Tag Archives: Nokia N9

Nokia N9 Includes An FM Transmitter & Receiver, No Software To Take Advantage Of That Yet

Here is some great news for those of you who love FM transmitters on your Nokia devices, the N9 indeed has support for both an FM transmitter and receiver, the only hitch is that there is no software to take advantage of it, yet.

I personally am a huge fan of FM transmitters on Nokia devices, it is something only they seem to put in smartphones and I would very much like Nokia to keep doing that, its an extremely convenient and wireless way to share music and even the not so technically inclined people love it. FM Radio is also a nice thing to have in case you get bored on your own music collection.

The confirmation comes from Nokia’s very own Quim Gil on the MeeGo Forums. If you recall the Nokia N800, N810 and even the N900 all shipped with an FM receiver, but without software to take advantage of that functionality. I am hoping some of the smart hackers of the community can figure out a way to get these things working by the time the N9 ships commercially.

Major props to @mwkn for the heads up!

Thoughts: The ‘We Want Nokia To Keep MeeGo’ Petition

Its been just about 24 hours since Nokia announced the N9 and since then the interwebs have been going crazy with tons of N9 chatter, every small seemingly inconsequential detail is also being lapped up, every hands on scrutinized and people are still hungry for more. Not for a long time has there been so much excitement about a Nokia device, not even the N8 produced the kind of euphoria that has swept across Nokia fans the world over.

Even Nokia’s harshest critics have come out with words of praise, something that perhaps has come as a pleasant surprise to Nokia itself. Infact I am yet to witness any real negative feedback for the device. The only complaint people seem to have is that its based on a dead platform. Nokia through its language about the N9 helping shape future Windows Phone devices and innovation has virtually confirmed that they have no plans to make another MeeGo device.

Its almost a paradox, Nokia tried pleasing the technorati the last few years and it didn’t really work. Then they decided that MeeGo wasn’t good enough internally and now the media seems to like it.

Once we all saw what the N9 could do, I had a feeling sooner or later we’d start seeing Nokia please keep MeeGo petitions, but it took a mere 6 hours for it to start.

A Twitter petition, Twitition if you will, has already started doing the rounds and in a short period has garnered over 700 signatures, including those of many Nokia employees. You can sign it here if you feel inclined.

The Nokia N9 does make you wonder what if Feb 11 hadn’t happened, I have already blogged my thoughts here. But will any of this change Nokia’s stance on MeeGo? Here’s what I think can happen, Nokia has said that it’ll relegate MeeGo to the future disruption category, what that means is that they could still release one MeeGo smartphone every year and flood the market with their Windows Phone devices meanwhile. Symbian will be supported till 2016, that’s 5 years away. With Qt acting as the bridge and getting better all the time, we should still see a fair quantity of apps around. This way they keep everyone happy.

Thoughts: The 'We Want Nokia To Keep MeeGo' Twitition

But, here is another scenario. The N9 will ship by September, around the same time the next iPhone will ship and people will start to make comparisons. This will also be the time when the noise for Nokia to keep MeeGo will grow stronger as more and more people experience the N9. But slowly the main stream media will start doing comparisons with the iPhone 5’s retina display, dual core processors and what not. The fans’ attention will waiver and it’ll soon be time for Nokia World in October. All attention will be on Nokia’s reply to the iPhone 5 with their first Windows Phone device. It’ll be announced on October 26 and soon people will begin to begin forget the N9.

Some people at Nokia will breathe a sign of relief. After all, MeeGo becoming successful will present more questions than answers for Nokia. They can’t have people begin to start questioning its Feb 11 decisions, not when the shares have already tanked.

Anyway, it can play out either way, I personally would like to see Nokia release one MeeGo device every year, just to keep Microsoft interested, if nothing else.

Is The Nokia N9 Only Coming To 23 Countries? India, UK, USA To Be Left Bereft?

It is still early days and the N9 has just been announced, so may be we shouldn’t be reading too much into the check availability page, but from what it currently states, the N9 may only be coming to 23 countries around the world with major markets such as India, US, UK getting a miss.

So far the list is limited to:

  1. Australia
  2. Austria
  3. Bulgaria
  4. China
  5. Croatia
  6. Finland
  7. Greece
  8. Hong Kong
  9. Hungary
  10. Malaysia
  11. New Zealand
  12. Portugal
  13. Poland
  14. Romania
  15. Russia
  16. Saudi Arabia
  17. Serbia
  18. Singapore
  19. Slovenia
  20. Sweden
  21. Switzerland
  22. UAE
  23. Vietnam

The N900 came to India after ages, months after it was launched in other parts of the world so I could foresee India missing out, in the US Nokia wants a fresh start with operator support so I can understand that decision, but the UK’s exclusion is surprising. Perhaps, they are choosing markets where the operator’s role is underplayed to an extent and the market is more responsive the SIM free devices. But that would make India an ideal platform, where Nokia’s brand is still strong.

May be the list will be updated and the above only represents the countries where the initial rollout takes place, time will tell.

Bringing a device to a country involves huge costs for Nokia, in advertising, promotion, getting the support centers staff trained, repair and so on, and if they plan to sell very little of these ‘proof of concept’ devices, then it makes sesnse to avoid certain countries. But for fans sake, I hope Nokia reconsiders.

You can expect the N9 by the end of Q3, at upwards of the 600 – 750$ (27,000 – 34,000 INR) price bracket for the 16, and 64 GB versions. It will come in Cyan, Magenta and Black.

Further reading: With The N9, Nokia Shows The World Its Still Got It.

With The N9, Nokia Shows The World Its Still Got It

The N9 release is a monumental step for Nokia, it is the culmination of the years Nokia has spent creating a premium high end smartphone that not only excels in hardware, but also shows that when it comes to software, Nokia’s still got it. Feb. 11 changed everything inside of Nokia, yet Nokia’s MeeGo Harmattan project was not killed completely. Perhaps Stephen Elop felt that it would be a good way to demonstrate to the world what Nokia is capable of, or perhaps it was the internal resistance that forced him to release this one last MeeGo Harmattan device, the end result of the sweat and blood of hundreds of Nokians who had devoted themselves to create what in their mind was the pinnacle of modern smartphones.

With The N9, Nokia Shows The World Its Still Got It

What happened inside of Nokia, we’ll never know, but the N9 is now real, being demoed in Singapore as I write this and it looks delicious. A beautiful monoblock design, a 3.9″ AMOLED display with curved gorilla glass, an 8 MP Carl Zeiss auto focus 16:9 camera with f2.2 for great low light photography, Dolby Headphone and Dolby Digital Plus support, NFC, a 1 Ghz processor with 1 GB of RAM, and most importantly runs Nokia’s MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan.

Nokia for long has said that its MeeGo/Harmattan vision was about a new UI, a UI that would make one handed use a breeze and at the same time make getting to our favourites apps faster, and with the all new Swipe UI Nokia is doing just that. The N9 doesn’t have even a single physical button on the homescreen, it is even unlocked by tapping the screen twice. Once unlocked, you have three basic views, the app view, the events view which pulls in things from Facebook etc and the multitasking view where all your recently used apps reside. In order to get to these, all you need to do is flick from one side of the phone to another depending on which view you would like to go to. The UI is best experienced yourself, and I recommend going through this detailed demo that Nokia has primary created for developers, but it also gives you a great look at the device. Then there is Nokia’s brand new swipe.nokia.com that has everything that you’ll need to know about the N9, pictures, demos, features and videos.

Nokia N9-00

You will also be pleased to know that the N9’s super wide 28mm 8MP Carl Zeiss camera is also the fastest smartphone camera there is in the market, and it lets you shoot in true wide screen, not the cropped wide screen modes that all smartphones have these days. Thankfully no EDoF and HD video at 720p with 30 frames a second with continuous auto focus. And if you every drop it, feel safe in knowing that the unibody design is all polycarbonate material solid colour right till the inside, so dropping the device will not chip the paint off it. This material, according to Nokia also means that the N9 will have superior antenna performance over most other competitors’ smartphones.

But lets come back to software, as that’s where Nokia’s been taking a hit recently. You look at one video, and everyone will agree that the UI looks great, but what about core apps and functionality? First, Maps and navigation is a go, then there is the Web Browser that is built using the latest Webkit 2 technology and support for HTML5 which translated to access to rich web applications and fast video playback. Then not only does the N9 support Qt, but a lot of its core apps are written in Qt. But what really wows you is the integration of the third party services like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo, Skype all of which support a single sign on and work out of the box. For example you can sign in once with Facebook and you will have access to Facebook events and notifications in the N9’s events screen, have integration with your address book in contacts, have Facebook chat and so on.

Infact, Nokia has a special page to show the preloaded apps, which include Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, AP Mobile, AccuWeather, Angry Birds, Skype, Vimeo and so on. There is also support for WIFI Hotspot functionality out of the box, which is great. They have really done a good job in getting the basics covered, all of the above is pretty much everything you use on a daily basis. The real challenge is to get developers to build for the N9, knowing its the last MeeGo product to come out of Nokia. Because there is Qt, some apps that work on the N900 and Symbian^3 should also be easily ported onto the N9, but you will have to reign in the optimism when it comes to quality third party apps that Nokia isn’t involved with. That being said, there is still hope, Nokia is making available N950 devices to developers to get their apps ready for the N9.

Nokia N9 Cyan

At the end of the day there will be people who will buy one right now if Nokia made it available, there would also be people who would have bought it with their eyes closed had Feb 11 not happened, there will also be those who are torn, torn because they would love to have what is one of the finest phones to come out of Nokia, but are worried about future updates and support specially when Nokia itself has clearly said the N9 will be the last of its kind. Finally there will be those to diss the N9 completely, because from their perspective MeeGo/Harmattan is dead. Where you stand depends on what do you want from the device, Nokia has the basics covered with great support for the popular services, knowing Nokia, it’ll also have a great camera and judging by the N900, a great browser. If that satisfies your priorities, then the N9 will be great. The community has made the N900 much better with time, and because the N9 will be as open you can expect all sorts of hacks and apps from the devs. But if you want a phone which will have all the latest apps the day they come out for iOS, then this phone isn’t for you.

For Nokia, the N9 is their statement to the world that look, we can still innovate and create class leading products. We can not only do great hardware, but kick ass when it comes to software too. It is also about pride for a lot of people and for the rest, a look at what could have been.

Nokia, you’ve still got it!

The N950 Now Available For Developers

The Nokia N9 was just announced at Nokia Connection in Singapore, but missing from the action was the leaked N950, which was supposed to be the developer phone. But if you are a developer looking to get your apps ready for the N9, there is hope, the N950 is still very real and will be made available to developers through selected developer programs, such as Nokia Developer LaunchPad.

More information about developing for the N9 can be found here.

[Update]: Another avenue where you can request a unit of the Nokia N950 is via the MeeGo Device Program.

Candidates must be community developers ready to start working on new or existing open source applications, to be published in apps.meego.com and the Nokia Store. Links to your current projects are relevant! Deadline for applications: end of Tuesday, June 28th.

Good luck!

Further reading: With The N9, Nokia Shows The World Its Still Got It.

Nokia Conversations Makes The N9 Tease Official

Nokia Conversations has just published a post titled, ‘Future devices and innovation at Nokia‘. Along side is a picture of curtains, awaiting a grand reveal. The post itself is brilliant, says nothing about a particular device, yet says quite a lot. Its a tease, but one which you will only be able to follow if you are already familiar with the N9/N950 leaked teaser video which has since been taken down (but you can still find screenshots here).

Nokia Conversations Makes The N9 Tease Official

I recommend you read it, but if you’re in a hurry here are the real teasers.

“Just a couple of days ago, a whole fresh crop appeared on a number of websites regarding a new mystery device. But it should be no surprise that new things are in the wings somewhere…”

  • Obvious reference to the device rumored to be the N9/N950.

“… At the moment, of course, our technology is far from natural. There’s nothing natural about icons and drop-down lists and tickboxes. It would probably be better if you could just swipe through your apps, wouldn’t it?”

  • Swipes. That’s what Nokia’s MeeGo UI will play by.

“But the possibilities are endless… and very exciting. We can’t wait to show you more – maybe a sneak peek at “Jessie’s Girl” – in the weeks to come”.

  • ‘Jessie’s Girl’. That was the exact Rick Springfield soundtrack for the teaser that leaked.

So there you have it, the device is coming in the ‘weeks to come’ and it’ll run Nokia’s very own UI based on the idea of swipes. But the ‘weeks to come’ part means that a we are possibly looking at June as the time of announcement, which means we probably won’t be seeing it at the MeeGo Conference starting next week in San Francisco.

Nokia Conversations Makes The N9 Tease Official

[Update] I just saw that Jay at My Nokia Blog too has a similar post up, where they’re speculating about Nokia’s New Sense message. Remember, ‘See, Hear New, Feel New’ from the old Nseries days, all of them were senses.

Image credit: Wootang01