Wednesday, October 24, 2007

S60 Touch Vs. Internet Tablets: Part 2

In part 1 of our S60 Touch Vs. Internet Tablets discussion we looked at some of the similarities and differences between Maemo, which is a recently established mobile platform that has had touchscreen functionality from day one, and S60, which is a well established mobile platform soon to be given the niceties of a touch-based UI system. This time around we get to dive into some of the many great features each side can offer each other as well as what the future holds for these two platforms.

Capture And Edit
One of the biggest features I've recently had the pleasure of working with is the Nokia N95-3 5 megapixel camera along with it's "near DVD quality" video recording. But it was the built-in video editor that threw me by surprise. One truly can put together a fairly professional production just using the one device. I think Internet Tablets need to provide more of these sort of outlets for user creativity. The web cam idea is a good one, but when an Internet Tablet user is given the tools to create content and share it with the world while on the move, the user becomes the producer.

Touch...It's Gonna Be Huge
The thing I miss most about the Internet Tablet when using the N95-3 by itself is a touchscreen. This may not be a real big deal to many people who have become accustom to a traditional phone interface, but once you've had a taste of a well put together touchscreen UI, you'll wonder why there aren't more devices with this interface and how come it's taken this long for Nokia to finally introduce the technology into S60 devices. Credit must be given to Apple, as they were at the very least, the one company that broke tradition and pushed the possibility of a very simple and usable interface for an all touchscreen phone. It may not be the best offering in the eyes of some people, but it most certainly stirred up the mobile market, and may have accelerated Nokia's entrance into touch enabled smartphones. If there's one thing the future S60 devices with touch UI can learn from both the iPhone and Internet Tablets, it's that it has to be very intuitive and simple to use without compromising the core features.

Small To Big Screen
The feature that surprised me most about the N95-3 is it's TV-out feature. The ability to make the small screen big in a moment's notice is very cool, and sparks the imagination with what neat things it could be used for. Things like gaming, web surfing, audio and video experiences, and more. It really adds a whole new dimension to an experience that's already multi-dimensional. It's like getting a Rolls Royce and finding out that it also can fly. But much like flight, the experience isn't perfect, and resolution is the biggest issue. The larger the screen, the more blurry the content becomes it seems. However, if the Internet Tablets of the future were to come with this feature at a high resolution output, it would be the perfect killer app in my book.

So those are just some of the things that both platforms can gain from each other, and as each platform continues to develop, I think we'll see even more great features and applications added to these amazing mobile devices. As for the future, it is not certain that both platforms will continue to grow alongside each other, but whatever comes of either platform will continue to write the history of the mobile industry. My personal vision for devices such as these are that GPS will be almost as important as the Internet, with location aware applications and services changing the way the world works forever. NFC (Near Field Communication) will also be very big in the not to distant future along with major improvements in battery technology. Another interesting area that has yet to make a splash is home and vehicle automation the same device. Yes, a lot of these developments seem far away, but at the rate mobile technology is developing, I wouldn't be surprised if a single mobile device in the near future will accomplish much much more.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Price Is Right

Now that the N810 has been announced and will be available next month, it's as good a time as any to check back on the price drops for the N800 that appear to have leveled off over the few days. Now the N800 is nearly half the price it was when it orriginally launched, yet it's still a very relevant and useful mobile web solution.

At around $270, I can see the N800 being a very big deal for the holidays. At the very least, Nokia will attract many eyes and may be key to gaining attention of mainstream consumers to the new N810.

Friday, October 19, 2007

S60 Touch Vs. Internet Tablets: Part 1

Over the past few weeks Nokia has thrown some heavy news our way with the first being about the upcoming S60 touch UI that will power next generation Nokia smartphones with tactile feedback enabled touchscreens (finally). Second being the introduction of the N810 Internet Tablet, which is set to be available in mid November. Considering these two significant announcements were made so close to one another, and both S60 and Maemo are beginning to offer very similar functions as mobile platforms, it makes me wonder if there will be room for both in the distant future.

I've had quite a bit of time with Linux and the Maemo platform, and I truly believe this is an excellent path for Nokia to have taken. As for Symbian and the S60 platform, I'm a bit new to this one, but I know it's a well established system for a great deal of Nokia's smartphones, and has the feel of a mature (some may say aged) platform. I won't go into details of the history of these two platforms too much, as there are tons of info on both for one to spend ages learning from. The main things I'd like to look at are the similarities and differences of the two, what the two platforms can gain from each other, and what the future may hold for each.

The Internet Tablet is now a part of the Nseries family of devices in Nokia's portfolio which brings them that much closer to becoming more than just Internet Tablets, and S60 will soon have a intuitive touch interface which brings S60 devices that much closer to becoming more than smartphones. These two changes are just the top of the list of things that will eventually bridge the divide of the two platforms or cause a transition to one or the other. Features like cameras, GPS, and potentially TV-out functions being included in Internet Tablets are obvious hints to this bridge or the direction of where Nokia is moving.

The differences of the two platforms come mostly in the form of the hardware each runs on, but very soon that won't be the case. It's not certain if Nokia intends to make the newer, more flexible Maemo platform a replacement for the aging S60 platform, but if so I think it will be quite a while before it happens. Maemo still has a lot of room for improvement before it can reach the robustness and stability of S60, and S60 is still growing better by the minute. At the moment Maemo is strictly an Internet Tablet platform with major growth in multimedia playback, voice/video over Internet, and navigation functions, and S60 is a robust smartphone platform that can handle a plethora of applications but has never seen the advantages of full page web browsing.

So, these are some of the similarities and differences between the two platforms. In the next post I'll share my thoughts of what they can gain from one another, and some possibilities of what the future has in store for each. Please feel free to share your thoughts and and comments about this idea.

N810 Maemo Device Program Now Open!

That's right, 500 potential discount codes are at stake, and this time the program is not only open to programmers. Check out the announcement here and be sure to apply before it's too late. Good luck to all those who enter.

Nokia N810 Internet Tablet Commercial

Pretty cool video. Very cool device. I'd love to pimp my Jeep with this thing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More Nokia N810 Internet Tablet Details Emerge

So, now that we've seen the N810 revealed in pictures and even some video, lets get into some of the details surrounding this cool new Internet Tablet from Nokia...

- Set to launch in mid November
- Will cost about $479
- 2 GB internal storage
- Only one mini SD card slot
- Stylus included
- Has built-in GPS
- Uses the same TI OMAP 2420 processor as the N800
- Has the new micro-USB port instead of the mini-USB port
- Hardware key to lock the screen and keys
- Ambient light sensor
- LED indicator light on the corner of the device

Sources: N810 Technical Specifications | | Nokia Press Release |

(This post will be updated with new info as it is made available.)

The Nokia N810 Is Here!

You can see for yourself on the Nokia page here, and it appears to be closest to the leaked image of what many were hoping the new tablet not to be. Discussion has just begun at Internet Tablet Talk and is already making waves in the community. More details of the N810 to come as Nokia releases new info. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nokia N95 Does Video Really Well

Here's a clip of video I put together today showing some of the recording and editing capabilities of the Nokia N95-3. Been playing with the N95's video editor and I'm quite impressed with how much you can do with a few video clips, some photos, and audio. It really is a great device for creating content.

Monday, October 15, 2007

N810 Internet Tablet Launch Imminent

Info travels faster and faster as new products and services get closer to official launch dates, and news about Nokia's third Internet Tablet (N810?) is traveling at the speed of light at the moment around the web after our top tablet investigator ThoughtFix has discovered more interesting info. This time we get the name of the new tablet and plans of Nokia's MOSH service integration for the new device. Also revealed is the possibility of the showing of the tablet before the end of this month (Oct. 23).

Be sure to keep your eye on the Internet Tablet Talk forum and TabletBlog for more fast and furious details of the new tablet if you want the latest news. It's going to be one hell of an October.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Nokia N800 Internet Tablet Review

I'd first like to thank WOM World for giving NET9 the opportunity to review the N800. I look forward to working with these guys more in the future.

This is not meant to be a super in-depth review, as there are a bunch of those already out on the web, and I honestly don't have the most time in the world these days. There were some improvements from the 770 that caught my attention that I think are worth mentioning. Of course there are a few things about the device that bugged me a little, so I'll talk a bit about those too.

The Hardware
The N800 looks like a much more polished device when compared to the 770. The round corners, ergonomic back, and even the brushed metal front make this a more human friendly product. The attached stand and speaker placement also make this a more presentable device for sure. The only gripe I have about the design is the size and quality of the buttons and the absence of a hard cover case like the 770 has. The face buttons aren't too bad, but the power, full screen toggle, and zoom buttons are a small step back from what the 770 has. The introduction of a VGA camera and not one, but two SD card expansion slots extend the capability of the tablet in a very good way. It was the speed of the CPU and improved touchscreen quality that I love the most about the N800. I don't know what Nokia did to the touchscreen, but it's a lot sharper and just plain feels better than the 770 screen.

The Software
The N800 uses a much improved version of the Internet Tablet OS. The web browser is much faster, and the inclusion of Adobe Flash Player 9 makes the web experience smoother than before. There's been a lot more commercial applications stepping into the Internet Tablet world lately, which add a richer experience for both devices, but even more so for the N800. Skype and Navicore bring their services to the tablet in a big way. And of course the Maemo platform has some of the most skillful developers the world over producing some very amazing programs for the device as well, breaking the limits of the N800 functionality. With apps like Canola, VNC, X Terminal, and a slew of others, the community surrounding these devices have convinced Nokia that the idea of the Internet Tablet is a good one to keep pushing forward. I loved the user interface of the tablets from the very beginning, and a lot of hard work has been made to make it better over time. However, considering how I use these devices more for it's Internet capabilities than anything else, I missed seeing a large enough difference between the basic functions of the two Nokia tablets.

Final Thoughts
I think I'd purchase an N800 (especially now that the price has dropped dramatically) if my 770 stopped working, but it hasn't yet, and a new tablet from Nokia is soon approaching. I took the wait-and-see approach to the N800, and even now I'm satisfied with my decision. The N800 still has a lot of potential for Nokia and the development community to tap into, and I don't see any device out there that can do the many things the N800 can. I truly enjoy having the chance to work with the device, and I'm convinced Nokia has a very solid foundation to build on with the Internet Tablet line.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Test Post From N95

Just testing. Gotta make sure it works...

Friday, October 05, 2007

N800 Price Drops Have Begun

Wow! $279.99 for and N800?!! That's an awesome deal, and I'm sure there will be lots of people scrambling over this one. Stores that have dropped the N800 price like it's hot include: ($255.99 in stock)
Target ($279.99 currently out of stock) ($239.99 w/free shipping!)
Provantage ($231.56 in stock)
Circuit City ($279.99 currently out of stock)
MobileCityOnline ($259.99 in stock) ($248.99 in stock)
Directron ($221.99 currently out of stock)
ClubMac ($239.99 in stock)
Beach Audio ($248.99 currently out of stock)

There may be more stores added to this list as well as lower prices to choose from.

10.07.2007 Update: It's now $232.99 at! Keep fallin'!
10.08.2007 Update: Qole has discovered yet another awesome N800 deal via Provantage, and this one ships to Canada! ($231.56 before shipping!) Also, it looks like the price went up to $244.99. Still free shipping, still a great deal.
10.09.2007 Update: Target has the tablet in stock again and so does MobileCityOnline for $50 lower than before!
10.10.2007 Update: Circuit City has the tablet in stock again as does Provantage. has raised their price and is currently out of stock. Additional stores added to list.
10.15.2007 Update: price now $273.99, Target is out of stock again, has it for $239.99, Provantage out of stock at $239.71, Circuit City price now $279.99, BeachAudio is out of stock, and Directron price now $221.99!
10.16.2007 Update: price now $255.99, Provantage back in stock at $231.56, Circuit City is out of stock, eCost price now $248.99 and has it in stock, and Directron is out of stock now.

The N95 Is Amazing!

The first thing that came to mind when I started using the N95-3 was sheer amazement. Nokia really stuffed so much into such a small package, it's ridiculous! I could write several books on how much this device can do, but I'll save some stuff for future posts. Since the actual hardware itself is the first thing I played around with, I'll start with that.

This multimedia powerhouse is small. Much more pocketable than the I first thought it would be, the dimensions of the device just feel perfect in hand and the build quality is quite solid. The dual slider is very slick, and as I have the black and silver version, the rubberized feel of the back gives a comfortable surface to grip. With so much going on with device, such as buttons, input/output, cameras, speakers, memory card slot, and battery compartment, it still maintains a nice sleek shape that must have been a real challenge to all the people that are involved in its creation.

The face of the device is quite simple for such a complex device. The screen is clear and crisp, even quite viewable outdoors. the button placement and quality is excellent. The speaker placement had me a bit worried until I actually heard them. I never would have thought that so much sound could come out so clearly from a device this small! And of course the 5MP camera is outstanding. I've heard all the nightmare stories of the original N95 battery life, but I have to say the battery life of the N95-3 is a dream come true. I've been pushing the device to the max (I think) using the WiFi connection most of the time and it lasted the whole day. I'm quite impressed with how well put together all the functions of the N95-3 are.

As I spend more time with the device and it's many features, I'll post more of my observations and feelings about it. Stay tuned for my thoughts about the OS and other aspects of this marvelous Nseries device.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

N95-3 Enters The NET9 Lab!

That's right, my new small piece of the future is finally here! There's just so much this little guy can do, it's amazing. I haven't had much time to play with it, but I'll be sharing my thoughts in more detail very soon. Here are a few pics and screenshots from the N95...

...and more to come.