Jolla: MeeGo resurrected.

Only recently, being again (after using my Palm Pre Plus for one day again) tired of Android, I checked Nokia N9 prices again. Still too expensive for my liking, but there seemed to be no hope for the Nokia MeeGo device.

Yesterday, this changed. Jolla, a finish company being run by former Nokia employees, has announced to build some devices based on MeeGo. As you are likely to an attentive person, you will imidiately ask yourself: Now, what will they build on? MeeGo Harmattan, that was a MeeGo compliant Maemo? MeeGo, that is now Tizen, after having been merged with LiMo? Or MeeGo, that is now Mer? Well, it turns out that they will build on the last one, on Mer, and thus Qt.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much more to tell right now. As Qt and MeeGo/Mer are certainly pretty mature already, I do really hope for some (hardware) announcements pretty soon. Because without Hardware, nothing much will emerge of JollaMobile – it will be just another OpenWebOS (yeah, it will be very different, but also a dead end).

I wish the Jolla guys all the best. As these are the guys that made the N9 happen, they can build a disruptive product. And that’s really needed.

What you should read:
MeeGo Diaspora by Henri Bergius

Source:
JollaMobile (twitter)
Jolla (LinkedIn)

Join the discussion:
TheVerge
talk.maemo.org

First Impressions of an old device: Welcome the Nokia N900

Recently, while being really excited about the beautiful Nokia N9, I realized that the prizes for used N900s had finally dropped into regions, where it was an instant purchase for me. So I went ahead and bought a device, which I hadn’t really ever seen that often.

In fact, while taking it out of it’s box, I was almost overwhelmed by the good condition my used unit was in, and while taking the hefty device in my hand, I finally realized what this skinny nerd girl, which is the only person among the people I call friends that has ever had an N900, had meant: The N900’s thickness, surely not looking good on spec sheet or photos, doesn’t to it no harm once you hold it and use it.

The soft touch feel of the device is really enjoyable, and aside, the software looks really good on the 3.5” WVGA screen. And not only that, while you notice that the N900 has a resistive touch screen, you will soon realize, that it doesn’t kill this device, in fact I am sure that as soon as you start exploring possibilities like that debian chroot option, you will actually be happy that Nokia made this decision.

Naturally, the speed of the late 2009 N900 doesn’t compare well to todays top notch competition’ still the combination of a TI OMAP 3430 with 256MB Ram is likely way more fun on this device than on a equally specced Motorola Milestone and surely more fun than on a orginally Palm Pre.

Asking myself, why I didn’t get that thing right at launch is a question I asked myself later last night. As far as I remember it simply was the superficial comparison (photos and spec lists),
that the N900 really lost to the Motorola Milestone for then obvious reasons. Today, it is different: If you are really up for making a bargain on a used and aged device (which is not the worst thing one can do, as last years top notch hardware is usually better made than this years mid level thing), you should rather consider the N900. I know, this feels odd in a post titled “First impressions”, but even though both devicea have arrived at a dead end talking of software, the N900 is way better than a poorly supported Android phone.

Maemo 5 really is as promsing as it always seemed to me from looking at videos. Really, I will never umderstand Nokias’ decision to kill software platforms shortly after or at launch. Not that Maemo 6 Harmattan, aka “MeeGo 1.2” on the N9 looks even more compelling – but seriously, it took them to effing long to get out the door with it, far longer than I assume it would have taken to make a smaller N900 in an E7 shape running a Maemo 5 iteratin ironing out lacking features like a portrait mode. I could go on ranting on this issue, as I could really rant myself into a rage over many bad decisions of Android manufacturers.

To wrap this up: My overall first impression of this N900 is very positive. I like it, it was a good decision to spend roughly 130 Euro for it.

This article was written on the N900.

The N9 exceeds in everything it sets out to accomplish and even beats the competition in their own game, so you can’t really say its a bad device. What’s important to realize here is, that the N9 is in no way a successor of the N900, even if its initial efforts might’ve been to that direction.

Chris for Peak Mobility in his review of the N9.

This review is an especially interesting one because it delivers a comparison to the N900, as the reviewer is a N900 enthusiast.

Comment: Why HP should send a huge Thank You to S. Elop

Let´s face it: Many people like the Nokia MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan / Maemo 6 presented on the Nokia N9 – if you read the negative comments, these show concerns about buying a device which is abandoned on release, they dislike the last years Hardware platform or ask the “What about apps?” question – if Nokia hadn´t discontinued the MeeGo platform, one of these negative points wouldn´t be there, and the other two would be addressed by future devices over time (I think I read once that OMAP4 is pin compatible to OMAP3).

One of too many webOS 2.1.0 bugs (Device: Palm Pre Plus)

But let´s think about to whom the the Nokia MeeGo platform would have been a strong competitor. Many of you may think Android, and while this absolutely right in the long term, in short and mid term Nokias Meego platform would have been more of a competitor to the smaller smartphone operating systems / ecosystems, such as Windows Phone 7 or HP webOS, which are chosen by their loyals because of their usability, which is less flawed than Androids (menu button, multi tasking).

Nokias MeeGo platform is as it is (in its nearly abandoned state) already a strong competitor to what HP webOS is like – both systems are all about gesture powered multitasking. Let´s look deeper. HP webOS is – and I am sorry to say that – is flawed by the web technologies it´s using – JavaScript still is not running as fast as seasoned programming languages, and besides that, there will be some work necessary to speed up system services – just compare the HP TouchPads Sun Spider benchmark scores – the TouchPad is the most advanced version of webOS and surely requires some more polishing, as this is the first public release we are dealing with here (and no, it´s not the hardware´s fault, I´ve seen benchmarks were the Qualcomm platform smoked the Tegra2 used in most Android tablets out there).

MeeGo, as being a still rather new development on top of very seasoned technologies, performs a lot better (which has a huge impact, you have to consider that these devices are mobile, and less CPU usage is automatically connected with better battery life..), and as Nokia´s MeeGo UI is more than competitive, this platform with Nokia’s experience in the mobile sector (which while HP / Palm have some too should be superior) could have easily made it to the third position on the market, with a huge gap to Android and iOS still, but better than the rest. Nokia opted against a clear MeeGo push though, so this is all theory (most likely they would have stuck to the way inferior Symbian too much, anyway) – thanks to S. Elop,HP has another chance.

Success, however, is something that requires more than just good ideas, even more than astonishing products (that HP doesn´t have yet, the TouchPad, Veer and Pre³ are in many ways inferior). An alliance with Samsung (that build smartphones with Android, Windows Phone 7, Bada and LiMo already) could help with great hardware, but possibly killed HPs own margins and besides that, it´s the software which until now still isn´t more than a set of brilliant usability concepts that is sort of usable. HP has the chance to fix their issues, which are many – as Elop gave them some more time.

N9, N950: Two Nokia MeeGo devices. Thoughts before going to bed.

The N9 was announced in Asia while I was sleeping here in Europe. Now I am about to go to bed again, but as I can´t do any serious blogging (videos, images) being online over an EDGE network which feels more like GPRS in terms of speed right now, I want to share some thoughts on the N9 and the N950.

The N950, which I didn´t really cover here yet on LINMOB, is the device that we saw on leaked images aeons ago (~ 1 year), a device much looking like the Nokia E7: An 4” HWVGA aluminum slab with a slide out, full 4 row QWERTY keyboard. Don´t get overly excited about this device if you aren´t a developer, as it will be tough to get one then. Read more on this over at thehandheldblog.com, and if you are interested in the actual differences between these two new Nokia Handsets, let me point to this post at meegonews.com

For the non Qt / Linux developing rest of us, there will be the keyboard less, polycarbonate N9, which looks different than the existing Nokia phones, it doesn´t resemble the N8 e.g. – I like it … I think I should stop repeating myself, so nothing on the specs here which I haven´t posted yet, they are decent, not breathtaking.

Pricing and availability. Not much info on that yet. There are, as I noticed earlier today, indicators that the N9 will only sell in a few countries. (->TheHandheldBlog) Considering the general excitement about this new Nokia product this would be a very sad thing, but Nokia has (from my view as a mobile linux lover) made tons of sad decisions since Steve Elop came aboard.

I already linked you to thehandheldblog.com twice, and I will do it a third time in this post, simply because I totally agree to their comment “With The N9, Nokia Shows The World Its Still Got It”.

Last but not least you should watch this video of the presentation (by netbooknews) – I can´t right now (EDGE):

Nokia N9 – Nokias last MeeGo device

Nokia unleashed what is believed to be their last MeeGo (1.2 “Harmattan”) device at CommunicAsia today – as rumored a very long time before, it will be called “N9” and appears to be aimed at everybody, not just developers. Accelerated by a TI OMAP 3630 SoC (as in the Motorola Milestone2 and the Palm Pre2) the N9 reminds us more of late last years phones, than of this years dual core packet giants of the competition. The device, which is packed with 1024MB of Ram, features a nice 854×480 AMOLED screen with a capacitive touch layer on top and an 8 megapixel Carl Zeiss camera capable of recording HD video, looks awesome and most likely wasn´t intended to be for developers only while designed – a beautiful, sleek mix of angles and curves, a piece of design, that can surely take on the iPhone in the “looks” department. Don´t believe me? Have a glimpse at Nokias promo clip for the N9:

If you can´t get enough of this buttonless beauty, make sure to check out what one can describe as a product page of the N9: swipe.nokia.com which has a name that really describes what how to use this device without buttons: Swiping. And what´s great about this: It´s a different type of swiping compared to HP webOS or other platforms that use swiping or gestures for UI use – yet it appears to be a pleasure to use.

Nokia also announced a set of accessoires to go with the NFC enabled N9, and you should check out the classic product page (which suggests that the N9 will only be sold in certain parts of Europe and Asia, excluding the US (which has never been Nokias turf) and Germany) and spec and UI informations too, if you are interested into this kind of information.

Last, but not least there seems to be another MeeGo device, only aimed at developers,packed with a QWERTY keyboard and thus immensly exiciting for me. Check out what MeeGoExperts.com have on this device.

I will be back for more thoughts on these announcements this evening (Berlin time).