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   Fri, 25.02.11

Cordia: MeeGo core based Maemo 5 Fremantle clone
Maemo community member smoku is currently working with others on a project called Cordia which is attempting to port the Hildon interface to MeeGo. This is not simply a clone of the Maemo 5 UI but a binary compatible version of the Hildon-desktop and interface.

Uses? Many, and very important and useful. Imagine a MeeGo phone from Nokia or Intel, but with a dumb UI that's not to your liking. With Cordia you could get your favourite Maemo 5 UI on it. Or even better: soon you will be able to flash your N900 with MeeGo, and with Cordia still have the familiar Hildon experience and Maemo 5 compatibility!

The current development version running on the SDK emulator can be seen here. The same version running on actual hardware (Lenovo IdeaPad - far more impressive performance-wise) is shown here.

It looks to be shaping up nicely and could bring the wonderful Maemo 5 UI to MeeGo if successful. Please check the full discussion at TMO for detailed information about the project and its progress.
 Posted by Michal Jerz @ 08:03 in category

   Thu, 24.02.11

Qt ported to Android! No, NOT by Nokia...
Can you imagine? It only took a freelance Romanian developer to port Qt to Android. It's an early, initial release, but it shows already now that the mighty Nokia could have done it if they only wanted...

Necessitas is a Qt suite for Android platform containing the following components:

* Ministro - system wide Qt libraries installer/provider
* Qt framework.
* Qt Creator for Android.

For more details, please see this page.

Now imagine a scenario that Nokia went Android instead of Windows Phone, made Android their primary platform, but kept Symbian and MeeGo alive as their secondary platforms. With this (or their own) Qt port to Android, they could have had ALL THREE SYSTEMS compatible with each other, i.e. made it possible to run Qt applications not only on Symbian and MeeGo/Maemo, but also on their Android phones. Looks good? But that's NOT ALL. With the recently announced Myriad Alien Dalvik (Android's Dalvik Virtual Machine port) for MeeGo (and possibly also for Symbian - why not?) they could have provided compatibility of ALL THREE SYSTEMS also in the reverse direction, i.e. made it possible to run Android software on Symbian and MeeGo/Maemo... Three platforms, ALL OF THEM compatible with each other, both ways. With Android's and Symbian's market share of over 30% each, Nokia could have supported systems covering.... 70% (seventy per cent) of the market, or even more if they stayed committed to MeeGo and made it successful. Why instead they went Windows Phone, that isn't (and will not be) compatible with their existing platforms (which forces Nokia to ditch them), and has a market share of.... 3% (THREE per cent) is beyond my comprehension.
 Posted by Michal Jerz @ 07:44 in category

   Tue, 15.02.11

Fujitsu starts selling the first MeeGo netbook
Fujitsu has just put MeeGo on their existing LifeBook MH330 netbook (originally launched with Windows onboard) making it the first MeeGo netbook shipping commercially. The MH330 (launched in mid 2010) has an Intel Atom N455 @ 1.66 GHz, 1 GB RAM, a 250 GB hard disk and 10.1" 1024x600 display. The netbook is available now on Asian markets for about € 300.

 Posted by Michal Jerz @ 23:33 in category

Update from Intel on MeeGo
Imad Sousou, Director of Intel Open Source Technology Center, has posted on his blog an update on Intel's strong commitment to MeeGo. It will continue to be hosted under the Linux Foundation, follow a governance model based on the best practices of open source development and function according to Linux Foundation rules. The team works very hard on the MeeGo Software Platform to move things forward. Read on.
 Posted by Michal Jerz @ 15:48 in category

   Sun, 13.02.11

In the next months you'll probably witness an EXODUS among Symbian and Maemo sites, rapidly rebranding, switching to other platforms, closing.

My-Symbian, the oldest Symbian community site in the Internet launched in 1999 (as N9k World and then, has been accompanying the Symbian operating system and Nokia's smartphones (including GEOS Communicators) during whole its existence, 12 years now. Since 2009, My-Maemo (and My-MeeGo) has been supporting the Maemo and MeeGo platforms, with daily news, the biggest Maemo 5 Software Catalog and discussion forums.

Both sites (mainly the much older My-Symbian, of course) over the last 12 years served almost 250 terabytes of traffic, billions of page impressions, up to 20 million visits a year (and close to 200 million in total), over 100 million app downloads, over 130.000 registered forum users (after serveral clean-ups, more than 200.000 registrations in total), close to 400.000 posts on the forum. Thousands of Symbian (and hundreds of Maemo) phones bought from our recommendation.

And we are going to STAY here, and keep supporting the Symbian, Maemo and MeeGo platforms, no matter which way things go. Very soon, when the exodus begins, you will be able to clearly distinguish what has been a true Symbian or Maemo COMMUNITY, and what was a business built on Symbian's or Maemo's (now passing) popularity and fortune, quickly rebranded and modified to follow where money goes now.

When you look for a Symbian or Maemo/MeeGo site in 6 or 12 months, type our URL and be sure that the site will still be there.
 Posted by Michal Jerz @ 23:43 in category

   Sat, 12.02.11

Quo Vadis Nokia
Unlike all other sites, I will not get into endless discussions about what happened yesterday.

Why? Because I'd have to say some invectives, and I don't want to do that. And because, at least for now, I really don't have much to say. Or what would you expect me to say about company that consciously and intentionally self-degrades from a maker of two great and unique mobile operating systems (including the oldest one from which everything started) to a role of HTC clone, i.e. a hardware factory for a vendor of an alien operating system?

Oh, it's not even a HTC clone, as they at least support multiple operating systems, quite evenly. And what did they prove with yesterday's announcement if not that they are unreliable, not trustworthy, unpredictable? Or that the day on which they acquired Symbian was the beginning of its end? Or that a person buying their phone can NEVER be sure that it won't be the last device based on that platform, i.e. not worth any investments in 3rd party software, accessories and such, which one won't be able to reuse in the future?

Or that if you want to develop for Nokia products, you should never focus solely on their platform and always have some alternative one, or you may be left with nothing anytime? Or what should a webmaster like me say after investing 12 years of life, a lot of effort, money and devotion in the oldest Symbian website in the Internet? What should N900 users say now? They invested their money in a commercial product that shortly after that turned out to be "step 5 out of 6".

But they somehow managed to accept it. Now it turns out that "step 6 out of 6" has been ditched. Maemo was launched, but never given a chance to spread its wings as it didn't get any promotion or proper support and the MeeGo announcement literally killed it off. But no one expected that it could be even worse: that MeeGo won't even be given that little chance Maemo had. How many people bought Symbian ^3 phones because of countless promises of fantastic Symbian ^4 devices following them soon? In the past few months the numbers disappeared, now it's just "Symbian". Good move, now Nokia can say that it's SYMBIAN that's "non-competitive", otherwise they would have to say "S60", i.e. Nokia's UI on top of it. The user interface that they failed to improve since 2005, the year when they killed off the great Series 90 platform and decided to "merge" it into Series 60.

Six years ago they ditched that great fully touch-enabled (and even partly finger-optimized) UI and instead decided.... to re-create touch from scratch on S60, i.e. the only existing Symbian UI (originating from Pearl DFRD) that... was NEVER meant to support touch. The craziest idea of the century.

But there's more:

- Series 80 platform - ditched
- the Communicator series - ditched
- N-Gage - ditched
- Series 90 platform - ditched
- UIQ platform - ditched (yes, they could have saved it when they acquired Symbian and SE's shares)
- Maemo - ditched
- MeeGo - ditched
- Symbian - ditched (after 6 years wasted on failed attempts to improve the S60 UI).

The last four years were enough for Google and Apple to create their entire new platforms from scratch and refine them multiple times. For Nokia six years weren't enough to just polish the UX. I really don't know what to say.

And I want to avoid invectives, so I won't say anything about millions of people (users, developers, webmasters) feeling betrayed and cheated. Instead, I'm just trying to find a single reason that could make me, and probably lots of other (soon former) Symbian and Maemo users buy a Nokia Windows phone. Design? HTC or Samsung aren't that much worse in this regard. Zeiss camera? I wouldn't be surprised if HTC were just now talking with Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, etc. regarding a new camera for their phones, it's not that only Zeiss can deliver it. Hardware? Specifications of Samsung or HTC phones with 1 GHz Snapdragon and 512 MB RAM for quite a long time have been exceeding ANY Nokia phone ever made. Ovi Maps? Same maps can be found in other navigation software, present on every smartphone. Ovi Store? Who needs it on an Android phone if one has the Android Market, or on a WP7 phone where there is MS Marketplace. So what's left other than just the brand? Surely not the price, as Asian-based HTC can probably always be cheaper...

Nokia missed the point. People were buying Nokia phones first of all for their systems, Symbian and Maemo, and not for the "Nokia" brand alone. If they're ditched, what's left? But if Nokia really wanted to get an alien OS, it should have been the Android. The Dalvik VM port has been announced for MeeGo, and probably could also be ported to Symbian.

This way Nokia could have had all three systems running thousands of Android applications. And if they ported Qt to Android (EDIT: it has already been ported! - by freelance Romanian developer! - see here), they could have also had all three systems running Qt apps. A perfect combination, consistent and logical. Make everything compatible, make money on selling Android phones while slowly "in the background" polishing MeeGo and Qt to strike back with exciting and powerful Symbian and MeeGo phones in a year or so. And during that time, having Android compatibility through Dalvik VM, Symbian and Maemo users probably wouldn't even be complaining too much that they have to wait...

But no, they had to do it the worst possible way. Worst for existing Symbian and Maemo users, worst for developers and webmasters, and eventually also worst for themselves.

What a misery.
 Posted by Michal Jerz @ 16:52 in category

Intel: long live MeeGo, with or without Nokia
Suzy Ramirez on the Technology@Intel blog has commented on yesterday's Nokia announcement and confirmed Intel's commitment to the MeeGo platform and its further development for the whole range of devices ranging from mobile phones, netbooks and tablets, to automotive systems and set-top boxes.

Suzy wrote: "By now you've probably heard that today, Nokia announced a new relationship with Windows focused around handsets and Windows 7. While Nokia mentioned they will still participate in the MeeGo ecosystem and ship a MeeGo-based product this year, they outlined a primary strategy strongly aligned with Microsoft.

Although Nokia has been an important partner to Intel and MeeGo and we are disappointed by this decision, it's important to know that this is by no means the end of MeeGo or the end to Intel's commitment and the continued progress MeeGo has made and is making to the multi-device ecosystem.

Our strategy has always been to provide choice when it comes to operating systems. MeeGo is one of those choices. We support a port of choice strategy that includes Windows, Android, and MeeGo. This is not changing.

There is a solid value proposition for an open source OS that crosses different devices. End users want a consistent experience across all of their devices. MeeGo is a great solution to deliver that single experience.

MeeGo is not just a phone OS, it supports multiple devices. It is already shipping and we're seeing early momentum across multiple segments today, including automotive systems, netbooks, tablets, and set-top boxes.

We look forward to Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona, where Intel will outline its mobile strategy and have announcements around our mobile platforms and strategy."

So, have you been waiting for a MeeGo phone from Nokia? Don't give up. Maybe it won't come from Nokia (the way they said that they are going to release a MeeGo "DEVICE" this year suggests that it may be a tablet rather than a phone) but it may come from someone else. Who cares what's the logo on the casing? I don't. And you shouldn't, either.
 Posted by Michal Jerz @ 03:26 in category

   Tue, 08.02.11

Texas Instruments announces OMAP 5 processors
Texas Instruments has announced the OMAP 5 platform. And it's "not just a faster horse", it transforms the concept of 'Mobile'. The OMAP 5 platform sports an impressive list of features and benefits supporting everything from open source platforms to complementary TI technologies, including:

  • Two ARM Cortex-A15 cores, up to 2 GHz each - 3x higher performance to deliver the promise of mobile computing

  • Two ARM Cortex-M4 cores - Low-power offload and real-time responsiveness

  • Multi-core 3D graphics and dedicated 2D graphics - 5x higher graphics performance; accelerated and more responsive user interfaces

  • Multi-core imaging and vision processing unit - Next-generation computational photography experiences - face recognition, object recognition and text recognition

  • Multi-core IVA HD video engine - 1080p HD video and high performance, low bit rate video teleconferencing

  • Advanced, multi-pipeline display sub-system - Supports multiple video/graphics sources for composition

  • Can support four simultaneous displays - Supports three high-resolution LCD displays (up to QSXGA) and HDMI 1.4a 3D display

  • High performance, multi-channel DRAM and efficient 2D memory support - Supports advanced use cases with multiple ARM cores and multimedia operation; provides better user experiences without lag or quality degradation

  • TI M-Shield mobile security technology with enhanced cryptography support - End-to-end device and content protection

  • New, high-speed interfaces - Supports USB 3.0 OTG, SATA 2.0, SDXC flash memory and MIPI CSI-3, UniPort-M and LLI interfaces to support higher Wi-Fi and 4G network and HD content data rates

  • Optimized audio, power and battery management platform solutions - Complementary TI devices for an optimized OMAP 5 platform solution

  • Next-generation connectivity technologies - HD wireless video streaming, wireless display, mobile payments and enhanced location-based services.

(Read more...)
 Posted by Michal Jerz @ 18:58 in category

Android apps to run on Maemo and MeeGo
Myriad Group AG today announced the launch of Myriad Alien Dalvik, enabling Android apps to run on non-Android platforms.

From a user perspective, Alien Dalvik is completely transparent. Alien Dalvik applications appear as native and can be seamlessly installed on device without user disruption.

Myriad Alien Dalvik will be commercially available later this year on the MeeGo platform. Other platform support will be announced in the coming months. Alien Dalvik will be demonstrated for the first time on the Nokia N900 at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 14th-17th.

 Posted by Michal Jerz @ 15:22 in category

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