New Ovi Maps features OTA Map downloads and Check ins

I just noticed over at the Ovi Blog that Surya has put up a new post on the new features available in the beta version of Ovi Maps. The main features which caught my eye were the OTA maps download the the ability to check in to a location using Ovi Maps itself.

In the good old days, if you were travelling to a new location, you’d have to plug your phone to a PC, use the Maps downloader and download Maps files from the internet and transfer it to your device. Why use the PC for this simple task? This is a question we used to ask the Ovi Maps folks when ever we met up with them. It looks like the Nokia folks have been listening.  With the new version of Ovi Maps (version 3.06), you can now download maps directly from your phone through a WiFi connection. Our guess is that Nokia put this restriction in place to prevent accidental download on the costly 3G data plans, as maps tend to be quite heavy downloads. If you phone doesn’t have WiFi,  you won’t be getting this feature. Don’t despair, there’s more features which you will still have to try out.

The next feature I noticed, in the long list of enhancements, is the ability to check in to locations directly from the maps application. This version adds the ability to check in to your destination and share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. You can check out the video at the end of the post to see how this feature works.

Have you ever wondered how to calibrate the compass on your phone and when to do it? When Ovi maps shows the compass in the map as red, it usually means that it requires calibration. This new version also shows you how to go about calibrating the compass on your phone. Check the image below on the right.

If you’re interested in seeing the other enhancements in this version of Ovi maps, here’s the long list:

  • Download street maps directly to your device! A new feature called “Update” on the main menu which allows you download Street Maps directly (via WiFi) to your phone without a PC!
  • My Position and Search are now integrated (now called Map). When accessed, it will show your last map view
  • Back button in Favorites
  • Long tap functionality to delete & rename collections & routes
  • Pop up for first time use – to inform user to download new map data (when upgrading 3.04 > 3.06 for the first time)
  • Improved behaviors of transit lines settings in map toolbox (no more grey out)
  • Compass calibration hint
  • Refreshed place details information view
  • Pinch to zoom interaction (Only available on Symbian^3 devices)
  • Visually refreshed main menu and icons
  • New maps with public transport lines (as a new map layer) for subways, trams and trains in 80+ cities around the world. Just click the map toolbox icon and select Transit lines
  • Improved search experience – find places and addresses around you – or anywhere in the world – fast and easily. Browse places or enter a keyword in the search box. Now with suggestions and “did you mean?” functionality
  • New place pages with description, reviews, pictures and places nearby. Interact with places in a whole new way – you can check in, contact, navigate, save, rate, share, report or see place on the map
  • Share a place – send a place to your friends via SMS or Email. The SMS contains the address and a link to the place page with description, ratings, contact, URL and a mini map. The link opens up on the mobile browser (also on non-Nokia devices)
  • Check in – keep your friends up-to-date with where you are and what you’re up to. Check in to places and share it with your friends on Facebook and many more social networks. See places you’ve been to in your check in history
  • New Drive assistance mode with live traffic flow – after clicking Drive, you’re instantly in drive assistance mode with live traffic flow and more. Once you start moving, get safety camera alerts and speed limit warnings
  • More folder with many rich content services relevant to your location. Personalize your Ovi Maps by selecting the services you’d like to keep on your main menu for instant access.
  • Traffic flow: In Drive mode, a number of improvements to the traffic flow color scheme and layout.

Here’s the link to the Ovi Map’s page on Nokia Beta Labs. You’ll have to sign in with your Nokia account before you can download this version from that site.

Here’s Jennifer and Pino showing you the new Check In feature on the Ovi Maps version 3.06.

Foursquare for Symbian available now on Ovi Store

Here’s great news for your Foursquare Symbian users out there. The official Foursquare app for Symbian v3 and v5 is out now on Ovi Store. We did mention that it would be out soon, and here it is. It’s currently a free app, so head out to Ovi Store and download it, even if you’re running Foursquare on Gravity, just to check it out.

Using this app, you have access to all of Foursquare’s functionality. You can search for  places, check in there and add tips for places you’ve been to. You can also check out where your friends are, their profiles and badges and look for friends near you. You can also check out your profile, add friends and accept friend’s invites right off this app. You’ll need a GPS compatible phone to use this app.

I feel you really need a touch-screen phone with a longer display to really feel comfortable with the interfaces, since the interfaces are built around that. The interfaces did feel a little challenged in the interface department in the S60v3 section. I tried it out on the E72, and the screens felt a little restricted by the screen size. If you’re using the official Foursquare on your Symbian^1 phone, let us know your experiences by commenting below.

To get Foursquare for your Symbian phone, head over to the Ovi Store app on your phone and search for ‘Foursquare’ or if you’re reading this on your phone, click on this link to Foursquare on Ovi Store.

Here are screens from the application. You can click on the images below to view the larger version:

As always you can follow us on twitter @myportableworld or on Facebook.

Free twitter clients on s60v3: You do have options

Let me start off by saying that while there are other options apart from these, such as snaptu, 

I chose to look at these because they are symbian applications, and are (for the most part) standalone twitter applications. Most importantly, they are free!

Few things that I would look for include doing twitter admin work (follow, unfollow, block, etc, etc), open/embed links (with url shortening if possible), the ability to view lists, upload images to twitpic or other services. So I tried out three applications, and here’s what I think of them:

Tweets60

Tweets60 is the most popular free twitter app (there is a paid version too).  The main thing going for it is the clean interface. You have 4 pages to scroll through, your timeline, replies, Direct Messages and your Fav tweets. You can add bookmarks from your phone into tweets, which is a nice feature. There is no way to upload photos through the application, and there is no inline preview. You can click on links and hastags and open them up in your browser. The app is simple, easy to use and highly recommended! You can download the application from the developers site, here, or directly from Ovi Store.

Socially Mobile

Socially is another nice application, which stands out from the others here because

it gives you access to Facebook, Foursquare and Linkedin apart from twitter. It has all the standard admin functions sorted out, such as follow,block etc. Two things make this stand out: GeoTagging of tweets, and their Social Phonebook feature, which brings your FB, Twitter and Linkedin contacts and merges them with your phonebook! So you get to see Profile Pics, Updates etc in your contact list, and when you call! Really neat! Unfortunately, the autorefresh needs to be updated, as right now the smallest interval is 30 minutes.You can download the app from the developers site, here, or from the Ovi Store.

Trill

Trill is a twitter client from SpiceLabs,  with a UI that resembles Gravity. Unfortunately, it’s not as refined as Gravity. While it does all the main stuff quite well, the UI is a little confusing: making your way back up from the tweet you were reading to the top is quite a pain. It has the ability to open links from tweets, and follow hashtags. There’s no photo upload option, or geotagging, but the option to click on a tweet to open up functions is very nicely done. You can download trill from the  Ovi Store.

Again, there are a lot of options out there, (you can try Snaptu or Twim). None of these clients support multiple accounts or photo uploads, but they’re more than sufficient for the average twitter user!

Check out the whole gallery below. If you think we’ve missed out anything, let us know by commenting below, or catch us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld!

Do note that these apps are for S60V3, but they also have Symbian^1 versions too!

Theme: Earth by Pizero

This is a free theme from Pizero, which is compatible with S60 v3 and Symbian^1 devices.  You can get this theme free from Ovi Store. If you are surfing from your phone, the Ovi Store link for this theme is store.ovi.com/content/26177, or just search for Earth by Pizero in the Ovi Store app.

This free theme is a  lite version with the default icon-set, but if you like this theme and would like to get it with a custom icon-set, you can check out the Earth Pro theme from Pizero.

DivX Player 1.0 for Symbian available now

Folks, DivX has now released an updated version of their mobile DivX player for Symbian. The main thing with this release is support for Symbian^1 (Touch devices). Do note, it’s still beta. But something’s definitely better than nothing!

You can download the s60v3 app here – Download
Download the s60v5, aka Symbian^1 version here – Download.

From DivX Labs:

We have released a new 1.0 version for Symbian S60 3rd and 5th edition phones.

Even if your phone isn’t officially DivX Certified, you may still be able to watch DivX® videos by downloading and installing the DivX Mobile Player. Find out below if your phone supports the DivX Mobile Player and follow the link to download according to your phone’s operating system.

DivX Mobile Player 1.0 is beta software available for a limited time only and will expire.

You can also check out the older versions here – DivX mobile players download page.

Let us know how it runs will ya? Comment below, or catch us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld. Also, do visit our Facebook Page.

Sports Tracker get a new Site and App

For those of you who were fans of the Nokia Sports Tracker Beta app, which was discontinued in June, here’s some good news. Sports Tracker now has it’s own site over at www.sports-tracker.com and a new app on Ovi Store. Sign up for the new service before August 30th and you get to import all your older data from your old Nokia Sports Tracker account over to this one.

If you haven’t tried out Sports Tracker earlier, here’s what the app and service is all about. The Sports Tracker app turns your phone into a GPS sports computer which keeps track of the routes, distances, speed and even calories burnt during your workouts by running, cycling or walking. You can upload all this data about your workouts online and access them at anytime using the Sports Tracker website. You can also share your workouts on Facebook as well.

That’s not all, the OVI blog’s got a contest running for users of Sports Tracker, where you get a chance to win a Ovi skateboard deck and some more goodies. All you need to do is make a funny or interesting shape with your workout, share it publicly in the service and send the Ovi folks a the link to the workout. You can read more about this contest at the Ovi blog’s post.

Nokia C5 – Camera

The Nokia  C5 comes with a 3.2 megapixel camera along with a single LED flash, unfortunately there isn’t any auto focus, so you will struggle to get ant macro shots.Even with the LED flash the camera does suffer in low light conditions, So its best to stick to daylight shots which are more than 30cm away. The secondary camera can be used for for images as well as video.

The Primary camera has no lens cover, but is recessed so you won’t have to worry about scratches. The LED flash is a decent distance from the lens so there isn’t any  fear of the flash blurring the photographs.

The lack of a dedicated camera key is rather annoying ,especially since all the main camera functions are controlled by the same key that is used to capture images. But this is more a matter of getting used to that particular function.

Image Mode: The camera on the Nokia C5 is quite basic, you can choose between 3 different resolutions for images, (3M,2M and 0.3M).  The scene modes are your standard fare, with one customizable setting in which you can preset colour tone, white balance, flash and exposure.

One of the cooler features of the C5’s camera is the sequence mode, in which you have the standard multishot ability where you can keep taking shots in a sequence until the memory runs out. The feature of sequence mode is that you can configure the camera to take a shot every 10 seconds, or 30 seconds upto time increments of half an hour, perfect for  capturing sunsets or long drives. You’d have to figure out the image compilation after you transfer the pictures onto the computer, but nevertheless this definitely is a good addition to the list of functions the C5’s camera has.

I’ve just added a few shots i took under varying light conditions.

Daylight, Automatic mode
Daylight, Bright Light, Automatic mode
Indoor, Low light ,Flash
Indoor, Low light ,Flash
Outdoor , Low Light , No Flash
Outdoor , Low Light , No Flash
Low Light, Adjusted White balance
Low Light, Adjusted White balance


Panorama Mode: The panorama mode on the C5 is quite effective, Nokia seems to have upgraded the software. The mode is quite useful you, but you’ll have to keep a steady hand. Though i have to add trying to use this feature while on the move  renders it pretty much useless.

Panorama Horizontal
Panorama Vertical

One thing missing is the inability to adjust the image size or quality. Though honestly you won’t need to figure out how to use the panorama mode, the phone handles almost everything by itself.

Panorama Horizontal
Panorama Horizontal
Video Mode: The video Function on the C5 is pretty straight forward. The scene modes are limited to just Automatic and Night. For colour tones you have options of Normal, Sepia, Black & white ,Vivid and Negative, each comes with a preview option.The LED flash can be configure to be switched on permanently while a video is being shot. The setting for white balance can also be configured. There are 3 video quality sizes so the only thing limiting you is the size of your memory card.
All in all the C5 has a sufficient camera, The flash is a welcome addition for a phone of this price. The missing auto focus turns out to be quite a pain, but once again given the price it can be justified. The panorama mode works like a charm, as does the time lapse option.
Stay tuned for the final round up of the Nokia C5. Until then , follow us on Twitter we’re @myportableworld!

Nokia C5 Unboxing

A few days ago we were finally able to get our hands on a Nokia C5. The first of the C-series devices available in India. For those still confused by the Nokia Naming conventions you could check out their Blog over at Nokia Conversations. So the C5 represents the Core Product range and is priced Bang in the middle of the C-range, if we go by the naming convention.  For the rest of us the Nokia C5 is a low-end, monoblock Symbian 60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2.

Some of the specifications of the  C5:

  • Dimensions: 112 x 46 x 12.3 mm
  • Weight (with battery): 89.3 g
  • Volume: 56 cc
  • Screen size : 2.2″
  • Resolution: 320 x 240 pixels (QVGA)
  • Up to 16.7 million colours (TFT)
  • BL-5CT 1050 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Talk time (maximum):
    • GSM 12 h
    • WCDMA 4.9 h
  • Standby time (maximum):
    • GSM 630 h
    • WCDMA 670 h
  • Quad band GSM EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • GPRS/EGPRS MSC32 class B, maximum speed up to 298/178.8 kbps (UL/DL)
  • HSDPA cat9, maximum speed up to 10.2 Mbps
  • HSUPA cat5, maximum speed up to 2 Mbps

What do we have in the box?

First off we have the  C5-00, with a  2 GB microSD Card , a BL-5CT 1050 mAh Li-Ion battery, a Connectivity Cable CA-101D. The headset for the C5 is the Nokia Stereo Headset WH-102 (3.5mm jack– very important), and the charger is the tiny pin Nokia High Efficiency Charger AC-8. The box also contains a couple of “Thank you” notes from Nokia along with the user guide.

The Nokia High Efficiency Charger AC-8 is pretty cool, but what confuses me is why they haven’t provided a micro usb charger, especially since the C5 supports usb charging.

We’ll have our First Impressions of the C-5 out soon, so stay tuned for more!

Until then follow us on Twitter, We’re @myportableworld!

Nokia C5 Available in India

The Nokia C5, a feature rich smartphone for the budget concious, is available in India now. The phone should be available from tomorrow at Nokia retail stores, with a Retail Price of Rs.8500.

The phone comes preinstalled with   Nokia Messaging, Ovi Maps 3.0 with free navigation,  and Social Networking apps like Facebook.

Here are the specifications of the phone:

Display and user interface
  • Size: 2.2″
  • Resolution: 320 x 240 pixels (QVGA)
  • Up to 16.7 million colours (TFT)
Data network
  • GPRS/EGPRS MSC32 class B, maximum speed up to 298/178.8 kbps (UL/DL)
  • HSDPA cat9, maximum speed up to 10.2 Mbps
  • HSUPA cat5, maximum speed up to 2 Mbps
  • Support for MS Outlook synchronisation of contacts, calendar and notes
  • Dual transfer mode
  • TCP/IP support
  • Capability to serve as data modem
Power Management
  • BL-5CT 1050 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Talk time (maximum):
    • GSM 12 h
    • WCDMA 4.9 h
  • Standby time (maximum):
    • GSM 630 h
    • WCDMA 670 h
  • Video playback time (3GPP, 8 fps, maximum): 11 h
  • Video recording time (QCIF, 8 fps, maximum): 5.4 h
  • Video call time (maximum): 3.5 h
  • Music playback time (offline mode, maximum): 34 h
Data network
  • GPRS/EGPRS MSC32 class B, maximum speed up to 298/178.8 kbps (UL/DL)
  • HSDPA cat9, maximum speed up to 10.2 Mbps
  • HSUPA cat5, maximum speed up to 2 Mbps
  • Support for MS Outlook synchronisation of contacts, calendar and notes
  • Dual transfer mode
  • TCP/IP support
  • Capability to serve as data modem
Memory
  • MicroSD memory card slot, hot swappable, up to 16 GB
  • Internal memory: up to 50 MB
Connectivity
  • Bluetooth version 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate
  • Support for local and remote SyncML synchronisation
  • High-Speed USB 2.0 (micro USB connector)
  • Charging via USB supported
  • 3.5 mm AV connector
Operating frequency
  • Quad band GSM EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • WCDMA 900/2100
  • Automatic switching between GSM bands
  • Flight mode
GPS and navigation
  • Integrated A-GPS receiver
  • Ovi Maps 3.0 pre-installed
  • Ovi Maps Loader application via PC
  • Free lifetime navigation included*
Camera
  • 3.2 megapixel camera (1536 x 2048 pixels)
  • Full Focus EDOF (extended depth of field) technology
  • Up to 4x digital zoom
  • LED flash
  • Still image formats: JPEG
  • Secondary camera for video calls (VGA, 640 x 480 pixels)
Video codecs & formats
  • Video capture at up to 640 x 480 pixels (VGA) and up to 15 fps (main camera) and 176 x 144 pixels (QCIF) at 15 fps (secondary camera)
  • Video recording format: 3GPP; codecs: H.263, MPEG-4
  • Audio recording codec: AMR-NB
  • Video playback formats: MP4, 3GPP, AVI; codecs: H.263, H.264 and MPEG-4
  • DRM support: OMA DRM 2, Windows DRM-10
Check out the full specs over on the Nokia Product Page.
Head over to Fonerena for more hands on pictures with the C5, over here.