The N800 is perfect for those of us who just ‘have’ to stay connected to everything going on. With wifi and the Nokia N800’s easy-to-set-up Gmail client, it chimes when I get mail which I can read on the built – in web browser. All while listening to a live shoutcast stream coming from the lounge in the front of the flat.
Over the weekend I looked for a quick solution to an internet relay chat interface using html rather than Java.
Once I got this running, I was able to use it on the N800, which was pretty cool.
Wow. I really didn’t expect this to work, but it does!!
I was able to quickly create a Flash 7 file which connects to the live video being streaming from Chris Pirillo at the Podcast Hotel in San Francisco!
OK. Here’s the first in a series of tests using my brand-spanking new Nokia N95 ‘pocket computer’ (phone)
This was sooo easy!
1. Record (up to 1 hour) using built-in Voice Recorder.
2. Upload via web browser and WiFi.
3. Enter details in form.
The built-in voice recorder records in WAV format when set to high quality. The noklog system optionally converts that to mp3 and updates the entry and the RSS feed.
Now, that’s what I call portable media. 😉
Just you wait until I get a GPS fix on this baby!
[update: Orange now DO stock the N95. And I now have one!]
While having a quick look around for more info on the Nokia N95, which I want to get my hands on, I came across a long forum thread here, which has been going since long before the recent news of the N95 came out – but it mainly focuses on when this gread handset will be available from Orange. More on that in a moment.
I am an Orange UK user and have been since they launched back in 1994 – my answerphone message is still the same one I recorded back in the day with the old ‘black brick’ – heh. I miss the old 0973 dialcode though. I also worked for an ad agency on a load of B2B multimedia presentations they did back then – touting their services and per second billing to business users.
So, I looked on the Orange UK website to see what was published there about the Nokia N95 – ‘Coming Soon’ it says.
Back to the thread of this forum, here’s a post which got an alarm bell ringing when they called Orange Upgrades:
Just phoned Orange upgrades:
Me: “Do you have any information on if you will be getting the Nokia N95?”
CSR: “We will not being doing anymore N-Series phones”
Me: “What – never again?”
CSR: “There are too many problems with them, so we won’t invest any more money into them”
Me: “What happens if they make a really good one, and you miss out”
CSR: “That won’t happen.”
And then more recently, this one:
I popped into my local orange shop yesterday to check up on this phone, and knowing that it was in their catalogue had a quick glance at it, before asking one of their employees if they had any dates yet, he seemed unsure, but his boss over heard what was said and proceeded to tell me that although it was in the catalogue she had just heard that day that orange would not be selling it despite it being in the catalogue due to nokia refusing to let orange upload their music player onto the N95. She said that it was unlikely that either side would back down and until one of them did it won’t be available on orange – it all seems rather petty tbh. Looks like I’ll be changing to O2 then…
According to another poster, the Orange Music Player is “.. Orange’s attempt at a MP3 player, costs £3 for 3 tracks. Each track has an embedded license so you can’t send them to another phone!”
It looks like Orange have had a problem with the RAM and apps on the previous Nseries phones. I certainly hope that Orange DO get the Nokia N95, or I’ll have to ‘go underground’ and ‘sim-free’ which can cost a FORTUNE!
Damn you Orange, you used to play so well. Say it ain’t so.
If the firmware looks likely to be tampered with by Orange, then I might have go for the sim-free route. Hmmmmmmm….
Another poster shares an email from Orange from last week:
Thank you for your email.
I can confirm that Orange have no current plans to
introduce the Nokia N95 to their range of phones.
All phones available on the Orange network can be
viewed on the Orange website at www.orange.co.uk
I hope this assists you.
Orange Customer Services
SO. What’s the score? The website says ‘soon’ – yet customer services are sending out mixed signals to all the people on that thread asking them.
Orange used to have possibly the best customer service EVER when they launched. It was one of their huge strengths in the early days. Now it seems like it’s a different story all together.
At last! Nokia have finally got around to releasing what I think is one of the most important devices to come on to the market for a long time. The N95. The last time I said this, it was about the N91 with its Wifi and built-in 4Gb hard disk – two years ago. A fantastic podcast listening device. (The time before that, it was salivating over the Sony Ericsson P800 four years ago)
I had the opportunity to play (for a very short time!) with a Nokia N95 while at CES and a couple of other places over the past few months. It absolutely blows my mind what is possible with this device – if it can hold power for long enough!
Words can’t describe how much I want one of these. As. Soon. As. Possible.
So what’s so good about it?
Not only is it a mobile telephone with a very nice big QVGA screen, it is also a GPS device. It has WiFi 802.11g. GPS / HSDPA / EDGE. A 5 megapixel Carl Zeiss camera lens. FM Radio. Text-to-speech. Stereo Bluetooth. It has landscape and portrait viewing. It has hard buttons for the media player and camera. It has a regular headphone jack (now becoming a wise standard on the NSeries handsets). It has USB for transfers to the microSD card. Shows up like a hard disk (when set to). It comes with some podcast software too, supporting OPML and RSS data very nicely. FlashLite 2 support. Phew! *takes a breath*
The built-in mobile browser on Symbian Series60 supports the input type-file tag! This is VERY important (take note Microsoft Windows Mobile). It means that it supports a standard file upload form which you see everywhere – with the bonus of a progress bar already there for you. I think all the latest Series60 browsers now support this money-saving feature. Ever see the difference in price to sending an an MMS over uploading/emailing with web access? A lot.
Oh, did I also mention that it has a TV-OUT! (Perfect for my Samsung SyncMaster171MP monitor/tuner with PiP)
AND to put the icing on the cake, Nokia are giving you the mapping for free! Amazing, though I think you might have to pay if you want ‘voice-over directions’ etc. And no doubt other info like where the nearest caffeine fix is.
Also, with the GPS capabilities, you’ll be able to store your Geo location data in the ‘EXIF data’ part of a jpeg photo taken by the camera. This will be optional.
So, this is why I built NOKLOG.COM in preparation. When I eventually get my hands on the N95, I will add maps to the system – as no doubt flickr will automatically do too since they read EXIF data all the time – and make the real world of blogging very much like the virtual world of blogging which I have cooking away over at blogHUD.com in Second Life.
Also think what Twitter will be like with real GPS data with posts. I met with people from Nokia Series60 a while ago, and asked them about seeing if we can get the GPS data available for a browser form. So we’ll see about that 😉
What’s wrong about it?
The only possibly unwise move I think Nokia have done recently is to get too deep under the duvet with SixApart. For many years, Nokia have had a product called LifeBlog, where they provide a system to post your life’s txts, photos and stuff to a timeline / blog.
But from what I remember, the problem with this was that you were forced BUY a TypePad account if you wanted to blog using this software. Argh!
Due to some new abilities for developers on the new Series60 version 3.0 using .cfg files, these new N95s and some of the other models will be shipping with the ability to post your photos immediately to flickr. And also – hello again SixApart – post to a blog on a VOX.com account.
Double argh!!! If Nokia had looked around at all the most prominent Nokia based blogs there are out there, not many use Vox do they? And do you think they are about to swap their blogging systems over to a blogging system, which doesn’t output an RSS 2.0 feed – Atom only! (not to mention the most consistently vague developer docs I have ever seen)
So fear not, dear gadget-loving, pocket-burning, blogging friends. When I get the N95, I’ll have a solution out there for those of us who want to use OUR EXISTING blogging systems! A free one. With all the things I NEED to do, all right there 🙂
Where can I get one? NOW!
More reports from the blogosphere here:
Update: I have also just found something else this phone does with an app called ‘Sensor’. But that’s for another post. 😉
Something that I think would be interesting to know is: What will be be the default ringtone on the Apple iPhone?
Sure, these days we can all change our ringtone to anything from a cartoon yelp to a hip-hop riff, but there has to be a default. And I want to hear it now.
Apple should see this opportunity to increase brand awareness by coming up with the perfect ‘earworm’ – a bit of music or riff that you hear and cannot get out of your head – even better if it’s ‘good’ and not something annoying. 😉
UPDATE: Thanks to Derrick here it is (apparently):
I would say that many of us know the default Nokia ringtone, for example – you can hear Leo Laporte etc singing (‘dee di dee di..’ etc.) it in the theme music for TWiT. It’s a ‘classic’.
Talking of ringtones and evolution – back in 1994, I was working for a B2B ad agency on the then recently launched mobile operator ‘Orange’. We went to the Telecom Managers Association conference in Brighton, where I met a guy who was responsible for sorting out the new handsets they would have on offer. He showed me the latest Nokia handset which they were about to launch. The classic 2nd gen black bricks they did back then. He was very excited by the fact that this model had 7 ringtones on it.
I suggested to him that it would be a great idea to have a ringtone that sounded like an old bell ringing telephone. It was a few years before this found its way into the default ringtone offering 😉 Heh.
I doubt that chat I had had anything to do with it – but it makes me smile inside everytime I hear it. 🙂
Presenting NOKLOG.COM!!! 🙂
So, what else have I been working on? Well, some of you will already know about the BlogHUD system I built for Second Life users, which lets them post messages and articles to a blogging system. It will also crosspost the post to your external blog too (WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, etc) – as well as send on any images you take to your flickr account.
Well, all this is really a model for a simple web application for mobiles which I started think about and testing back in 2004 called ‘camoby’. I used it to post articles of gadgets back to the BBC News website while I was out at CeBit in ’04. The editor back in London watched my RSS feed for things he liked for the site, then republished them on the BBC news site like a blog (one of their first, actually!)
So, the camoby system has evolved – as have I. Since learning many new skills since then,I was able to sit here in my hotel room in Boston/Cambridge yesterday and build the whole proof-of-concept system at noklog.com. (This will probably move to another domain eventually, as more manufacturers allow this very useful feature)
NOKLOG is a mobile publishing system, optimised for mobile browsers which support the oft-requested file upload form tag. (input type=file) Nokia’s Symbian Series60 web browser and Sony Ericsson’s phones with the Symbian UIQ browsers have supported this for a while. No need to build and install more apps on the phone. It all goes via the web. Sweet! it also works with the connected Archos devices (PMA430 and 604WiFi).
The difference with this and the camoby system is that I can now support ALL media types which the handset can produce. Ie: Images, Audio and Video. Once uploaded, the user can choose to publish/post the media to the main noklog.com blog, when the server then processes the image to a sensible jpeg size (with branding / watermark) and transcodes audio (.amr, .wav etc) to mp3 for podcasts and flash players AND now also video – .mp4, .3gp etc will get transcoded to the ubiquitous Flash video format (.flv) to use in a webbased Flash player, a la YouTube. No reason why I can’t transcode to MPEG4 H.263 for iPods and PSP too. It’s easy once you know how 😉
BUT, not only that – like the blogHUD system, users will also be able to share this content and extent its reach even further by crossposting to your own blogging system – if it supports XML-RPC / MetaWeblog / Blogger APIs or email publishing. There is also no reason why I couldn’t FTP the media to a host provider like Libsyn too!
This means that as well as sending you post to your blog, you can also send images on to your flickr account or even your YouTube or blip.tv account – AUTOMAGICALLY!!! W00t! (as they say!) heheh Also each user has their own ‘home’ page and RSS feed to share their mobile life. Aggretastic!
I’ll be improving this system over the next few days, as I stay out of the cold currently blowing over Massachusetts and add things like tagging etc.
Using Second Life and the blogHUD to model this system – as well as model my own abilities and support/iteration mechanisms has been a truly wonderful experience, One which I emplore any developer to try out. You will not regret it.
I’ll keep you posted when I can let some testers to NOKLOG in to try the system out. It shouldn’t be too long – because it’s simple! Just the way we like it 😉
Naturally, all this fits in perfectly with the podcast.com system I am creating, which is about to get a big overhaul to the new system upgrade I have nearly finished 🙂
Well, to be honest, there really wasn’t that much to write home about! Seriously, over the last two years since I last went to Vegas for CES, there really weren’t many new innovations at all (in my field). My connectivity in the hotel was restricting the secure access I needed to complete the moblog system (though, now I am in Boston I have nearly finished it).
There were a couple a devices which caught my eye, which I’ll post about shortly. Also a few ‘crippled’ devices which really could have been alot better thought through.
And don’t get me started about the iPhone/ApplePhone. First glance was ‘MMMMMMMMmmm!!’. Now after deeper research, I think they are making a whole load of mistakes with it. God knows what they’re going to do when it hits Europe re: carrier lockin etc. Not to mention all the other crippling I have since learned of.
It looks sexy for sure. But Apple really have no idea about mobile smart phones. Nokia still lead the pack, in my opinion. And they have more MP3/MP4/3GP players in people’s pockets than any other manufacturer out there.
When I get an N95 in my hand, expect to see a real world multimedia, moblogging, mapping version of the blogHUD system to appear very soon after! 😉 oooh yes!
I’m going to be in Boston for the next10 days, with a possible short trip out to Vermont to see the snow with the podcast.com gang. One of my legs is totally knackered from all the walking around – ThromVegas?
Another highlight of being around CES, next to ‘the other show’ was that I got to see Ron Jeremy and Larry Flynt up close, near the entrance to the ‘other show’, where the silicon wasn’t in people’s pockets, but slap bang, front and center on the chests of the slew of plastic girls wondering around the place! heh.
Also saw Jenna Jameson walk past with full entourage – she’s so short!! Never seen her ‘movies’ though, but I expect she looks taller lying down! 😉