Layman’s Take on fMobi–Finally a Facebook Client getting the things right

It rarely happens that I write a Layman’s Take on a Symbian App, barring Gravity posts, but when I was checking out the latest fMobi version 2.5, then it certainly felt worth mentioning and we are here, reviewing fMobi 2.5 that is being called as the best Facebook client out there for Symbian.

While Official Nokia Social app been already a pain for Symbian users, more tragic was the absence of official apps from Twitter/Facebook like popular social services. Adding more insult to injury was the web browser part that never got a preferred treatment from these services despite of having Symbian in market leading position for a time. Part of the blame goes to tedious development with conventional C++ that was always a tough job for developers due to rapid changes across interfaces\features of social sites. With Qt though, Symbian got a sigh  of relief and out of many apps getting benefitted from it, one was our fMobi.

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fMobi: First released on 05 July, 2011 (not sure of exact date), the Qt-Based Facebook client fMobi kept on growing its fan-base by each passing day due to plenty of features combined at one place with a smooth working UI (Thanks to Qt). You can understand the level of popularity by the fact that It didn’t took even three months, when it got acclaimed as best Facebook Client for Symbian by Nokia itself.

Its not that I didn’t noticed it then, but somehow it was features like shaky split screen input etc (not a fault of app itself but Qt version issues) that kept me away from embracing it fully rather than relying on some other apps, but this fighter app didn’t gave up and kept on luring me time to time with each update. And when I checked out the latest version 2.5, then I was like.. this is the right time, when the app deserves a mention like a Layman’s Take on fMobi.

What makes fMobi special and superior over other clients out there?

The keywords are innovation and consistency which makes fMobi always one step up ahead of the competition. fMobi chooses a different UI and mannerism than the official apps and yet delivers an experience that brings you best of Facebook activities. Being in latest Qt, its smoothness/animations in various actions, native split screen integration and its own way to notification will sure please any Symbian user.

it might not be free like some of the Facebook clients out there, but the way, this is being developed and being enhanced in each iteration, I couldn’t even compare it with any of the existing clients out there (when there is no real official Facebook client there and Nokia Social is kind of no challenge since always). A few things certainly worth the price (Just Rs. 50/-).

 

Continue reading “Layman’s Take on fMobi–Finally a Facebook Client getting the things right”

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Layman’s Take on Nokia 500–Why to buy and why not to? The review

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So, while you have seen that how Nokia 500 looks like and what’s the content inside via the unboxing video, its time to do a recap and then back to usual Layman’s take.

Like I said in last post, low price phones like Nokia C5, Nokia E5, Nokia 5800, Nokia 5233, Nokia 7230 etc always had a special place for me and I gave them a due whenever got a chance, so when you hear about a phone with 1GHz processor under 10k, then its kind of natural to get excited about it. Nokia 500 been the first of 1GHz Symbian Smartphone lineup from Nokia and while its obviously not going to be make big buzz on big tech sites you read, this is sure something that mean business in Asian countries.


Nokia 500: The naming scheme

It’s been a lot of confusing lately with names like C6-00, C6-01, X2-00, X2-03 etc… but finally Nokia taken the suggestions and went back to the old naming conventions like we knew Nokia sometimes back in era or Nokia 1100, 6600 etc…

Pure numeric names for the consumer models and special names for the flagships.

Sure the convention here actually has some different meaning than this, but that’s the way normal consumer may understand it better. So, a good news to see the names like Nokia 500, 600, 700, 701 etc.

I am not sure that many would remember that this is not the first Nokia 500 model. Yeah! it might come as a surprise to you that there was already a product named Nokia 500 Auto Navigation , which was a car navigation device with a 4.3” resistive touch screen with 480×272 pixels resolution supporting 65k colors. More interestingly, this device from 2008 had Samsung’s 400 Mhz CPU. Did you knew it?

While no reviewers seem to be pointing over this, but I find it a bit strange that why Nokia thought to make use of this name? Anyway, as that TomTom competitor is ancient now, so I don’t think anyone will bother when the name Nokia 500 sits tight with the names of other devices in the same range (Nokia 600, Nokia 700, Nokia 701).

Though still we heard of two more product in the old confusing naming, but we should say kudos to Nokia for listening their community and changing the naming scheme finally.

Let’s see what I seen and thought of Nokia 500 …

Continue reading “Layman’s Take on Nokia 500–Why to buy and why not to? The review”

Layman’s Take on Gravity 2.0, the first preview–A new era begins

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This was something that we all been waiting since a while, the second inning of the superstar, who never ceases to amaze you. Yes! Gravity 2.0 first preview is finally open for public now.

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This time, I been a little late in grabbing the beta as must have been in the way back to home from office, but once grabbed it, it was not easy to sit and type a review that soon as I was used to do in past. Reason: the experience with this version was so mesmerizing to pull you into it that it was hard to keep yourself distracted into anything else. Specially the facebook section kept me into it for around an hour. Hats off @Janole … I was waiting for shout it again.. since long…

So, let’s see what’s changed with the new version (phew!! it’s a long list and many under the hood changes)

Continue reading “Layman’s Take on Gravity 2.0, the first preview–A new era begins”

Layman’s take on Symbian Belle-A big walkthrough

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Once I got hold on Symbian Belle on my Nokia N8 then it was kind of due to bring a Layman’s Take style big walkthrough of Symbian Belle. Though still one needs to understand that the firmware, I am using on my phone is a leaked and half baked one, so there might be major changes afterwards.

What is Symbian Belle?

The latest firmware update to Symbian^3 devices, Symbian Belle, is what Symbian^3 PR3.0 was supposed to be. A kind of rename for understanding of n00bs rather than confusing them with various version numbers. Its something that seems to be influenced from Android itself (Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, IceCream Sandwitch, Honeycomb ….).

Symbian Belle is the first Symbian^3 update that is supposed to bring major UI changes throughout the Symbian^3 lineup. It will change many Symbian UI paradigms and also the way, we know Symbian till now. A true modernization of Symbian without alienating existing user habits.

Is Symbian Belle the last stop for Symbian^3?

While developers and insiders were already aware of it, Nokia has confirmed officially that despite of the fact that Company is moving toward Windows Phones, Symbian Belle will not be the last update to Symbian platform.

We already seen glimpses of Symbian^4 back in Feb 2010, which though definitely feels outdated now, but still there been lots of references to Symbian^4 in Symbian bugzilla since then and so hard to deny the fact that Symbian^4 will be the next step.

Sure, it will have a new name like Anna or Belle and also there are no exact ideas that what features it’ll bring on board as many of the Symbian^4 changes are already being incorporated into Symbian Belle itself. But there is a big hope.


Now, let’s go through new features of Symbian Belle …

1. New Lock screen

We have seen some changes in the Lock Screen with Symbian Anna itself, when we got notifications on lock screen, but Symbian Belle takes it a step further. Not only there are cosmetic changes in Clock, which feels like 3D now, you see a glossy and colorful lock screen rather than old black one.

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Yes! the standby screen will still stay black (first screenshot) without any mention of signals, battery, bluetooth, data connection etc, but that is totally understandable as queries all those values takes precious battery life that sure would have been unnecessary in standby.

Continue reading “Layman’s take on Symbian Belle-A big walkthrough”

Laymans Take on flashing Symbian Belle on Nokia N8 (link updated for v111.030.0607_03)

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Update: Avoid the old method as the latest firmware update method is very simple. Keep the files in place, open Product and flash. Use refurbish.

Original Firmware file link only: Download Link (Warning: It leaves only 20 mb around in C: drive of Nokia N8)

Updated link without Hero of Sparta: Download Link (It will leave you with around 130 mb in C: drive)

I will suggest you to use the second link which is created after removing Hero of Sparta files from the firmware.

Check the latest version demo here

Notice the speed this time.


Updated: Installed the second leaked version too via the same procedure and with new files. Haptic feedback and 6 home screens now. You can use exactly the same procedure while flashing. Note that even if you are already on Symbian Belle (earlier leaked one), you need to use the same Anna files (at least I did so successfully without any trouble).

So you bought a Nokia N8 last year and while reading a lot of negative buzz on internet and around you, started thinking if buying Nokia N8 (or even any other Symbian^3 device) was a wrong decision? But still keeping it around as there been no better camera phone than this ever nor seems likely any soon.

Think again… Haven’t you seen your Nokia N8 like brand new twice a time till now?

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Once when you bought it and once you got Symbian Anna on it recently. Not enough? That was just kind of theme change in your eyes?

Be ready to see it like real brand new with Symbian Belle now. Yup! even though its so unlike Layman’s take, I decided to take the plunge and flashed Symbian Belle leaked firmware on it. So we paid once and will be having brand new device experience for more than three times.


WARNING:

1. DO NOT USE ANY OTHER THEME THAN INSTALLED. IT WILL CERTAINLY MAKE YOUR PHONE GO IN REBOOT LOOP.
I bricked mine while trying the same and the only  resolution was to flash it back to PR1.0 11.5 scanvidia. It was a scary ride for me as didn’t wanted to loose N8 in any case. Somehow managed to get over with it.

How to flash my Nokia N8 with Symbian Belle?

I know most of readers here never did any flashing with their Nokia Phones and no one wanna take a risk of bricking their phones, specially when it comes to Nokia N8. I know there will be many questions in your mind and I will try to get them answered, but first I want to make you clear that

1. FLASHING YOUR PHONE WITH ANY UNOFFICIAL FIRMWARE WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY (though you can claim your warranty back once you are back on official firmware).

2. THERE ALWAYS WILL BE A RISK OF BRICKING YOUR DEVICE WHILE FLASHING, SO ITS AT YOUR RISK (Not advised for faint hearted)

So done with warning, I know you still are interested in the guide .. so here we go..

Continue reading “Laymans Take on flashing Symbian Belle on Nokia N8 (link updated for v111.030.0607_03)”

Symbian Belle gets official, brings Nokia 600,700, 701 – Layman’s Take

Finally the day came, August 24, 2011.

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Nokia Facebook page was a hot topic among Nokia Fans and bloggers since some days due to a mysterious message on their page with a countdown heading towards today. It didn’t stayed long enough as a mystery among Nokia fans due to some goof-ups (?) from Nokia side itself, when they accidently leaked the name "Belle".

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Even though I am rarely blogging nowadays due to office things, but like always I been active on twitter @nkumar_ and like others I was also wondering about the message "This time it’s personal" and even sent a "funny" tweet as well. Though I am yet to figure about the exact motives behind the tagline, Google sent me to this link that was written by Chief Scientist, Accenture long back in 2009. Not sure, but was it first sign of Accenture’s involvement in Symbian?

Anyway, the news is bigger than these small speculations… it is about Announcement of three super cheap smartphones equipped with well awaited Symbian Belle (Yes! you are reading it right.. Symbian Belle, I know even Symbian Anna roll out not finished yet). So let’s talk about the new joinees first.

Continue reading “Symbian Belle gets official, brings Nokia 600,700, 701 – Layman’s Take”

Nokia N8\E7\C7\C6-01 finally got Symbian Anna, Next Monday will bring more for N8

Update: As many of you might be reading from comments and twitter, yes! Symbian Anna is now available via OTA, via Ovi Suit and via Nokia Software Updater and its available not only for Nokia N8 but for Nokia E7, Nokia C7 and Nokia C6-01 as well.

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In addition, @phoneDaz from Nokia has confirmed that Symbian Anna update on Nokia N8 will follow one more update within few days (upcoming monday, August 22, 2011) to bring Continuous Auto Focus and 30 fps video.

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So, you may be assured that Nokia is not only meant to keep Nokia N8 on top of imaging devices but also will to stay on it. Wait till Monday and keep an eye over Nokia Conversation blog.


It was April 12, 2011, when I wrote that Sorry Friends, I am not covering Symbian PR2.0 as of now, then it was a matter of laugh for some of the people as my blog was getting top attention about the PR2.0 as I was one of those first people who posted that its not coming before Summer.

But more than blog hits, it was an annoying experience for me as well and was useless to point the delay in every next post, so I decided to put a full stop over Symbian PR2.0 a.k.a. Symbian Anna now and today I am happy that I kept my promise.

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Yes! today, when I am here to write a post about Symbian Anna then it means that Symbian Anna is finally here for Nokia N8 and its NOT a leaked firmware only but an official one. I am still calling it an official one even if its not available via OTA or Ovi Suit which are official methods because it has arrived via Nokia Care Suit as well (Nokia Care Suit is the software that Nokia Care Center Guys use to flash Nokia Phones, an amazing piece of software).

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Though I could have used the Navifirm files as well (available for Indian Users as of now), but I preferred to go via Nokia Care Suit, only to find later on that it could have worked without downloading again, if I have placed the firmware files at %Program Files%\Common Files\Nokia\DataPackage\Products


Anyway, for the people, who are not aware about Nokia Care Suit and scared that it might brick their phone, I would like to say that its been a pretty stable method for me so far and reliable as it downloads official and final firmwares only rather the half baked or beta one.

Still it will be at your risk, if you wanna try it right now like me. Though I have already covered Symbian Anna in details with my Nokia Oro post, but will keep on updating this post, if I find some differences.

Till then, enjoy as the long long long wait is over.