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Tag: itt

Maemo is Now a Phone?!?

by on May.28, 2009, under maemo, thoughts

Let me repeat that. It appears that the next device Nokia is going to release with the Maemo operating system is a phone.

This device is supposed to be all we thought it would be. Only, there are a couple major differences from what we thought it would be. First off, we thought it would be a data-only connection, with voice coming later. Secondly, we thought there would be a 4″ screen (based on the previous tablets). Finally, it appears that, due to the phone aspect, it will be locked into a carrier. If leaked information is right (and Nokia internals seem to confirm this), then the leak is absolutely correct, and… we’re screwed.

When I bought my Nokia 770, I thought it was the coolest thing I had seen. I wasn’t looking for a phone (I don’t have a cell plan… don’t have much need for one… yet…), yet this was a device that I could carry around and browse the web, etc. It wasn’t terribly powerful, but that was OK. Then, I got a N800, which blew me away. It was amazingly faster, and I thought it did a great job at what it was designed to do: an Internet Tablet.

Recently, the maemo community has been trying to pull itself together (not without objection). The maemo website has been redone, beta SDKs have been released, Internet Tablet Talk has been moved to talk.maemo.org, and it seems like everyone is waiting for a new device. It seems that Internet Tablet Talk moving to talk.maemo.org was a key point to Nokia’s next device. If they were not going to put out an Internet Tablet, but instead release a phone, they couldn’t have a website called Internet Tablet Talk talking about Maemo, now their phone operating system. So, what did they do? They decided to “pull the community together,” and remove “Internet Tablet” from Maemo.

Now, I don’t think the development of a phone is a terrible idea, and it’s where Maemo needs to go, but I’d like to see Nokia keep the Internet Tablet spirit, while adding phone features. The spirit of the Internet Tablets was to have a pocketable device that you could take and get internet anywhere, and have a nice, good-sized, good resolution, 4″ screen. This, to me, seems like the perfect screen size for this device. It’s small enough to be pocketable, but big enough to be readable. Yet, with the next Maemo device, Nokia is downsizing, but keeping resolution.

What does this mean? It means that text will be smaller. One of the design points of Maemo 5 was to make the interface “finger friendly” (this hinted at the lack of a stylus in the next device). However, putting the same resolution on a smaller screen means that UI components now need to be huge. It seems that this is a step backwards. We will have more processing power, so we want a bigger screen, so we can do more with it. Higher resolution, right? Well, Nokia cheated at this. By making the screen smaller, but keeping the resolution the same, they have a higher DPI, which will be percieved as a higher resolution.

But, is this really what’s best for Nokia and Maemo? Nokia is clearly trying to get Maemo devices more mass-marketed. They seem to believe, due to the low sales of previous internet tablets, that Maemo will be better off in a phone. Phones just generally sell more. Or do they? Nokia advertised the internet tablets just about not at all, and Apple, with the iPod Touch, has proved that there is a market for a portable WiFi computing device that can fit in a pocket. Sure, the internet tablets were designed with Nerds in mind, but I think that if Nokia worked on marketing the internet tablets, there would have been a bigger market.

However, this is the benefit of phones: Nokia doesn’t need to do any advertising. Sure, there are advertisements for phones, but, generally, advertisements are for phone networks. The network sells you the phone, and advertises for whichever one makes them the most money. But, when you go in to buy a phone, all the phones are out on display, and you can pick which one you want. Not once did I ever see an internet tablet “out on display”. So, the phone market creates free advertising.

Overall, I’m disappointed that this is the direction that Nokia is moving with the Mameo platform. I liked the internet tablets being a niche device that no one else has. I enjoyed showing off my nerdiness by pulling a computer out of my pocket. Now, it’ll just be another smart phone. No big deal. Everyone has one of those.

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Defining Content / “We don’t need rules”

by on Apr.11, 2009, under maemo

While I am not officially part of Internet Tablet Talk‘s move to talk.maemo.org, I do like to contribute my opinion to what’s going on. Recently, there’s been some interesting discussion. Since I’m very apt to sharing my opinion, but not all of it is suited for sharing in threads on iTT, I’ll post it here.

First, there’s the issue of defining what content is. When the community was informed of the move, we were basically told this: “There will be no change in content, only the URL and a few cosmetic changes.” Looking at the current state of iTT, some may say that “a few cosmetic changes” has been taken too far. While the themes on the forum, as of today, remain the same as always, the whole structure of the forums has been redone. The work has mostly consisted of renaming forums, and removing multiple, mostly unnecessary subforums, it seems a radical change. However, is this really considered the content of the forums. On most websites, a refactoring in the navigation of the website would only be considered a cosmetic change. All the old content is still there, the path to find it is just slightly different. So, why is the same not true on iTT? All the old threads and posts are still there, they’re just in slightly different places. The exception to this, however, seems to be the new maemo.org forum. However, the old layout had a “Website/Suggestions” forum, and because iTT is moving to talk.maemo.org, this now seems like a logical name for the “Website/Suggestions” forum. (continue reading…)

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