nokia

Sailfish SDK

By | featured | No Comments

So, I took the plunge and downloaded the Sailfish OS SDK from here. I really appreciate the unique three step install that the SDK provides and that it was good to go in a few minutes as soon as download was finished. That is the power of Qt.

Really happy to see the documentation for the Qt Components. Guess, I was looking at them not after really a long time. Good old times were refreshed in my mind.

Next steps? Over the weekend, have my first application ready for you, #Jolla.

#Respect for you, #Jolla.

N9 vs Lumia

By | featured | No Comments

I will start with what I would like to have in a phone that I use. In my day-to-day life, following are the apps / functionalities that I use on a regular basis:

  • Alarms
  • Email (MFE, Google, Yahoo, custom email account support)
  • Ability to configure multiple Calendars (+ to-dos, reminders)
  • Music
  • Social network (facebook, twitter)
  • LinkedIn
  • Contacts sync with online services (e.g. Ovi, Google)
  • Whatsapp
  • Browser
  • Feed reader
  • Password manager
  • Dropbox client
  • WordPress
So, both Lumia and N9 have these mentioned features / functionalities and hence make both of them a good phone to use. The real difference lies between the user experience.
Lumia is no doubt a good phone, but it does not promise me a good “user experience”. Here are some of the reasons, why:
  1. Crazy silent reboots!
  2. No time (or other indicators) on the power saving lock screen. Powering on the screen everytime I want to see time is bad. And sometimes, pressing the power button initializes a reboot.
  3. No handy way of connecting or disconnecting WiFi / Cellular connection. I hate going to settings and then doing things. Or even, installing the short-cut applications for this purpose.
  4. Internet explorer sucks. Big time.
  5. No beep profile. I would not like the phone to be in vibrate mode at some times. While at work, I would like the profile to be famous Nokia Beep.
  6. Can’t do much with an offline Lumia. (or get a real flat data plan, not like those in Germany)
  7. Can’t transfer or share files (songs / images / ringtones) over bluetooth. WAAT!!
  8. Not a good battery life. Have to charge battery almost every 8 hours.
  9. The annoying “Mobile operator” delivery reports.
  10. The applications for facebook sucks! The in-built integration with social networks is Ok but when the phone is offline, I cant really see much about what’s happening around. I have to open dedicated applications or even the people’s application to see whats happening which again triggers some data connection in background.
  11. No ability to show contacts by Nicknames! It is annoying to see my mom calling and the phone says: “Rxxhxx Vxyxx”. Does not give me the feel of having a “personal” device.
  12. No way to schedule when to sync my email accounts. I really do not want to see any office emails in the night from my exchange account. Brrr!
  13. I am forced to connect my phone to a PC to update it. No OTA update is available. Being a linux user, I had some hard time trying to  update my phone.
  14. Cant configure my custom voip accounts to make calls.
On the other hand, what I like about Lumia is a couple of UI effects that it has. The swipe gesture in inbuilt apps is good. The showing of calendar reminders on lock screen and tiles is good.
I have been using N9 for close to two years now. And I really see N9 as the clear winner in my “user experience and expectations”.
  1. No crazy reboots
  2. A good blank screen indicator
  3. Connect / disconnect from the network using the status menu
  4. The beep profile
  5. Mozilla
  6. With an offline N9, I can still see some selected updates from my friends in the feeds screen. No need to trigger a new data connection. And if I am interested to know more, I can tap on a particular update to open app and create connection if required.
  7. I can see all the updates (from social, feed reader) at one place. No need for opening a special app for them.
  8. OTA updates are available.
  9. I can select when to update / sync which email account.
  10. Support for OVI which has all of my contacts.
  11. Relatively better battery life. I charge it every morning. (or at a gap of about 12-15 hrs)
In a nutshell, Nokia N9 is an epitome of good work and passion towards making a solid phone that people will love and like to use.

Lumia 800 indeed is a good phone in its own category. But it does not stand a chance when comparing to Nokia N9. What I could add more is that if someone has been using symbian all his/her life, they might find Lumia a very good experience. But I guess, it is not the case with Nokia N9 users.

Honestly speaking, initially, I was hesitating a bit to start using Lumia. One of the major reasons being “what if it is better than N9”? But now, I am happy it isn’t.

And yes, I agree with https://twitter.com/lowyatdotnet that Nokia N9 is the most underrated smartphone ever. Read this.

Lumia

By | featured | No Comments

In my new role at Nokia Berlin, I have been given a Lumia 800 for my daily use and will be given Lumia 820 very soon. Initially, I was hesitating to use it but now, after about one month of usage, I am happy. Why? I will post that soon.. 😉

Startups, acquisitions

By | featured | No Comments

An old draft post, which I published now!

Aug 10, 2012:

People put their times and hard work to enhance or create something that they like or believe in and then a startup is born. Almost ninety percent of the successful startups work on some kind of an innovation model.

While even the big players today, like Google, Amazon, HP, Apple all started as small companies which made it big, there have been a lot of small companies that came in this market with a dream of getting it big. Some of them succeeded partially, some did not.

I was looking at some of the startups, that were really innovative and could have succeeded greatly. But then, they were acquisition-ed by other big players and eventually, killed. List of such innovation houses are huge! To start with, lets take an example of Flickr. It happened to be the best social picture sharing platform. Yahoo bought it, probably messed somewhere in deciding between “innovation” and “integration” (a good read: here).

Dec 8, 2012:

Similarly, there were other innovations around as well. Coming straight to what I want to convey in this post is that there was one another startup that was very innovative and did a lot of things in this open source world which made people follow it like a cult. Me being one of them.

Yes, I am talking about Trolltech, the makers of Qt. Like all other start-ups, it was bought over by a very big player in the market, viz. Nokia. And after a couple of years, Nokia decided to part ways with it.

I have had the privilege to work with the core qt team (at Oslo and at Brisbane) for quite sometime. While, the end of this journey has not been a “happy ending” and I never appreciate Nokia abandoning Qt, what I appreciate is that they did not kill it. Well, in a way, they did.. but the in a way they did not.

Qt still lives. Qt5 still came out. Thanks Nokia for realizing that Qt is a good piece of technology and some one should continue the innovation. Thanks for passing this on to Digia.

Digia, thanks for Qt5! And jolla, thanks for taking it forward!!

Change of plans

By | featured | No Comments

Sorry for the noise, but there has been some change of plans related to my stay at Nokia. While already resigned from the company, accepted the severance package and ready to become an ex-Nokian, I got an offer from Nokia Berlin on Wednesday, 29th September and I decided to stay back for a number of reasons agreed between both, me and Nimika.

I was a bit sad to leave another opportunity that I had at RIM, Sweden.

Now I have made a choice and its all mine.

the PILL

By | featured | No Comments

Today, I took the red pill. For those who might not connect to this, I decided to be in the real world and handed over my resignation to Nokia.

This means that very soon I will be an ex-Nokian. Precisely, in another 2 weeks. My resignation is pretty well influenced by the latest reorganization happening at Nokia.

The good thing about this is that I am now allowed to work on something that I like, explore new opportunities in the area that I like. Pretty much, I can now tailor my future as per my wish.

With all great aspirations and wishes, I bid adieu to Nokia and wish myself good luck.

Mr. Elop, its kind of pity that Nokia has such a thinner innovation force now. Even worse that many people who are working under you do not really feel good about it!

Qt, everywhere

By | featured | No Comments

Qt Everywhere, #qteverywhere!

qt, everywhere!

qt, everywhere!

 Yes, by now, the world has known already, what are Digia’s plans to do with Qt. YaY!! There is qt everywhere now! Android, iOS, Windows!! And its sad that Nokia is not using it anymore.

The moment I heard it, I was filled with joy.. the joy of seeing qt alive, the joy of witnessing qt running officially on all possible mobile platforms. But, why so late?

It reminded me of a dream Nokia saw a few years ago! “Qt Everywhere”!!

=> Dream One | Dream Two

Now that this dream is going to be true and probably, in a more bigger way, it is sad that Nokia is not a part of it. The good thing is that a few genius Nokians will be a part still. I wonder why, Nokia never thought to do something like this? If they wanted to establish a Qt ecosystem, this could have been a good strategy. I know there were some hobby projects to port Qt to Android and iOS but there was nothing official. And had there been any official support, in my opinion, this would have brought wonders to the #qtecosystem and would have brought joy to many developers.

Reminds me of my previous blog post about Nokia. This step is quite similar to what I wanted the mainstream Nokia strategy to be (read: here).

I now wonder, what happens next? Would Qt ecosystem grow as big that google be interested in it? I think when a big player like Nokia backs off.. probably, things might not be so “piece-of-cake” for Qt, but for sure, we will find new innovations continue at places like Jolla!

God bless and god speed to Qt..

Nokia: IMHO

By | featured | No Comments

Yes, you are right, I work at Nokia and I am writing this post about my feelings for Nokia, keeping in mind the recent state of affairs. Other than writing as an employee, I will also try my best to pen down my feelings as a consumer.

To start with, as a consumer, I am a hardcore Nokia fan. I firmly believe that as a mobile phone company Nokia has contributed a lot to the market and its share of contribution has not yet ended. As an employee, Nokia is a great place to work. You get to learn a lot of things, you learn how to apply innovative ideas and the best part being the ability to touch the life of millions of people. I really appreciate the Nokia values and their ways of working.

Now, looking into current state of affairs as a consumer, I might have been happy to see Nokia investing in an array of windows phones but I am unhappy with their strategy of discontinued MeeGo and Symbian platforms. Today, I see that windows phones are not a feature complete devices. For example, Lumia 800 does not have a reliable Bluetooth. I personally don’t like the Metro UI very much. I think that it is a waste of space on the screen and I am more comfortable with full utilization of all the available screen space as it is done in MeeGo, maemo or Symbian phones. As a normal user, I can’t even select a normal mp3 as my ringtone on Windows phones. I have to first cut the file short to one minute and make it folllow some rules to be able to set as a ringtone. There are some known problems with the Audio quality and battery life. These might be very small points, but they do affect people who want to personalize their mobiles. Talking about the strategy, I just feel that Nokia has choosen the wrong path now. The #Feb11 announcement could have been better. Probably, it would have been best if Nokia would have left the option of choosing the platform to the end-users and would have focused on making and promoting world class products like N9, PureView and in side-ways, investing a little in Windows phone to see the capability of the product. After making a technology shift to Windows immediately and killing all other platforms Nokia has, how did they think they would make money? By selling those phones to which they say that they will be killed in future? What I appreciate is that even after making a huge technological shift, firing a lot of people, Nokia still managed to come out with a few of Lumia phones in the market in a remarkably less time. What I do not appreciate is that they are investing big time on a platform that could not gain a substantial market share even though, all other OEM manufacturers are using it as their smart phone platform too. What I do not appreciate is that the Lumia products were not a complete solution to smart phones (esp. when compared to MeeGo’s N9).

As an employee, my heart really goes out with the decision of abandoning MeeGo, Symbian. All the innovations, patents, good work, quality lines of code, talents will now rest in pieces. While, the innovations, patents still remain with Nokia, the talent will now be scattered. So much money and time was invested in building such an asset and today, there is no future for all of them. On #Feb11, I would have rather loved to see MeeGo released already, followed by few updates and then, another device with a stripped down MeeGo (functionality, feature and price wise) coming soon to cover up the lower price segments. As for Symbian, it has been paying Nokia’s salaries since ages and I see it has the capability to do so for at least a couple of another years. A ramp-down of Symbian was something I might not rule out, but I would have probably expected to hear something like ‘We will pursue Symbian for a couple of years more while doing an RnD for Windows phone based smartphone products. Once we find that Windows phone is the right place to be, we will try to phase out Symbian. In future, we see Nokia investing in both, MeeGo and Windows phone’. Today, as compared to all other Lumia products, I see Nokia N9 as the most innovative, sparklingly fresh and the best smartphone any company could make till date. I see PureView as another flagship device Nokia produced. But all in all, I don’t understand, why they decided to sell it in limited stocks?

Why wouldn’t a company want to sell phones (which have been applauded in the market) and make money?

As an employee, a consumer and just another person who admires Nokia as a company, I am really sad at its current position. Nokia is very much uncertain about the future of Qt within the company. Why in the world? You spend billions of euros in making an ecosystem so common that could have supported both Symbian & MeeGo without much efforts and when the time came to get the pay-back, you are uncertain about its future and decide to abandon it? WHY? Just because you are running out of cash? Just because you need more money? If this is so, then why did you not sell flagship devices like Nokia N9 and Nokia PureView? I am sure they would have broken all previous records in sales and their sales would have provided enough cash flow for Nokia to easily sustain the huge competition.

Based on my “limited” mindset, I seriously think that the current path of Nokia is not right. I (and probably all the developers, consumers out there) would have rather appreciated a Qt based ecosystem supported by platforms like Symbian, MeeGo. In order to build a more bigger developer ecosystem, may be Nokia could have released an official Qt port for Android in association with Google. I see this as a huge leap towards keeping the developers happy. One peace of code, running on all the major platforms like Symbian, MeeGo, Android. And after all this, if they were still not happy, invest a little in a small portfolio for Windows phone too. Port Qt there. Make developers, consumers happy.

When a company needs cash for operating, firing people is not always the right thing to do. Especially, for company like Nokia, probably, selling more phones (like N9, PureView, Asha series) makes more sense because it brings in the cash flow.

I am sad for Nokia. I just want it to grow big, bigger that it was a few years ago, which as of today, seems to me like a long path to cover. Although, it would not have been difficult if, in my opinion, we would have chosen a bit different path than what we have right now.

At the end, I just want Nokia to succeed. All the best.

Some other reads:

http://dot.kde.org/2012/07/09/kde-rely-qt-protect-qts-freedom-contribute-it

—8<—

With the recent strategy changes within Nokia—the largest contributor to Qt, there is uncertainty about the future of Qt that concerns KDE.

—>8—-

http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/07/jolla-promises-meego-will-live-on-plans-new-smartphone/

—8<—

More than a few N9 aficionados felt their hearts sink when important MeeGo team members left Nokia this week, putting the fate of the entire swipe-friendly platform in doubt. Recently-founded Jolla was clearly watching, as it confirmed just in the nick of time that it’s planning to carry the torch further. The Finnish startup, which includes important members of the N9 team as well as veterans of the unofficial MeeGo community, not only plans to iterate on MeeGo but to build its very own smartphone…

—>8—

To keep blogging

By | normal | No Comments

To keep blogging on a regular basis, I seriously need a wordpress client for my phone. This gives me independence to write a post almost anytime and I do not need a dependency on my laptop. I can write what is on my mind, anytime, anywhere.. Just need internet.

I have been using CutePress for Nokia N9 these days for blogging. A good app indeed.

Feb 11, almost a year down

By | featured | No Comments

It has been a little more than a year to the ‘Elop’ucation of MeeGo and Symbian. Even though the work for these platforms have still been going out at Nokia in order to fulfill the commitment of Symbian Belle and MeeGo 1.2 update, we very well know that very soon MeeGo, Symbian will be the words of the past. They will be replaced by WP7, WP8, metro ui and what not…

Personally, my heart still goes on for MeeGo. I seriously feel that MeeGo has the capability to win the smartphones market for Nokia. Most of the people who have worked for MeeGo think the same. The sad part is that the leaders within Nokia feel that Windows is the only way to go forward.

I am a big linux fan and enthusiast, but that does not mean that I would not have liked a Windows phone by Nokia. It might have been a good thing to start with. What I think more is that MeeGo was not so immature to die soon.

It deserved a couple million or billion phones more, worldwide, every corner of the globe.

I have known a few people in India, who have seen the teaser of Nokia N9 and are ready to leave their androids, iphones, wps for that.

Today, when I write this blog from my Nokia N9, I have a mixed bag of emotions. Something that worries me the most is that because of this strategic change, many good programmers and talented people have left Nokia. I sometimes also fear if Nokia just becomes the hardware store for Microsoft?

Let us see what life brings on a year down the lane. Lets believe in the Nokia leaders for a better tomorrow!