Friday, August 31, 2007

S60 3rd Edition and Bluetooth

Recently, Nokia has released firmware updates for N73 and N76 including support for new Bluetooth profiles, including AVRCP and A2DP. Any plans for this on all S60 3rd edition phones? (especially on N80 :-) )

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Real Sporting and Major League Soccer... and mourning for Antonio Puerta

My football team, Real Sporting de Gijón, seems to have just been selected by the Major League Soccer in the USA as one of the teams they want to study in order to improve the way in which they breed new young players. More to be read here (I just hope you can read Spanish).

By the way, Sporting is right now the leader of the BBVA League (Second Division) after a victory over Poli Ejido (4-0). OK, only one match has been played by now, but just let me enjoy the moment. I do not want to see them leaders again... until the end of the last match this season.

Taling about football nowadays in Spain, it is impossible not to express my condolences to Real Sevilla for the death of his player Antonio Puerta (22 years old) as he was playing their match against Getafe because of a heart attack.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I am crazy

I have just bought a PS3 O:-)

By now, all I made was plug it to the power plug, to my 5.1 sound system and to my TV, then update the firmware and drive a little in Motor Storm.

So expect that I shall post a lot in the near future about this wonderful machine. I am not only interested in it as a gaming platform, but as a multimedia center.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Firmware updates and software versions hell

It looks like the (more powerful) second version of the Webkit browser will be only included in new products based on S60 3rd Edition FP1. It is incredible to me that devices like N80 won't be updated to FP1 and that we shall have to miss that version of such an innovative web browser.

You can see in all the differences among both versions and you can see here how S60 developers refuse to include the new version in any S60 3rd Edition (non FP1) devices.

It is a pity how upgradable products are limited by the laziness of the companies. Nothing new under the sun, as we have been experiencing all this hell in DivX players and many other devices, with hardware powerful enough to carry on with new functionalities or improvements of existing ones, but with no new updates coming from the support team.

Updating Nokia N80 firmware and S60 3rd edition memory handling

I have just updated the firmware version of my N80 from 4.0632.0.38 to 5.0719.0.2. It is the biggest version number change I have seen since I own this gadget, and it is the one in which less changes I have experienced (by now).

The only thing I have noticed is some more free megabytes of main memory (3 additional megabytes if I am not wrong), critical for applications like the Nokia S60 Webkit browser in order to avoid its often "Memory Full" error. It is great to have versions of desktop browsers in the mobile so we can try to experience the web as much desktop as possible, but it is true that many pages rich in multimedia (rich in images is enough) cannot be experienced in mobile phones because of their limited memory. This is why I bought Opera Mobile 8.60 and why I also install Opera Mini 3 and Opera Mini 4 beta. The WebKit browser developers should learn from Opera Mobile in what regards to image handling. I am not only talking about rescaling images so they take less memory, but about loading them in memory as I scroll through a web page. Even Opera Mobile might be improved: if there is a page filled with images and I scroll trying to see them all, a mobile phone can run out of memory... why not to keep loaded in memory only images being shown totally or partially in the display? Images previously displayed but not currently being shown might be available in a cache (if the device has additional flash memory available). Different memory handling strategies should be applied to different phone models, of course.

An additional problem comes when we want to have several applications running at the same time (music player , web browser and IM software, for example). If you launch an application starving for memory not available at that very moment, S60 3rd edition will close -with no warning at all- some older apps running (if not all). It is a matter of user experience to know when you can and when you cannot launch an applications, and which combination of apps can coexist without any of them dying.

I do not like this behaviour and would love to let users have more chances to choose what they want. Maybe a default behaviour of not letting a new app to be launched if there is not enough memory available and show a warning would be better. This way it would be me who might close some running applications and then relaunch the one I wanted.

First invoice from yoigo

I received last week the first invoice from Yoigo (the Spanish mobile operator i have changed to). I have been using my phone all these vacations through as my only connection to the internet: browsing the web with Nokia WebKit browser, Opera Mobile, Opera Mini and even the old S60 WAP browser, uploading pics to flickr as I shot them in order for the family to follow our steps in Fuerteventura (and especially, my one-year-old daughter's), downloading/installing/using applications like Yahoo Go! (I really loved it, being based in widgets, ... but I felt a bit uncomfortable as I could not believe I could do it for only 1.2 euros per day.

Now I do (seeing is believing, yes) and I am even happier than before.

There are some things that I expect from them so they become the almost perfect mobile operator:

  • Video-calls (I do not like them saying there is no real demand for that service).

  • Service of SMS notification for calls missed when the phone is off or disconnected from the GSM network SEPARATED FROM the voice mailbox service (they're tied together and you can only switch both of them on and off at the same time... this sounds unbelievable to me as it sounds like no technical problem but a way to charge more money to the users )

  • My Yoigo working

  • Keep their promise of not charging more for their services (and even lowering the rates if more and more users come to them)

  • Increase the number of countries for voice and data roaming

They have recently announced their rates for roaming inside the Europen Union and they are the cheapest ones in Spain, so they seem to keep walking the good path.

One day I'll try to compare the cost of use of a mobile phone with other operators and yoigo and post the results.

Strategies like Yoigo's are the ones to impulse the use of data-based services in mobile devices.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Safari for Windows

I have been trying the latest version of Safari for Windows (3.0.3) and it looks like Apple have fixed a big amount of bugs. I hope that you can read an 'n with tilde' --HERE-->ñ<--HERE. That would mean that one of the bugs I mentioned in the past has been corrected. Although they have promised to work on localised versions of the browser, it is not serious that I cannot post using Spanish characters.

NOTE ADDED ON 2007/08/07 0:44: In the following post about my experience with Yoigo, i had to change the Euro symbol by the word euros, as it broke my post as it used to do so... I guess I have to swallow my words. Oh, and some sites like Mighty Robert's, flooded with YouTube and other video players based on Flash, make it crash or freeze. It is still MUCH better than the previous release but there's stuff to do. Localised versions NOW, please!

1st contact with web client for Trillian Astra

After a long wait, the web client for Trillian Astra is available for us Trillian Astra alpha testers. I feel a bit disappointed: although it looks great, it imported my Yahoo accounts, my ICQ and my AIM, but neither Google Talk nor MSN.

It is still an alpha and we'll have to wait. It will be great to have the same functionalities via web as in the native client, but the developers at Cerulean Studios seem to have a long road yet to walk.

Friday, August 03, 2007

How to recover your mobile phone when lost

Last Wednesday, 25th of July, I lost my mobile phone. My wife, daughter and I were on our way to the Canary Islands. The heavy luggage I was carrying from the parking to the airport terminal probably hit the phone (being -poorly- attached to my belt) and it fell on the floor. I realized about 30 minutes later from the supposed moment of the loss. I started calling my number from my wife's cellular. No one answering on the other side. I walked back the path from the car to the terminal several times. I could not hear the tune that I have assigned to incoming calls (Liam, by In Extremo). It is a powerful song, so it was clear to me that someone had found it and was not answering. I kept trying on and on. Two hours later, someone answered: the person in charge of the parrking cabin told me that someone had just sent it to him. He said that he usually does not answer calls from a lost mobile phone and sends it to the Lost&Found office, but I insisted a lot :-)

I guess that I managed to scare the guy who initially found it and bored the (kind) guy in the parking cabin.

So if you want to make sure that your chances are high to recover your mobile phone if you lose it by chance, do not forget to select a song that clearly identifies your phone. A hard rock or metal tune is welcome, so the one who finds it guesses that you are true heavy metal warrior and thinks twice before "stealing" your gadget.

Thanks, In Extremo! I owe you one.