Tag Archives: Symbian

Video: 4squick, Foursquare Client for Symbian Updated

4squick is a foursquare client for Symbian that just came out over a month ago, it was simple and it was fast, not to mention the great looking UI. Today its received an update that brings the ability to share your check-ins on Facebook and Twitter.

In addition to that it also launches faster and lets you check-in privately. Other changes include the ability to view the leaderboard to see how you’re doing compared to your friends and the ability to view profiles.

While the official foursquare app was also updated today, its not a patch on the speed and design on which 4squick operates. To show you just how well it works, I’ve put together a quick video that you can watch below.

You can download the application from the developer’s website. The default version comes with the new Nokia Pure font inbuilt, while there is also a version available without it.

If you use foursquare and have a Symbian device, I definitely recommend checking this app out.

Download: Nelisquare, Qt Based Foursquare Client For Symbian

We previously told you about Nelisquare when it was in pre-alpha and only worked on the N900. But today, Tommi Laukkanen, the man behind the Qt Kasvopus Facebook client has released the Symbian version of the Foursquare client. The app is available for download from the Forum Nokia pages and I already have it running on my N8.

Download: Nelisquare, Qt Based Foursquare Client For Symbian Download: Nelisquare, Qt Based Foursquare Client For Symbian

I’m also pleased to say that its much faster than the ‘official’ Symbian^3 app. While there are still a few features missing like looking at the badges you have, accessing your previous check-in history, it is still the best way to actually check-in from your Symbian^3 device.

Download: Nelisquare, Qt Based Foursquare Client For Symbian Download: Nelisquare, Qt Based Foursquare Client For Symbian

There is also an option to visit the Foursquare leaderboard. Do keep in mind that the author still terms this release as an early alpha, so there may be some bugs. The application will eventually end up on the Ovi Store, but if you cannot wait, get cracking here.

First Look: Borg, A Promising Facebook Client For Symbian

There is a dearth of decent Facebook clients for Symbian devices, there is Kasvopous, but little else. Enter Borg, a promising new Facebook client written in Qt, that aims to fill this void. The client features notifications, photo and video uploads, the ability to browse the news feed, view and post on walls, view friends, groups, events, messages, public pages and posts. But the biggest draw is the place and checkin integration with Ovi Maps.

Borg Facebook Client Symbian Borg Facebook Client Symbian

The first screen presents a neat list of the various functionality that the app offers. Tap to enter any and you can tap on the ‘Borg’ button on the top to come back to the main menu of the app.

Borg Facebook Client Symbian Borg Facebook Client Symbian

The albums are shown in lists, with individual photos also being presented in a long list with the ability to like and comment. This does mean a longer initial loading time, but makes for a much smoother experience.

Borg Facebook Client Symbian Borg Facebook Client Symbian

The news feed is what you expect, a mix of posts and status updates from your friends and the pages you like. You can again comment and like the posts.

Borg Facebook Client Symbian Borg Facebook Client Symbian

This is the where the Ovi Maps integration takes place, you can check in using the Ovi Maps database and even tag your friends while you do that.

Borg Facebook Client Symbian Borg Facebook Client Symbian

The app also has a keyboard of its own, which is a relief if you aren’t on PR 2.0 yet.

Borg Facebook Client Symbian

There is no full screen mode for photos in an album, but it does fill the screen to a large extent if you turn the phone to landscape mode.

Borg is available for download from the Ovi Store, but it is not the latest version and lacks notifications and an exit button. If you want the latest build, get it from their Facebook page, direct links are here Symbian^3 or  for Symbian^1. Just make sure you already have Qt 4.7.3 installed.

The application is still in development and it is possible that you will encounter bugs and the odd crash, but as the situation stands today, I do recommend trying it out.

EDoF Cameras May Not Be Bad, But Nokia Should Still Switch Back To Auto-Focus

The EDoF versus Auto-Focus camera debate has been gaining speed in the last few months, and Nokia’s recent announcements in the form of the E6 and the X7, both of which pack an 8 Megapixel EDoF camera, have made it a burning issue. Put simply EDoF cameras, or ‘Full Focus’ cameras like Nokia likes to call them are extended depth of field units which means that everything in photo taken at a distance of more than 60 cm is in focus.

What this means is that you cannot take pictures of documents and virtually replace a scanner, you cannot scan barcodes, no food pictures and so on. Basically anything which needs to be near the camera’s lens is a no-no. It does however have its benefits like Steve Litchfield points out in this wonderfully detailed feature on All About Symbian. There are advantages in the size of the sensor, video recording, there in no shot to shot delay and taking pictures is slightly faster, although compared to high performance devices like the N8, that’s hardly noticeable.

Back in September during Nokia World, I had a interesting chat with Nokia’s camera king Damien Dinning about EDoF cameras and Nokia’s reasons to use them. The major reasons were that it makes taking pictures easier for people by eliminating the two step shot process. Another advantage is that it lets Nokia make slimmer devices, at a lower cost. I was open to giving EDoF cameras a fair try and after having seen them perform on the C7 and now the E7, which otherwise is a great device I am sure of one thing, I will not be inclined to buy a device with an EDoF camera.

The argument against that is that I am part of that 1% of the population who is concerned about being able to take close up shots, while it may be true to an extent, it is definitely not the norm. A lot more people indulge in macro photography without realizing it. Within my own family and friend circle I have seen people click pictures of flowers, newspaper clippings, whiteboards and so on. Then, BlackBerry in India is running ads on TV showing how you can add friends to the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) just be scanning the barcode. I could have told them scanning barcodes has been possible on Nokias since 5 years, now I cannot.

Barcodes have also started appearing on ads in the newspaper, but just as they are getting traction, Nokia owners are loosing that ability. As far as the making it easier for normal people to take pictures story goes, they have become used to the two step process. All digital cameras do it that way, most mobile phones too and in the last 5 years a majority of the people have gotten accustomed to that.

Then there is the size argument. Nokia says it uses EDoF cameras to keep a slim profile, but I am sorry to say, I don’t buy that. If all the other companies are managing to do it, then you must try harder too. Push the engineering team, and I am sure they will do it.

The bottomline for me is $300. No device costing more than that much should have a EDoF camera, period. I suspect, the decision to use EDoF sensors was taken when the first batch of Symbian^3 devices was planned. The idea was to keep costs low, offer these devices at an affordable price point and hope they sell by the truckloads. They couldn’t price them at a premium because Symbian was already taking a hit and they couldn’t afford Symbian^3 being ignored just because devices that ran it were too expensive.

Looking at the internal hardware, it is also probably that the two new devices that have just been announced, the X7 and the E6, were also planned during the initial phase and thus carry forward the EDoF legacy. I am pretty certain Nokia has seen the public sentiment on EDoF cameras, and will probably push them into the lower price bracket instead of making it the standard Nokia camera. We might see it on a new Symbian device, but there is no way Nokia will be using one of these on their Windows Phone offerings.

That being said, Nokia, if you haven’t re-thought the EDoF strategy, now is a really good time – while people still equate Nokias to great cameras.

Nokia Transfers 3000 Employees & Symbian To Accenture, Launches Social Responsibility Program For The Other 4000

When Nokia made the move to Windows Phone, it made it amply clear that they would be streamlining its operations and would be looking to save 1 billion Euros in R&D and other costs. They also made it clear although they still plan on making 150 million Symbian devices, the platform was nearing its end.

Nokia Transfers 3000 Employees & Symbian To Accenture, Launches Social Responsibility Program For The Other 4000

Today as the next step in that journey to turn around the ship, Nokia’s announced a collaboration with Accenture (a company of more than 215,000 employees) that involves a transfer of 3000 employees to support the continued development of Symbian that Accenture will now undertake.

Next, Nokia will layoff an additional 4000 employees out of a total of 65,000 worldwide in the latter half of 2012. Out of the 4000, the primary cuts will be in Finland totalling about 1400 jobs with the majority of the cuts being in Symbian & MeeGo R&D. In an effort to help employees affected by this transition Nokia has also launched a comprehensive social responsibility program that will help employees find jobs within and outside the company or even become entrepreneurs themselves.

What all of this means is that Nokia is effectively shutting down interval Symbian development, there will still be updates and improvements to the OS, but going forward Accenture will be responsible of all of that. Next, Accenture gains a huge pool of talent from Nokia, inducing 3000 employees isn’t easy, but considering how Accenture is involved with developing for other platforms as well, they might start tuning the former Nokia employees’ focus toward developing for the competition, specially because 2-3 years later Nokia will not be making Symbian devices.

Since Nokia’s MeeGo R&D has also been cut, you can rest assured that Nokia will not be releasing anymore MeeGo devices after the one they’ve already promised. Makes you wonder where the next big disruption will come from?

At the end of the day, Nokia have identified a clear strategy, let others handle software and get back to what they do best hardware. As Phil nicely puts it,

“There’s no faster moving industry in the world today than mobile technology. Take a sip of water and you’re behind in the pack. Blink your eye and watch the pack move in a different direction. Nokia sipped, blinked, then set on creating a new winning strategy in this redefined landscape. This was Nokia’s first step to transformation.”

Nokia’s April 12 Symbian Announcement Is Online Only

There has been word floating around on the internet over the past few days that Nokia would be holding an ‘event’ in London the April 12th to announce what’s new with Symbian. As it turns out, there is no ‘event’ per se. What is actually happening is that Nokia has arranged a meeting for analysts in London for Tuesday, and the web put two and two together and termed it a London based ‘event’. However, fortunately, all the talk about announcements relating to Symbian is true.

Nokia's April 12 Symbian Announcement Is Online Only

We should expect announcements to start hitting airwaves at 10 am Finnish time (i.e. 4 am U.S. Eastern time or 12:30 pm IST). We still don’t know if Nokia will be announcing any news devices on the said day, but we can surely expect word on the much awaited PR 2.0 firmware for Symbian^3 devices.

Like I said on Twitter, ‘If this is the new @Nokia they would demo & release PR 2.0 on Apr. 12, announce new phones and ship them the same month. May be hint at 3.0′. Unless of course Nokia plans to ship the new phones with the updates Symbian UI that is expected to be rolled out via firmware PR 3.0, which won’t be before June in any case.

What do you expect April 12th to bring?

[via: The Nokia Blog, Moco News]