Nokia release Map Update

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

As soon as I published the story yesterday about Nokia not having released any map updates since the February 2011 update what happens; yes, yesterday Nokia released an update to their Ovi Maps data for v3.06 (S60 v5 devices).  I should add that to the best of my knowledge there is not an update for the v3.04 Ovi Maps client for the S60 v3 devices, such as the Nokia E71.

If you are already running v3.06 then you can simply go into Ovi Maps and select Update and the update will be available for you.  The UK map is about 219MB to download, but you’ll also need a little free space for it to install the update too, so if you are tight on disk space another option is to use Ovi Suite, which downloads the file onto the PC and seems to need slightly less overall disk space to install the update.

Personally, I seem to always end up having trouble with the update working directly on the phone, but have generally found the Ovi Suite method more reliable.  If you do manage to do the update on your phone, it can take some while, so don’t be impatient.

Interestingly, the update is dated 14 July 2011, which is 5 months since the last maps of February 2011; it will be interesting to see how long we have to wait for the next maps…


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New Ovi Maps v3.08 (Beta)

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Keeping with the Maps theme, Nokia have released (through the Nokia Beta Labs programme) another beta update to Ovi Maps.  v3.08 brings a number of new features (over the earlier v3.07 beta):

Drive Enhancements:

  • Live traffic routing takes traffic information into account to avoid traffic jams automatically (available in Germany, France, US, UK and Russia).
  • Turn on “Avoid traffic” in your “Route settings” to take traffic conditions into account while you drive. Always get the best route for right now.
  • New Drive look & feel – home screen now has buttons for “Set destination,” “Drive home” and “Just drive.”
  • “Just drive” or Drive assistance shows your accurate speed, gives speed warnings, the distance driven and real time traffic.
  • New information bar on Drive navigation and Drive assistance screens.
  • Also easily toggle between Estimated Time of Arrival in minutes or distance to your destination – just tap the icon on the screen.
  • New option menus in Drive.
  • Set a contact as a destination.
  • Easily change your settings during Drive navigation. Changes in settings are immediate and can been seen instantly.

Additional improvements

  • Long tap is now available to give quick access to “Drive to,” “Walk to,” “Share” and various lists.
  • Settings reorganized to “General” “Maps & Walk” and “Drive.”

One key point; this is a Symbian^3 only product, so if you are a Symbian S60 5th Edition (aka Symbian^1) user, then you won’t be able to get this update.  We’ve already seen S60 v3 devices limited to v3.04 Ovi Maps, and now S60 v5 device are unlikely to progress beyond v3.06; what’s not so clear is whether and for how long we’ll see map updates for these elder clients.

I believe the latest maps available for v3.04 are from 2010, whereas the maps for v3.06 haven’t been updated since Feb 2011


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Nokia bringing “Anna” updates to older phones

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Nokia started a rollout of new firmwares to a range of S60 v3.2 (3rd Edition FP2) and S60 v5 (Symbian^1) devices yesterday which will bring a range of new features to these phones.

The main update is a new Web Browser, the same as will/is shipping in the Anna update for Symbian^3 phones.  This is much faster than the previous browser, and even in the short time I’ve had access to it, it does seem a much faster and better browser.

Additionally, Ovi Maps has been updated.  For S60 v3.2 devices, the latest version available is v3.04, but that does bring a range of new features such as WiFi and Cell ID positioning to help speed up the initial GPS fix.  For S60 v5 devices, this means v3.06, which also brings the ability to update the maps direct from the device (although the latest maps released by Nokia are still from back in February 2011; it would be nice to see Nokia moving to a quarterly map update schedule).

It should be pointed out that for some of the devices, the Maps update has been available from the Software Update tool built into the phone, and in this scenario, the main firmware update does not seem to include the Maps update.  If you have such a device, you have already got the latest Maps, and the new firmware does not modify that.

Finally, there is support for emoticons within Messages.  If you type characters such as : ) it will automatically turn it into a graphical emoticon.  Otherwise, you can select to insert an emoticon from the keyboard menu.

So, which devices will this be rolling out to?  Nokia have said:

S60 v3.2:

S60 v5:

My understanding is that the Nokia 5230, C6-00, E5, E52 and E72 all started to receive the firmware update from yesterday, with the other devices following over the next few weeks.

If you have a Symbian^1 phone, you can also download the Nokia Evolve theme from the Ovi Store (here), which will give the built in apps the same style of icons as the upcoming Anna update for Symbian^3 devices.

One word of warning though; it seems that this firmware update has a bug on all devices with homescreen widgets which will cause the very useful “Coming Next” widget to break and display an error message.  Nokia are aware of this (basically any attempt to access the Calendar from a Web Runtime Widget returns a blank response), and have indicated it will need a further firmware update for all devices to fix, so if your busy schedule relies upon the “Coming Next” widget, you might want to think long and hard before applying this update.

Overall, I’ve found a combination of the latest Ovi Maps, the latest Anna browser, and the Evolve icons does bring a good refresh to existing Symbian phones, and should extend their life a little further; it’s definitely nice to see Nokia releasing these software updates to elder phones; oh, and if you are a fan of Gravity (the all round best Social Networking client for Symbian) you’ll be glad to know the latest Alpha has an Anna-style application icon to match the rest of the icons.


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Nokia update Reader beta

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Last week, Nokia Beta Labs updated the Nokia Reader application.  This is an RSS Reader, and quite a useful one.  However, the previous beta had a habit of constantly asking you for your Nokia Account username and password, and the latest update fixes this.  Although Nokia Reader is suitable for S60 5th Edition as well as Symbian^3 devices, this particular update only applies to Symbian^3 devices.  If you want to try Nokia Reader, or need this latest update, head off to Nokia Beta Labs and download from there.


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Nokia announce Nokia Situations

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Although not as full featured as Tasker or Locale (both for Android devices), Nokia Situations enhances the built in Profile management with the ability to create custom profiles, and choose when these profiles are selected.  The screenshot above shows some of the range of options you can use to trigger the change in profile, and I’m especially pleased to see Network support, and not just GPS location, allowing location based changes without needing the phone to constantly use drain the battery by keeping the GPS running.

Although currently a Nokia Beta Labs product, it’s likely we will see this either integrated into future devices, or the app being made available in the Ovi Store to allow a wider coverage.

Nokia have also created 4 versions of this, which is also good to see.  Firstly, there’s the Symbian^3 version (Nokia N8), an S60 5th Edition for phones with homescreen widgets (Nokia N97, Nokia N97 Mini, Nokia C6-00), remaining S60 5th Edition phones (such as the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic), and even a S60 3rd Edition FP2 (Nokia E72, Nokia E5); it’s good that Nokia are remembering they are still releasing new phones with S60 3rd Edition installed.

If you are interested in this application, head over to Nokia Beta Labs for more information.


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Pixelpipe release new Symbian version

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Pixelpipe have updated their Send & Share application to v1.02.  This new version adds:

  • You can now select service(s) for upload from a GUI with the new ‘Destinations’ field in advance of upload
  • New enhanced UI for handsets with Qt installed
  • Ability to specify a reduction value for resolution of photos from 100-25% under Pixelpipe/Options/Settings/Image Resolution
  • Single service upload plug-ins for over 25 services. These plug-ins are currently in beta & simply allow you to select the service for upload by name from the Send menu.

The screenshot above shows the difference between a “normal” handset, and a newer handset with the Qt support installed.  This I have to say, makes the application look and feel much nicer, and it’s nice to see Pixelpipe embedding everything into a single application install that can provide the best UI as available to the user.  It should be pointed out that Send & Share needs a minimum of S60 3rd Edition FP2, which rules out many popular Nokia phones such as the Nokia E71; however, for the majority of phones launched in the last year or two, this version will work fine.  For those elder handsets, Pixelpipe are still supporting their Share Online method.

This new version is available direct from Pixelpipe (here), and should soon be available in the Ovi Store.

Update: It’s now available in the Ovi Store.


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Symbian Swype beta updated

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Nokia Beta Labs have updated the Symbian S60 5th Edition Swype beta version in the last few days.  This is compatible with a range of touch devices:

This new version adds a range of bug fixes:

  • Several crashes have been resolved including those related to backspace
  • Spanish keyboard properly displays national character
  • Performance relating to auto-capitalization, auto-spacing and general application speed has been improved
  • A new language selection dialog has been implemented to improve readibility and UX
  • Rotation no longer reverts Swype back to the default keyboard
  • Application size has been reduced by 1.5mb

As always, head over to Nokia Beta Labs for more information and to register and download the application.


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New mobbler version in testing

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Following on from our mention of changes coming at Last.fm, the team behind mobbler are currently testing a beta version of their Last.fm client in preparation for the changes.  So, the old stations that will no longer be available are removed, and the new Mix Radio has been added.  On top of that, there are a whole range of new / improved features:

  • Fix for radio on Nokia N8/Symbian^3
  • Subscriber-only radio
  • Share on Twitter
  • Signup
  • Biography
  • Local events based on cell ID
  • Better lyrics display
  • Username limit increased from 15 -> 32 chars
  • Better equaliser support
  • Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Ukrainian added and other languages updated
  • Old scrobbles warning
  • Play Mix Radio station
  • Play Last.fm group radio station
  • Play a custom lastfm:// radio station
  • Removed discontinued Loved Tracks and Playlists radio station
  • 20 volume steps where available (Symbian^3)
  • Display subscriber’s prestigious black icon
  • Rejigged the Start a station menu

However, it’s worth also noting that this version comes with a warning:

“Mobbler versions 0.10.x and 1.10.x uses the official Last.fm radio API which only allows paying subscribers to stream the radio. Non-subscribers with free accounts are allowed a 30 track free trial from Last.fm. Only paying subscribers can play the radio. Free user accounts can’t play the radio. Subscribers will see a prestigious black icon at the top left when online. If you have an S60 phone (i.e. pre-N8/Symbian^3) an older version may still stream radio until Last.fm disable it.”

So, in essence, Last.fm are transitioning to a situation where you need to pay the subscription fee to stream any radio stations (a position already in place on the hardware devices such as the Revo IKON and PURE Sensia), so it’s an understandable move.  Also, the mobbler team are keen to point out that whilst the older mobbler versions will currently still work (for those streams that were available to non-paying customers in the first place), it’s a situation that may not last forever.  On the other hand, £3 per month is a lot less than Spotify, so may be more acceptable if you don’t need to specify exactly what you want to listen to (and of course, most Symbian devices still have plenty of capacity for you to carry around a fairly large music collection anyway).

Head to the mobbler Beta Testing webpage for more information on the beta test.


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Thetrainline.com planning platform agnostic mobile ticketing

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Normally when I read about a company with plans for a mobile solution, it’s often limited to one single platform (and way too many times that’s just the Apple iPhone, or Android, and the company thinks it can claim having a “mobile solution”).  Well, not thetrainline.com; they’ve announced they want to produce a new mobile application that will allow you to buy tickets direct from your mobile, and what’s more, their idea of “mobile” covers the iPhone, Android phones, BlackBerry devices, Nokia Symbian devices and even “many other mobiles”.

Covering such a range is what I like to see; and for that I feel thetraineline.com should be praised. One interesting function within the app will be the ability to buy a ticket for “the next train home” (nicely integrating the timetable, location and time).  You’ll be able to collect your ticket from over 1000 train stations in the same way you’ve been able to from the thetraineline.com website, however, what’s also interesting is that for some trains, you’ll be able to receive the ticket directly as a secure barcode on your mobile, which will act as the ticket, and no need to collect or hold onto anything.

It looks like in the short term, the iPhone version is available, as is the Symbian S60 5th Edition and Symbian^3 version, with the BlackBerry and Android versions still “Coming Soon”.

Bringing mobile and ticketless train travel is something well worth talking about; planning to do this over every key mobile platform is even better, and deserves praise.

It’ll be interesting to see how their competitors (such as redspottedhanky.com and the individual train operators) react to this.


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Nokia Internet Radio finally available for Touch devices

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Many recent Nokia touch (Symbian S60 5th Edition devices, such as the Nokia C6-00 above) have shipped without the Nokia Internet Radio application, which many found very useful on the previous generation of devices.  Well, finally, it’s been released, and is available for free in the Nokia Ovi Store (here).  It’s not yet available for the latest generation of devices running Symbian^3 (such as the Nokia N8), but it’s likely to be available soon.

Thanks to Rita El Khoury for spotting the release.


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