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Another reason to turn off the touchscreen on the N8: I have often switched WiFi & 3G off by accident

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2012-06-03 09:49

subject says it all: Symbian is prone to accidental touch screen disabling of WiFi & 3G while moving. Touchscreen interfaces assume you will be using them while stationary. Not true :-) Especially for cameraphone picture taking you don't want inadvertent touch screen touches while moving!

(this blog post is aimed at the 3 people in the world who still use N8 as their main cameraphone :-))

Nokia is behind Apple in overall cameraphone user experience and that's what matters - A response to cameraphone expert Damian Dinning's great comment

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2011-10-06 01:09

(in response to Damian's comment)

Nokia is behind Apple in overall cameraphone user experience and that's what matters! Sure Nokia is still king when it comes to technology as Damian pointed out (f2.2 on N9, 12 megapixels on N8, Xenon flash on N8, the size of the sensor and microphone technology) but in terms of overall cameraphone experience, I believe with the iPhone4S, Apple has passed Nokia.

It doesn't matter how great the cameraphone technology is if the overall cameraphone user experience isn't great!

Overall cameraphone user experience = great image quality + great cameraphone apps that take advantage of that image quality like Slow Shutter, Camera+, Pro Camera and a dozens of other great  iPhone-only cameraphone apps that don't exist on Nokia cameraphones at the moment; Nokia is now severely lacking in great cameraphone apps and falling behind in video cameraphone technology. That's the lesson of Steve Jobs and Apple I think, great user experience trumps the technology no matter how great the technology underneath.

And nothing lasts forever; I believe Apple could be dethroned in overall cameraphone leadership and I believe you, Damian :-) and your team's great cameraphone technology combined with Windows Phone 7 Metro UI  or a post Meego user experience and developers that develop great cameraphone apps on top of this great user experience could dethrone Apple. I'm rooting for you and for an ecosystem of great cameraphone apps to develop in the future for Nokia; after all Apple cameraphone users can't have all the awesome cameraphone app experience forever to themselves :-) ! Competition will re-assert itself :-)

 

Android built-in keyboard like Symbian's is unusable

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2011-10-02 23:41

The Android built-in keyboard like Symbian's is unusable for different reasons. The Android one has dead spots (e.g. try hitting the space bar on the Nexus S; enjoy the dead zones :-) !). Symbian's is unusable because it's two step (you have to tap a checkmark and then tap again to get the keyboard input recognized) not to mention the fact that pre Symbian Anna the portrait keyboard is a touch version of T9!). I am exploring different keyboards and hopefully will find something decent for both Android and Symbian and then I'll blog about it.

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!

 

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