Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One Gets New Life, One Grows Smarter

The N95-3 Lives Again!
So, not long after we got the Nokia N97 into the NET9 lab, our trusty Nokia N95-3 started to bug out on us. At first we thought it was the memory failing on us or maybe the battery wasn't holding a charge anymore. Then we noticed that the power button wouldn't work when we tried to turn the device off. So that's when we decided to open it up to see what was going on. Immediately, we discovered that the power button module was freeing itself from the board. Too much stress on the tiny component, I guess.

So being the procrastinator that I am, I decided to "shelf" the device until just recently. I decided to try my hand at fixing the phone, and I'm happy to say that the results are a success! The N95-3 works like a charm once again, and is back in the labs working hard as you read this very post.

The N97 Gets Even Smarter
Recently, Nokia Beta Labs released a new app for the N97 and N97 mini called Nokia Bots. The application consists of four different "bots" that can be activated via a homescreen widget to learn various routines you usually perform manually and helps to automate the processes.

- The Profile Bot assists in switching your profiles for meetings according to your needs.
- The Alarm Bot helps in setting up a wake-up alarm and night profile.
- The Shortcut Bot provides quick access to your most frequently used apps.
- The Battery Bot notifies of upcoming power issues.

Each bot can be enabled or disabled from the homescreen widget and takes some time to learn your routine. I particularly like the Shortcut Bot, because it allows yet another widget bar for a set of four app shortcuts. Normally, you could only add two application shortcut bars to the N97 homescreen, but using this app allows a third.

Hopefully, Nokia continues to add more bots to this surprisingly useful app as well as make it available to more devices. Currently, Nokia Bots is only available to N97 and N97 mini users.

Monday, March 22, 2010

N Focus Episode #3: On The Right Track

Episode 3 of N Focus is now live, and we think it turned out okay. We have yet to get comfortable with video production [especially because we're only using the Nokia N97 to do so], and we still are having some synchronization issues with the audio and video. I'm thinking the sync issues is due more to the extremely small amount of RAM on the N97 though.

That said, we're going to just have to continue to refine our footage in order to cope with the problem. It did take us a bit longer to get to shooting this episode for various technical reasons, but we're confident that we can solve that issue going forward. On to Episode 4...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

N Focus Episode #2: Better, Still A Bit Rough

So our second episode is live, and a little better than the "epic fail" that was episode #1. We're still new to this whole mobile video production thing, and we have much to learn still. We got the audio sync issues ironed out [turns out the cool intro video was to blame for that], the audio level is a bit better [keeping the screen in the open position uncovers the microphone], and we actually focused [no pun intended] on the key news at hand.

There are still some ideas we want to try out in future episodes, so bare with us as we find our way. This has already been an enlightening adventure into mobile video production and a real learning experience overall. We can't wait to bring you episode #3 and beyond.