Users of the Nokia N9 have longed for a Whats App client for their device since a long time, but it finally looks as if their prayers are close to being answered. While Whats App isn’t doing an official version of the app, the community has come up with a solution of its own called Wazapp.
Wazapp is a community port of the hugely popular IM application, and its developer Tarek Galal has realsed a first look video of it running on the N9. The video is proof that the project is progressing nicely, and shows messages being sent and received between the N9 running Wazapp, and a Samsung Android device running the official WhatsApp application.
When is it coming out you wonder? The developer has this to say:
If you cannot wait, a dedicated website for the project has been setup at wazapp.im and you can keep checking in, otherwise rest assured that I’ll let you know once its out. I hope that the makers of Whats App support this development, and not try and kill its functionality with an update to their official clients.
The PR 1.2 firmware update has just been rolled out to the developer only N950 MeeGo Harmattan device, and it comes to us in the form of beta version number 3.2012.02-6_PR_RM680. This update is a precursor to the N9 update, and will give you a fair idea of what new features to expect on your N9.
Highlights include support for five new languages, face recognition, enhanced copy-paste, software update notifications for applications and games in Nokia Store and folders in the application view. If you own a N950, you can find all the details and download links here.
Here is a slightly more detailed changelog, if you have a time, a complete list of the bugs that have been fixed has also been published.
Software update notifications for content in Nokia Store
Face recognition for gallery and face tags for Facebook
Support for folders in the application view
Mail for Exchange global address book lookup
Mail thread support in the Email client
Extended copy-paste support
Media sharing with DLNA compatible devices
Improved browser history view
Compass support in Maps
QtWebKit update to version 2.2
New font taken into use
Front camera support
Video editing support in the Gallery application
Visual hint for differentiating swipe close gesture from normal swipes
Timestamps shown in notifications
Notifications sorted by timestamps
Improvements in Event Feed area
Music controls in Lock screen
New feedbacks added to MeeGoTouch theme.
Kernel updated to be in sync with the upstream kernel version 18.104.22.168
Android NDEF Push Protocol disabled
NFC polling enabled in lock screen
Separate switch for controlling mobile background connections while roaming
Self Timer support
Composition grid + on/off control
Better handling of To-Do lists, recurring events and timezones
Private flag support for events
Support for read-only events
Ability to forward/reply/reply-all for received events
Clock alarm becomes silent by flipping the device face down instead of snoozing
Updated time picker
People view added to the grid toolbar
Improved multiple selection indication in grid view
Audiobook and podcast support
Ability to create playlists
Ability to delete music files from music player library views via object menu
Possibility to see songs that are on the current play queue
Swype is something I absolutely love, so I was pretty disappointed when it didn’t ship with the N9, specially when we’d seen early demos of it working on the N9. But better late than never, the PR 1.1 firmware started rolling out for the N9 today and with it Swype makes a debut on the N9, and its worth the wait.
It isn’t activated out of the box, so you need to goto Settings> Time and Language> Text Input and enable it first. Then you can swipe away the default N9 keyboard and switch to swype (all of this is demoed in the video below).
As you can see, the keys are nicely spaced out furthering Swype’s goal to be both a ‘Swype’ keyboard and a good thumb type board at the same it. There’s inbuilt auto correction, word prediction and a bunch of other options. We go through everything in the video below.
A major update has just been rolled out for the Nokia N9 in the form of version 20.2011.40-4. The update is 218.6 MB in size and can be installed over the air. It brings music controls to the lockscreen, improved multitasking and NFC Tag reading amongst other things. Another major reason to update is the presence of Swype, which you can enable it by going into Settings> Time and Language> Text Input.
Along with the update, a bunch of pre-loaded applications including Twitter, Facebook, Store, Ovi Music, Galaxy on Fire 2, Nokia Drive, Angry Birds, AccuWeather, NFS Shift, Real Golf 2011 and the User Guide have also been updated.
It is possible that the update isn’t available for all product codes just yet. But if your device hasn’t informed you of the updated already, you can go to Settings>Applications>Manage Applications>Updates and check for updates manually.
The updated Twitter application should bring the ability to Twitpic images, something we have missed since the start. The Facebook client gets a few bug fixes too.
Once downloaded, the update seems to take a while to install so make sure you have enough free time before you begin the update.
[Update: Find the Swype for N9 hand-on video here].
The official changelog:
NFC tag reading to instantly interact with NFC tags
Music controls on lock screen
Photo and video shooting with color filters: black & white, sepia, vivid, negative, solarize
More powerful multitasking with improved memory handling
Swype for fast typing
Faster MfE synch, synchronizing only active folders
Noice cancellation reduces background noise so that your friends hear you better
Close apps easily with swiping down, this now on by default
New indicators for standby screen like charging and calendar
Pre-loaded apps including: Twitter, Nokia Store, Facebook, Real Golf, Ovi Music, Galaxy on Fire 2, Nokia Drive, Angry Birds NFC, AccuWTwitter, Nokia Maps and the User Guide have also been updated.
Developers have blessed the Nokia N9 with a bunch of very good internet radio apps in the past, but there’s nothing like getting an Internet Radio app directly from Nokia. So if you head over to the Nokia Store on the N9 and search for ‘Internet Radio’ (direct store link) you’ll be presented with the free download, which to no surprise of ours is an excellent iteration.
Once installed, curiously the app is called ‘IP Radio’. The UI is similar to the default music player with album art being replaced by cover art for the featured radio stations. This is followed by a ‘Hot Picks’ tab, Locations, Language and Genre. Needless to say, you sort a ton of pre-loaded stations by region, language or genre, and this makes discovery a real breeze.
If you like a station you’ve listened to, you can favourite it for quick retrieval. You can also search for more stations and finally tapping that man in the bottom right corner takes you to your history, neat. I’ve been playing with the app for a little while and it feels very polished. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending that you download it, just watch your data connection!
In case you have any problems downloading, you can use this method to download the .deb to your desktop and try side loading the app.
Nokia 3D World Gaze is a pretty cool app built with the premise that the Earth is a giant sphere and we are always on top of it. What follows is that far-away continents and cities are in reality somewhere below you and not linear, like we usually think of them.
So how it works is that you simply point your phone in a direction and it lets you see through the surface (and insides) of the planet all the way to the other side. You can use it to explore your immediate surroundings or fly to any part of the world. In addition to geographical features such as continents in their real physical locations, Nokia 3D World Gaze allows you to see geotagged media, day and night regions, current location of the Sun, and other content from locations around the world.
So while looking at an area of the world, you can tap the pictures button to see pictures from that region or the latest news. The N9 version even features Wikitravel searches based on city name. Have a look at the demo to see how it actually works.