Tag Archives: nokia

Nokia’s iOS HERE Map: cool or crap?

Nokia’s “Here Maps” for iOS has arrived, but with lower res graphics for maps and satellite imagery than was expected, and a lack of detail like house numbers, some think Nokia’s Here Map is crap, while others think it’s better than Apple’s Maps app.

If you’ve been waiting for an official Google Maps app to return to iOS devices, rather than being forced to use the Web app version, you’re still waiting.

However, some iOS users have decided to give Nokia’s new Here Maps app for iOS a try to see how it fares against Apple Maps – and the well known Google Maps experience.

According to eWeek and to a litany of reviews for the app at iTunes, it appears that a great many people aren’t impressed by Nokia’s latest effort – especially as it seems different to Nokia’s own Lumia Drive navigation app.

Some users report the maps being “low res”, rather than the sharp and clear Retina-resolution that many iDevice owners now expect (especially if using Retina-class devices), others say the maps and satellite images are old, others complain there are no street numbers.

I can see, when I take at look at the app myself, that these comments appear to be true – things could indeed be sharper, there don’t appear to be any street numbers, and POI (point of interest) info appears to be slim.

Yes, it is possible to find business and other locations with the maps, it’s possible to switch on a “live traffic view”, you can easily search for destinations (although I didn’t see an option to choose from a range of routes when I tried one destination) and despite the called-out fuzziness, the maps app seems to work.

And yes, while there are a stack of low-star reviews, there are happy people there too, who say it works better than Apple’s Maps.

So, while Nokia’s NAVTEQ division may well power “90%” of the world’s GPS mapping devices, according to Nokia itself, it looks like getting a maps app right – even for one of the world’s biggest mapping companies – is still a much bigger challenge than anyone would have originally imagined.

At least, however, Nokia’s HERE Maps is now out, and will undoubtedly be going through much updating and improving as time goes by – and as the launch of an official Google Maps app for iOS navigates its way to the platform and all those hundreds of millions of end-users ever closer.

Hey, Nokia: Time to give your phones real names

Twice now, Nokia has announced new generations of visually interesting, standout “Lumia” Windows Phone smartphones, and then twice dampened the spark by referring to them as numbers rather than names.

I am speaking, of course, about the Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820 revealed today. Now, I know that not all of you will agree with me, but hear me out, and if you still disagree, then we shall have to agree to disagree.

Why isn’t Nokia falling back on numbers to match the phone’s name to the personality of each phone’s design? Surely a device as bold and singular as the Lumia 920, and the Lumias 900 and 800 before it, deserves an identity grander than a series of meaningless numbers.
After all, don’t the numbers confuse customers who already have their heads filled with specs?

Once the average person has gotten past 1,280×720-pixel resolutions, 4.7-inch screens, and 8-megapixel cameras, they then have to distinguish the Lumia 920 from the 820 from the 900 or 710.

Even worse, there’s only a loose relationship among the different numbered devices. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy S3, which denotes a change in generation, the Lumias 710 and 900 came out after the 800; the 820 has more in common with the Lumia 920 than it does with the Lumia 800. Where’s the logic in that?

Yes, it’s true that “Lumia” is itself a name (and one that got Nokia in a bit of trouble at first).

However, “Lumia” is meant to usefully distinguish the phonemaker’s Windows Phone line from its Asha family of Symbian smartphones, the same way that Samsung is now stamping “Ativ” on its Windows phones and “Galaxy” on its Android set.

And it could be worse. After all, Nokia could have easily called its first Lumia, the Lumia 800, the “Nokia L800” instead.

I’ll also concede that Nokia use of numbers probably reduces its legal headache compared to brainstorming individual phone names like the Lumia Bolt or PureView Vision, and then staking a lasting claim. Manufacturers can’t just use any name they’d like; they have to work around other manufacturers’ rights to certain names.

Microsoft and Nokia vow to challenge Apple and Google

Microsoft and Nokia have vowed to take on Apple and Google in the fast-growing smartphone market by being the “most friendly” to mobile operators.

The chief executives of the world’s largest software company and the world’s largest mobile phone maker said operators were “very excited” about Microsoft and Nokia’s new “alliance” to create a third smartphone “ecosytem” to challenge Apple and Google.

“The world is shifting from a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems,” Stephen Elop, Nokia’s new chief executive said at the Mobile World Congress trade fair in Barcelona yesterday. “Microsoft and Nokia together represent a natural partnership.”

Mr Elop said the world’s biggest mobile operators were “all smiles” about the tie-up because Nokia has traditionally been more amiable to telecoms providers than Apple or Google. “This is good news for operators,” he said. “We are in a position to create a third ecosystem. We know what it means to be the most friendly to the operators.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, said: “Windows Phone will be the most operator friendly”.

Apple has long-angered operators, particularly in Europe, by demanding a cut of ongoing customer revenues. Apple also invoked the wrath of operators last year by proposing to bypass operators by removing the need for operator SIM cards in the next version of its iPhone. Apple is understood to have since backtracked from the plan after operators complained.

Nokia cans 1800, shakes up Symbian development

UP TO 1,800 Nokia staff are losing their jobs as the Finnish phone maker shakes up its Symbian OS operation after the departure of the head of the Symbian Foundation.

In a nutshell, Nokia thinks it needs to deliver an OS that people want, do it quickly and  provide improvements on a frequent basis or, as the company puts it, “increase responsiveness to consumer demands and reduce time to market.” The company has announced it will no longer refer to Symnian^3 or Symbian^4 because, “The resulting change to a model of continuous evolution replaces the previous release-based model.”

Symbian Foundation head Lee Williams resigned yesterday and has been replaced by Tim Holbrow, who was the Foundation’s CFO. To deliver something people actually want, Nokia says it will use common tools for applications, streamline its software development, simplify how it works and place “greater focus on adding value to consumers”.

We think what this management speak actually means is essentially that the company wants a better relationship with the developer community, some of whom could be among those 1,800 employees to get the chop.

But to focus on the positive, to make life easier for developers the Qt framework will be Nokia’s sole application development framework for the Meego OS, which Nokia developed with Intel, and these unnamed “future evolutions” of Symbian, assuming it has a future.

Nokia has also said that both Symbian and Meego will support HTML5, which of course according to Steve Jobs is already used by most video on the Internet.

The Ovi brand appears to have a more prominent future, as Nokia has also said it is going to wrap its services into what it calls an “integrated Ovi experience across our full range of devices”. In other words what services were not already branded as Ovi will be, fairly soon.

Juha Äkräs, Nokia’s EVP of human resources gave us an entirely unintelligible statement that said, “the aim is to accelerate the company’s transformation towards a leading mobile solutions provider, and to do this we are simplifying and integrating operations within our product creation and corporate functions.”

The war between the ios ,android and symbian was over ,the game between ios and android begin!