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Vaibhav Sharma

Nokia Internet Radio Comes To The N9

2011-11-07 18:54 UTC  by  Vaibhav Sharma
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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.

Categories: Applications
Vaibhav Sharma

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.

The application has just become available for the Nokia N9 on Nokia’s Beta Labs and has been available for Symbian devices for a sort while now. Try it here.

Categories: Applications
Vaibhav Sharma

The Nokia N9 has been a somewhat difficult subject for Nokia, one that they are, and should be, immensely proud of. But one that has raised more questions than answers. When the February announcement with Microsoft came, everyone wondered what was happening to Nokia’s upcoming MeeGo phone. Nokia was quick to point out that they would indeed release a MeeGo based device. Then word started coming out that the original MeeGo device, which we now know as the developer only N950, had been canned, and replaced by a beautiful new touch only flagship.

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Categories: Editorials
Vaibhav Sharma

Nokia N9 Review: Swipe UI, Apps & Hardware

2011-10-20 14:28 UTC  by  Vaibhav Sharma
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In my last post about the Nokia N9, we went through a customary unboxing and a quick overview of the device. I also shared a few initial impressions.

Nokia N9 Review: Swipe UI, Apps & Hardware

This time, we delve a little deeper into the N9′s Swipe UI, go over some of its settings and look at the best ways to setup the N9 for daily use.

I also look at two must have applications for the N9, Swipe Manager and Shortcuts. Swipe Manager brings consistency to your swipes and with the ability to define what action each directional swipe does. For example, you can set it to open the app drawer if you swipe from bottom to top, events view if you swipe from right to left and so on. This makes sure that no matter what you want to do, close an app, goto the launcher, the app switcher or the events view, everything is just a single swipe away.

Next is Shortcuts, it lets you change the four default quick access app on the N9, which the phone won’t let you change otherwise.

What follows is the ten minutes with the Nokia N9 video:

Want me to cover something specifically? Let me know in the comments section below!

Categories: Handsets
Vaibhav Sharma

The N9 is here, I have the black 64 GB variant and I can tell you that the moment you lay your eyes on it, you will be able to say that the N9 in a class of its own. It is easily the best looking device on the market today, truly a pinnacle of Nokia’s design prowess. It feels very premium, the curved display looks spectacular and the whole distraction free (read button free) surface is a real pleasure to look at.

Nokia N9 Unboxing & Overview: In A Class Of Its Own

With that in mind, I put together a little unboxing video (available in HD) for you. In addition to the obvious unboxing, I give you a bit of an overview of the product along with a look at the rubber case that Nokia ships with it. Also included in the box are brand new accessories that Nokia specially designed for the N9, all of which look great.

That aside here a few quick initial impressions as precursor to the detailed review which will follow:

  • The N9, owing to the unibody design and the polycarbonate finish feels incredibly solid in the hand. Since there are literally no moving parts, it feels great in the hand.
  • The display on the N9 is terrific, the screen very close to the surface of the glass and it feels as if you’re touching it directly; almost makes you feel like its floating on top. Easily gives the Super AMOLED Plus on the Galaxy S2 a run for its money, and because its almost the same resolution on a smaller screen (3.9″ v 4.3″), its a lot more crisp.
  • The phone feels responsive, and you’re at home with the Swipe UI in a matter of minutes. Its very intuitive and makes you wonder why nobody else thought of it before. Enabling swipe down to close an app from the settings is recommended, it makes the experience better. There are two more apps that help tremendously, Swipe Manager and My Moves, more on them later.
  • The camera is FAST. The shot to shot time is incredible and you want to keep taking pictures once you get going.
  • The pre-loaded Twitter and Facebook apps are capable, they cover all the bases. The only thing missing is the ability to share pictures on Twitter and that ability is apparently coming in a future update.
  • The out of box service support is great, you can directly upload to Flickr or YouTube. Have multiple Mail for Exchange accounts, other email accounts, and even make Skype calls from the dialer itself. There is also support for IMs on Facebook, Skype and Gtalk.
  • The N9 makes it hard for you to find a fault with it, if you forget the direction Nokia is going in for a minute.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below, or on Twitter @v4ibhav.

Categories: Handsets
Vaibhav Sharma

Nokia’s Ideas Project is looking for your feedback on the N9 user interface and is offering 10 Nokia N9 smartphones in return. They are looking for ideas to improve some of the key features shown off in this video and other innovative ideas for the next generation of mobile touch screen devices.

10 Nokia N9s Up For Grabs In The Ideas Project N9 Challenge

So if the N9 isn’t launching in your country and you were looking forward to one, here’s your chance. Head over to the Ideas Project and start brainstorming. The ideas will be reviewed by Nokia’s interface designers and 10 winners will get a N9 each.

Timeline:

  • Begins: October 12, 2011 at 09.00am EET (GMT+2)
  • Ends: November 15, 2011 at 5pm EET (GMT+2)

Panel of judges:

  • Nikki Barton, Vice President, Smart Devices UX Design, Nokia
  • Peter Skillman, Vice President, Services & MeeGo Design, Nokia
  • Anton Fahlgren, Senior Design Manager, Nokia

Challenge hosts:

  • Ronan MacLaverty, Developer Advocate, MeeGo
  • Heli Haapkylä, Manager, Crowdsourcing, Nokia

Good luck!

Categories: Handsets
Vaibhav Sharma

Sports Tracker Is Coming To The Nokia N9

2011-09-30 02:30 UTC  by  Vaibhav Sharma
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Here’s some more good news for prospective N9 owners, the popular Sports Tracker app is also coming to MeeGo and the Nokia N9. While the app is expected to be released in November, the developers have already shared a few screenshots of what it looks like, and I have to say it’ll be one of the better looking apps on the N9.

The Sports Tracker app on the N9 will feature all the tracking capabilities you’ve come to expect from Sports Tracker and also support for the new Sports Tracker Heart Rate Monitor. It you’re keen on keep up with the developers, you can follow them on  Twitter and Facebook.

Categories: Applications
Vaibhav Sharma

VLC Player For The Nokia N9 Is Here

2011-09-29 20:14 UTC  by  Vaibhav Sharma
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The popular is video playback tool VLC is coming to the Nokia N9, and if you’re willing to use beta pre-release software, then its here already. The app is still in the early phase of development, but if you’re itching to play that seemingly unsupported codec on your shiny N9 or N950, then there’s hope.

VLC For The Nokia N9 Is Here

However, there are a few known issues like the fact that the UI is isn’t optmised for the phone, so its tedious work. Hardware-accelerated video decoding is not supported (however, color space conversion and scaling are hardware-accelerated). So its best not to throw those HD videos at it yet.

If you’re feeling courageous, head over to this page and you’ll find all the instructions you need to download and install the app.

Hat tip to @nsuffys for the find.

Categories: Applications
Vaibhav Sharma

In some very big news coming on the sidelines of Intel’s AppUp Elements Conference, the LiMo Foundation and the Linux Foundation today announced a new open source project, Tizen, to develop a Linux-based device software platform. Tizen will be a standards-based, cross-architecture software platform which supports multiple device categories including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks and in-vehicle infotainment systems.

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Categories: Events
Vaibhav Sharma

Nokia Conversations has just let word slip that the Nokia N9 is now well and truly on its way to consumers around the world at an unsubsidized price of EUR 480 for the 16GB and EUR 560 for the 64 GB variant. Sadly there are no specifics about which countries are getting the device, so you will still need to visit your local stores to find out.

The Nokia N9 Starts Shipping, Nokia Promises Future Software Support

The only thing that’s certain is that the N9 will soon start popping up in the wild and you will start seeing more and more unboxing videos. Nokia had opened pre-orders in certain countries a couple of weeks back and consumer demand seemed to have been huge, with the Finnish pre-orders threatening to exceed the supply.

In another post, Nokia while promising future software support for the device states that ‘The first updates will be based on feedback received from operators and consumers and they make the device even more intuitive than before. The availability and content of the updates will be communicated closer to the download start‘.

While it seems the N9 will not be coming to a lot of the major markets around the world,  you should be able to import the device from other markets very soon. With Nokia World and the first Nokia Windows Phones under a month away, are you considering getting the N9?

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Categories: Applications
Vaibhav Sharma

The best foursquare app for Symbian and MeeGo Harmattan devices (N9/N950) has just received an update that brings with it the ability to view photos associated with the venue and read and leave tips. You cannot add photos yet, but hopefully that’s coming in the next version.

4squick Updated: Adds Photos & Tips To Your Foursquare Experience 4squick Updated: Adds Photos & Tips To Your Foursquare Experience

Apart from that it now also remembers your search history and adds some UI modifications to make the app look even more pretty. If you are using a N950 or a N9, the 4squick experience should be better for you, although UI is still directly from Symbian^3 build so everything is a bit small due to the higher resolution in Harmattan.

Changelog:

  • Venue photos support
  • Tips support
    • Read venue tips
    • Add a new tip
    • Share added tip to Twitter and Facebook
    • Mark tips as todo / done
  • Search history with top searches
  • Multiple fixes and UI modifications
  • A bit better Harmattan experience

4squick isn’t available on the Ovi Store yet, but you get get the .sis or .deb file from the download page. If you are new to 4squick, check out the video demo we did last month.

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Categories: Applications
Vaibhav Sharma

Nokia has rolled out a beta of the Ovi Store for the developer only Nokia N950. While the release is still beta, it does give us an idea of what the Ovi Store will look like on the not so widely available Nokia N9. The design of the store is based on the MeeGo Harmattan UI that can be seen on the rest of the device with certain similarities with the Ovi Store on Symbian.

Ovi Store Beta Debuts On The MeeGo Harmattan Powered Nokia N950 Ovi Store Beta Debuts On The MeeGo Harmattan Powered Nokia N950

The N950 will find the Ovi Store automatically, but if you don’t see it, you can go to settings, applications and check for updates. Since the client is beta and the developer devices aren’t upto speed with the internal Nokia firmwares, there might be a few applications that have installation issues.

Most of the available applications will work on your N950 and existing publicly available firmware (1.2011.22-6). However, there are a few applications in OVI Store that are created with newer pre-production SDK that may fail to install in your device for now. These applications will work also on your device after we have the next SW update available. If a downloaded application does not install, your download history in Ovi Store means that once you have the newer firmware you can download/install the application.

I’m surprised Nokia is still calling it the Ovi Store, after killing the Ovi brand a few months ago. My Nokia Blog a bunch of screenshots if you’re keen on checking the store out in a little more detail.

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Categories: Applications