Don't know if anyone of you saw the announcements in London two days ago? I
know its outside the US so it doesn't really count, but here is the heads up
A mobile, open development platform with touchscreen, haptic feedback,
presence, GPS location, WiFI/VoIP and an AJAX capable web browser. Only
Google Gears is missing. Nokia showed a touch UI phone with a development
environment. It is not multi-touch, darn! The touch screen in the demo was a
resistive type single point touch screen. The UI changes are evolutionary.
Nokia still sees the phone as a single-hand device and they are keeping
menus, they are just making them finger-sized. Nokia said they wanted to be
backwards compatible, keep old application working. There is no iPhone style
finger keyboard, you need to use a stylus for writing.
The new phones will support haptics. Probably by using the vibration motor.
Nokia licensed this technology from Immersion earlier this summer. This is
fairly primitive so don't expect any religious experiences. But its a start.
They introduced a "Sensor framework" and mentioned both motion, orientation,
proximity and light sensors. They showed motion and acceleration. A
video http://www.unwiredview.com showed a woman diverting a call by
flipping over the phone while it was lying on a table. All these sensors makes gestures an additional UI
component. The really cool thing is that developers will have access to all
sensors. This is very exciting and certainly opens some new opportunities
for application and game developers!
ScreenPlay and FreeWay are Symbian 9.5 technologies for video acceleration
and network access. Snazzy names! Something must have happened since the
iPhone. Symbian used to call their stuff something like "Host Controller
Transport Layer" or "Logical Link Control and Adaptation Protocol (L2CAP)".
ScreenPlay goes hand in hand with Symbian's recently announced support for
Symmetric Multi Processing (SMP). SMP is basically a Duo Core processor on
your phone. Current Symbian phones are painfully slow and desperately needs
faster drawing speed. Thanks, iPhone!
Symbian Freeway architecture. Nokia has promised UMA devices next year. The
promise is that you can move seamless between networks. It you are on the
phone and move into a known WiFi zone, the call seamlessly switches to VoIP.
Almost sounds too good to be true.
Flash Lite 3 was announced, that means Flash Video in the browser and will
cater to all your YouTube entertainment needs. Potentially a much better
solution than today's awkward video playback.