Wednesday, 31 October 2007
With multiple card slots, stereo speakers and standard 3.5mm headphone its clearly crying out to be used as a portable media player, but can the software stand up to this use? Actually it can, but because Nokia have made this an open platform (rather than use the closed mindset that Apple is currently employing) there are a good few alternatives to the built in media player.
I've settled on Canola, a simple, touch-friendly media player with niceties like album art support and skinning. Its big, bright interface is ideal for use in a car as an MP3 player, whilst it also packs an image viewer and a video player with full screen support.
Whilst, for example, the iPod Touch can boast its coverflow feature I suspect that Canola's strengths far outweigh the limited appeal of that particular piece of eye-candy...
Thursday, 25 October 2007
The Nokia N800 is an internet tablet according to it's maker - although to my eyes it ticks all the right boxes to pass muster as a PDA, PMP, internet tablet or VOIP terminal.
More details in future posts, but for now suffice to say that the N800 has been more impressive out of the box than any Palm or Windows Mobile device I've owned, whilst having a user community to rival that of the Sharp Zaurus - that other great corporate toe-dip into the world of open source software. A directly opposite position to the one taken by Apple and all the better for it.
Friday, 12 October 2007
In terms of pure interface I much prefer the TyTn to the Excalibur - the abilty to grab/drag or otherwise manipulate items on the screen is just too useful to give up. The TyTn can be operated for most (non-text input) tasks without even having to use the keyboard, yet their are still times when the presence of a touchscreen is invaluable.
So no, I wouldn't give up a touchscreen without seeing significant gains in interface design that allowed me to retain a large view and not have to spend all day scrolling through endless menus...
Saturday, 6 October 2007
Its been an interesting couple of weeks trying Fring out, mostly surprise that it works so well (especially compared to Microsoft's client) and shock at how quickly battery life disappears when its running, which is all the time by default in order to maintain network presence.
Audio quality is very impressive and integration into the phone is excellent - the application autostarts post-reset and then sits in the background until needed; the call and end keys function as expected within the program and you can even use Fring to manage GSM calls to your contact list.
I won't pass any further judgement whilst the program is in beta, but when they launch the final Windows Mobile client I will definitely be back for a more thorough review.