I'm really excited to hear that the N-Gage Blog has announced Capcom is working on Resident Evil for N-Gage! In a related amazing coincidence the N-Gage Blog posted the news exactly one year after I posted here pondering if Capcom would bring Resident Evil to N-Gage.
Capcom has done some great things on mobile devices before, including Capcom Mobile bringing a Java version of Resident Evil to mobiles and there is an amazing port of Resident Evil 1 (aka Biohazard 1) for the Nintendo DS. They have a great track record of bringing Resident Evil to portables, so you can understand why I'm looking forward to seeing what Capcom does with Resident Evil on N-Gage.
Jukka of Mobile Web Server fame sent me the details on a new Mobile TV receiver accessory, the SU-33W. It's a Bluetooth accessory that allows you to receive DVB-H mobile TV broadcasting with the N73 Multimedia Computer.
What does that mean? That means with this accessory you can now take your N73 and watch you favorite TV programs on it! If you already own an N73 and you live in a region where DVB-H is available this new accessory is definitely worth checking out.
The N73 is currently the only Multimedia Computer that has support for the SU-33W, but I hope to see more devices getting support in the future. To find out if your region has DVB-H coverage check the official DVB-H services website.
I regularly watch video podcasts on my Nokia N82 while commuting to work. In order to share what video podcasts I watch on a regular basis I compiled a list of them in no particular order, including their RSS Feeds, over on the Forum Nokia Web Talks Blog.
Are there any great video podcasts that I missed from the list? If so post them in a comment here or leave a comment on the Forum Nokia Web Talks Blog. Enjoy the videos!
The N82 has recently been awarded the Best Mobile Imaging Device for 2008 by the Technical Image Press Association (the largest photo and imaging press association in Europe).
A pretty neat and impressive hat-trick by Nokia and S60. Let's look forward to bagging the next three, or perhaps a hat-trick of hat-tricks?
But more importantly than the awards is to discover and appreciate what our devices are capable of. For the past several months, I have been enjoying the spectacular winning entries from the Nokia Creative N95 Photo Awards at James Burland's Nokia Creative Blog. I'm eagerly awaiting the results from the new series of Nokia N82 Photo Awards.
Congratulations to my co-author Kevin and the N82 product team! (Now, where can I get my hands on one of these fantastic imaging devices? ;))
All about symbian has compiled a list of the Top 10 Classic Smartphones. They compiled the list by looking at what new cutting edge features were introduced in those devices at the time of their release. Of the chosen devices, half of them run various versions of S60! I am especially honored at the Number 1 choice of top most ground breaking Classic Smartphone because it was the first device that I worked on when I started working at Nokia.
Mobile devices are advancing so quickly, just look at some of the technology added in devices over the last couple of years makes me stop and think about how far these devices have come. Wifi, VGA resolution video recording and playback, GPS chips built-in, High Resolution Cameras, TV-Out display, native MP3/AAC and other audio codec playback, large internal flash storage, large memory card support, Web browsers with capability to render real webpages not just mobile ones, etc. etc. the list goes on. These things have become standard in current S60 devices but just a few short years ago we could only dream of using them in our mobile devices.
My question to you readers is: What are your Top S60 devices that you think were groundbreaking when they were released and why? Also what new features are you looking forward to trying out on future S60 devices: S60 Widgets, Flash Lite 3, Touch UI, something else?
As many of you that attended the Q&A; session during the N82 True Stories launch event probably remember, one of the questions asked was: "Is 'Geotagging' photos directly supported?" The answer by the N82 Product Manager was: "'Geotagging' for the N82 will be available in Q1 2008 through a firmware update." The promise was made and will be kept; I'm excited to share the word that this feature will be available in the next firmware release for N82. In the new firmware GPS Location Saving can be turned On or Off directly from the Camera Settings.
When will the new firmware be available?
Work on Location Tagging is progressing well, some other new features are also being added (that I can't talk about yet). What I can say is that the new firmware is on target for Q1 but I can't say when exactly it will be available. To get ready for GPS Location Tagging I compiled a couple tips below to help improve your GPS Location Tagging experience.
Tips to help improve your GPS Location Tagging experience:
Tip 1. GPS Location Tagging works best outdoors or in areas with a clear view of the sky (where the GPS satellites are). This might be self explanatory for some people, but for those of you new to Location Tagging it's an important thing to know.
Tip 2. If you use Flickr to share your photos and you want to show the Location where the photo was taken then you need to turn on the "Import EXIF location data" feature on your Flickr account. How do you do this?
Simply log into your Flickr account, then visit this page http://www.flickr.com/account/geo/exif/?from=privacy
Click Yes, then Click Save. Now when you upload a new photo that contains Location Tags, Flickr will show where the photo was taken. By default Flickr sets this feature Off on all accounts.
Tip 3. If you don't have an N82 but you have a GPS enabled S60 3rd edition device, or if you just can't wait until the new firmware is released for your N82 check out the Beta Nokia Location Tagger application available as a free download from Nokia Beta Labs. The Nokia Location Tagger is a stand alone beta application that can give you a good idea how Location Tagging works. However, the Location Tagging User Interface that will be in the next firmware release for N82, will be will be simpler and thus easier to use.
Questions? Post them in the comments.
On an unrelated topic I've joined a group blog on the Forum Nokia Blogs, called Forum Nokia Web Talks, where I post about web and internet related topics as well as occasional entries on new S60 applications. If you find my blog entries here on S60 blogs interesting also check out my posts on Forum Nokia Blogs.
One of the most common complaints about updating a devices firmware is that your settings and applications that you had installed are gone. I agree and in order to improve this situation with the Nokia N82 some changes were made as to how your data is stored so that when you update with Nokia Software Updater to the latest firmware your settings and applications will still be available! The N82 is the first Nseries device to implement User Data Preservation.
Note: Even with a device that has user data preservation, you should always back up any important data before performing a firmware update in case something goes wrong (and if something does go wrong you'll feel much better knowing you backed up your data beforehand.)
With that said, having your settings and installed applications still there after a firmware update makes for updating to the latest firmware much more convenient. This feature has not been discovered by you guys and gals because there hasn't been a firmware update available yet for N82 (don't worry the first N82 firmware update that improves the stability of key applications is in the pipeline and will be available soon). Since this is the first time user data preservation has been implemented in an Nseries, if you run into any problems with an installed application not working or missing files after a firmware update please leave a comment here and I'll pass on the problem to be looked into, or if you prefer send me an E-mail at (Removed to decrease Spam, if you're not a spambot you can still send me E-mail at my FirstName Dot LastName AtSign S60 Dot Com) with all the details (application name, version, where to download the application, etc.). Also don't be afraid to leave a comment if the user data preservation worked flawlessly for you, it's nice to hear positive comments too! =)
Update (January 23rd, 2008): I've been reading around on other blogs that have posted about the user data preservation feature and I notice there has been a little confusion about this blog post. When I wrote that the N82 is the first Nseries device to have User Data Preservation I meant just that, other Nokia mobile phones have had user data preservation also but this is the first time that the feature has been implemented on the Nseries. I'm sorry I wasn't more clear earlier and I hope this clears up some of the confusion.
As many of you noticed the updated Music Player in S60 Feature Pack 1 lists Music and Podcasts separately. Some of the S60 devices with the new Music Player include N82, N95, N95 8GB, and N81. Now you may be wondering what's the difference between Music and Podcasts, and how does the Music Player know what is a Song and what is a Podcast episode?
The main difference between Music and Podcasts is that audio in the Podcasts section will automatically save the place of where you last listened. It works like this, let's say you have a 30 minute train commute to work and you have an hour long episode of TWiT that you want to listen to. You start listening to TWiT when you leave your home and head for work, when you reach your work after listening for 30 minutes you Stop playing the Podcast episode. When the playback is Stopped the position where it was playing is saved. Then when you start playing the same episode of TWiT again on your commute back home it will start playing from where you left off. The position will also be saved if you are playing a Podcast and then skip forward to another episode. The benefit of this feature of course is that when you continue listening to a Podcast you already partially listened to, there is no need to fast forward through the stuff you already heard. If you want to start from the beginning of the episode again simply start playing it then press Left on the keypad, this will start playing the episode from the beginning and remove the previously Saved position. Music Tracks listed in the Music category will not save the last played position when music playback is stopped.
So now that you know the difference between the Music and Podcasts section how does the Music Player know what's a Podcast episode and what's a Music Track?
There are 2 ways that audio is categorized automatically as being a Podcast:
1. The audio file has Podcast as the Genre in it's meta data.
2. The audio file is saved in the Podcasts directory on the Phone Memory or Memory Card.
If you use the S60 Podcasting application to download an audio episode, most audio files will be saved in the Podcast/Sounds/ directory and thus will automatically be categorized as a Podcast.
Tip: If you find a Podcast has been listed in the Music category you can move it under the Podcast category in order to use the Last Played Position feature. Highlight the Title of the track and press Options -> Song details. Scroll down to the bottom where the last detail says Library: Music. Change that from Music to Podcast and then confirm the move. The audio file will then be moved into the Podcast section. To move a Music track from Podcasts to Music view the Episode details then select Music as the Library instead of Podcasts.
Not to be confused with the open source S60 Internet Radio which we have blogged about here in the past, the Nokia Internet Radio is a recently released application and service to round up the new Nokia Music offerings that include the Nokia Music Store and Nokia Podcasting.
First, the application can be downloaded here. While the current list of compatible devices is rather limited (only N82, N91, N95, N95 8GB), the application should work with most S60 3rd edition and Feature Pack 1 smartphones. I guess it just hasn't been thoroughly tested with the rest of the devices so no guarantees!
Which one should you download? If your device is S60 3rd edition (E65, N93, N73 etc.), choose the installation file for N91; if you have a FP1 device (N76, E90, N81 etc.) than any of the rest will do. I installed the sis file for N95 on my E90 and it worked, albeit only on the external display.
Before I go on about the application, I have to mention that the "service" part of the Nokia Internet Radio is what, in my opinion, makes this internet radio experience awesome. The Internet Station Directory makes it a breeze for users to search and discover radio stations. The directory is monitored and constantly updated, so no more need for hunting down streaming links for new stations or removing dead links. You can also add your own station to the directory.
The Nokia Internet Radio supports MP3, AAC and AAC+ codecs broadcast over the internet using the Shoutcast streaming protocol. It can make use of your packet data (use Internet instead of WAP access point) or WLAN connections. I would recommend an unlimited 3G data plan because this can get quite addictive!
Since the application is still in beta (although quite mature for a beta release), there are still some quirks, which I believe (hope) will be changed in future releases. There seems to be no way to adjust the volume unless you have a device with dedicated (hardware) volume keys, and supported screen resolutions are only QVGA and 208x176. This means that on my E90, to adjust volume, I have to open up the app on the external screen first, then switch to the internal display, and use the volume function keys...
But let's get on with the good stuff, accompanied by some screen shots:
As many of you have heard the Nokia N82 has Automatic Screen Rotation using the accelerometer. Here is a video that I recorded to show how the Automatic Screen Rotation works with different applications. Sorry the camera isn't focussed very well on the N82's screen but you can still see the applications fairly well.
The Automatic Screen Rotation works with most applications, including 3rd party applications, on the N82. However some applications were designed to work in a certain screen orientation, such as Camera related applications designed to work in Landscape, Automatic Screen Rotation will not work with these applications. For those of you that are wondering what features and applications don't support Automatic Screen Rotation, I've compiled a list.
Below is the list of applications that do not support Automatic Screen Rotation:
- Idle Screen
- Main Camera (5 Megapixel camera) and Front Camera
- Video Call
- N-gage Games
- Barcode Reader
- Snake game
- Phone calls
- Video Center
If I missed any please let me know in the comments.
Also if you decide you want to turn off the Automatic Screen Rotation you can do so in General Settings. The setting is available in Settings -> General -> Personalisation -> Display -> Rotate screen, change it from Automatic to Off and the screen will no longer rotate.
The S60 Podcasting application is one of my favorite apps for downloading great audio and video. I listen to and watch Podcasts on my commute from work and home almost every day. I was happy when I heard that new Nseries devices, such as N95 8GB and N81, have the Podcasting application pre-installed! =)
Wouldn't you like an easy way to share the Podcasts that you subscribed to with friends or send them all to your new S60 device from your previous S60 device?
Below I'll describe in a few steps how you can do it.
- Step 1. install the Podcasting application on your new S60 device, if you have not done so already you can download it from the S60 Podcasting page. (Note: N95 8GB, N81, and other future Nseries devices have the Podcasting application pre-installed.)
- Step 2. open the Podcasting application on the S60 device that you have subscribed to Podcasts on and select the Podcasts folder. This is where all of the Podcasts you have subscribed to are listed.
- Step 3. In this step you will select the Podcast Feeds that you want to share. To select all of the subscribed Podcasts press Options -> Mark -> Mark All. This will place a check next to each of your Subscribed Podcasts. Alternatively you can just place a check next to only the Podcasts you want to send using the Options -> Mark menu selection or by pressing the Edit (Pencil Key or # Key for newer devices that don't have the Pencil Key available such as N81) to place a check next to the Podcasts.
- Step 4. The next step is to send these selected Podcast Feeds to the other device. To do this simply press Options -> Send -> Via Bluetooth (or Via MMS). Then press Yes when asked if you want to Send the selected podcasts. Use Bluetooth in the case where the new S60 device is physically nearby, or use MMS when sending to an S60 device that is not nearby (for example, use MMS to send your Podcast Subscriptions to a friend that lives a few houses or blocks away.) With the case of Bluetooth make sure that both the sending and receiving devices have their Bluetooth set to On and Visible in order to make the process smoother.
- Step 5. When the sending is done, the next step is to import the Podcast feeds. On the device you sent the Podcasts to, an OPML file will be in the Inbox of the Messaging application. Open the OPML file and you will be asked, "Import OPML file to Podcasting directories?" Say yes to the question and a preview of the Directories listing in the Podcasting application will be shown. (Note: if the S60 Podcasting application is not yet installed this step won't be possible.)
- Step 6. Back out from the Directories preview and then open the Podcasting application. Open the Directories folder and you'll notice a new folder called Received. In this folder are all of the Podcast Subscriptions that were sent to you.
- Step 7. Now just open the Received folder and Subscribe to what Podcasts interest you. To Subscribe to all of them at once press Options -> Mark -> Mark All then press Options -> Subscribe.
Now that you know how to share your Podcast Subscriptions, go out and send some to your friends!
Supporting OPML in the S60 Podcasting application has some great benefits including interoperability and openness with other systems. The reason it has good interoperability is because the OPML format is a standard file format that other Podcasting applications use. For example, I also sometimes use another program to download Podcasts on my work desktop, it's called Juice (formerly iPodder) and is available for Windows or Mac. Juice has the option to Export or Import OPML files. Using OPML I can subscribe to my favorite Podcasts easily on S60 and PC.
I have exported my Podcast Subscriptions from Juice and uploaded the OPML file to OPMLManager, a site that allows you to share and host OPML files.
I've been silent lately and now I can share why: I changed jobs at Nokia and joined the Mobile Web Server team. This means I won't be blogging here but instead I created (well, Phil helped a LOT) a new blog and it's called - (drums) - Mobile Web Server Blog.
I want to thank you all of my readers, fellow bloggers, mom and John Cleese in particular for the fun times so far. I hope you check out my new blog as well and stick around if you find it's worthy.
I read over on N-Gage Future Watch that the Nintendo Wiimote controller could be used to control N95 (N95 runs on S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1). Since I have a Wii at home I was pretty excited about the possibility of using my Wiimote with my S60 3rd edition FP1 devices. A group of university students created a Wiimote driver for S60 called WiiConnect, that allows a Wiimote and an S60 3rd edition FP1 device to connect and communicate with the Wiimote via Bluetooth. The students also made a motorcycle racing Java game called WiiRider that communicates with the Wiimote and lets you control the racer using the Wiimote as a steering wheel. The accelerometer in the Wiimote is used to measure the movements and if you hit any cows or logs in the game the Wiimote vibrates. For those of you that are curious how this was done the sourcecode is available for both the S60 Wiimote driver and the Java game. The download and further description of the game are available from Symbian Resources.
I brought my Wiimote into work and tried it out with the N95. It worked really well! In the WiiConnect driver there is even a test mode to activate the vibrate and LEDs on the Wiimote or view X, Y, Z coordinates of the Wiimote. The only part of the Wiimote that I did not see utilized was the speaker. Audio from the game could have been played from the Wiimotes speaker making the game even more interactive. I showed several of my coworkers and most said that it was cool. A couple of guys on the software integration team were especially interested, they said maybe the Java game could be modified to take input from the accelerometer in the actual S60 device instead of the Wiimote. Accelerometers are in many S60 devices (N95, N93i, N93, etc.), mostly used for detecting if a landscape or portrait photo is being taken with the camera. This would mean that you could control the game by rotating the S60 device. I think that using an accelerometer in more games would be a great option, especially in racing or 2D shooting games to control the car or ship. I hope that more game developers look at this project and see what is possible. Maybe we'll see more S60 games in the future using the Wiimote as a controller.
On Friday, September 21st at Tokyo Game Show 2007, Nokia gave two presentations for businesses, developers, and game publications. Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend the presentations but I can pass on what information I know.
The first presentation, entitled "The Next Generation of Mobile Gaming", was about the Nokia N-Gage platform. N-Gage games were demonstrated and the platform's features were described: such as multiplayer gaming, easy network connectivity, and downloadable trial games before purchasing. The presentation also discussed making a better gaming experience for tomorrow's mobile gamer.
The second presentation was titled, "The Global Business of Mobile Casual Games; Case Studies of Successful Japanese Publishers in Connected Mobile Games". The fairly long title is pretty self explanatory. The presentation discussed successful Japanese publishers, such as G-mode and D3Publisher, that have released many connected mobile games. These publishers discussed their experiences in expanding globally with Nokia's SNAP mobile. SNAP Mobile is a set of tools and services that help producers and developers to create networked Java games and host network services.
I hope that the presentations will bring some new Japanese developers, publishers, and gamers to the N-Gage platform and SNAP Mobile. I guess we'll have to wait and see when there are more mobile gaming announcements.
Hello everyone! Sorry for my disappearing act and thanks to Kevin for holding up the fort :) I should be back in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime I just want to pop in and share the big news that has been keeping me busy and stressed-out recently.
I am moving to Tampere, Finland (from Dallas, Texas).
Along with the move is my new job. As I've mentioned previously, I'm doing video development in S60 Multimedia. In my new role (which starts next Monday, eek!), I'll be involved with multimedia integration work, specifically in the areas of graphics and communications (multimedia sharing, visual radio, video telephony etc.)
I've read somewhere that job change and moving are two of the most stressful events in life, right up there with getting married, getting divorced, and death in the family. But while I'm pulling my already thinning hair out, I'm also truly excited about my new life and opportunities ahead.
With this chance to be immersed in the culture and people that are the foundation of what Nokia is about, I hope for a renewed passion and refreshed perspective, both in my work and in my blogging.
So thanks for reading, and stay tuned for my inaugural post from Finland!
I was excited to read on N-Gage Future Watch that Capcom has been added to the list of Publishers bringing games to the N-Gage platform. Capcom has developed and published some of my favorite games including: Resident Evil (aka Biohazard in Japan), Street Fighter II, Super Puzzle Fighter II, Dino Crisis, Mega man, and Ghosts n Goblins.
I have no idea what games Capcom plans to bring to the N-Gage platform but looking over the games on Capcom Mobile, they have already brought several of these titles to mobiles in some format. I hope to see even better versions of these games for the N-Gage platform that take advantage of the hardware; screen resolution, audio quality, and utilize the 3D graphics processor available in most of the N-Gage compatible devices. I look at the great job that Capcom did in porting the original Resident Evil 1 (aka Biohazard 1) to the Nintendo DS. It would be great to see a similar port brought to the N-Gage platform. It would also be awesome if I could play a loyal conversion of Street Fighter II on S60. I'm looking forward to hearing about what games Capcom decides to bring to N-Gage.
What games would you like to see from Capcom or other game developers for the new N-Gage platform?