Opera releases new Mobile Browsers, showcases Hbbtv compatible browser

Opera’s announced the release of their new Opera Mini 6 and the Opera Mobile 11 browsers today. This update brings a whole lotta goodies with it,such as Pinch to Zoom (whereever applicable), Flash Support (again, whereever applicable), new sharing options, better scrolling and optimizations for tablet viewing. The update (for Opera Mobile 11) also covers pretty much EVERY smartphone OS out there, such as Maemo, Meego, Android, Symbian and even Windows Phone 7 (sorry, no iOS as of now). The Opera Mini 6 meanwhile, is a J2ME browser, and is compatible with most phones that support Java, including Blackberry devices.

Head over to m.opera.com from your device and download right away. Or head over to your respective applications stores/markets/app worlds and download away. It’d definitely worth it!

Here’s a video of the new Opera Mobile set in action:

Next up, is the sneak peak into their Solution for Hbbtv (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV), which is basically an industry standard and promotional initiative for “harmonising the broadcast and broadband delivery of entertainment to the end consumer through connected TVs and set-top boxes“.

Here’s the full Press Release:
Debuting all new Opera Mini 6 and Opera Mobile 11
Oslo, Norway – March 22, 2011

Can’t get no satisfaction from the mobile Web? Then you will fall head over heels for the new Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers launched today, now also available to cherish on tablets. Opera’s mobile browsers are the world’s most popular, the weapon of choice for 100 million people worldwide, used on more than 3000 devices. If you still haven’t found what you are looking for, there is an Opera out there available for you. Download to your phone from: m.opera.com and don’t stop til you get enough.
What’s new, pussycat?
Smooth operator

Improved scrolling, panning and zooming make the Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers the sweetest thing to hit mobile devices since the Opera Mini 5 browser.
Pinch-to-zoom

Feel free to twist and shout now that Opera’s features include true pinch-to-zoom on devices that support pinch.
Sharing

When you find something, let it be … shared. The new versions feature a share button, so you can easily post, Tweet (twiddly-diddly-deet), or just shout it out loud on Facebook, vKontakte or My Opera.
Now also optimized for tablets

Is it any wonder? Opera for tablets brings smooth browsing to your tablet PC with a brand new interface that is sure to rock you like a hurricane.
What we say

“If you’ve lost that loving feeling for the Web on your phone or tablet, don’t let it bring you down. Just try one of our browsers,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “The sun always shines on TV, but the Opera browser shines on more than 3000 devices.”
Who are you? The difference between the Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers

* The Opera Mini browser uses Opera’s servers to shake, rattle and roll webpages down to a tenth of their original size before sending them to your phone. Because the data transferred is smaller, pages arrive faster than the speed of sound. On a pay-as-you-go plan, the Opera Mini browser dramatically cuts the price you pay, because the data you use is greatly reduced. The Opera Mini browser makes any device Internet savvy.
* The Opera Mobile browser gives you the whole of the moon on smartphones and tablets. The strange magic of HTML5? Check. Full, high fidelity web browsing? Check. Sharing the same Opera Presto browser engine found in Opera’s desktop browser, the Opera Mobile browser is the premier option for fast, powerful browsing when on unlimited Internet data plans or Wi-Fi.

Availability

* The Opera Mini 6 browser brings the fireworks to J2ME, Android, BlackBerry and Symbian/S60 phones.
* The Opera Mobile 11 browser sings hallelujah on the Android, Symbian, Windows 7 desktop (labs release), MeeGo (labs release) and Maemo (labs release) platforms.

What you waiting for? Walk this way with your mobile device: m.opera.com.
Press kit

You can download a press kit by following this link.
About Opera Software ASA

Opera Software ASA has redefined web browsing for PCs, mobile phones and other networked devices. Opera’s cross-platform web-browser technology is renowned for its performance, standards compliance and small size, while giving users a faster, safer and more dynamic online experience. Opera Software is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with offices around the world. The company is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol OPERA. Learn more about Opera at http://www.opera.com/.

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HbbTV solution ready to electrify market
Opera Software and TARA Systems technology bring manufacturers more flexibility and cost savings
London, UK – March 22, 2011

Today at the IP&TV World Forum, Opera Software and TARA Systems, the independent provider of flexible software solutions for TVs and other devices, announced the availability of a fully-integrated HbbTV solution for connected TVs and set-top boxes (STBs). The released solution gives manufacturers improved flexibility and planning reliability.

Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) brings viewers the richness of broadcast interactive services combined with broadband content, available for connected TVs and STBs. HbbTV opens the door for a new interactive TV experience, including video-on-demand, catch-up TV, interactive advertising, personalization, digital text, games and social networking. The HbbTV technology is already implemented by major players in the European TV market, such as RTL, ARD, ZDF and ARTE.

The newly available combined product will integrate the latest Opera browser rendering engine with TARA’s HbbTV framework and advanced Digital Video Broadcasting middleware. The result is a ready-to-market HbbTV solution that gives OEMs maximum flexibility and brings to users a feature-rich experience with full support for next-generation broadcast portals and services. The highly modular approach enables device manufacturers to deploy the HbbTV software in almost any possible scenario, independent of DVB stack and chipset.

“Opera is the leader in innovative web-technology based solutions for TVs and set-top boxes,” said Frode Hernes, VP of Products, TV and Connected Devices, Opera Software. “Our partnership with TARA Systems broadens our customers’ choices for fully integrated HbbTV solutions, making it possible for TV and STB manufacturers to rapidly implement HbbTV functionality on their devices. This can help manufacturers to get products to market faster while saving money on development costs.”

“For TARA Systems, HbbTV is of strategic importance,” said Managing Director Alexander Wass. “Currently, we see more and more manufacturers which want to add the HbbTV feature to their existing software. For these customers, we offer together with Opera an independent and reliable solution with well designed interfaces, which has been implemented exactly along the specifications.”

The public demonstration of the Opera and Tara Systems HbbTV solution will be at the IP&TV World Forum 2011, March 22 – 24 2011. The demo will be hosted at Opera Software’s booth at position 47.
About TARA Systems<

Firefox 4 beta for N900 released

Mozilla has released an update of sorts for their Firefox browser for the N900. The current version (1.1) is stable, but the new beta, which basically has all the features of Firefox 4, so you get a whole bunch of new awesome features!

Here’s what Mozilla has to say:

Fennec is the codename of Mozilla’s mobile project, however, the official product name is Firefox.

The foundation of this release is based on enhanced performance and responsiveness, specifically around a technology called “Layers” that greatly improves performance in graphic intensive actions like scrolling, zooming and animations. Enhanced responsiveness, in conjunction with new and improved features that help customize your Firefox, make this release a user friendly and personalized experience.

Get Up and Go

Shipping with the Firefox Sync feature built-in, Firefox 4 beta 1 synchronizes your Firefox history, bookmarks, open tabs, passwords and form data between your desktop and mobile. Just login with your Firefox Sync account info and Firefox gets to know you right away, taking you to your favorite parts of the Web with barely any typing. Don’t worry about switching to a new phone, or having to type long URLs or passwords again. You can even leave your desktop in a moment’s notice and pick up right where you left off on your mobile phone.

Add-ons

Firefox 4 Beta 1 offers add-ons; pieces of software that let you change or add features, functionality and the look of your Firefox to fit your browsing lifestyle. You can search for and install add-ons directly to your Android phone or Nokia N900 from the Add-ons Manager located in your browser tools. We look forward to offering more add-ons in future releases.

Personalized Start Page

Pick up where you left off with your new personalized Start page. Get instant access to your Firefox desktop tabs, the tabs you had open last time you were browsing on your phone, the Awesome Bar, and get suggestions for useful add-ons.

Awesome Screen

The Awesome Screen pops up just by tapping on the Awesome Bar (location bar). It gets to know you and instantly brings up a smart list of your favourite history items and bookmarks and lets you easily select a search engine for your desired search. You can also customize your search engine list for maximum efficiency.

Touch Friendly UI

Swipe to the left or right of your screen to access your tabs, browser controls and tools, which are stowed out of the way while you browse the Web. Typing on a phone is hard, that’s why you can bookmark a site with one tap, view tabs as thumbnails to easily see and open the page you want, and use the Awesome Screen to get to where you want to go in just a few a keystrokes.

Responsiveness

Speed and responsiveness is one of the major focuses of this release. This has been implemented using two major technologies, “Electrolysis” and “Layers.” Electrolysis allows the browser interface to run in a separate process from the one rendering Web content, reacting much faster to user input while pages are loading or CPU intensive JavaScript is running. This release has taken advantage of Layers to improve performance in graphic intensive actions like scrolling, zooming and animations.

More personalized than ever before, Firefox 4 beta 1 is packed with your favorite features and great improvements. Other highlights include:

  • Pinch-to-zoom (Android), double-tap, or use the volume rocker (Nokia N900) to zoom in and out
  • Tabbed browsing in thumbnail view lets you easily see and open the site you want
  • Location-Aware Browsing gives you content and info relevant to your location
  • Find in Page in the Site Menu lets you quickly find text on the webpage
  • Share Page in the Site Menu lets you send content to email, Facebook, Twitter and Google Reader
  • Forget Password in the Site Menu tells a website you no longer trust to forget your private data
  • Add Search Engine in the Site Menu lets you quickly add a new search engine to your Awesome Screen
  • Context Menu lets you Open in New Tab and Share by long tapping and holding a link
  • Smart Tapping lets you tap on links, widgets and other Web content with accuracy
  • Password Manager lets you choose to remember site password to avoid typing”

Read more about it on the Mozilla Blog, where they have a video of the new release.

Head over to this link to download the new version.

If you do get the update, do let us know what you think of it by commenting below. Or catch us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld! You can check out our Facebook Page too!

Nokia N900:Face Tracking

Here’s another thing that makes the Nokia N900 awesome: MoBio. It stands for Mobile Biometrics!

Developed by the University of Manchester, the app tracks and locks down 22 facial features, in real time, using the front facing camera on the N900.

From the Video Description:

“This prototype from the University of Manchester (UK) shows an Active Appearance Model tracking 22 facial features (superimposed in yellow and red) in real-time on a Nokia N900 mobile phone. This demo was developed for the EU-funded ‘Mobile Biometrics’ (MoBio) project as part of a face verification system for access control (e.g. instead of a password to access your social networking profile) on mobile devices such as smartphones.”

Here’s the video:

For more info on the video, visit this page. And for more info on MoBio head over here.

What’s next for the N900? Anybody got something we haven’t seen yet? Let us know by commenting below. Or catch us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld.

Source: Engadget

DropN900: Dropbox on your N900

Sure, the N900 is billed as a Mobile Computing device rather than a Mobile Phone.   But it lacks a lot of functionalities present in a normal computer. One of them was a proper Dropbox client.

In case you didn’t already know, Dropbox is a service that lets you store, access and share files across multiple computers and mobile devices. It’s a very useful service, especially since you get 2GB free!!

Well, thanks to the awesome, active maemo developer community, that’s one more thing you cross off your list!! DropN900 is just that, a basic (for now) dropbox client for the N900. It’s in the early development stage, despite which it is very stable and user-friendly. The UI is a little plain, but that’s ok, because it’s so very easy to use!! Check out the gallery at the end of this post for more shots of the application.

Read more about the application over at the Talk Maemo thread.

Installation

You can download it from the extra-devel repositories. In the App Manager,  just search for DropN900 under the Network category. All the usual warnings apply for extra-devel applications. There are a few dependencies for this app and they should be installed automatically, if not here’s what it depends on: python2.5, python-simplejson, PyQt4.QtCore, PyQt4.QtGui, PyQt4.QtNetwork and PyQt4.QtWebkit.

If you want to install this from your terminal without browsing around in , just type in the following :

sudo gainroot; apt-get update; apt-get install dropn900;

Setting up extra-devel repository

If you don’t have the extra-devel repositories setup on your phone, here’s how to do it:

Application manager –> Application catalogs –> New
Catalog name: Maemo Extras-devel
Web address: http://repository.maemo.org/extras-devel/
Distribution: fremantle
Components: free non-free

Usage Tips for DropN900:

  • There are not sufficient network connection checks in place yet. Be sure to have a ready internet connection when you start the app to make things easier before I can fix this.
  • When you auth the first time, give it some time after you have clicked the authenticate button. With 3G getting the initial folder listing from root takes ~10 secs, be patient. Same applies when you start the app on next sessions.
  • App main menu also has reset auth button that will remove the current auth and logout. You can then re-login with same or another DropBox account.
  • When downloading items the app will default to /home/user/DropN900 to store files. You can always change this on the upcoming file dialog. Uploading files takes you by default to /home/user.

What else is missing from your N900? Let us know, comment below, or catch us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld. You can also visit our Facebook Page.

FCam for the N900

Nokia just announced over at Nokia Conversations, the release of a new open-source digital photography platform called FCam, for the N900.

From the post:

“FCam allows the creation of new digital camera applications that help users overcome some of the shortcomings of their devices or create interesting new types of imagery. It is part of the Camera 2.0 project, created in collaboration between Nokia, Stanford, and other partners.

Nokia Fellow Kari Pulli said: “The N900 is a camera phone, but it runs a version of Linux almost as complete as that installed on personal computers”. For this reason, it was chosen as the host device for the FCam platform.

The researchers have already created a series of new photography apps for the platform, some of which will also be free to download. These three will be available from the FCam project pages .”

The platform is available as a free download for the Nokia N900, starting today, at http://fcam.garage.maemo.org/.

They seem to be working towards developing a whole lot of applications that would help you do more with your phone camera (well, N900 camera for now).

“Photo-trickery is also on the cards. One of the applications described in a research paper captured the position and trajectory of playing cards thrown into the air with complete clarity through the use of two flash units, each behaving independently. The paper will be presented next week at the SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles.”


Read the whole post over at Nokia Conversations.

On a side note, I sincerely hope this is not the major announcement that they had mentioned earlier. Because if it is, then I’m very, very, very, very, very disappointed!!

Firefox for N900 gets updated to v1.1

Mozilla updated the Firefox browser on the N900 yesterday to v1.1.         

I just downloaded the update ,and I haven’t had much time to try it out. What I can say is it finally supports portrait mode, loads up much faster than it did before. It still doesn’t have portrait keyboard support like opera mobile does, but this version is definitely better than the previous one. All said and done, MicroB will remain my default browser until something much better comes up, but if you want to try Firefox out, you can head to Firefox.com/m or Firefox.com/m/beta on your N900. There are a couple of screen shots attached. Check em out..

Nokia N900 Pr 1.2 renders WebGL 3D content

Wow – this is something the new PR1.2 firmware update brought to the Nokia N900. With the new firmware, the N900’s browser is capable of displaying WebGL content. You may be wonder what WebGL is. It’s an api which is implemented on a web-browser so it can show 3D content without any plugins. More on WebGL on Wikipedia.

If you want to run out and try out WebGL content on your N900, Giles Thomas from learningwebgl.com has some links which have content which works on the N900. You can access his blog post regarding by clicking here.

If you don’t have a N900 to check this out, Giles has also created a video which shows off the N900 rendering WebGL content:

You can read more about WebGL and its likes on Giles’ blog.

Paid apps for the N900 appear on Ovi Store


Yup! Ovi Store now has paid applications for the N900!! It’s not the first application you had to pay for – Documents To Go was there first. Hopefully this is just the beginning. As of now there are two paid applications and one paid game.

Morpho Quick PanoramaPro

The Morpho Quick PanoramaPro app is now available for € 3.00. Here’s what it lets you do:

“Morpho QuickPanorama Pro lets you take panorama photos easily with one-button capture, and now supports VGA, SVGA, and SXGA resolutions for larger panorama capture than the free trial version. You can also save directly to the N900 panoramic desktop. Also includes a special auto-exposure lighting control feature for the best quality results. For a limited time at this special introduction price, enjoy the new QuickPanorama Pro for easy-to-use high quality panorama photography on N900.”

You can get it here.

Diabetes Meal Planner App

The other application is the Diabetes Meal Planner App, which costs € 10.00:

“This software calculates the overall Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL) for individual meals and for the entire day to help build a healthy diet for:
• diabetes
• weight loss
• sports performance

It also provides:
• carbohydrate
• calorie
• protein
• fat analysis
• future meal planning for food items by meal and day.
See www.glycemicdietsw.com for more info.”

You can download the application here.

Angry Birds Game – Level Pack 1

The Angry Birds Game now has a level one pack, which is available for € 2.00:

“Angry Birds – Level Pack 1 The survival of the Angry Birds is at stake. Dish out revenge on the green pigs who stole the Birds ’ eggs. Use the unique destructive powers of the Angry Birds to lay waste to the pigs’ fortified castles. Angry Birds features hours of gameplay, challenging physics-based castle demolition, and lots of replay value. Each of the 42 levels requires logic, skill, and brute force to crush the enemy. Protect wildlife, or play Angry Birds!”

You can download the game here.

We’re looking forward to more applications and games coming to the Ovi Store, and to the N900! Keep coming back for more news, reviews and updates. We’re on twitter – @myportableworld. Also visit our facebook page!

N900 PR1.2 Update

The much awaited PR1.2 update is out! We tried it out, albeit for a very short while, and below, I’ll let you know how you can do the update and what the updated firmware brings.

There are 3 ways by which you can update your N900:

  1. OTA (the simplest way) – Just go to the app manager, hit refresh and see if it is available. If so, go right ahead. If that doesn’t work, try the other two. Don’t worry, they’re all safe!
  2. Nokia Software Updater – If you can’t find the OTA, the next best thing is to update your phone using the NSU. You’ll have to install NSU obviously, and if you already have it, you’ll have to update it to the latest version. After that, follow instructions. Simple. Do note that it’ s a 188MB update.
  3. Using Maemo Flasher – Follow the instructions here, and visit this link to download and install the latest firmware.

Do make sure to back up all your contents on your phone. If you follow the Maemo Flasher link to update your phone, you’ll have to restore everything, including all your contacts, etc. For the other updates, your applications will have to be reinstalled. It’s a simple, painless process, and is definitely worth it!

The update brings along a whole lotta bug fixes, and quite a few new features. You’ll get a new on-screen keyboard, the Ovi Maps gets some UI enhancements and is much faster (still no voice guided navigation, sadly), the menu structure itself has changed. You won’t find the “more” button, instead you can just scroll down. You can rearrange the first level of icons in the menu system, all you need to do is hold one icon and wait for the screen to change to allow you to move around icons.

Facebook chat has been integrated, and both skype and gtalk now have video calling enabled!!

Most importantly, I found the phone to be much zippier than before!

Here’s a list that I found on the Maemo Talk forum:

1. Video calling
Not direct. Cannot call phone to phone. Only use through skype and Gtalk. I never use phone video calling (too expensive) so I at least welcome this.

2. Native web browsing in Portrait (with access to bookmarks and “back” button).
To activate go to “Options/Settings” to enable rotation.

3. Integrated FB chat.
Good to have official support. You need your facebook user name to log in.

4. New Share option via File Manager (no need for petrovich)
Surely we can agree this is good?

5. Better interface for Ovi maps (and now open maps by clicking on a contacts address)
I know. I know. Still lacking voice navigation and other fantastic features our symbian bredrens are enjoying.

6. Keyboard mapping changed. Pressing and holding a key allows the “blue” symbols to be used (no more holding the blue arrow key).

7. Calendar no longer opens up at 4am every morning. Bug fixed.

8. USSD codes now work. (try any USSD provided by your operator)
Very handy.

9. Email. Move Messages from folder to folder or to your N900’s local storage.(pretty sure this is a new feature).
Hit “Inbox” at the top bar and “Move messages”

Search Email – Type anywhere in the email window and watch results show up.

10. Search apps catalogue dynamically (results show as you type a letter).

11. Mark and Delete/Share Multiple Conversations/Emails/Images.
This was a big problems for me. Now you can attach multiple images to emails or send them via bluetooth without doing one at a time. Hit the top bar and select “Share” or “Delete”. Now you can click and higlight multiple items. Great no?

12. Re-arrange the menu as you like.
Press and hold any icon in the Menu to initiate this.

13. Get rid of “SMS” option to landline numbers.
Go to Contacts, and hit the top bar and settings.

13. Join Chat room? (new?)
If you go to Conversations there an option via the top bar to join chat room. It only accepts “addresses”. Yet to test/play with this.

[Updated with users suggestions]
14. Data Counter
Settings/Phone now allows you to view home network data counter as well as roaming data counter.

15. Video night mode introduced

16. Improved Battery Life
Some users are reporting a drastic performance increase. I personally havent felt the difference.

17. Browser
Shift + up key (takes u to top of the page)
Shift + down key (takes u to the far bottom of page).
Rearrangement of controls
Back button now instantly takes you back without showing a “desktop” view of previously visited pages. I know people complained of having to take the keyboard out to hit “back” before.

18. Volume. You can finally adjust the volume when the phone is locked. Great for listening to music.

19. Red Eye Removal added to “edit image” in the gallery.

20. Main camera now has two additional resolutions available (1.5MB and 3MB medium). Allowing for small images to be take for email etc.

21. Notifications (miss calls/text mssgs etc) show on lock screen without unlocking phone.

22. Call Type. When you open the dial pad you can enter a phone number and then select whether you want the call to be “Cellular”, Gtalk or Skype.

Follow the whole thread here, there are some bug fixes mentioned too!

Let us know in the comments if you’ve found other changes!

Follow us for more news, reviews and updates on twitter – @myportableworld, and visit our facebook page!

Turn your N900 into a WiFi Router

Travelling and need access to the internet from your laptop? Did you know that your N900 can become a WiFi router and supply internet connectivity to your laptop, and any other device which can connect on WiFi? Here’s how you can do this –

There’s a software called JoikuSpot which can turn your Nokia N900 into a WiFi router. You can get this software from the Joiku Store.

Before I went for a holiday last time, I took the plunge and bought Joikuspot from their store and installed it on my N900. A few easy settings later, I have had my laptop connected to the Internet using a 3G connection through the mobile phone, and speeds on BSNL’s 3G service seemed to be as fast as my wired broadband connection.

Connected on the Laptop through Joikuspot

This software also has a cool dashboard once you start the WiFi connection which shows you a speedometer with the current download and upload speeds.

Shows your current Speed
You can share your 3G connection with more than 1 device, so if you’re travelling, you can power even your friend’s devices. Joikuspot gives you an option to see what devices are connected at that very instance.
See how many devices are connected.

After you finish your surfing session, and you stop the WiFi service on Joikuspot, you can see a summary of the usage in that session.

Connection Stats when you finish a session

Tips and Tricks:
Here are a few words of ‘wisdom’ while using Joikuspot:

  • Before you startup, make sure you select a Security option in the WLAN settings and set password for your connection. If you dont’, anyone who sees that connection can use it, leading to large 3G bills for you.
  • When you finish with Joikuspot, make sure you stop the connection by clicking on the Red Power button on the Joikuspot dashboard. If you simply shutdown the application without powering down Joikuspot, the WiFi connection may remain open, leading to a faster battery drain for you. I’ve had that happen a few times.
  • Make sure you have a charger handy or hook up the N900 to your laptop using the USB cable, if you’re planning extended use of Joikuspot, since using this does drain the battery at a much faster rate than normal 3G usage.

More screenshots from JoikuSpot: