Planet maemo: category "feed:1f8c260dd465478579b08c7c772558a5"

Brent Chiodo

TouchSearch v3.1 Released!

2010-08-05 22:07 UTC  by  Brent Chiodo

Today I’m pleased to announce the release of TouchSearch version 3.1. This is the first major release of TouchSearch in the past six months and brings with it all the shiny new features I’ve been working on.

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Categories: Development
Brent Chiodo

Android on the N900 (Part 1)

2010-07-12 01:04 UTC  by  Brent Chiodo

Google’s Android mobile phone operating system has a long — and mostly troubled — history on Maemo based devices. I remember the first attempt at getting Android working on the N800 and N810 was started by some industrious hackers at the forums of I tried to find that old thread, but it either has been lost to the elements of internet-time or my search skills are lacking.

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Categories: Android
Brent Chiodo

Software Spotlight: SPB Brain Evolution

2010-07-10 23:21 UTC  by  Brent Chiodo

Software Spotlight is a series that will be debuting on that will take a detailed look at exceptional community and/or commercial software available for Maemo-based devices.

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Categories: Games
Brent Chiodo

TouchSearch 2.2 Released!

2010-03-26 23:13 UTC  by  Brent Chiodo

After a couple of (mostly minor) bugs were discovered in Touchsearch 2.1, I decided I would upload a new version to iron out some of these issues people were having. Today TouchSearch 2.2 passed the required Quality Assurance tests, and should be available to install from your local App. Manager within the next day or so. Although this is mostly a bug-fix release, there is one nifty feature that I would like to talk to you about. It is called the “TouchSearch Quick Bar” and adds keyword based searches to TouchSearch.

One of my users gave me the idea (thanks, evad!) and here is how it works: it allows you to search any of your other search engines by adding a certain prefix to your query. For example, let’s say you find it a bit too time consuming to change search engines every time you want to search a different site. This gives you the ability to use a single search engine, and “change” them by adding a letter at the beginning of your search query. Here are a couple screen shots to demonstrate;

I have selected the QuickBar as my current search engine:

Let’s say I want to search Ebay for, I don’t know, shoes. What I would do is enter “e shoes” as my query.

The “e” tells TouchSearch I want search and will automatically by stripped from my query. Shoes, obviously, is what I actually want to search for. When you hit return, TouchSearch magically directs you to ebay’s results page for “shoes”.

And this works for all your search engines. “a” for Amazon, “w” for Wikipedia, “gm” for Google Maps, and so on and so forth. If you enter no prefix or “g”, Google is queried. Additionally, you can change which prefixes are used and add your own to your custom search engines.

How do you get this feature? First, install TouchSearch 2.2. Like I mentioned, it should be available in the next 24 hours or so. Secondly, if this is the first time you’ve installed TouchSearch, you should see the QuickBar available right after installation. If you are upgrading from an older version of TouchSearch, you may need import this search engine into your current database. Do this by:

  • Going into Desktop Edit mode (tap the desktop, then tap the little gear)
  • Tap on the wrench next to TouchSearch > Configure > Merge > Yes.

That should import all new search engines (including the QuickBar) into your current database.

Have fun (and leave feedback)!

Categories: N900
Brent Chiodo

Software Spotlight: Angry Birds

2010-02-06 18:22 UTC  by  Brent Chiodo

Software Spotlight is a series that will be debuting on that will take a detailed look at exceptional community and/or commercial software available for Maemo-based devices.

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Categories: Games
Brent Chiodo

Firefox Mobile Now Available!

2010-01-31 17:59 UTC  by  Brent Chiodo

Today the Mozilla corporation released the first (public) version of it’s highly anticipated Firefox Mobile Browser. For those following the development of Firefox Mobile, it may seem like a long time coming, but alas, it is finally here.

The post on the Mozilla blog summarizes some of the features and plans they have for Firefox Mobile and mobile browsing in general:

Bringing Firefox to mobile devices is the next step toward fulfilling Mozilla’s mission of providing one Web that everyone can access, regardless of device or location. Secure, powerful, and customizable, Firefox is the most modern mobile Web browser available and is optimized for a mobile experience. Key design principles are at the heart of the mobile browsing experience including minimal typing, seamless synchronization with desktop Firefox and the ability to take your Firefox with you, to name a few.

Firefox for mobile is packed with your favorite features, including:

  • Awesome Bar – Go to your favorite sites in just a couple of keystrokes with intelligent and personalized searching
  • Weave Sync – Sync your Firefox tabs, history, bookmarks and passwords between your desktop and mobile device for a seamless browsing experience
  • Add-ons – Customize your Firefox by adding small pieces of functionality, like games and news readers, that help make the mobile Web browser your own
  • Location-Aware Browsing – Get maps and information relevant to your location
  • Tabbed browsing – View open tabs as thumbnails to easily identify and select the Web page you’d like to go to next
  • Safe Browsing – Get an Instant Web Site ID and easily access and edit security settings
  • Available in more than 30 languages and counting

For those eager to try out Firefox Mobile, go to on your N900 and you should be presented with the download page. The download is about 13 MB and will take a couple minutes.

I plan to do a full review of Firefox Mobile soon with full comparisons to your N900′s pre-installed browser. Until then, here are a few screenshots of Firefox Mobile in action:

(Displaying the classic Google homepage)

( frontpage)

(This blog’s frontpage)

(Preferences screen)

(Add-ons screen)

Categories: General
Brent Chiodo

TouchSearch 2.1-2 Now Available!

2010-01-24 22:59 UTC  by  Brent Chiodo

I’m pleased to announce the release of TouchSearch 2.1-2 — this is really a major upgrade for those using 1.3-2. Many things were changed, most notably the look and feel of the widget. Gone is the (admittedly, ugly!) black box background and in is a very sleek semi-transparent background that is more consistent with the look of the built-in desktop widgets:

Also new in this version is the Configure Search Engines interface. This is available from the Widget Options and allows you to create, edit, delete and sort your search engines. Beware though, that the Add Search Engine option is still a bit untested and you may run into a few hiccups while trying to add search engines. Here is the full changelog for those wondering:

  • User can now Add, Edit, Delete and Sort search engines
  • Widget now features a background with rounded corners and user-selectable opacity
  • New integrated help system
  • Added WebMD to search engines list
  • Numerous bug-fixes and optimizations.
Categories: News
Brent Chiodo

OVI Store and Python Applications

2010-01-23 22:44 UTC  by  Brent Chiodo

Maybe I’m biased. Maybe Python-based applications aren’t a large-enough sector of the application pie to warrant consideration of inclusion into Nokia’s OVI Store. If this is the rationale that Nokia is using, then I strongly disagree.

Of course as long as everything remains the same, C will be the de facto programming language for Maemo devices. As a Python programmer, I had to fight through unstable API’s, lean documentation, and several bugs to be one of the first developers to program a Python application on Maemo 5.

But it was all worth it because I was using a high-level programming language that I could use to quickly create a feature rich application. For developers wanting to program Python for the device now, all those issues are resolved.

The only advantage C has now is: the Python libraries need to be installed as dependencies by the programmer since they do not come preinstalled on the device. This may not seem like a huge issue, but it can be:

Think about it from the user’s perspective: they see two applications in the App. Manager. Both are, let’s say, desktop widgets that show you how much free space you have on your SD card. One is written in C and is 35 KB’s. The other is written in Python and is 5 MB’s. The Python one has to pull in all the Python dependencies (python, python-hildon, python-hildondesktop, python-osso, etc.) because they aren’t preinstalled on the device. Of course, most of that stuff is Optified  so it doesn’t take up any additional space on the Root FS, but it doesn’t matter. A user will install the C application because it is so much smaller.

Although that’s an issue, it’s not the biggest one. The biggest one is how does one upload an Python-based application to the OVI Store? Are those dependencies going to be available from OVI?

Right now it is fairly simple to create and upload a Python-based application to’s software repository, because the Python libraries are uploaded there. But how about when Python developers want to upload to the premier source for Maemo 5 applications? Will there be any support for them?

It would be great if there was Python support in the OVI Store. Even better would be to push all the common Python libraries in the next SSU, leveling the playing field completely.

What are your thoughts?

Categories: Development
Brent Chiodo

Hello world!

2010-01-22 17:53 UTC  by  Brent Chiodo

Welcome to! This site may seem a little barren content-wise, but don’t worry. I’m just getting started and hope to have a steady stream of Maemo-related content streaming in.

The plan for this website is to have it be a central hub for news, hardware and software reviews, tips and tricks on how to use your device better, interviews with both community and commercial developers and/or contributors, and just general Maemo-related content.

I hope you enjoy your stay!

Categories: Internal