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'RogerSWhen I first encountered the Nokia Internet Tablet, I thought, “Gosh what a great e-reader!” I've

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used each NIT as an e-reader but I learned what it's great at is, well, doing the internet thing. As its name suggests.

I thought GPS was a natural win. The big screen made maps easier to read than on most dedicated devices. Still, I used my tablet for email more often than GPS.

The voip calls with visuals blew me away. Except no one with a tethered connection bought into cam-calling.

The 770, the N800, the N810 — these were all complete computers! They meant I didn't have to lug around a laptop just in case I had real work to do. But I did most of my real work on a real computer and my wife never got the hang of using a NIT. My son's friends found the iPod Touch easier for surfing and he never cottoned to it.

With its touch screen, I didn't need a keyboard, but I liked the N810 keyboard. The keyboard made apps easier to port anyway.

And Flash! Once it became clear that “internet” meant surfing without sideways scrolling, email, and videos on YouTube, the internet tablet excelled at giving me the internet.

Well, excelled in lots of circumstances. Without a cell-plan data connection the walkaround web had no impact on NIT users. The Apple iPhone has a minuscule segment of the smartphone market but generates 50 percent of mobile web use. Apple's genius wasn't in the interface but in browbeating AT&T into affordable web access.

Does the Nokia Internet Tablet have a real future? We have a $200 netbook and it's easier for conference notetaking than an N810. I have an Amazon Kindle 2 and I can get books for it that aren't available for FBReader on my NITs. Half the cars have GPS built-in now anyway. So what's the sweet spot for the Internet Tablet?

Doh!. The internet, same as it's always been.

Except these days, “the internet” means Twitter, too. With multi-tasking so I can tweet full-screen and use multiple screens to follow several hundred people (in more than one group). With keyboard and touch-screen and audio and photos too. And from anywhere I might be, um-m, walking around.

I can tweet from a phone now, thank you very much, but making sure it fits is no piece of cake. Tweeting means editing down to 140 characters without having to struggle. And reading (following), tweeting and surfing simultaneously? Hey, where's my computer again? At least Maemo was built for us to do more than one thing at a time.

I expect there will be lots of cellphones released this year that have keyboards and screens of a satisfactory size and cameras. Just having good specs won't draw much attention. But if the next NIT can ace the Twitter test and fly the Flash flag, it'll be very much in demand.

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Keeping track of how much time you have left to talk in a

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presentation or a meeting presents special difficulties. As evidence that no good solution exists for the problem, I point to the universal practice of appointing a single individual to keep track of the time who is delegated to conveys the impending end of the allotted time to the speaker. Any time a simple task is done by a human, you know it's not all that simple. But we all know that watch displays are too small, the laptop is occupied presenting slides, a one-minute alert is fine but the speaker has no way to know how close am I to the one-minute mark?

I ran across a big countdown timer at online-stopwatch.com, written in Flash. Running on a Nokia Internet Tablet, the numbers are large enough to read from ten feet away or further. It's a perfect use of the NIT's 4.3-inch screen.

'Countdown

Different versions of the program display a stop-watch (counting up), splits, or a circle clockface with a single hand sweeping once around the face whatever time you have entered.

You can

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run this useful app from the website if you want. Me, I simply downloaded the .swf file, put it into a /tools folder, opened it in tablet's browser and bookmarked that local copy. Easy to grab. And of course the graphics resize nicely as I switch between standard and full-screen display. Hey, thanks, online-stopwatch person!

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SilverlightNokia announced today that Microsoft Silverlight will be made available to the Symbian OS (Series 60 and 40) and to the Nokia Internet Tablet.

According to Lee Williams, Nokia SVP for Devices Software:

Nokia's software strategy is based on cross-platform development environments, enabling the creation of rich applications across the Nokia device range. Nokia aims to support market leading and content rich internet application environments and to embrace and encourage open innovation. By working with Microsoft, we are creating terrific opportunities and additional choices for the development community, S60 licensees and the industry as a whole.

What is Silverlight?

Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering next-generation media experiences and rich interactive applications. Silverlight is already powering thousands of applications around the world and organizations including Entertainment Tonight, the NBA and NBC Universal to deliver superior Web-based experiences to their customers. The arrangement with Nokia will substantially extend the reach of Silverlight by making the platform available for hundreds of millions of devices, including S60 on Symbian smartphones from a range of manufacturers, as well as Nokia Series 40 devices and Nokia Internet tablets.

How do you all think will the internet tablet benefit from Silverlight?

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I haven't held a Nokia N810 Internet Tablet in my hands, but it seems to me it represents some very astute decisions on the part of the Nokia team.

The 770 and N800 tablets have the largest, highest-resolution screens of any device in the pocket-carryaround category. That comes from an awareness of the high frustration that accompanies surfing the web on a too-narrow screen.

From day one, we've been asking how can Nokia take advantage of their units' display advantage?

Well, having used a Nokia-loaner GPS unit for several months, I can testify that one thing that benefits greatly from a larger, higher-resolution screen is looking at a map, especially traveling at 65 mph when you can't spend more than a moment or two glancing at it.

So building in GPS has a surface logic anyone can appreciate. But that's not what I think is astute.

Continue reading ‘How the N810 advances the walkaround-web revolution’

The long awaited upgrade has finally arrived. Nokia just announced the new Internet Tablet 2007 update v4.2007.26-8. Nokia N800 owners can now enjoy three new much anticipated features: Skype client support, Adobe Flash 9 browser plug-in, and 8GB SD memory card support. Battery life has also been improved on this update, as well as a better touchscreen sensitivity. Nokia however decided to end the beta version of the Call Invitation app by August of this year.

Read more at Maemo.org.
Download the new Firmware.

Ephraim Schwartz (whom I first wrote for 25 years ago) has a post at Reality Check, his Infoworld blog, about Opera‘s work to replace Flash by incorporating native video capability in its browser.

I hope not only that this capability arrives soon, but that it migrates to our tablets soon after that.

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Nokia is coming out with a new interactive flash-based N800 Internet Tablet site called The Internet Walk. It shows off the features of the N800 in funny ways — identify a new species of crab while walking on the beach, use Google Maps to look for the nearest pharmacy, get information before attempting to walk through hot coals, check the weather while scaling a snowy mountain peak, and video chat with your mom while bungee jumping. Note the slick morphing effect of the legs as it goes from one scene to another. Be prepared however to wait for a minute or two to download the whole flash presentation over broadband.

Just an FYI, the main page of Internet Tablet Talk flashes for just about a second when gets displayed just before the flash starts.YAY! Also, for those who have been surfing Tableteer via their Internet Tablets, Nokia also just added Internet Tablet Talk under the “Discover” category. Thanks Nokia!!!

Head on to the The Internet Walk – Internet Tablet Talk preview:

http://theinternetwalk.com/internettablettalk

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Special thanks to WOM World.

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Between a late-afternoon interview and schmooze time at the Nokia-Pop Sci party, I had a chance to talk with Ari Jaaksi for more than 90 minutes on Tuesday. Best moment: when he discussed the work the internet tablet team has done on optimizing the software stack and improving (among other things) video playback. He doesn't claim to have achieved the ultimate Flash viewing experience, but said that now YouTube video wouldn't be like watching a slideshow.

And then he proved it by going to YouTube and playing videos there. I made him play one video I've watched a lot (“Learn to Speak Body Tape 5” by Mitchell Rose) so I'd have a sense of how well it was playing. It was fine. In fact, because that tape has actors in static poses at times, Ari apologized for some hitches that didn't actually occur.

The “short term” in his internet tablet road map is described as “a few weeks” and he used the same time frame in our discussion. Still talking Flash 7 and nothing beyond what the blog says, but I'll say from my firsthand experience that the improvement coming is major.

Best of all is how Ari expresses the benchmark evaluating the browsing and Flash experience for the Nokia tablets — “what you experience on your PC.” To equal and (in some cases, like WiFi connectivity) exceed that.

So whatever we get come March isn't going to be the end.

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Here’s my review of the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet, the gosh-darned most revolutionary device around, smaller, lighter, better-screened, less-expensive and capable of see-me phone calls at voip prices — what do you think, will I like it?

But first, let’s get the formalities out of the way. I’m a fanboy of anyone who shows egregious genius. The makers/builders of the internet tablet twins qualify on several counts. My attitude shows in everything I write about the 770 and the N800. Secondly, speaking my opinion and wanting to further the development of the scene has qualified me to purchase both a 770 and an N800 at steep discount — 58 and 68 percent, respectively, as one of 500 participants in both the 770 and the N800 developer-device programs. (Of course, I know people who got them free!)

So, here’s my review:


The Nokia N800 Internet Tablet
came as a shock to observers of the web tablet scene. No one expected Nokia to expand its line and push the tablet envelope so soon and so far, considering that widespread distribution in the U.S. occurred only 12 months ago.

But the strength of the 770′s appeal apparently persuaded Nokia to capitalize on its first-to-market advantage and hug the internet tablet to its N-series, smart-phone bosom. (Hence the “N” prefixing the name.)

Anyone who uses one of these tablets soon experiences a glowing recognition that, holy cow!, the internet doesn’t have to be confined to a desk or laptop-friendly chair. Now you can surf standing up, walking around, riding the train and so on, just as you can use a phone untethered from a phone jack.

This comparison to the cellphone’s liberation of movement comes from Ari Jaaksi, the head of Nokia’s open-source software group and the internet tablet team specifically. And it’s critical to understanding why the N800 and the 770 don’t fit into any neat categories that other reviewers seem to want to force them into.

Nokia N800 is one-sixth the size of a UMPC

The Nokia N800 is one-sixth the size of a UMPC (graphic from sizeasy)
Oh, hey, this review is over 2000 words long! It won’t all fit on the front page!
Continue reading ‘My review of the Nokia N800 – when the walkaround web meets the see-me-anywhere call’

ComputerWorld reviews the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet. In short, they still don’t get it. Hey, guys! It’s not about building a better PDA! The 770 and N800 have untethered the internet — you can experience the walkaround web. That’s someplace you just can’t get using a cellphone or PDA or laptop.

Here’s a taste of what to expect if you go look at the earnest writeup: “Most gadget lovers would do better with a more flexible, less expensive smart phone.” Well, I guess I’ve been put in my place. I’m a mere gadget lover.

But here’s a comment that Ari Jaaksi and the tablet team need to make note of. The reviewer, David Haskin, writes, “Our attempts to watch video clips streaming from YouTube, for instance, were a disaster.” Video on the web now equates to YouTube. We’re reached the point where if you don’t have an FLV codec or some better way to watch those videos, you’re considered to be non-web-video capable.

Added later:

Digit Magazine, an aggregator of IDG publications, has David Haskin’s Computer World review posted (sans source credit).



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