Thursday, August 23, 2007

Nokia 6120 Classic

I got myself a new phone, a Nokia 6120 Classic. It seems to be a really nice phone. It's small (for a smartphone), it's cheap (not that I paid for mine, but anyway), it's 3G and it's fast (for an S60 device). It has a solid feel to it too, not the typical plastic feel that so many phones have, including most of Nokia's other S60 devices. It also doesn't look horrible, like some other phones. Too bad it doesn't come in spectacular colours (only black and white), because I would have loved a yellow one.

As a bonus, it comes with some code written by yours truly: the embedded game Marble Cannon runs on mophun, with my Symbian integration. It's a pretty nice game (haven't tried it before, Johan started coding it about the same time I quit my job at Synergenix), but maybe a bit too easy.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Open platforms

Some people don't think you should call the iPhone a smartphone, as it's not an open platform, while most people seem to agree that phones running SymbianOS are indeed smartphones. Well, at last the S60 and UIQ ones. The accepted distinction between open and non-open platforms seems to be that open platforms let you install third party native code. However, seeing as most open systems are more or less closed, as they only give third party developers access to a select subset of the system's API:s, it might be more useful to think of open vs. closed systems as a scale that ranges from completely closed to completely open.

A PC running an open source OS (or the Neo 1973 smartphone) is about as open a platform as you'll find, while a wristwatch is a completely closed system. Between these you have systems like the iPhone, that lets you install widgets, with little access to system functions, feature phones that let you install Java midlets and typical smartphones, that let you install native code apps, but don't give you access to the full set of system API:s, and won't let you replace system components.

The iPhone is less open than a typical feature phone, but it's also more "smart" than those, as it's running a real OS, just like smartphones. This just shows that categories like feature phones and smartphones are too simplistic. It was a good idea to use these categories 5 years ago, when open phones was something new and exciting.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Web 2.0 vs. open source

I read this article over at AllAboutSymbian some time ago. It seems 3 want their users to create their new portal, web 2.0-stylee. In a corporate context, this might sound like a superb idea: someone else does the work, you cash in. It's like with open source around 2000: there was a wide-spread perception that you could just upload your code to sourceforge, and thousands of nerds around the world would start doing the work for you, Linux-style, or Mozilla-style. However, those nerds need some sort of incentive. It just won't work for any project. It works exceptionally well for cool projects like the Linux kernel, but might not work as well for something completely uncool, like an office suite.

Web sites with user contributed content work great if the users feel that it's a good service, ie. if it's fun or useful. Adding links to mobile sites to 3's mobile portal probably isn't much fun. I know I couldn't be bothered.