Category: Mobile

  • Nokia 6682 Drops on Cingular

    Gizmodo notes that the 6682 is supposedly available from Cingular now, though it’s going to be a hot potato for some time. The Cingular online store has a “Maintenance In Progress” sign up, much like the Apple store “back soon” message, but oranger.

    In other news, Lets Talk no longer lists the 7610 but doesn’t have the 6682 listed either. Amazon still says coming soon.

    Like I said, this is going to be a hard phone to come by until stock levels improve. Good luck!

  • Mono on ARM

    Thanks to ljl for pointing this out in #maemo:

    People may be interested to know that the initial pass at the JIT port to ARM is in svn.
    make test in mono/tests reports 123 pass, 70 fail.
    Most of the regression tests in mini/ work as well.

    Nice! There are still some hurdles to be overcome, but this is great news.

  • Cingular’s 6682 Pricing

    Take a peek at Darla’s blog if you’re curious about Cingular’s pricing of the Nokia 6682 both on and off contract. While I hope that Lets Talk or Amazon can do just a little bit better, but this is definitely a step in the right direction if indeed the picture is legit (which I’ll bet it is).

  • My New Class 1 Bluetooth Dongle

    I’ve had a trusty low power Bluetooth dongle for a couple of years now, but I jumped on the opportunity to pick up a Hawking Tech HBTC1 Class 1 adapter for $10 after rebates at CompUSA. I wasn’t able to determine on the taco if this puppy worked with Linux or not, but I decided that It would be useful even if it didn’t for $10.

    Unfortunately the definitive listing of Bluetooth devices that work under Linux with BlueZ has been taken off the air:

    Whether or not you’re selling them makes no difference. The problem is due to the distribution of them from your Web site. Please note that the use and distribution of non-qualified products is a violation of the Bluetooth License Agreement. As neither of these products have been qualified using Linux it is illegal to make them available for public use.

    Total bummer. For the time being anyway you can find the list thanks to The Internet Archive. My Hawking tech device wasn’t listed, but I can assure you that at least hcitool scan works just fine.

  • Nokia N70 Gets FCC Approval

    I went trawling the FCC website looking for dirt on the latest devices and their FCC approval status this morning when I stumbled across this one: The FCC has approved the N70 from Nokia UK. Take that at face value folks, it just means that the N70 is appoved for sale in the US, not that any carrier has picked it up for mass dispersal. It is a good sign though that progress is being made on the N70, and increases the chances of us seeing the N70 en masse slightly above the magic 8 ball saying “DON’T COUNT ON IT”.

    Still, it’s quite an interesting development!

  • Nokia 6682 Real Soon Now?

    MobileTracker mentioned that there’s a print ad for the 6682 in this month’s Wired (on page 71 of my copy). They’re jumping to the conclusion that the ad along with images of the 6682 stealthily existing on Cingular’s web server are imperical evidence that the 6682 is shipping Real Soon Now.

    I’m pretty skeptical at this point. This ad looks identical to one that was seen in another magazine sometime in July and it’s late August now. While I remain hopeful that the 6682 will ship sooner rather than later, I wouldn’t be suprised if it didn’t see the light of day until September or even October.

    The best unsubstantiated rumours by far are on this Howard Forums thread: Nokia 6682 Coming in July? It’s on something like page 39 now.

  • The Scourge of the iPod

    This weekend I went in search of an FM modulator to finish hooking up a Delphi Roady2 to the parental minivan (yes my parents have XM. Can anyone say tipping point?). A few years back you used to be able to walk in to a Best Buy or Radio Shack and pick up a crappy little FM modulator for $15-20 or so. I mean, it’s not rocket science. Audio in and a small FM transmitter. After The iPid Revolution however, every freaking FM modulator on the shelf costs like $50 and the vast majority of them are iPod white.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that the iPod in all its variations and those other mp3 players are so dang popular. The inner gadget geek in me loves that. But the iPod economy is killing me with the acccessory inflation.

    I really am amazed that people get away with charging so much for a hunk of plastic, an audio cord, a case, or the million other overpriced widgets that you can attach to your mp3 player of choice. My only hope is that the iPod bubble can’t last forever.

    Update: Okay, I managed to find the Belkin Tunecast II, which was the one I liked in the store for about half that on Amazon. Not so bad after all. The stuff is still overpriced on the shelf though.

  • KJS Java Script Engine for Symbian

    I don’t know how I missed this the other day, but in today’s Forum Nokia newsletter (among other things) there is a link to the KJS Java Script Engine for Symbian OS which is based on the JS component of Apple‘s open source WebCore. It’s definitely hardcore, pretty much a source drop, but it’s proof that we’re well on our way to having WebCore in our pockets.

  • Nokia Smartphone Hacks

    Smartphone HacksI stumbled upon Nokia Smartphne Hacks by Michael Yuan (with foreword by Christian Lindholm) while windowshopping for books yesterday. It looks like a great book for people with a Smartphone wondering what cool stuff they can do with it. The tin cans on the cover rule. The hacks themselves are quite useful since there are so many gems buried away in these little devices. I have to admit that I knew about most of these hacks before, but there are always gems buried in these devices that you didn’t know about. I’m also far from your average smartphone user, so many people that pick up this book will find it interesting, useful, and inspiring. If you’ve got one of them there Nokia smartphones and are wondering what else you can do with it, check out this book.

  • Bochs on the PSP

    Bochs on PSP

    Matan Gillon (Zi` to us in #mobitopia) has just released Bochs for the PSP. He has successfully run Windows 95 and command line Linux under Bochs on his PSP. It may not be zippy, but the sheer fact that it runs at all is amazing:

    Windows 95 actually runs quite well but don’t expect it to be a speed demon. It takes about 10 minutes to boot but afterwards it’s pretty usable. I was able to do things like: open “My computer” and browse the virtual hard drive, complete a whole game of Minesweeper and run various other applications. Now you too can get your Minesweeper fix on the go 🙂

  • I Shall Call It Opera Mini

    Via JibberJim on #mobitopia, Opera has released a miniature version of its browser that does some wicked stuff. First off it should run on any J2ME-enabled phone. This increases the potential install footprint dramatically. The other thing they do is parse and render using their desktop technology on the server side, then reformat it to fit a mobile screen. The content is then sent over in Opera Binary Markup Language and displayed by the J2ME client.

    While this is the same basic technology behind WAP 1.0, Opera have definitely “done it right.” Opera Mini is currently available in Norway, but I can’t wait to see this go worldwide.

    Update: Carlo has further coverage at MobHappy.

  • Browser Options for the Nokia 770

    It looks like users will have several browser options to choose from when the Nokia 770 drops.

    Since web browsing is one of the core uses of the 770 it’s great to have so many varied options even before the device is available. While I expect the bundled Opera browser to be top notch, I have a lot of respect for both Gecko and KHTML, the little rendering engine that could. It’s really amazing to have so many options.

  • Orb Networks API

    PocketPC Thoughts points out that Orb Networks has released an Add-Ons API. They don’t seem to be promoting it on their site as far as I can tell, but it’s out there. The API itself is documented and there is an example Add-On available for download. You might also want to look at their developer forum. For now it’s a C++ on Windows thing, but the documentation does make reference to Linux and Mac versions in the works.

  • GPE-Calendar on Maemo

    Matthias has made progress on a GPE-Calendar port to the Maemo platform. Porting GPE-Calendar is a lot harder than a lot of ./configure; make; make-install “ports” to Maemo, and it looks like it is coming along nicely. The Nokia 770 is still officially not a PDA mind you, but the more solid apps available for the platform on launch day the better.

  • Nokia 6682 Getting Ready to Drop?

    From this post on the massive Nokia 6682 thread on Howard Forums:

    I just called the NBO line and the rep said that the 6682 will be officially available as of tomorrow, the 5th of August through their NBO dept.

    I think NBO stands for “National Business Office,” for larger companies with national accounts. I’m guessing that it will still take some time to get to retail outlets, but this is definitely a good sign for those like me waiting to snag a discounted 6682 on contract.

  • WSDL for Series 80

    I just saw the the Nokia WSDL-to-C++ Wizard fly by my aggregator:

    The Nokia WSDL-to-C++ Wizard is a Microsoft Visual Studio 2003 .NET add-in that creates Symbian C++ code for accessing a web service described by a WSDL file. The code generated by the wizard uses the Service Development API of the Nokia Series 80 Second Edition developer platform and the generated code can therefore only be used on S80 2nd edition compatible phones. The preferred way to use the wizard is together with the Nokia Developer’s Suite for Symbian OS 1.1.

    This should broaden the horizons for C++ app devs targeting Series 80 2nd edition. I’m a big fan of RESTian web services, especially on a mobile device. I wonder how much work it would take to get one of these SOAP toolkits running on Python for Series 60.

  • The Revolution Will Be Geotagged

    Over the weekend I’ve been working on a Python for Series 60 project that I thought up a few days ago while exchanging information with Gustaf between Google Earth instances. It really should have hit me when Google Sightseeing packed its sights in to a KML file, but what can I say, I’m a little slow.

    After sending a .kml file via email to Gustaf, I decided to take a look at what exactly made up a .kml file. I started to drool a little bit when I read the KML documentation. The first example is extremely simple yet there’s a lot of power behind it. A few lines of XML can tell Google Earth exactly where to look and what to look at.

    Proof of Concept

    With this simple example in mind, I started to prototype out a proof of concept style Python app for my phone. Right now everything is handled in a popup dialog, and for the time being I’m just going to save a .kml file and let you do with it as you please, but over the next few days I plan to re-implement the app with an appuifw.Form, get latitude and longitude information from Bluetooth GPS (if you’re so lucky), and work on smtplib integration so that the app can go from location -> write KML -> send via smtplib.

    Rapid Mobile Development

    When I say that I’ve been working on this app over the weekend, that’s not strictly accurate. I prototyped the proof of concept over about 20-30 minutes on Friday night using the Python for Series 60 compatability library from the wonderful folks at PDIS. I then spent the rest of some free time over the weekend abstracting out the KML bits and reverting my lofty smtplib goals to saving to a local file on the phone. I’m not sure if the problem is due to my limited T-Mobile access or if I need to patch smtplib in order to use it on my phone.

    There’s also one big downside to trying to use smtplib on the phone, and that’s the fact that smtplib (and gobs of dependent modules) aren’t distributed with the official Nokia PyS60 distribution, so if I’m going to distribute this app with smtplib functionality, I’ll have to package up a dozen or two library modules to go with it. I’m going to mull it over for a few days and see if I can get past my smtplib bug or investigate alternatives.

    from kml import Placemark

    I’ve started a rudimentary Python kml library designed with the Series 60 target in mind. It’s rather simplistic, and so far I’ve only implemented the simplest of Placemarks, but I plan to add to it as the need arises. It should be quite usable to generate your own KML Placemark. Here’s a quick usage example:

    >>> from kml import Placemark
    >>> p=Placemark(39.28419, -76.62169, \
    "The O's Play Here!", "Oriole Park at Camden Yards")
    >>> print p.to_string()
    <kml xmlns="">
      <description>The O's Play Here!</description>

    Once I have my Placemark object, saving to disk is cake:

    >>> f=open("camdenyards.kml", "w")
    >>> f.write(p.to_string())
    >>> f.close()

    If you have Google Earth installed, a simple double click should bring you to Camden Yards in Baltimore. The simplicity of it and the “just works” factor intrigue me, not the fact that this can be accomplished in a few dozen lines of python but the fact that KML seems so well suited for geographic data interchange.

    Camden Yards in Google Earth

    It’s About Interchange

    If you are really in to geographic data, and I mean so at an academic or scientific level, KML probably isn’t the format for you. You might be more interested in the Open Geospatial Consortium’s GML (Geography Markup Language). It looks like it does a great job at what it does, but I’m thinking that the killer format is aimed more at the casual user. KML is just that. From a simple Placemark describing a dot on a map to complicated imagery overlays, KML has your back covered. I find the documentation satisfying and straighforward, though I’m no expert on standards.

    In the very near future conveying where you are or what you are talking about in a standard way is going to be extremely important. Right now there’s only one major consumer of .kml files and that’s Google Earth. Expect that to change rapidly as people realize how easy it is to produce and consume geodata using KML and .kmz files (which are compressed .kml files that may also include custom imagery).

    I would love to see “proper” KML generators and consumers, written with XML toolkits instead of throwing numbers and strings around in Python. I would love to have a GPS-enabled phone spitting out KML using JSR-179, the Location API for J2ME. I hope to use Python for Series 60 to further prototype an application that uses a Bluetooth GPS receiver for location information and allow easy sharing of geodata using KML.

    The Code

    If you’d like, take a look at the current state my kml Python library, which is extremely simple and naive, but it allows me to generate markup on either my laptop or N-Gage that Google Earth is happy to properly parse. A proof of concept wrapper around this library can be found here. I hope to expand both in the coming days, and I hope to soon have the smtplib-based code working properly on my phone with my carrier.

    Update: Oops, forgot to add the <name/> tag. Fixed. The name should now replace the (ugly) filename for your Placemark.

  • Why Yahoo! Music Unlimited Makes Sense

    This is yet another observation that I had a week or two ago that’s been sitting in the WeblogPostIdeas queue for far too long. It’s a rather obvious actually, but it seemed to “click” after Rio released a firmware update that included PlaysForSure support to a few of their more popular models. This meant that a sexy little 2.5, 5, or 6 gig player that can be easily had for less than $149 could make use of subscription audio and not just the $n per download model.

    In a perfect world I could go online, pay my $.99 (or $.89, or $.79), download a song, and be able to do whatever the hell I’d like with it. Unfortunately we just don’t live in that type of world. Yes there are a few companies out there that “Get It” and provide unencumbered plain-jane mp3s when you pony up your cash. Yes there are ways of getting around iTunes and other types of DRM, but it’d be nice not to commit a crime in order to use the music you paid for in a manner that you see fit, like stashing a copy of it on your laptop, desktop, protable player, music server at home, and your desktop at work. I mean that’s just something you should be able to do with something you’ve paid $.99 for.

    But I digress. You pony up your buck and you don’t actually own the music and you can’t really do what you’d like to. That’s realy okay. Like I said, there are ways around most of it, but that’s not something that Joe User should have to deal with.

    That’s where Yahoo! Music Unlimited comes in. It fills that gap between price per downloads that you don’t own and higher priced subscription services.

    What have they done right? They’ve gotten the price point down to the “no-brainer” level. Really. Five bucks a month (if paid annually of course) for all you care to eat, and you can listen to it as long as you pony up monthly or annually. It’s easy to pay more than that on a coffee run to Starbucks. Yeah you don’t own your music and there are restrictions, but that’s not much different than the stuff you paid your buck for.

    Having said that, it’s not perfect. Y! Music Unlimited only works if you’ve got Windows, which leaves out Mac, Linux, and other people out of the loop. Still, for a lot of people this music service makes a lot of sense.

  • N-Gage: SSX Isn’t Tony Hawk

    I’m a bit bummed after picking up SSX: Out of Bounds for the N-Gage platform. I’ve been eyeing it ever since it was released at $34.95. I have a lot of trouble paying $34.95 for any game, let alone a game that I can’t demo for a platform that’s becoming harder and harder to find.

    There’s still a mini-aisle of N-Gage stuff at my local game merchant, but the people behind the counter can’t do much more than use their cognative skills to match the game box you’re talking about with the one behind the counter. They don’t know anything about “that N-Gage thing” and nobody seems to have used games for it anymore. Tony Hawk was the best five bucks I’ve ever spent on a gaming platform, hands down.

    That brings me to my review of SSX: Out of Bounds. It’s pretty good. I’m getting in to it a bit more, not always placing last, and even landing most of my tricks. But it’s just not Tony Hawk. (Read: Tony Hawk rocks.)

    I still love my taco though. I forget about it every so often, but it’s always there in my backpack, ready for a quick game or to let me listen to the evening edition of Marketplace.

    There are some promising titles slated to come out for the mobile gaming platform that wouldn’t die (or hasn’t pulled a Zodiac yet).

    In September, there’s going to be a release that should have been a launch title: Atari Masterpieces Volume 1. Comeon, everybody loves retro gaming!

    Then in November I’ll be paying full price for the new Pathway to Glory title, simply because Pathway was so much fun. I’ve gone on to the Arena looking for a quick game, and there were a few people around right after launch, but nowadays I can’t seem to find anyone to play a quick pickup game with. It’s a shame too, because online/multiplayer was the killer feature of an already killer game. That doesn’t make me feel good about the total number of Pathway copies sold. I already feel like the only N-Gage user on the Eastern seaboard though.

  • Mozilla Minimo .007

    Very early this morning I saw a story fly by on Yahoo! News about a preliminary release of Minimo for PocketPC. I thought that was kind of neat so I checked out the Minimo homepage but didn’t see any downloadables. Lo and behold just a few hours later, PocketPC Thoughts has tracked down a screenshot and a link to the download. I think the tabs are critical for me.

    I would also love to see Minimo on the Nokia 770, though the device ships with Opera which looks like it will have a lot of polish. Even so it would rock to have browser alternatives such as Minimo and GTK+ WebCore.