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Sun, 13.02.11

Exodus
In the next months you'll probably witness an EXODUS among Symbian sites, rapidly rebranding, switching to other platforms, closing.

My-Symbian, the oldest Symbian community site in the Internet launched in 1999 (as N9k World and then My-Communicator.com), has been accompanying the Symbian operating system and Nokia's smartphones (including GEOS Communicators) during whole its existence, 12 years now. Almost 250 terabytes of traffic served, billions of page impressions, up to 20 million visits a year (and close to 200 million in total), over 100 million app downloads, over 130.000 registered forum users (after serveral clean-ups, more than 200.000 registrations in total), close to 400.000 posts on the forum. Thousands of Symbian phones bought from our recommendation.

And we are going to STAY here, and keep supporting the Symbian platform, no matter which way things go. Very soon, when the exodus begins, you will be able to clearly distinguish what has been a true Symbian COMMUNITY, and what was a business built on Symbian's (now passing) popularity and fortune, quickly rebranded and modified to follow where money goes now.

When you look for a Symbian site in 6 or 12 months, type our URL and be sure that the site will still be there.

Our support for Maemo and MeeGo also fully continues.
 Posted by Michal Jerz @ 23:40 in category

Sat, 12.02.11

Quo Vadis Nokia
Unlike all other sites, I will not get into endless discussions about what happened yesterday.

Why? Because I'd have to say some invectives, and I don't want to do that. And because, at least for now, I really don't have much to say. Or what would you expect me to say about company that consciously and intentionally self-degrades from a maker of two great and unique mobile operating systems (including the oldest one from which everything started) to a role of HTC clone, i.e. a hardware factory for a vendor of an alien operating system?

Oh, it's not even a HTC clone, as they at least support multiple operating systems, quite evenly. And what did they prove with yesterday's announcement if not that they are unreliable, not trustworthy, unpredictable? Or that the day on which they acquired Symbian was the beginning of its end? Or that a person buying their phone can NEVER be sure that it won't be the last device based on that platform, i.e. not worth any investments in 3rd party software, accessories and such, which one won't be able to reuse in the future?

Or that if you want to develop for Nokia products, you should never focus solely on their platform and always have some alternative one, or you may be left with nothing anytime? Or what should a webmaster like me say after investing 12 years of life, a lot of effort, money and devotion in the oldest Symbian website in the Internet? What should N900 users say now? They invested their money in a commercial product that shortly after that turned out to be "step 5 out of 6".

But they somehow managed to accept it. Now it turns out that "step 6 out of 6" has been ditched. Maemo was launched, but never given a chance to spread its wings as it didn't get any promotion or proper support and the MeeGo announcement literally killed it off. But no one expected that it could be even worse: that MeeGo won't even be given that little chance Maemo had. How many people bought Symbian ^3 phones because of countless promises of fantastic Symbian ^4 devices following them soon? In the past few months the numbers disappeared, now it's just "Symbian". Good move, now Nokia can say that it's SYMBIAN that's "non-competitive", otherwise they would have to say "S60", i.e. Nokia's UI on top of it. The user interface that they failed to improve since 2005, the year when they killed off the great Series 90 platform and decided to "merge" it into Series 60.

Six years ago they ditched that great fully touch-enabled (and even partly finger-optimized) UI and instead decided.... to re-create touch from scratch on S60, i.e. the only existing Symbian UI (originating from Pearl DFRD) that... was NEVER meant to support touch. The craziest idea of the century.

But there's more:

- Series 80 platform - ditched
- the Communicator series - ditched
- N-Gage - ditched
- Series 90 platform - ditched
- UIQ platform - ditched (yes, they could have saved it when they acquired Symbian and SE's shares)
- Maemo - ditched
- MeeGo - ditched
- Symbian - ditched (after 6 years wasted on failed attempts to improve the S60 UI).

The last four years were enough for Google and Apple to create their entire new platforms from scratch and refine them multiple times. For Nokia six years weren't enough to just polish the UX. I really don't know what to say.

And I want to avoid invectives, so I won't say anything about millions of people (users, developers, webmasters) feeling betrayed and cheated. Instead, I'm just trying to find a single reason that could make me, and probably lots of other (soon former) Symbian and Maemo users buy a Nokia Windows phone. Design? HTC or Samsung aren't that much worse in this regard. Zeiss camera? I wouldn't be surprised if HTC were just now talking with Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, etc. regarding a new camera for their phones, it's not that only Zeiss can deliver it. Hardware? Specifications of Samsung or HTC phones with 1 GHz Snapdragon and 512 MB RAM for quite a long time have been exceeding ANY Nokia phone ever made. Ovi Maps? Same maps can be found in other navigation software, present on every smartphone. Ovi Store? Who needs it on an Android phone if one has the Android Market, or on a WP7 phone where there is MS Marketplace. So what's left other than just the brand? Surely not the price, as Asian-based HTC can probably always be cheaper...

Nokia missed the point. People were buying Nokia phones first of all for their systems, Symbian and Maemo, and not for the "Nokia" brand alone. If they're ditched, what's left? But if Nokia really wanted to get an alien OS, it should have been the Android. The Dalvik VM port has been announced for MeeGo, and probably could also be ported to Symbian.

This way Nokia could have had all three systems running thousands of Android applications. And if they ported Qt to Android (EDIT: it has already been ported! - by freelance Romanian developer! - see here), they could have also had all three systems running Qt apps. A perfect combination, consistent and logical. Make everything compatible, make money on selling Android phones while slowly "in the background" polishing MeeGo and Qt to strike back with exciting and powerful Symbian and MeeGo phones in a year or so. And during that time, having Android compatibility through Dalvik VM, Symbian and Maemo users probably wouldn't even be complaining too much that they have to wait...

But no, they had to do it the worst possible way. Worst for existing Symbian and Maemo users, worst for developers and webmasters, and eventually also worst for themselves.

What a misery.
 Posted by Michal Jerz @ 16:39 in category

Tue, 08.02.11

Texas Instruments announces OMAP 5 processors
Texas Instruments has announced the OMAP 5 platform. And it's "not just a faster horse", it transforms the concept of 'Mobile'. The OMAP 5 platform sports an impressive list of features and benefits supporting everything from open source platforms to complementary TI technologies, including:

  • Two ARM Cortex-A15 cores, up to 2 GHz each - 3x higher performance to deliver the promise of mobile computing

  • Two ARM Cortex-M4 cores - Low-power offload and real-time responsiveness

  • Multi-core 3D graphics and dedicated 2D graphics - 5x higher graphics performance; accelerated and more responsive user interfaces

  • Multi-core imaging and vision processing unit - Next-generation computational photography experiences - face recognition, object recognition and text recognition

  • Multi-core IVA HD video engine - 1080p HD video and high performance, low bit rate video teleconferencing

  • Advanced, multi-pipeline display sub-system - Supports multiple video/graphics sources for composition

  • Can support four simultaneous displays - Supports three high-resolution LCD displays (up to QSXGA) and HDMI 1.4a 3D display

  • High performance, multi-channel DRAM and efficient 2D memory support - Supports advanced use cases with multiple ARM cores and multimedia operation; provides better user experiences without lag or quality degradation

  • TI M-Shield mobile security technology with enhanced cryptography support - End-to-end device and content protection

  • New, high-speed interfaces - Supports USB 3.0 OTG, SATA 2.0, SDXC flash memory and MIPI CSI-3, UniPort-M and LLI interfaces to support higher Wi-Fi and 4G network and HD content data rates

  • Optimized audio, power and battery management platform solutions - Complementary TI devices for an optimized OMAP 5 platform solution

  • Next-generation connectivity technologies - HD wireless video streaming, wireless display, mobile payments and enhanced location-based services.

(Read more...)
 Posted by Michal Jerz @ 19:06 in category

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