Layman’s take on Ovi chat for Symbian^3-Works Great!

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Yup! its finaaaaaaaaaally here. After a really long wait, Ovi Chat for Symbian^3 devices has made its way to the  public release.

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Most of us expected otherwise, and it’s surprising to see that Ovi Chat has made its way through the Ovi Store and not from Nokia Betalabs first, just as how it has always been, since a while. This shows that the client was ready much before the release daye but didn’t go public for some reasons, little known to you and me. (maybe the Yahoo! deal or something else).

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The installation will not only bring the app to your Symbian device, but will also include a very productive home screen widget as well. A widget that can set your status, show you unread chat messages in short and the take care of all the services registered. Check out the above screenshots to see how it shows the last unread chat with time stamp as well. Neat.

Continue reading “Layman’s take on Ovi chat for Symbian^3-Works Great!”

Angry Bird, Spiderman, Quick Office showing free on Ovi Store? Operator billing coming to India?

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Update: It seems that Nokia has removed all the paid apps from Ovi Store for a while, but still the damage is done and is counting more as even the genuine buyers not able to buy any app from Ovi Store since a day now. Definitely, Nokia gonna have a hard time explaining this to developers.

I and many other users have asked from @NokiaIndia and @ovibyNokia, but still no answer from them and their twitter account is silent over all this.

I was about to go for the evening tea break and all of sudden a tweet of @freak4mobiles hit me. He told that all of the big game titles are showing as free items in Ovi Store of his Nokia N8 at least. It was a news that was too good to be true but still I touched the Ovi Store icon on my home screen and whoooaa… this was true. Not even games but everything was there for free like Nokia has gone into Santa mode post Christmas.

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I was like what’s this? Even if Nokia might have gone this much generous for a while, the various App developers wont allow this and if something such was going to be happen then we blogger would have known the same earlier via developers, but nothing such was in air.

Continue reading “Angry Bird, Spiderman, Quick Office showing free on Ovi Store? Operator billing coming to India?”

Santa, Can I have a Nokia N900 this Christmas?

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Yes you heard it right. I am not talking about Nokia N8, so its technically not related the Ovi competition, but sure the post from Rita made me think that if I wish something for this Christmas then what it might be (as I bought a Nokia N8 myself and very proud of my purchase already). As much I think about it, then like always, nothing crosses my mind than almighty Nokia N900, which I could wish to be appear in one of the boxes that Santa may deliver at my home.

There are so many things in the world that might have crossed you once, made you happy for a while, you started living with good or bad habits of the very same and then one day it leaves you … to never return. Of course, if you want it back badly then you can move forward and pick it back but like some lost girlfriend, you just don’t know… what to do.. what not to do. Want help to bring it back in your life, can’t do yourself.


Why it still haunts me in dreams?

Nokia N900, my first trial unit from @WomWorldNokia and probably the best stimulus that one might have got to be dragged into this mobile blogging world and the rest of the story, you all know about, million of hits within months and so many friends to catch up with.

There was really a lot geeky to miss about the same, not only geeky but little things that one would have so much wanted from a bunch of devices around him and Nokia N900 was something like all in one.

  • An ultimate tool for communication Nokia N900 was not only a device to make calls but it was the ultimate way to do IMs either it be Yahoo/ MSN/ Gtalk/ Ovi (without even installing any third party app) and either it be video calling as it was and is the only phone in the world with in-built Skype support. The spacious keypad on it was perfect in every sense to me and probably after living with Nokia N900, I was kind of forgetting that how one could do IMs via PCs.
  • An ultimate tool for blogging Not only I had the best mobile browsing experience on Nokia N900, but MaStory like ultimate blogging client with plenty of options to do all kind of basic formatting and Picasa and flicker like picture sharing options in built into the operating system core itself, what more you could have asked for? Catch up with the web with Flash 10 support, take excellent snaps with the 5MP AF camera that will be even geo-tagged if you wanted so.
  • An ultimate tool for control freaks like me Unlike others, unlike some Tom and Dick’s phone, this one really was in its own league, where it was and is unchallenged even now. Being a pure Debian Linux, this one has all kind of powerful means that we geeks could go by ways of some Linux based laptop. Just a matter of few packages and I was on root access, able to SSH from the very device, was able to experience touch on Windows XP based PC by accessing them through Rdesktop. It was all divine and lovely to my office tech team, who knew that I could take care of their stuff or guide them dammn well even if I might be in some movie theater. Not only that but you can find the logs etc related to almost everything and could know that what’s happening around in your phone like never before.
  • A superb multi-tasker I know Symbian also does multi-tasking and with Symbian^3 like card based task manager, its easy as pie, but somewhere I loved the way Maemo deal with it. Small cards and task manager icon always ready in top left corner for your service. Live Preview windows and small popup notifications for IM or SMS. Ohhh!! I so much love the Maemo UI. Symbian might be doing it more efficiently, but if we talk about convenience, naturalness and wow factor, then Maemo does it all.
  • A wild tiger groaning in your hands Nokia N900 used ARM Cortex 8, 600 MHz as its processor inside. The best any Nokia device might have got till today. Even Nokia N8 might have got 680 MHz processor, but its not cortex and people who know the processor tech understand that what the name cortex stands for. Wild size of RAM and Virtual memory make sure that you never complain on performance point ever and this beast has 32 Gb inbuilt memory. Wooohhhaa huge that is.
  • An ultimate tool for hackers, who like to experiment a lot Admit it, the Linux been heaven for hackers from years and when you get such a compact device in your hands with full power of Linux then it was like OOOO LA LA … You can write native programs like you have been writing for your Linux PCs, those same shell scripts, those similar file systems, those regular cron jobs and all what you can not even imagine, that too without learning something extra, but the same regular things which you might have been doing with your lappy in all these days. You are always online without even doing some dialup or something (GPRS\ 3G\ Wi Fi, everything is right there out of the box).
  • An ultimate tool for Artists I loved the paint app on Nokia N900 that was an ultimate tool in your hands to sharpen your skills. Not only the app was free, but the fact that you are making use of a stylus (N900 has resistive screen) makes you enough precise as well. That we wont ever be able to be on Capacitive screen despite of their all other advantages. I am sure that if it stays in hands of mine again, then I could polish my skills a little more for mobile devices too.
  • An ultimate media player Though it has no HDMI support like Nokia N8 neither it matches the quality output Nokia N8 provides me, but in one thing Nokia N900 does beat Nokia N8 that is codec support. Not only this supports some extra codec like Ogg Vorbis and FLAC, but presence of VLC Player and MPlayer also assure you that it wont hit you back wrongly, whatever format you throw on it.

There are many many more reasons to crave for one of those gadget lover’s dream, Nokia N900 and I could have written on and on. You can understand the craze by one fact only that Nokia N900 is such a device that even after absence of apps has a real huge fan following behind it. This is the one, which brings Nokia fanboyism this side because there were things like you never seen before.


If I loved it so much then why I didn’t buy it?

You will ask me that if I wanted Nokia N900 so much then why I didn’t went for buying it straight out and if I made another well thought choice (that was a marvelous device like Nokia N8) then why I want it now back again in my hands?

I had my reasons for holding my temptations to buy it and I posted them on my blog too but later on appearance of Nokia N8 caught me so much with it that I could have skipped some of my other priorities that were possible with Nokia N900 only (check my post here with more than hundred comments).

But if I would have thought to purchase Nokia N900, then at a lesser price Nokia N8 was so so much value for money and due to presence of perfect Ovi Maps/ Media playback and unforgettable camera, it was a sin, if I would have missed to buy that one. N8 over N900 was still a right and valid decision, but still ….


Then why I want it now?

If @WomWorldNokia was allowing me a second trial of Nokia N900, then I was so ON for it. It was my first trial unit and though I posted so much about it than any other device I might have posted about (except N8), but still I find that it was so little.

I was not an experienced blogger, didn’t made even an un-boxing post, just a couple of photos of the same device, so little number of screen shots and almost no walk through of the Maemo OS that I loved so so so much. Always felt that I didn’t did justice with the device, which was best suiting to the geek inside me.

Moreover, I tried the device back in February 2010 and since then many things have been changed and so many updates and apps have arrived to Nokia N900 to close many of the issues and to make it so much more better. It even got the much needed Ovi Suit support finally and even Maps have improved a bit. So, there are so many reason to assume that if it comes back to me again then it was going to be a very new experience than the RAW one which still was enough to blow me off.

I guess, for once I even tried other Nokia PR agencies in India, but probably there is no luck for common man bloggers like me, so given up. Was almost pushed to buy one for self recently, when money came in my hands, but somehow holding myself and saving money for upcoming MeeGo device with huge support of developers that was missing a bit with Maemo at the moment.

I guess you can understand my eagerness by the fact that even my younger brother promised me to buy one next year though I still don’t know if that would be a good decision or not, but I really wanted N900 in my hands once again.

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Concept Application for Nokia N8-Contacts Redefined

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Recently I wrote about next coming Nokia Flagship, Nokia N8, the crown bearer of all Camera Phones in the world. There still remains a lot to talk about the same, but real thing will be when it reaches to our hands. Admirations, amazement and long wait to explore it.

Wait must be making you crazy!!!! now you can do more than waiting, to make the jewel your own. A chance to make the next coming Symbian^3 experience even better, a chance to take things to another level. Give your idea about a new app and if it sounds cool then you could win a Nokia N8.

All the details are here. That’s is what keeping Nokia on the top since all those years. First the Device from Community Ideas and then the future Nokia device, then create your app and now this. Must say, you are heading right Nokia!!! Winning or loosing is on another side, you belong to hearts.

So, what you are waiting for? Its your chance to make it, go for it. An idea could change the life.

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Like the last competition about Future Nokia, in place of taking part into competition only, my idea is to take the opportunity to present some of my thoughts, which will be very basic, very possible, just Layman’s Take, but still worth thinking for. so here I am presenting one of my ideas here that I don’t think will get voted much there (I am not popular like CJ or AAS :jealous)


Before you you read further, let me tell you that this app is not real till now like I seen this post referenced as somewhere. This was my own concept that how contacts could be improved on Nokia N8. The screenshot is obviously from an iPhone.

Contacts Redefined (Social / Geo)

The idea is not entirely new. There is already an app named Hermes on Maemo fetching info like display contacts picture, numbers, webpage, birthdays etc from your social contacts and putting into contacts and calendar. I just wanted to add some more and bring it to already much social Nokia N8 in a big way.

Think about a future, where you need not to ask/ tell your friends about their numbers, birthday etc or update them about changes, because its always updated right into your phone without any manual efforts. You don’t even needed to create a phone book, when get a new phone. No one misses birthdays anymore, if not logged into social connections for a while as their phones will automatically going to remind them about upcoming birthdays or events.

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Orkut etc. all are open with their APIs and depending on privacy level user chooses, practically its not big deal to fetch such profile information from your social connections. Though Hermes doesn’t do that but the same application could be extended to add geo info as well from Ovi Maps or Google Lattitude etc.

Think tomorrow is your friend’s birthday and at 11:45 PM, your phone rings a bell about that and after greeting him/ her in night, when you woke up in morning, at 9:00 AM, you get driving instructions to reach him/ her, if practically near.

I don’t talk about cheesy things, but for me its a very practical, basic and very possible idea to go with. If you fear about battery, then updates could be manual/ optional or of longer durations or in place of replacing/ adding info, it could be chosen to pop up as suggestions kind of (Google Buzz way). Obviously customizations possible from performance point of view or to avoid cluttering on user’s preferences, but practically unlimited contacts space needs something like this for very sure.

Not sure that Ovi will pick this idea today, but it will come to smart phones very soon, from here or there. If you think phones as your personal assistant, friend or companion, then you want this.


If you think this idea is cool then vote for it or promote it in your own ways. Its there (search for Nitish).
 
 

So my Ovi Cool Swags arrived – Love you Nokia :)

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Remember that Ovi Maps competition, @OvibyNokia people started on 22nd March 2010? One was to cerate a story, showcase a video or something like that about Ovi Maps and prizes like Nokia N97 mini were on stake. Sigh!!! I wasn’t that lucky to bag one of them but sure I was quick enough to post one story of mine (which was just fresh to me).

March 23, 2010, 17:46, I got a tweet/ Direct Message from @OviByNokia that I am one of five people winning Ovi Cool Swags for being early participants. A tweet from OviByNokia

The fastest participants to the#OviMaps competition get cool swag! Congratulations @riteshnewatia@not_al @trotor @mrnitishkumar@acurrie


There was a long wait of more than one month and finally, the wait over now and the surprise gifts started reaching to participants, here comes un-packing of my items …

1. DHL Parcel: Many of us, now have become used to these parcels, thanks to WomWorld/ Nokia and similar was security staff of my office. Though for a difference I got the call that there is parcel for me from Germany. I was sure that its that Ovi Swag as was notified by @OvibyNokia on twitter.

DHL Parcel

2. The Invoice: Yes! I have seen invoices from WomWorld, but there was no logo on them. So, it was nice to see a Nokia logo for a change on invoice. Same was the reason to include the same in pics.

The Invoice 

3. The surprise revealed: The goods inside were one white T-Shirt (Did I told you that white is my favorite color?) and a beautiful shiny green packet (green for maps).

The opened parcel

4. What’s inside the packet?

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So there was a White T-Shirt (XL for me though), one Diary, one 4GB cute little pen drive, one Gel Pen, one circular magnetic badge and one sticker. Though still I am trying to figure out that how the last two could be utilized, these all are enough for making me smile.

DSC00965DSC00970Can any one tell what the last two might be for? I mean with Circular Magnetic Badge and Ovi Sticker.. Waiting for comments…

photo of Nitish KumarNitish Kumar

Ovi Maps-How it work

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Have you ever woke up dreaming that you are alone in some desert? You go right, you go left, run forward, come backward, just to find sand everywhere. May be you are just half a mile from the way out, but which way?

Similar has been theme of many horror flicks, where a group get lost in desert or sea and then bad things happen … Have you noticed that such movies started loosing their effect now days? Because when we might be watching them in full ‘tension’, then some kid of our family jumps in to shout on screen “Don’t any of you all have Nokia with you?”

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Sometimes enabling the invention to reach the masses becomes much bigger than the invention itself, same is with Nokia/ Ovi Maps otherwise we were hearing only stories about Jack’s compass 😉

How this all started?

It was path breaking move, when for the first time time Nokia started giving Smart2Go for free in February smart2go 2007, after acquiring German Route Planning Software Company Gate5 in August 2006. That time, it really made the statement that soon high charging navigation companies & gadgets will be out of market and normal users, who might have heard of it in flight navigation like big things only, will have their piece of cake right into their hands. Being the largest cellfone manufacturer of world and known for longer life batteries, it was expected to be a real life thing and it became the same.

With Smart2Go, Nokia was using Tele Atlas NV, but later, the rival full time navigation giant TomTom navteqacquired the same and before it could hurt Nokia, Nokia acquired Navteq (which earlier was powering Google Maps) to keep this lovely child within their own hands (it still operates independently under Nokia) and Smart2Go became a core part of Nokia Product line with the name, we been familiar from long Nokia Maps, which later on after association with Ovi Services and Ovi Suit renamed to Ovi Maps by public beta on August 28, 2008. So, this was the story behind Ovi Maps as we see it today.


Why Ovi?ovi

“Ovi” is a Finnish word that stands for “Door” and it really opened the door for so many possibilities. Ovi Sync,  Ovi Store, Ovi Maps, Ovi Mails, Ovi Share, Ovi Files, Ovi Player etc. It really changed the way, a normal user was using the Smartphone. Personally myself loved the way, I kept my contacts synced on all my Smartphones.


How Navigation devices work for mobiles?

This all started due to regulation encouragement for mobile phone tracking that was associated with E911 then (Enhanced-911) and lots of mobile phones started having built-in receivers with varying degrees of coverage and user accessibility.

There been one class of mobile devices, who works on A-GPS means wont work once out of range of their carrier’s cell towers and the another class that works worldwide on satellite GPS signals like dedicated GPS devices. Even the third class has been introduced as hybrid positioning system, which usages other signals like wi-fi spots etc.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is actually a constellation of 27 Earth-orbiting satellites (24 in operation and three extras in case one fails, though I am not sure about the numbers actually). The U.S. military developed and implemented this satellite network as a military navigation system, but soon opened it up to everybody else. Later many others joined the same like China, like Google with its own Satelites and its became an open world, when GPS tracking is concerned.

Each of these 3,000- to 4,000-pound solar-powered satellites circles the globe at about 12,000 miles (19,300 km), making two complete rotations every day. The orbits are arranged so that at any time, anywhere on Earth, there are at least four satellites "visible" in the sky.

A GPS receiver’s job is to locate four or more of these satellites, figure out the distance to each, and use this information to deduce its own location. This operation is based on a simple mathematical principle called trilateration. Trilateration in three-dimensional space can be a little tricky, for those interested in details, can check always amazing HowStuffWorks link or also the other link to know that how at least 8 satellites are always in line of sight or each position on earth still due to a number of factors, its always mentioned that the accuracy should be taken up to 15 m to 20 m .


What makes Nokia’s Ovi Maps different and better?

Nokia made it possible to reach this technology right into hands of common people, not only that but Nokia used Free Hybrid Vector design specially made of mobile usage and provides offline Maps (No Network coverage required, though if available then will assist in locking the location fast). Moreover, the coverage of over 180 countries make it best maps with best global coverage that even go up to street level navigation for 74 countries in 46 different languages (must be more by now).

When I am talking about Languages, then yes!! not only text, but Nokia started providing Voice based turn by turn navigation for many of its devices. I have used it several times (regularly you say) and always been fascinated by its accuracy. I really wonder sometimes that it knows my city and even street much better than any person living here from years. Yeah!! though these maps get updated only twice a year (might be the frequency increased by now), so there are limitation about quick and shot-lived changes, but even then you must give them credit for devising such a great system that much available to you.

I personally praised Google Maps a lot like Google’s other services, but still I must accept that Google stands behind when the actual usability for mass is concerned. Yes!! Google is excellent about coverage, about searching addresses and about other innovations like Street View and so clear satellite view, but what are you paying? Google’s Maps are always rendered online means they are of no use once you out of coverage (leave the data charges aside and draining of battery aside), moreover, still Voice based turn by turn navigation reached to only Android 2.0 devices (none of them below 25k I guess), while Nokia is providing you turn by turn voice guidance for life time free on devices costing around 10k.

Google might be great about Route Planning before start your travel and it would be quite handy to keep a route instruction generated by Google Maps including local landmarks etc, but you never know what network reception will you get while on the way, so Ovi Maps does matter a lot.

High Data Charges, Inability to serve without Network coverage and Non-availability of Voice based turn-by-turn navigation for low cost devices, there are the three points, which keeps Google still behind when it comes to actual mass and keep you fascinated that how Nokia actually does it?

 

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One day with Google-Ovi Maps and Nokia N97 Mini

Testing something is another thing and relying on them in unmanaged scenario as we are used to find in India is just another thing. Earlier I had used simple Nokia Maps to find the destination in one friend’s marriage and usually to know the distance left while travelling via public transport medium and also for using the badge on my blog via the link. This time thought to put it on a blind trial.

One of my friend was coming to New Delhi for an Interview with HDFC Bank. As she was unaware of Delhi locations, so it was up to me escort her. Address was something like HDFC Bank, Vertika Atrium, Sector 53, Gurgaon. I should admit, I am dumb about locations around in Delhi. Schedule goes monotonic in a way that I know about places like home and office only and even though now getting aware with new locations, still I find me dumber than others. So, the responsibility becomes tougher in my case.


It sound nerd, but I used Google Map to search for the location as Ovi Maps wasn’t able to come up with any result related to HDFC, Vertika Atrium. Even Google wasn’t able to find or I might not be using proper search terms, but I found Vertika Attrium for sure and that seems enough to reach there. I used the Get Directions link and taken print out of the route instructions by copy/ paste. I wish Google may place a print button or link for printing out the route instructions. Anyway…

Yes!! I missed a few turns and taken rounds of few places at moments, but that’s all due to misinterpretation of instructions not of fault of any of the two maps. Sure, it didn’t went blind as once or twice, I was to stop and ask people for confirmation that I am going right, but at the end, I was at exact place, I was to reach without many hassles.


Trip is completed but I am left with a few observations…

  1. Sharing: Ovi-Google: I am not sure that till now, I don’t know or there is no way till now for sharing a found location in Google Maps to Ovi Maps though Google Maps detect favourites made by Ovi Maps.

  2. Updates about Locations: When you think of technical aspects, then its sure a mammoth task, but I find that Ovi Maps due to their offline nature, aren’t that updated enough. Specially about places like we have in India, where when routes will be permanently blocked or re-routed via some other long route, no one knows. I come to hit places, where Ovi navigation kept on telling me that I need to turn right, but there was NO right turn? Yes. I was to go a few hundred meters and then by taking a U-turn, was to reach other side of the road to find that the instructions were right but not locally correct under traffic rules.

    While Google Maps was better in this sense due to highly detailed imaginary, whereas Nokia Satellite imaginary seems to be limited to City Level only not street level (understood due to vector nature of Maps for saving Data usages) and sure at some occasions, you get a better idea by the visuals you see. Not suggesting Nokia for doing so, but Google Maps is a must have for occasions.

  3. Heating of device: I am not sure that what caused that was it noon temperature or extensive usages of 3G data or heavily used Nokia N97 mini, but I found it heated up, when was coming back from the trip and found it better to switch the same off for a while. Must be some local issue otherwise, I have traveled longer with Maps and in comparison this wasn’t even a total of 100 km trip.

    Moral of the story: The navigation device should have excellent cooling system for longer trips as sometime choking/ fluctuating connections could cause a whole bunch of troubles for your beloved device.

Ovi tells you that you have to move straight till 3 km, when you reached nearer, it tells that after 300 m, you have to take left turn or have keep left if the turn is slight or you have two options, one flyover and one the road side by. Moreover, even after wrong turns, it instantly recalculate now renewed route instructions.

Means in all, the perfect solution it is. I have been in touch of a GPS technology related project through  one of my friend Manoj Tripathi under Prof. Anupam and aware of challenges in programming aspects of such a system. Dealing with something like whole world data, is something like amazing, which makes Ovi Maps and Google Maps technology the best of the apps on your smartphones.

Conclusion: Though my personal opinion, but I think such navigation is better for people driving cars as they could see the maps actually and not that better for people driving bikes and keeping the bluetooth headset on (like my case), but still work decently and you can actually rely over it.

Even if not that detailed (don’t have maps of my hometown Azamgarh in details), Ovi Maps is still the best about Voice Guided navigation. Technology is not about labs and research papers only, its about making in reached directly into hands of mass and Nokia and Google doing this at their best. I owe you!!!!