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Bicycle Commuting Picture Workflow - N8 in lanyard around my neck, take a shot, drop the phone

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2012-04-29 09:11

As a followup to WANTED: Two N8 Cameraphone apps with settings locked: default + hyperfocal street photography, here's my N8 cameraphone picture taking workflow (I have been doing this since 2008 and as a result have far over 50000 cameraphone pictures :-) !) while bicycling to work:

  1. N8 is on a lanyard around my neck
  2. I see something interesting
  3. I take the picture using the N8 built-in cameraphone app custom setting (my custom mode is the default settings with flash turned off)
  4. I drop the phone gently and it bounces harmlessly on my chest
  5. I continue bicycling
  6. Goto step 2

I would like an app with the touchscreen off because sometimes I accidentally trigger the photo editor.

I would like an app that locks out other apps because sometimes I accidentally quit out of the camera app. During my ride I don't use any other apps.

 

Speakout Wireless no catches, unlimited but slow 3G data for $10/month, no voice plan required

Submitted by Roland on Sat, 2011-11-26 23:48

Speakout Wireless no catches, unlimited but slow 3G data for $10/month, no voice plan required is my conclusion after a month. Slow means under a 1Megabit sometimes  64 kilobits! But more than good enough to run GPS and do maps and geotag photos. Recommended if you are cheap :-) and want pay as you go data! Or just want a second phone with data and don't require voice! Only tested with a Nokia N8 with Nokia Maps and Pixelpipe but other folks have got it working on Android and iPhone. (see my previous speakout post for setup details).

 


Speakout Wireless Nokia N8 Internet access setup details

Submitted by Roland on Sat, 2011-10-22 16:25

(should work with Android too if you are technical enough to map Symbian to Android; this post describes how to do it for the iPhone)

tl;dr: N8 auto config sets up a WAP access point. All you have to is copy the WAP Access Point to your Internet Network Destinations group and setup the Positioning Server to be that WAP access point and you are done.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Settings
    IMG_20111022_153428.jpg
  2. Connectivity
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153444.jpg
  3. Settings (yes Settings | Connectivity | Settings i.e. a 2 level settings menu is something only Symbian has :-) !)
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153457.jpg
  4. Internet
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153522.jpg
  5. Create a WAP Access point under Internet configured as (or if you are lazy just copy the WAP access point from WAP Services to Internet)
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153534.jpg
  6. I was lazy and copied the N8 autoconfigured one called "GoRoger"s so Symbian called the copy "GoRogers(01)"
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153647.jpg
  7. Databearer: Packet Data, Access point name:goam.com, Username:wapuser1, Prompt pasword No, Password:wap, Authentication:normal, Homepage none
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153656.jpg
  8. Advanced Settings: IPV4, Phone IP address:Automatic, Proxy Server address:010.128.001.069, Proxy port number:80
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153726.jpg
  9. Next configure the GPS Position Server under Settings|Application Settings|Positioning
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153759.jpg
  10. Positioning Methods
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153810.jpg
  11. Check: Assisted GPS, Integrated GPS, Wi-Fi/Network, Network based
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153819.jpg
  12. Settings|Application Settings|Positioning server|Server settings
  13. Tap on supl.nokia.com
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153829.jpg
  14. Change Access point to: GoRogers(01) or whatever you created the access point in step 5
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153846.jpg

Speakout Wireless pay as you go unlimited data for $10/month works for A-GPS & uploading photos to flickr on my N8

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2011-10-19 07:44

[UPDATE: detailed internet settings for Nokia N8 on Speakout Wireless]

Speakout Wireless pay as you go unlimited data for $10/month works for A-GPS & uploading photos to flickr on my N8 via WAP and it works beautifully. Full N8 setup details forthcoming! Setup Summary for the impatient: Nokia N8 auto configuration for WAP works; just copy the WAP access point to the Internet group and setup Application settings | Positioning to use the WAP access point for the positioning server. Haven't tested email and any other apps but I don't care :-)

There may be gotchas but it doesn't appear to require a voice value plan or any voice plan! I'll also post in a month or two to confirm whether there is any fine print to trip up on! But for now appears to be a cheap and cheerful pay as you go unlimited data plan!

X7 review: It's hard to use another cameraphone after you have used the N8

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2011-08-03 23:02

At Nokia Unfenced II in Canmore, Alberta, Canada at the beginning of July (a fun event consisting of horseback riding, a challenging ropes course and other mayhem and hijinx which was impeccably and beautifully organized by Donna Suffling and Tom Hall of Womworld Nokia; my thanks to Donna, Tom and Womworld for paying for the whole shebang and providing us review Nokia X7s!), I received the Nokia X7 for review. I tried to love the X7 but after the N8 I think it's really impossible for me to love another cameraphone fully unless it beats the N8's picture quality. It's all about the pictures for me and the N8's pictures are the best in spite of Symbian's many unfriendly eccentricities (check out the my X7 pictures for yourself: X7 Set 1, X7 Set 2).

Loved:

  • X7 build quality
  • Symbian Anna is getting easier to use (the eccentricities are very nearly all gone) but is it too little too late? Probably in my estimation but time will tell;

Not loved:

  • No lanyard slot (but I realize that most people don't carry their cameraphones around their neck for quick camera access)
  • Probably no lanyard slot because it's too heavy for wearing around your neck :-)
  • The EDoF EOF i.e. fixed focus  camera. Sorry but when you can get an iPhone 3GS with macro and real focusing for  free on contract, why would you settle for a fixed focus camera ?
  • Disappointed to find that the Symbian Anna Browser doesn't run my HTML5 map mashups made using the CloudMade API e.g. my map of Vancouver flickr photos taken the day the Vancouver Canucks beat the San Jose Sharks to advance to the 2011 Stanley Cup final (but Android Web Kit browser, Firefox Mobile and Mobile Safari do and my guess is Opera Mobile on the X7 would work). When will Symbian get a real HTML5 modern built-in browser? Symbian Belle?

N8 video & flickr not working - symptomatic of both Flickr & Nokia irrelevance?

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2011-05-03 08:09

5 months later and Nokia N8 video still doesn't work on flickr. Interestingly, N8 video works fine on YouTube. I think this is symptomatic of both the decline and irrelevance of both flickr and Nokia that they can't get video working with Nokia's flagship phone.

Oh well ! Onwards! I have 200 N8 videos that I'd like to batch re-encode so that they *do* work on flickr. what's the best way to do this on Mac OS X. FFMpeg?

p.s. Nokia N8 and flickr: I still love you both :-) Luckily I can handle this video issue; I couldn't handle it if there was a similar issue with photos!

I have Nokia Cameraphone Stockholm syndrome, the N8 continues to rule!

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2011-05-01 16:33

fern! - 043020116311 043020116308 A dandelion between the cracks 043020116231 Purple flower of Cedar Cottage - 032720114585

I have Nokia Cameraphone Stockholm syndrome :-) which means I neglect the (un)usability of Symbian in order to get fantastic photos like the ones above! I can't stop taking photos with the Nokia N8, and I can't repeat it enough, the photo quality is amazing, thanks again to the Nokia team responsible for the N8!

My question, who will top the Nokia N8 in cameraphones? Will it be somebody on Android, Windows Phone 7, WebOS, or will Canon and Nikon or some camera upstart like Panasonic do the right thing and incorporate 3G connectivity with software programmability (I love Eye-Fi but unless it's built in it's a kludge! And the built-in WiFi in various Nikons and other cameras from traditional camera manufacturers is unusable since it's not programmable and not flexible) so that an ecosystem of cameraphone apps can spawn around a fantastic cameraphone (the iPhone4 has an excellent ecosystem of cameraphone apps but without a dedicated camera button, I can't use it as my goto cameraphone).

My guess it will be be an Android cameraphone with a dedicated camera button that will top the N8 but I'd love to be proven wrong by HP, or Panasonic or other upstart. (And feel free to think that my obsession with cameras with built in connectivity that is programmable is crazy but I think there are many 1000s of people like me!)

Our French immersion kid hilariously calls the N8, l'iPhone de Nokia

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2011-04-03 08:17

And doesn't understand why the UI is not as responsive in general e.g when playing Angry Birds on the N8
or why the N8 Angry Birds sometimes displays black blotches instead of the correct graphics.

Ah the current sad state of computer software, hardware and experience where only a few companies like Apple can make a compelling, complete experience. (i.e. beyond the Fisher Price iPhone experience; I love Fisher Price Ewan, I also love computer power tools like Ubuntu and Emacs) . I am looking forward to trying out Android in depth but it feels like Linux before Ubuntu rather than a compelling experience that can compete with Apple's.

It's time for real total mobile experience innovation. One that isn't tethered to a PC. One that helps me manage my life without drowning in a sea of overlapping and confusing apps or "ad driven where my data is sold to the highest bidder" web apps.

Perhaps I'll just give in to my geeky nature and run my own powerful but hard to use server for services for my mobile like I run this blog on my own server.

N8 Review - Nice Camera, Shame about the Total Experience which hasn't progressed since the N80 of April 2006

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2011-02-10 23:25

N93 video camera app screen of death - Roland in Vancouver 054

tl;dr If you are the 1% who value a cameraphone with fantastic photos above total experience (user experience, dev experience, apps experience, etc), then the N8 is for you. For others who only require a decent camera and are  not cameraphone camera obsessed like I am, there are plenty of  alternatives in 2011 with better user, dev and apps experiences which I won't bother to name!

On the eve of Nokia's February 11, 2011 announcements, it seems appropriate to review the Nokia N8. For those who don't know I have taken over 50,000 photos with Nokia cameraphones (7610,N70,N80,N73,N93,N85,N82,N900 and now the N8) since I first bought my first Nokia cameraphone back in 2004, the Nokia 7610 a 1 megapixel cameraphone.

What I love about the camera:

  • The photos the photos the photos. Can't believe how great they are! Thanks!
  • Fastest shot to shot of any cameraphone I have ever used. faster than our Canon point and shoot.
  • Fastest auto-focus. Until the N8 I almost never used Nokia cameraphone focus, because it was too slow.
  • Best Sensor

In other words the hardware and the sensor and the embedded software of the N8 camera are unparalleled. Thanks to those at Nokia responsible for the hardware and the sensor and the embedded software. A+ !!!!

What is substandard about the camera is the software i.e. the Nokia camera application:

  • basically unchanged since the N80 in 2006.  Menus and user experience hasn't changed much since the N80 and N95 days back in 2006 and 2007. Over 5 years of wasted user experience improvement potential
  • Sometimes the camera app appears to crash and gives you a deceptive error message very similar to the one pictured above i.e. implying you need to restart the N8 to get the camera app working. This is deceptive and broken because you don't have to restart the N8; you simply have to quit and restart the camera app. Unacceptable that this has been appearing in Nokia camera apps since 2006

Substandard experiences of the current N8 pre PR 1.1  (I still haven't been able to upgrade to the newly released PR1.1):

  • Dev experience: doesn't work on a Mac or Linux as smoothly as Windows and there is no grassroots, innovative developer energy going forward with Qt. Get rid of the Mac and Linux versions or get them working properly and as smoothly as Windows. Qt is confusing and old school C++ without any of the refinement of other platforms. QML has great potential but is still not mature enough.
  • User Experience - Symbian^3 is much better than any previous Symbian on a touchscreen phone but it is still feels cobbled together and like a wart on a wart (power management and voice quality and true multitasking are the only exceptions which like awesome cameraphones nobody really cares about unfortunately!). And the primitive out of date web browser built-in to the N8 (I am aware that for PR 2.0 in March or April there will be an up to date browser, but "real artists ship" :-) !)  is an embarassment and very frustrating for users.
  • Apps Experience - I could go on and on about this but here is one example close to my heart: given Nokia's ridiculously large lead in cameraphones (at one point, Nokia was at least 3 years ahead of Apple and Android in cameraphone technology and software), it would stand to reason that there would be lots of great camera apps but there are none. It's really hard to use the OVI store and it's not built into the pre PR 1.1 firmware!

 

iPhone4 HD Video is a killer app - James Burland's HD video's proof of the awesome sound & video quality - Game on N8 :-) !

Submitted by Roland on Fri, 2010-06-25 07:55

James Burland's (a video and still cameraphone expert since the N90 and N93 days))  stunning video of a bee pollinating flowers shows the high quality sound and video of the iPhone 4 camera.

Total killer app for parents and aspiring film makers !! Who needs a Canon 5D Mark II? You could easily do something like the Blair Witch Project with shaky non stabilized video on the iPhone 4.

Don't believe me? Register for vimeo, download James Burland's iphone 4 HD video, put on your headphones and check it out.

Because I have tried an N8 prototype, I know the Nokia N8's stills are better than the iPhone 4 stills but not sure the N8's videos are going to be better than iPhone 4. Bring on the competition!

iPhone 4 camera better than every Nokia phone except the N8 which I remain optimistic about

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2010-06-23 07:35

If you examine the iPhone 4 photos and videos floating around the Internet you will see that the photos and videos are fantastic. Not as fantastic as the upcoming Nokia N8 but for 99% of the folks it's more than good enough. And that includes the "I have taken 40000 cameraphone pictures since 2004" cameraphone geeks like myself.

Even the mighty, not released until the fall, Nokia N8 doesn't have the fun and funky cameraphone applications that the iPhone has. One could argue as I have in the past that these are gimmicks to make up for the lousy camera which was true.  But with the iPhone 4, the camera is excellent: fast, plenty of pixels and excellent quality and the HD video on the iPhone 4 is unequalled by the N8.

So has Nokia lost the plot? I would certainly say so. Definitely lost the geeks and other "small c" and hobbyist creators to Android; the high profit, high margin trendy middle class and rich folks to the iPhone; the only thing remaining is low margin high volume phones and lingering vestiges of brand coolness in Asia and Europe.

Is Nokia doomed to "IBM-like 1980s irrelevance" where Apple and Android are like Microsoft in the 1980s - popularizing  and growing the market and pushing Nokia like Microsoft pushed IBM to the margins?

Certainly seems that way. I still think all is not lost. If the N8 ships on time and Symbian^3 is actually much more usable than I think it is and more importantly, the N8, post N900 device and Symbian are marketed properly worldwide and if the Meego post N900 device is cool and compelling, there's definitely the possibility of a rebound.

My fingers are crossed for the big N. I'll continue to enjoy my N900's unabashed and unequalled openess and hackability (disclosure:I received my N900 free from Nokia at the recent Nokia adventure but was going to buy anyway) and I am pretty sure I will buy an N8.

And to participate in the fun and use its great camera and software, I'll also get an iPhone 4.

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