Nokia to use Android?
In Dutch tech news, I read some messages [webwereld.nl] that Nokia is considdering using Android on it’s new smartphones. I was very suprised to hear that, after having been told at the DevDays that Nokia is fully commited to making Qt the platform for their phones. That does not rhime well with using Android.
Did more people pick this up? What do others think of this? Fact or Crap?
First, I hope that they don’t. Android is much less open than people seem to think. Only at the moment of the release we knew what features Gingerbread has, for example, and it was only some weeks ago that it was unofficially confirmed that Gingerbread was 2.3 and not 3.0. I dislike a lot the way they act, branching upstream stuff and creating problems for themselves and upstream itself in the long term. I like the way Nokia is handling community stuff with respect to “we add it to upstream first”. I think is not only polite, but very wise. I’ve maintained 2 super-small packages in Debian, and even there I realized how important is to do work upstream so yo don’t have code bases that diverge.
Second, I think they will not use switch to Android after all this. Nokia has invested a lot in Qt, MeeGo and Symbian, and their employees have the know-how, experience, etc. They also have a different set of services, so it doesn’t make sense for them to compete with Google in their own field, where they have advantage.
Also, one of the things that I like of MeeGo, it’s the use a completely standard X11, libc, etc. That allows MeeGo to be capable of reaching from phones to desktops. It also frees Nokia, Intel and all the MeeGo contributors to develop on their own their stack.
The article says that the view is of head of Google’s mobile platforms. Now we know someone is day dreaming.
In my opinion Nokia is completely committed to Symbian and is now trying to make it look younger by treating it with Qt cosmetics. I am sure Nokia will regain the lost market cap in the coming days.
Nokia has never said or suggested such a thing. I believe the relevant interview they are talking about, the Nokia spokesperson replied that they would move to any platform that offered more value than their own. The person who was interviewing responded surprised he didn’t flat out say ‘NO’. But, he actually did say ‘NO’ just in more polite way.
I can understand how this gets lost in translation.
Android isn’t free and it isn’t entirely opensource (the parts that make it unique are closed). Also, it has less features in the back-end that Google are just now catching up on. Hello integrated VOIP? It is also less optimised for mobile devices as they have just hacked on a plain Linux kernel.
I also believe it doesn’t follow Nokia’s model here. Nokia wants to focus on Qt (and C++) with Java being on the lower-end. Meanwhile Nokia is trying to go with a one hardware model like iOS and WP7. Same screen res, same CPU, same GPU, same RAM on all models for this year.
I also think they are trying to get a high quality market. High signal to noise ratio. If you look at the current status of the Android Market ( http://www.androlib.com/ ), you can see it’s quite hard to sift through the junk.
Because they aren’t (and have never even considered) using Android.
Their feature phones have had a huge step up this year with X3-02. [youtube.com] It has USB OTG, WiFi, HSDPA (3.5G), sub-10mm aluminium shell. Although having no native apps, the Java API is very comprehensive. Touchscreen and keypad on a mass-market S40 device. All for about $200.
Their S60v3 devices are still the best non-touch smartphones with their E5 running 74 apps seamlessly. [youtube.com]
2011 will see their Symbian and Meego following suit with huge updates (and releases).
I am still surprised that people like Symbian. I’ve used it a lot, and I’m used to how it works. Ugly, but very very convenient. For example, my old N81 can do some stuff much simpler that my actual main phone, an HTC Desire (Android), because the UI is simple and doesn’t have a touchscreen. But I’m still surprised that people like it, and that Nokia defends it when nobody else does. The lack of partners in the Symbian Foundation was a clear sign, I think.
Lack of partners? If you mean SE and Samsung: Nokia is just making it their OS. What would be the point in taking it up since you wouldn’t get the killer features like Ovi Maps and Ovi Store.
You can’t really compare the non-touchscreen phones coming out like E5 to the touchscreen line. Even though they have most of the same features and same underlying OS, the touchscreen makes a world of difference.
Also, why are you surprised people like Symbian? What’s wrong with it? Really?
The lack of partners in the Symbian Foundation was a clear sign, I think.
Here the issue was completely different. Ovi Maps and Ovi Store was one of the reasons as xsacha pointed out. Also Symbian Foundation’s Horizon had a long way to go.
And Samsung – I feel is very much not sure about their future. Or say don’t have a clear roadmap – they are supporting every other OS in market – even when they invested a lot on Bada.
And Symbian has been out here for quite a long time and is know to be stable and tested very well. Only it needs some cosmetic changes to fight with these new players. But internally its much stronger.
When I used an N97, I was surprised to see that you had to scroll pressing the tiny scrollbar on the side, instead of sweeping any part of the screen. It was a clear sign that it wasn’t ready for touch, as nobody does that nowadays, not even Nokia on their new phones.
The N8 (or Symbian^3) only has T9 keyboard in portrait mode (you can install swype, ok). I like this kind of keyboard, and I’m pretty sure that it probably works better than the T9 keyboard on my Desire (it has plenty of unacceptable bugs, like storing passwords on the dictionary). But the lack of choice I think is a symptom of not being ready for touch.
Is not only the lack of partners. It’s the lack of interest in the whole community. Now that Symbian is open source, you could expect some interest by open source enthusiasts. I haven’t seen it at all. Instead, I’ve seen harsh critics (that I can’t judge, since I don’t known about the internals). A lot of them.