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Archive for the 'Nokia N810' Category

'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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In case you hadn't noticed, ebook sales are rocketing up and up and up. (Well, it is my field, so I have.) Just in order to buy an ebook from Amazon, you have to first buy a $360 Kindle; yet in little more than a year, 10 percent of Amazon's total book sales were ebooks. Of course, its book catalog includes millions of different titles, but only 300,000 or so are available as ebooks. For titles sold in both p and e, the ebook portion is already 35 percent.

This is relevant, I think, because the Internet Tablet — with its 225-pixel-per-inch screen resolution — has always suggested itself as a top-rank ereader.

Is this really viable or am I delusional (as often before about ebooks)?

French ebook maker Bookeen says three different ebook markets are forming: one for education (eg, must have big screen), one for general book reading and one for reading both book and newspaper-y content. These last two, for convenience sake, Bookeen dubs the “book iPod” and the “book iPhone.” A “book iPhone” necessarily includes a 3G or WiFi connection, else content can't be kept fresh.

'Kindle

Amazon, of course, straddles all three markets, with its 10-inch Kindle DX and free-3G, thin-as-a-pencil Kindle 2. Critically, you can read Kindle-DRMed ebooks on an iPhone as well; and Amazon just acquired the Stanza ereader, the hugely successful iPhone app.

It's easy for me to say the Kindle and Stanza apps belong on the Internet Tablet, but who here knows what Amazon will do?

The Nokia N810 fits in your pocket, already runs Flash, has a keyboard and that 800-pixel-wide screen, and includes built-in WiFi. It equals or surpasses the iPhone as an ereader in every respect except one — walkaround connectivity. But Amazon's success hinges in part on the synching between

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different ereading devices, and the lack of 3G could blackball the N810 as an Amazon platform.

Next generation then. If people at Nokia think the billion-dollar ebook market could boost the NIT too, I hope they get Amazon on the phone.

Some 2.2 million people are going to be buying an awkward monochrome, monopurpose device like the Kindle — this year and next — just so they can feed their reading habit. Think how many would be happy paying their money for a full-color, Flash-capable, pocket-size Internet Tablet. It's got to be a lot, I think.

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Last summer my N810 was stolen during a library visit. Since I praised Nokia when it first released the Internet Tablet for ruthlessly paring away the inessentials — the 770's absence of a phone, hard drive and keyboard stunned most mobile-device observers — I didn't replace it, but instead relied solely on my N800's* for my tablet needs.

Besides I already had a Bluetooth keyboard and GPS. I didn't have to have the newer Internet Tablet if I wanted those features.

Then last Thursday, I ordered an N810 from Buy.com, paying $227.86** for the little treasure that arrived this morning. (It's sitting next to me on the computer desk, charging now.)

Why?

I've been pondering that. Maybe subconsciously I think I'll use the built-in GPS (even though I rarely use the external GPS I own). I don't really type faster with the N810's slide-out keyboard, though I know having it simplifies using some programs. Does losing display real estate to an on-screen keyboard interfere with my thinking processes more than I've been aware? Could be. I know that my tap-drags to get an upper-case letter succeeds only about 60-80 percent of the time, so entering some characters is way slower than is good***.

And, trivial as they may seem, I know I've missed the screen-lock button and the cover-that-doesn't-fall-off.

These are little things, and I'm struggling to find any bigger reasons for using an N810

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instead of an N800. OK, “little things mean a lot,” but two hundred-plus dollars' worth?

Still, I'm content with my purchase. Something in me knows this is a good deal, even if I can't consciously say why. Even though logic says to preserve my cash for some forthcoming, more dazzling new tablet. Not sure why, but definitely sure it's a good thing.

Like I said, I'm content. And that's a good measure.

__________
* Um, yes, I've acquired three used N800's, intending to gift them to family in California, Texas and Georgia, but I'm like Scrooge McDuck in his private vault when I'm cooing over my tablets and I can't seem to let them go . . .

** Including taxes, shipping and handling

*** Years ago, IBM released a study showing that any interruption in typing that was longer than a tenth of a second drastically reduced your efficiency.

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I met Reggie in Berlin before the Maemo Summit, and he was working on his presentation, What Users Want (which will be posted soon, btw). I looked over the notes that Krisse Juorunen of Internet Tablet School had sent him and made some suggestions. I thought about how the tablet is being used today and how it might be used — which was exactly what Ari Jaaksi asked a group of Maemo users the next evening.

I ended up putting my thoughts down on paper (unable to use the hotel's power converters with Nokia's AC-4U battery charger!). I hadn't put in for a speaking slot, so making notes was just a way to keep my head in the topic while Reggie was working on his slides. He didn't finish till 4 a.m. on Thursday night, so I kept writing. Here is what I wrote up but didn't say at the Maemo Summit:

What more do we want?
In Ari Jaaksi's talk at OSiM World, he characterized the reception of the 770 Internet Tablet as people asking, “What is this PDA that doesn't have PDA functions? What is this phone that isn't a phone?”

No one had seen a mobile device like this, explicitly designed for internet use: a full computer without a keyboard, without a hard disk, which fit in your pocket and was light enough that it didn't act like an anchor.[1]

A computer you could use standing up. This was cool, but what was truly revolutionary was that you could surf the internet while on the move. Continue reading ‘Talk-talk: What I didn’t say at the Maemo Summit’

A Seamless Software Upgrade (SSU) notification should prompt you of a v4.2008.36-5 firmware update once you go online with your

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Maemo 4.1 (Diablo) device. The update aims to improve email, web browsing, and connectivity.

Early reports from itT members are mixed. Some have updated with no problems and have reported faster browsing, while others are experiencing locks, boot menu problems, looping reboots, and package conflicts which seem to get fixed after a manual reflash.

If you have installed anything out of the ordinary, be sure to read through the comments before updating.

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Yay, Diablo has been released! Nokia has just released new firmware upgrades for the Nokia N810 and N800 Internet Tablets that adds a Seamless Software Upgrade Feature. Based on Maemo 4.1 (Diablo),  the new OS2008 feature upgrade lets you now perform future OS upgrades over-the-air (WLAN only).

A new automatic notification from the home screen will now notify you of new versions of the OS and system apps, including updates to third party applications. The new firmware also replaces the current email app with an open source version based on Modest and tinymail. Chinese fonts have also been added, reported openssl bugs have been fixed, and browsing panning experience has been improved.

Links: Nokia N800 Firmware, Nokia N810 Firmware, maemo.org announcement

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I've just had a crisis of convictions — returning my laptop to the publishing firm I've worked for since 2001 meant I needed to buy a computer quick.

And the deciding point came down to this: How much computing power did I need away from home?

You have to know that my friends expect me to separate from them when boarding the train to New York so I can sit in a laptop-friendly seat. They've also seen me skip a not-yet-full PATH (subway) train on the next leg into the city and wait five minutes for the next departure so I can open up the laptop for twelve more minutes of screen time.

Did I truly believe a weblet like the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet would suffice for my mobile computing?

Or has my fervent evangelism been tainted by way-cheap access to the Nokeys* I've used and by a top-of-the-line 17-inch laptop that my employer nefariously supplied me with, ensured its constant access by having me work at home two days a week?

Would I spend my suddenly scarce dollars for another laptop, intending to cart it most everywhere as I've been accustomed to for the last four years?

Or would I buy a sufficiently powerful desktop for less money and rely on my N810 for all my mobile computing?

This from someone who has written well over 90 percent of my ITT postings on a laptop. Who spends his free time looking at websites in Khmer (a script not supported by the Nokia weblets) and who works with multilingual texts every day. Whose eyes are aging and who consequently has a 14-point minimum font size set in his browser. Who installs on average one new program a week with a footprint of 30MB to 150MB.

Fabulous as the Nokia Internet Tablets are for spontaneous surfing, e-book reading, voip calls**, games, GPS geocaching, listening to music and watching video***, it's not a full-service device. I can't type 20 words per minutes on its keyboard, much less 100 wpm (as I do on a full keyboard). Can't run any topic map software (needs Java). No great XML and XSLT editors. And so on. How much would this lack hurt me away from my desktop? Could I manage to do what I had to do on the run with one or another weblet?**** The walkaround web is wonderful but what about trips? Could I go days without a full-powered computer?

Ah, who am I fooling?

I bought the desktop, which was half the price of equivalently powered laptops. For any kind of on-the-go now, I'm a weblet guy, body and soul.

__________
* I've paid 99 Euros each for the 770, N800 and N810 as they appeared over these last three years (roughly $115 to $140) as part of Nokia's seeding of the weblet development community. An N810 for $140 is a magnificent machine, there's no doubt about it.

** I use Gizmo for my second line permanently now. When I'm on one- and two-hour conference calls, it's really proved its usefulness by freeing up the main line for my wife's calls.

*** TV mostly, via the HAVA player, Today in the kitchen and Charley Rose in bed.

**** OK, at the moment I have five NITs. But some of them I bought to give to family. Really! I just haven't gotten around to it.

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balloons.pngDan Gentleman (aka Thoughtfix) turns back

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the time and publishes an article on how all the Internet Tablet craze started. He interviews Ari Jaaksi, yours truly (with a lot of embedded member pics!), and a special guest. Check out also his excellent Internet Tablet timeline post.

Thanks for reminding us how everything started Dan!

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Nokia released a Nokia N810 survey that basically asks for feedback on most of the N810's apps and features. It will ask you to rate each standard app that it comes with, what other apps you regularly use, GPS feedback, where you ask for support ( don't forget to mention Internet Tablet Talk ;) ), frequency of use, and likes and dislikes. It will also ask for what other features you want it to have. The survey is quite thorough and be prepared to allot about 15 minutes to complete the survey.

At the end, you will be asked (not required) for you name and email address. Filling it up will entitle you for an entry to a raffle where Nokia will give away a multimedia speaker system and headphones. The raffle will take place on August 30, 2008.

For those wondering if the survey is legit, I did get a confirmation from Nokia that the survey actually came from them.

Answer the survey.

Read the terms and conditions.

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My reminders look like this: Michael's birthday in three days and Time to leave for dentist appt. They're entered in a calendar app. They're triggered when I arrive at a particular date or time.

But what about when I arrive at a particular place?

Since I have GPS in my Nokia N810 Internet Tablet, why can't I get reminders that look like this? — About to pass Home Depot. Need to get electrical tape.*

Or: One block from dry cleaners. Pick up Jill's sweater.

Come on now. We have a full-fledged computer system at our beck and call. Call Jim as soon as you get back from lunch should only activate when I return to work in the lunch timeframe and Pick up milk at grocery only when I'm passing the deli in the evening, on my way home.

You know, that GPS in the N810 has got to have way more use than we're making of it.

_______________

* This isn't a new

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idea. More than two years ago, I wrote a post about Geominder, an app that runs on Series 60 phones.

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