator) makes it very easy to modify, package and test applications. Most Android applications can run unmodified as the vast majority of Android APIs are supported and tight integration with the QT framework leads to a seamless user experience.’
The bottomline is, if the solution can do what it claims and Nokia can churn out a great looking UI for MeeGo, people will stop their demands for a Android or WP7 device from Nokia.
Marco Barisione’s just released an app called ‘Ringtoned’ for the N900 that brings the ability to set custom ringtones for each contact in the N900’s phonebook. The best part about this app is that it integrates well with the N900 as there’s no standalone setup, you can asign a default ringtone from the Profiles menu as usual and for custom ringtones, just go to the Contacts application, select the contact and press the new ‘Set custom ringtone’ button in the menu.
Search for ‘custom ringtones’ in the application manager after enabling extras-devel and refreshing the repository.
To set a custom ringtone, open contacts, select the contact you want and goto options by hitting the name of the contact in the title bar. Select ‘Set custom ringtone’.
The UI to set a ringtone is just like the one under Settings>Profile. When you are finished, press done and you are all setup.
The app is available from the Extras-Devel repository, or you can also download it from Marco’s personal repository here. Since this is the first release there might be bugs and if here is heavy load on the system, the ringtone might start after a slight delay. Future versions of this application should have the ability to set a custom ringtone for anonymous phone calls and for calls from an unknown number as well.
The inability to set custom ringtones for individual contacts has been something a lot of people have missed on the N900, but once again through Marco Barisione‘s fine work, the community has come through.
The Maemo developer platform team just everyone know that ‘Maemo.Gitorious.org‘ has just gone live. In short, it will the place you will be able to see the Maemo platform develop and the whole open source idea kick in. If you want a little more explanation, here’s what the team had to say:
maemo.gitorious.org will be the place where Maemo devices develops the Maemo platform in the open.
Naturally the upstream projects that are used by Maemo Devices will be developed at the upstream sources, while everything else Maemo Devices develops in the open will move to maemo.gitorious.org as time goes by.
The idea of having a single location is to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for and to have a simple way to contribute back.
If you are a pure consumer who is interested in the end product, chances are you will never need to look this page up. However, if you have a bit of interest in development, this will be a place you want to check out.
Since S60/Symbian bashing has become the new thing lately, a lot of rumours proclaiming that Nokia will ditch Symbian were expected. However, one piece of ‘news’ that has really sent the rumour mills into a tizzy is this piece published in UK’s Guardian newspaper, ‘quoting industry insiders’, claiming that Nokia will embrace Android to keep afloat in the smartphone wars and that the announcement of a Android running Nokia smartphone was expected this Nokia World, September 2-3.
What is my reaction? Hype and very/no little substance. If you think about it camly, I’m sure you will see through it as well. Nokia is the world’s biggest handset manufacturer, it already runs Symbian on its smartphones and Maemo, its homegrown flavour of Linux, on its Internet Tablets and if it were to make an Android device now, it would be equivalent of saying ‘we couldn’t make a decent OS on our own and now we will compete with other manufacturers on the strength on our hardware alone’. Like I said, virtually impossible.
That being said, will there be a new Linux running device announced at Nokia World? Quite possibly. It will be the long rumoured successor to the N810 that runs Maemo and has the capability of making calls. The N900 perhaps.
5 megapixel Carl Zeiss camera with dual-LED flash, autofocus, and sliding cover
Though the renders we’ve seen show two lens-like circles near the screen, we’ve got no word on what’s behind them. However, we feel safe in assuming that its a proximity sensor and a front-facing camera.