Nokia’s New Meego Device

Nokia will definitely ship out a Meego device this year.  Nokia’s CTO Rich Green announced at this year MWC that the N950 will be the successor to the N900.

The N950 seems to be targeted more at a developer base, much like the N900.  Though eventually it may turn into a mass market phone. No specs of the device have been released as yet, but i do hope Nokia pulls out all the stops on this one.

You can check out the first part of the video below to see the Keynote speech given at the MWC in Bacelona.

I can’t say i have much confidence in Nokia’s long term strategy with respect to OS selection, jumping off a burning platform into a jagged rockface never seems to be a good decision. Obviously I’m still hurting from Nokia’s announcement that WP7 will be the preferred OS for their flagship phones. personally I thought Maemo was brilliant and I hope Meego will be even better.

So here’s to keeping my fingers crossed and hope that the N950 is a great package overall.

For all the latest news and updates follow us on twitter, we’re @MyPortableWorld

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!

Voice & Data soon on Nitdroid N900

In case you haven’t been following Nitdroid, it’s a community driven quest to port Android (FroYo) onto the Nokia N900. And they’ve been doing some brilliant stuff.The one thing missing so far has been Voice & Data use on the phone (well, not one thing, check here for list of things that are still WIP).

Anyways, here’s a video going round of something coming soon to Nitdroid – yup, voice & data. Check out the video below.

You can read more about Nitdroid over at the Wiki, or at these threads on Talk Maemo. (Nitdroid Development Thread, Nitdroid Installer Thread)

Do let us know if you’ve tried it out and it works! We’re @myportableworld (and @myportableworld too btw.)

Source: Engadget

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

Game Gripper for the N900

For those of you who do have various emulators running on your N900, i’m sure you would’ve complained about sore thumbs  after playing a few games.. The N900’s key just isn’t designed for gaming and definitely isn’t comfortable enough for hours on end of gaming.

This is where Game-Gripper comes in, it basically is a  slide on keyboard for the N900. It highlights the keys that you will be using for gameplay, making it much easier to hold the N900 as well.

The Game Gripper is a simple Solution to the problem created by the N900’s non gamer friendly keypad. Unfortunately it isn’t a cheap alternative, but if you’re the hardcore gamer $14.95 could be justifiable. The link to the store can be found here.

The GameGripper works only on apps that have a customizable keyboard map.

We haven’t tried out the Game Gripper for the N900 ourselves, but do check out the video below.

Do let us know what you think of the Game Gripper.

Catch us on twitter and let us know, we’re @myportableworld. Also, visit our Facebook Page.

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!!

Another chance to win the Maemo Master edition N900

Here you go folks. This one is extremely easy. Just head over to the Maemo Master site and comment on this post and  5 Lucky winners will get the chance to buy the Maemo Master Edition N900.

You can also check out the competition we have running on our site, here.

In case you were wondering what’s so special about it, go through our post and see the video.

Note: Make sure you go through the rules and regulations.

Angry Birds for the N900

Well this is a review long overdue. But my excuse is that i got sidetracked playing the game so much that the review was delayed. Anyway Angry Birds is a game made by Rovio and is available for the N900 at the Ovi store.

Target Acquired

The aim of the game is to destroy the pigs, who have incurred the birds’ wrath by stealing their eggs! You have to launch the birds and decimate the pigs fortresses. The game is simple enough, but will keep you entertained for hours; especially if you’re trying to achieve a perfect score.

21 Different levels to choose from!
Choose different types of birds to destroy the pigs!
Scan This
Scan This

Each bird in the game has a different characteristic power, so choose wisely. Through the  first 21 levels of the game you get to use only 3 of the 5 birds, but have no fear the expansion is here! With 42 extra levels, its sure to keep you entertained for even longer! We’re yet to try that out but you can still go ahead and get it from the Ovi Store over here.

If you’re adventurous and want more from Angry Birds you could participate in the thread at maemo.org where an open source level editor is available. I suggest going through the thread before trying it out on your N900.

All in all, Angry Birds is a great game to have: good graphics, simple gameplay, smart scenarios and an entertaining soundtrack. It’ll definitely keep you busy for hours.

Be sure to try it out, until next time follow us on Twitter! We’re @myportableworld!

Maemo Master Invitational:Week 4 Winners and Week 5 Contest

We’re at the last week of the Maemo Master Invitational contest, and this is your last chance to get the opportunity to buy a Maemo Master Edition N900. In case you didn’t know what the Maemo Masters Edition was about, check out our post.

Here are the winners of the week 4 contests:

  • Suresh Peters
  • Shwetha Raju
  • Viswateja K
  • Ravi
  • Ashwin
The winners will be receiving a call from the Nokia India team on how to get the Maemo Masters goodies. In case we don’t hear from one of the winners, another winner will be randomnly chosen from the pool.
Let’s recap the what this contest is about:

Nokia’s teamed up with us to offer 25 lucky readers the chance to buy the Maemo Master Special Edition of the N900 which is available exclusively for winners from the blog. The Maemo Masters Special Edition includes

  • The N900 of course,
  • BH-214 Bluetooth Stereo Headset,
  • A specially crafted “Maemo Master” T-Shirt
For the rules and regulations on this contest, head over to this link.
Here are this week’s questions:
1) What paid apps/games can you get on the N900?
2) What can you use to checkin on Foursquare on the N900?

At the end of the contest we’ll announce the winners on our blog. Stay tuned, cos the winner’s will have to send us the following details:

1. Your name
2. Your Contact Number
3. Your City