So many things have happened in mobile world recently that I can hardly cope with their sheer volume. This time I would just add my quick thoughts to some of them, one-line comments that I would like you to comment, too.
Let's start with VirusGuard Coming to Android Market in 2009: yeah, a clear disadvantage of full openness coupled with user-controlled security policy is that such a software is necessary. Remember that famous anti-virus software vendors also tried to gain a foothold on mobile phones based on Symbian OS, too? Unfortunately, Symbian's security mechanism works so well that there is no real demand for such software on these phones. Note: since Android Market is only for free software (yet), this commercial software can be purchased from Handango.
I've read two interesting reviews on the user experience of T-Mobile G1 and Nokia S60. In fact, these two were compared to each other. It was funny to read how two people with different needs could come up with contradictory results. Whilst Matthew from Darla Mack's blog found Contacts, Syncing, E-mail support and a "lot of other things" being superior on G1 he confirmed it too that there are many things that need improvement in upcoming Android-powered devices as well. Chris Walters from TheNokiaBlog, on the other hand, found just the opposite: he thought he could at last forget about S60 and can enjoy all the things Android can provide, but realized that S60 is still superior to Android in many aspects: build quality of device, camera, not being locked to any carriers, etc. There are two immediate conclusions I drew from these (and other) reviews:
- Don't believe to any reviews, but make your own decision based on your own needs. For example, how would you decide based on these two reviews cited above when they both claimed that G1/S60 was superior to the other platform in Syncing?
- Nokia had been the king of user experience on mobile phones until iPhone and G1 appeared on the horizon. The structure of menus, applications, settings, etc. were logical, consistent and compatible across a wide range of devices. It was engineering-driven so it couldn't be in any other way. Following an engineering-driven approach, however, is not enough anymore. In my opinion these companies could learn a lot from each other. It's not a sin (well, generally) to copy one's idea if that has proven whereas ours has not stood the test of time. The point is better user experience, which is better both for users and vendors.
The third thing I found worth being mentioned is Nokia Friend View. This beta software is similar to IYOUIT (for example) that I've already given a try to and liked much. I can see this kind of software being useful from another point of view (than what they advertise), too: I'm a family man and although my kids are small I know that the time will come quickly when I will let them hang around but still would like to know where they are. The wide-spread of such a software (and hardware!) will hopefully keep me relaxed in those times.
Finally, Nokia has made a very important announcement in the past week: they introduced Nokia Life Tools along with 7 new models under €100 price range. According to the press release, Nokia Life Tools is a range of innovative agriculture information and education services designed especially for rural and small town communities in emerging markets. Knowing that the opportunity at the bottom of the pyramid is huge, and handset manufacturers and network providers alike are working hard to fill it with phones (this time cited from PCWorld) it's no wonder why these new models can be purchased at never-seen prices. Nokia has finally entered the war fought for phone owners with thin wallets with the introduction of Ultra Cheap Phones.