Just browsing around the web today and decided to check out if anything new is available at the Nokia shop and noticed it all looks a little bit different. The new layout does look better, and they have been careful not to change it too much, which mean navigating around is still as easy as ever, but with some of the minor additions and changes I think it will be that much better.

Check out some of the snaps of the new store below:

New Nokia online shop (Main Page)

New Nokia online shop (Main Page)

New Nokia online shop (Select Product)

New Nokia online shop (Select Product)

New Nokia online shop (Checkout)

New Nokia online shop (Checkout)

So you can see what the old shop looked like. checkout the picture of the old checkout below:

Old Nokia online shop (Checkout)

Old Nokia online shop (Checkout)

A little while ago the guy’s over at Nokia got together to answer some of out questions about the upcoming Nokia N8 in a live webchat, and just 2 day’s ago they consolidated the questions and answers and posted then on the Nokia Blog in 3 different posts, but to make it even easier, see below for all the Q&A’s:

The Prodigal Fool: Can you tell us how the virtual keyboard works in Symbian 3? Does it look like the one we’re used to from Symbian 1?

Nokia: The virtual keyboard layout has changed for some parts and we have predictive/corrective text input there as well. The capacitive keyboard is also a step forward in usability. We’ve received encouraging results in user tests.

Thenokiablog: Can we change photo and video capture size? For example change video to smaller 640×480 resolution but faster 30 fps?

Nokia: Yes, the user can change the image & video quality. There are three of those:
720p 25fps
VGA 30fps,
QCIF 15fps for Multimedia message use.

For example 640×480 @ 30fps is available.

JayMontano: Why was the decision made to have the screws visible?

Nokia: These are always a combination of decisions based on design and mechanics.

Dan @WorldOfNokia: I have a question about the camera. Was there a specific reason the lens cover was left out on the N8 when it was on a lot of previous camera phones. This would help prevent scratching.

Nokia: There are many contributing factors here:
1. The availability of new highly scratch resistant materials to protect the lens.
2. The ease of cleaning the camera cover Vs. deep set designs.
3. The increase in size of the raised camera area.
But most importantly:
4. The evolution in applications which make use of the camera e.g. Facebook applications as well as augmented reality applications. Removing the cover means these emerging applications, as well as existing applications, are more seamless in their usage flow.

Charll: What is the real size of sensor? Is it 1/3 inch class or different?

Nokia: It’s 1/1.83″

Envutec: For how many years do you think the battery can last?

Nokia: It is hard to say exactly. How long battery lasts depends on many variables, for example, how often you charge the battery and if you’re using it in a hot environment.

You can prolong the battery life by using the device until the battery is empty and then recharging that to full.

Other ways for you to save energy and battery life are:

– Using the conveniently located ‘lock’ key as often as possible; this shuts down the device display immediately saving energy.
– Activating the power saving profile; this optimizes the functionality and energy consumption for prolonged battery life.
– Adjust the backlighting brightness to change the update interval for e-mail and the browser
– Switch off applications when they’re not needed,
– Switch off W-LAN and Bluetooth when not being used.

Vinitneo: Why didn’t you put 32 GB mass memory like N97 and N900?

Nokia: These are always product specific decisions. The Nokia N8 has 16GB of in-built mass memory, expandable up to 48GB with a Micro SD card. Device user memory (C:) available is approximately 145MB.

The Nokia N8 has 256MB RAM, improved with dynamic data management. All this results in improved user experience compared to earlier devices.

Atul: How does the N8 support Green Environment commitment?

Nokia: We think that every device should be made with environment in mind, because it makes a real difference to the environment and gives a greater variety of environmentally friendly phones for people to choose from. Our approach and strategy is that we continuously improve the environmental sustainability of all our products.

Tobypaw: Will it be possible to attach a USB-Stick to the N8?

Nokia: With the Nokia N8, you can move large files conveniently with USB on-the-go to memory stick or compatible hard drive and further to PC, ready to upload into video sharing web services.

If the hard drive needs more than 200mAh power, it needs to have an external power supply.

Thaijoni: Will the N8 be totally lag free?

Nokia: Performance is one of our design drivers and Symbian^3 with neat hardware engine is a key contributor to that.

Sheridan01: Is the N8 upgradeable to Symbian 4?

Nokia: We have not announced any such plans.

smashpOp: What’s the lowest aperture on N8 camera?

Nokia: It is fixed at f/2.8. Instead of using the variable aperture from the Nokia N86 we used this space for increasing the size of the optics to improve both video and still images. The new sensor is more sensitive than that used in the Nokia N86 – so even though the aperture is smaller in the Nokia N8, it’s low light ability without flash will be equal to or better in the final product.

Of course, the Xenon flash provides superior images in the case of ‘flash’ shots. There is an ND filter which is used in bright light to prevent any overexposure. Also, we retained the mechanical shutter to prevent motion distortion effects in still images.

Aditya Singhvi: Just wanted to know if the N8 employs a mono speaker or stereo?

Nokia: There is a boosted D-class mono speaker for hands free. It means there’s a better audio quality and volume even with a single speaker.

Endri: Is the screen the same as on the X6?

Nokia: No. The Nokia N8 has a bright 3.5″ AMOLED screen with 16M colours. The resolution is 640×360. The Nokia N8 has a capacitive touch display that brings gestures such as pinch-to-zoom to applications like Photos and Browser.

byePhone: Do you think the N8 would be better served by an OS dedicated to only the N8?

Nokia: The Nokia N8 is the first product with Symbian^3, which offers great improvements in simplification and UX. Creativity will take a leap also thanks to the new QT application development environment. This means developers are getting new tools to bring their innovation on top of Symbian^3 and many other platforms.

Atul: Have you compared the features of N8 with other phones?

Nokia: We believe it is a great device for people who want to create amazing content, connect to their favourite social networks and be entertained with the latest Web TV programs and Ovi Store apps.

The Nokia N8 offers excellent imaging capabilities. In addition to a 12MP Carl Zeiss optics, a Xenon flash and a large sensor, the Nokia N8 introduces the ability to make HD-quality videos and edit them with an intuitive built-in editing suite.

Atul: Is it password protected when trying to unlock it ?

Nokia: You can set-up device lock password to protect the device.

Brentrobinson: Is this actually a pentaband handset? Or will there be country specific band variants?

Nokia: Yes, Nokia N8 is a pentaband WCDMA device, 850/900/1700/1900/2100.

Atul: Does it come with stereo headphones with dolby effect ?

Nokia: No.

Fihu: As a camera centric phone, will N8 offer some “artsy” filters or picture post-processing beyond contrast/luminance/sharpness or cliparts?

Nokia: There is a new editing application which provides far greater control than before.

Norman: How about the focus during video capture? Is it initial focus or does it focus continuously?

Nokia: We use a new Active hyper focal distance system for video. This provides highly detailed videos from around 60cm to infinity. We chose this system because the Nokia N8 offers excellent imaging capabilities. In addition to a 12MP Carl Zeiss optics, a Xenon flash and a large sensor, the Nokia N8 introduces the ability to make HD-quality videos and edit them with an intuitive built-in editing suite.

R3van DarkStar: Are there any improvements in the web browser? Any new functions?

Nokia: There is easy zooming with gestures, integrated web search, and Flash 10 compatibility on web videos.

Mobiwan: Can you replace/remove the battery of the N8?

Nokia: We do not recommend you trying to replace the battery. It can easily be replaced at a Nokia service center.

Joarka: Is the battery Li-po or Li-ion

Nokia: Li-ion.

Brentrobinson: Will there be a conversation type flow within text/email?

Nokia: There is threaded text message functionality.

Yasser: How many Apps does OVi Store have for Symbian ^3?

Nokia: We are not disclosing any numbers but we wanted to provide developers with an opportunity to start innovating in this field as early as possible.

We have also started Ovi App Wizard, a free on-line publishing tool to help anyone including publishers, bloggers and consumers rapidly mobilize their content or brand. Using Ovi App Wizard, publishers can easily create content, and distribute to millions through Ovi Store. No programming skills are required.

Apurv: Does the N8 come with Nokia Comes With Music?

Nokia: This offering will be available in selected markets.

Jade Bryan: Is there a list of specific countries that can get a SU-36 on the package??

Nokia: It is targeted for selected Chinese speaking markets.

byePhone: Any plans to release an Android N8?

Nokia: We have three core software platforms – MeeGo, Symbian and Series 40. These three platforms give us the scope and breadth we need to address the majority of our key market segments.

Rene: Is there multiple calendar support?

Nokia: Yes.

Rajasekaran: When will this phone available in India?

Nokia: We have not announced this just yet, but you’ll know soon.

Atul: What features does the N8 have that other mobiles do not?

The Nokia N8 is our latest smartphone to date that intuitively connects to the people, places and services that matter most and we believe it is a great device for people who want to create amazing content. No programming skills are required to use it.

Atul: Can non-Nseries be updated to S^3?

Nokia: We are not supporting a commercial upgrade path for older Nokia Symbian-based devices at this time. However, given that S^3 is built from the input of a vibrant, open-source community, it’s quite possible that enthusiasts may choose to create their own, innovative ways to do this.

Yes, that’s right, the Palm Pre Plus and the Palm Pixi Plus will land in the UK very soon and be available for your local o2 store or o2 online from 28th May 2010. The price plan is similar to what the Palm is currently selling for (and cheaper then what the pre sold for when first launched).

Tariff Tables

Official press release

Palm, Inc. today announced that the Palm® Pre™ Plus and Palm Pixi™ Plus phones will be available in the UK on O2 from 28 May. They will be available from free in all O2 stores and online at www.o2.co.uk.

“We are excited to bring Pre Plus and Pixi Plus to the market for O2 customers,” said Jon Rubinstein, Palm chairman and chief executive officer. “With the choice of these two new Palm webOS phones, customers across the UK can stay connected, so they never miss a thing.”

With a slider keyboard, a large touchscreen and a high-performance processor, Pre Plus is Palm’s full-featured Palm webOS™ phone. It’s designed for people who want an easy-to-use phone with advanced features to help manage the different aspects of their lives, both personal and professional. The keyboard makes for quick and easy typing, while the unique gesture area provides a sleek look and intuitive navigation. Customers also get 16GB(1) of storage (~15GB user available) for applications and media. Pre Plus comes with the Palm Touchstone™ Back Cover, so it’s compatible out of the box with the revolutionary inductive Touchstone Charging Dock (sold separately).

As Palm’s thinnest phone to date, Pixi Plus fits easily in your hand or pocket and offers a host of powerful features. It’s great for social communicators and first-time smartphone buyers who want an affordable phone with a full QWERTY keyboard instantly accessible for messaging and web content. With the color Palm Pixi Touchstone Back Covers and the Palm Pixi Artist Series Back Covers, which are compatible with the Touchstone Charging Dock, you can easily switch covers to suit your mood and style (all will be sold separately at www.palm.com/uk).

I have got you a video (at the bottom of the post) from Daniel at Sony Ericsson Global Marketing who has shot a video of the Pro version of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz which now sports a slide out qwerty keyboard. The video has also been shot on another Vivaz Pro to illustrate the quality you can get. Daniel claims that there is only 2mm difference in thickness between the devices but the way the video has been shot, it looks like it’s a lot more!


Personally I am not fond of the design of the keyboard, being made out of that single plastic membrane, although the keys are raised, I much prefer the individual keys you see on phones like the Nokia N900, and even on phones like the N97 (original and mini), where it is one single plastic but the design means it looks and feels like individual keys. The strange thing is, if you look around the internet, other people seem to have the same phone but the keys look better then the ones on this video, maybe this is one of the earlier prototypes or Sony Ericsson just ran out of money and decided to put a cheaper keyboard into this!

You can see a comparison of the Vivaz pro and the N97 mini keyboard below, the images are proportional to each other. Not too sure how well placed the Ctrl key is in the middle, but we’ll just have to see the reaction from the first few users. Noticed the globe key above the up arrow, which I’m assuming is the internet button.

The latest and greatest from the Windows® Mobile Marketplace arrived just yesterday, and it’s the Microsoft® Office Mobile 2010. The new version is completely free and for anyone running a touch device with Windows Mobile 6.5. It allows viewing, and editing of documents, and supports Word, Excel, PowerPoint and SharePoint Workspace and from some of the comments from some people on the app page, it looks like it’s a good one to get.

Direct link: http://marketplace.windowsphone.com/details.aspx?appId=3c5f7fc0-313e-4518-8786-e13ca4873815&retURL=/search.aspx%3Fkeywords%3Doffice#

The application details are below:

Description:

Microsoft Office Mobile 2010 brings the powerful Microsoft Office 2010 tools you use every day to the screen of your Windows phone. With rich interfaces especially designed for small devices, Office Mobile 2010 is a free upgrade for Windows Mobile 6.5 phones that have an earlier version of Office Mobile installed. By installing this application, you agree to the Terms of Use for Microsoft Office Mobile 2010 that are described below.

Features:

  • View and edit your Microsoft® Office® documents with confidence.
  • Stay connected to work from anywhere with SharePoint Workspace Mobile
  • Take notes on your phone with ease – insert voice clips, pictures or make a quick list.
  • Use PowerPoint Mobile as a Presentation Companion.
Application Requirements: Touch
Released: 12/05/2010
Version: 6.5
Size: 4975 KB
Company Contact Info: offmosup@microsoft.com

Only a day ago, the FCC (Skip FCC  Footer and Contact InfoFederal Communications Commission) in USA, approved the latest Sony Ericsson which means that we should soon see it on the market.

Now if you are offended my looking at the inside of a phone, you might want to look away now!

Click here for the full FCC report

In the Latest move from Nokia to keep competitive and to improve efficiency, Nokia have  decided to re-organise it’s business model and this will all be effective from 1st July 2010. The move also means that the Executive Board will be changing as well to accommodate the restructure.

To see the full press release, read below:

Nokia simplifies its organizational structure to accelerate execution and innovation
May 11, 2010

Nokia CorporationStock exchange release
May 11, 2010 at 14:00 (CET +1)

Espoo, Finland – To increase competitiveness and deliver a stronger and more differentiated consumer experience, Nokia will introduce a simplified company structure for its devices and services business comprised of three units: Mobile Solutions, Mobile Phones and Markets. Effective July 1, 2010, the move aims to accelerate product innovation and software execution in line with the company’s goals of integrating content, applications and services into its mobile computer, smartphone and mobile phone portfolio.

The new Mobile Solutions unit will concentrate on the company’s high-end mobile computer and smartphone portfolio.  Based on both the MeeGo and Symbian software platforms respectively, these devices will be tightly integrated with Nokia’s Internet services to increase the combined value for consumers.

The renewed Mobile Phones unit will focus on maintaining Nokia’s leadership in the feature-rich mobile phone market and driving the direction of Series 40, the world’s largest mobile operating system. Both the Mobile Solutions and Mobile Phones units will have dedicated portfolio management, including product planning, R&D and dedicated software assets.

Markets will be responsible for Nokia’s ‘go-to-market’ activities, including sales and marketing, management of Nokia’s global supply chains and sourcing operations.

“In addition to extending our leadership in mobile phones, we are decisively moving to respond faster to growth opportunities we expect in smartphones and mobile computers,” says Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia. “Nokia’s new organizational structure is designed to speed up execution and accelerate innovation, both short-term and longer-term.  We believe that this will allow us to build stronger mobile solutions – a portfolio of products and integrated services that connect people and enable new ways of communicating, sharing and experiencing mobility.”

To strike the right balance between business continuity, professional competencies and faster execution, this organizational realignment includes changes among Nokia’s senior executives.

The Mobile Solutions unit will be headed by Anssi Vanjoki and be comprised of MeeGo Computers, led by Alberto Torres, and Symbian Smartphones, led by Jo Harlow. As part of the Mobile Solutions unit, Services – led by Tero Ojanpera – will continue to develop Ovi as an integrated service into smartphones and mobile computers, and lead the development and deployment of new services into Nokia’s mobile phones. Nokia has also appointed Rich Green to the position of Chief Technology Officer, assuming responsibility for driving common technology architecture across Nokia. Green brings a wealth of experience from his time in Silicon Valley, including a number of years at Sun Microsystems. He will report to Anssi Vanjoki.

Headed by Mary McDowell, the Mobile Phones unit will work closely with Services to add value to lower-end devices through offerings such as Ovi Life Tools, Ovi Mail, Ovi Store and Nokia Money.

The Markets unit will continue to focus on Nokia’s overall sales and marketing efforts, solution selling, transformation to digital marketing and consolidation and globalization of Nokia’s supply chain and sourcing. Markets will be headed by Niklas Savander.

Kai Oistamo assumes the role of Chief Development Officer and head of Corporate Development.

Rick Simonson, who currently heads Mobile Phones, has decided to retire from full-time duties at Nokia. Simonson will leave the Nokia Group Executive Board effective June 30, 2010. However, he will continue as a senior advisor to Nokia, focusing on Nokia Siemens Networks, until the end of the year. Simonson will continue to serve as a member of Nokia Siemens Networks’ Board of Directors after he leaves Nokia.

“Rick has made a substantial contribution and leaves behind a legacy in operational and financial leadership. I would like to thank him for his invaluable contribution,” says Kallasvuo. “We will certainly miss Rick, but are pleased he will continue as a senior advisor to Nokia until the end of year, and continue as an NSN board member beyond that.”

As of July 1, 2010 Nokia’s Group Executive Board will consist of the following members: Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Esko Aho, Juha Akras, Timo Ihamuotila, Mary McDowell, Kai Oistamo, Tero Ojanpera, Niklas Savander, Alberto Torres, and Anssi Vanjoki.

If you are in the states and an itching to know when you can get your hands on the latest palm pre plus, the wait will be over soon.

Yesterday (about 8PM GMT / 3PM EDT) Palm posted a comment on their Facebook page:

Hey fans, device news coming your way! Palm Pre Plus hits retail
stores and online starting 5/16 for $149.99 after contract and mail-in rebate.
Also, for a limited time in AT&T retail stores only, customers who purchase
a Palm Pre Plus will get a free Palm Touchstone Charging Dock. Additional
details coming closer to 5/16, stay tuned!

So to get the Palm Pre Plus, you will be paying over $149.99 because it’s only that price after mail-in rebate, but you get a touchstone thrown in, which personally I think should just be in the retail packaging (o2 UK have just been giving the touchstones away will any palm pree purchase for a long time, and if I remeber right they still do!).

Now for the wait over here in the UK to see if it takes another year for the device to materialize! I think that if palm leave it more then 2 months in the UK, the sales will so the same as the current one, and just sit in the stock rooms of o2 stores and warehouses gathering dust (I’ve worked for o2 UK and seen the Palm Pre’s sit there for a very long time – I personally sold one to a developer who quickly bought it back only a couple of days later and switched to an iPhone!)

From looking at the side by side comparison of the palm pre and palm pre plus, these are the main differences that I can see on GSM Arena (there are probably more!):

  • Double the storage (from 8GB to 16GB)
  • Double the RAM (from 256MB to 512MB)
  • Video Recording (the pre has recently had this added via a software update
  • Updated OS (1.3.5)
  • Minor changes in appearance
  • Minor weight increase (from 133g to 138g)
  • Multi-touch input method
  • Bluetooth possibly enabled for file transfer (this may not be the case)


If you have ever been on Sony Ericsson’s Developer World, you might have noticed a theme maker for most of their phones, well recently a new version of it has been launched with full support of the latest Sony Ericsson Satio™ and Vivaz™ handsets which currently run Symbian S60 5th Edition OS.

The Themes Creator application is very easy to use, and you don’t have to be a developer, just 4 easy steps!

  • Select the backgrounds
  • Choose a colour code
  • Set the style
  • Add any sounds which you want to

It’s as simple as that, so if you have one of these devices, get your copy of the Themes Creator direct from Sony Ericsson (it’s available for MAC & Windows [XP, Vista & 7], and also in English & Chinese)

Link: http://www.sonyericsson.com/themescreator/

Earlier in April, Sony Ericsson launched their “Ambassador” Programme which was aimed to educate retail stores about Sony Ericsson products such as the X10, and so far they have gone to: Northampton, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh and London

The program involves a team of guys and gals going round in a huge bus, going into retail stores and showing them the X10 and other devices, informing them how things work and trying to get them to really understand the products.

This programme coincides with the Insider website which currently provides opportunities for staff at retail stores to learn about the latest products, and by passing a quick quiz you can be in the chance to win many different prizes. If you work in repair, you can sign up here: http://www.sonyericsson-campaigns.com/experttraining/default.aspx

The marketing manager for Sony Ericsson, Simon Gilbert said:

We want store staff to understand our products a little bit more and wanted to bring them to an exclusive band of store staff with the aim of making them Sony Ericsson ambassadors.

So keep an eye out for the “Insider on Tour” bus heading your way!