Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 19th Dec 2007 08:50 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "The Maemo team officially announced OS2008 for Nokia Internet Tablets (N800 and N810) today. There are a great deal of changes and upgrades so I am reviewing this OS as software product all by itself."
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Great !!!
by pure on Wed 19th Dec 2007 09:51 UTC
pure
Member since:
2007-12-19

Excellent review. I will install this on my n800 after work. I have been so happy with my n800 and now it is going to get even better.. and for free. I just hope that more people see the n8XX and how good it is.

I have used some windows mobile phones and windows ce PDA and they don't even come close to the n800. The n800 feels like a fullblown computer in a PDA format.

Reply Score: 2

over-claims on video support
by Eugenia on Wed 19th Dec 2007 09:56 UTC
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

Video support is terrible. They claim wide support of formats, and yet I was not able to playback ANY h.264 file (and I tried many different ones at low-res, encoded by different people/encoders just to make sure), and I couldn't playback any Dvix, WMV8 or WMV9 either. XViD and MPEG4-SP works, but that's about it (the only ones I didn't try was mpeg1/2).

We are talking about h.264 videos that do work on Nokia's Symbian S60 3.1 devices btw (v3.1 has h.264 support).

Edited 2007-12-19 09:59

Reply Score: 1

RE: over-claims on video support
by memson on Wed 19th Dec 2007 10:09 UTC in reply to "over-claims on video support"
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

I have a divx recoded for an N800 and the stock media player can now play that back (previous it2007 version could not and you required MPlayer), so it's not all bad.

Reply Score: 1

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

None of my divx work. I tried about 30 of them (downloaded from stage6, so obviously were encoded by different people, as stage6 doesn't re-encode, and yet none worked). However, I am more concerned about h.264.

Reply Score: 1

memson Member since:
2006-01-01

Okay, random episode of "Geek Brief" taken from my iPod video, h.264 (simple profile) - the feed calls this the "small" version, so the one designed for iPod classic/video. Plays back FLAWLESSLY on the N800 with it2008 from a crappy 256MB MMC card (not fast read) in the external slot. I think your claims of "every" h.264 file not working might be a little hasty. It looks to me that, at least, any iPod encoded h.264 content works. It barfed on a file that VLC sid was "mp4v", but was at a fairly high res (640x480 iirc.) YMMV.

Reply Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

However, I am more concerned about h.264.

"""

Figures. I thought you weren't jumping into these kinds of threads because it reminded you why you don't do OSNews much anymore:

http://www.osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=19019&comment_id=290309

Let me be the first to say that I don't really care that much about h.264. That I have played them, when necessary, under mplayer on my N770 without problems. And that jumping into every possible thread, ragging on the h.264 support as if it were at the very pinnacle of importance for all devices is likely to get old pretty fast.

Sorry for the disdainful tone. And although I respect healthy and honest criticism, I don't think that jumping on the "h" topic at the drop of a hat is really constructive.

Reply Score: 8

RE: over-claims on video support
by olivier on Wed 19th Dec 2007 10:19 UTC in reply to "over-claims on video support"
olivier Member since:
2005-07-06

On OS2007 Mplayer answered all of your issues. Isn't it available for OS2008 too?

Reply Score: 1

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

That Mplayer port is pathetic. It doesn't take advantage of the hardware acceleration so video was really, really bad on it.

Reply Score: 1

Boldie Member since:
2007-03-26

Mplayer on OS2007 has played everything that I've thrown at it and I think it looks great! Ok, I mostly use divx, what is this h264 anyway? ;)

Overall I'm in love with my N800. But why can't I log in to OSnews. Please serve the original OSnews page, not the crippled "mobile" one!

Reply Score: 2

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

I've asked that question many times, but few of the folks here at OSNews seem to care enough to address the issue. Actually none, as far as I've seen.

It's one of the main reasons I've chosen to not be a paying member. They don't respect my browser choices, so screw them.

Reply Score: 4

RE: over-claims on video support
by netpython on Wed 19th Dec 2007 13:28 UTC in reply to "over-claims on video support"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

"Video support is terrible."

Maybe so, but can you run metasploit on your i-pod?

Reply Score: 2

Nokia screws up on bandwidth
by memson on Wed 19th Dec 2007 10:16 UTC
memson
Member since:
2006-01-01

The update is brilliant. I love it. The browser is far, far better even than the prior beta of the MicroB that run on it2007. (Please, please don't make it render the pathetic PDA version of this site, it handles the full version flawlessly.. there is no reason on Earth to force the cut down version on to us N800 users anymore!)

What is bad is the bandwidth issues Nokia have been experienceing over the last day and a half. Their servers simply can't handle the demand!! Shocking!! It took me multiple attempts to get the firmware and then restoring my back-up was painful when it got to the reinstall of my apps.. it took over an hour to download about 10MB of debs... Next time Nokia really, really need to have more capacity, or better still, spread the load over multiple regions.

I'm loving the new firmware though, even more lickable than the beta they posted a few weeks ago. The fact that Pidgin integrates much more smoothly is excellent. If only the new email client was out of Beta and was in the update, it would be a lot better.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nokia screws up on bandwidth
by Eugenia on Wed 19th Dec 2007 10:18 UTC in reply to "Nokia screws up on bandwidth"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Tell me about it. I am trying to get the FM Radio app from their site, it's unreachable.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nokia screws up on bandwidth
by Boldie on Wed 19th Dec 2007 19:13 UTC in reply to "Nokia screws up on bandwidth"
Boldie Member since:
2007-03-26

Please, please don't make it render the pathetic PDA version of this site, it handles the full version flawlessly.. there is no reason on Earth to force the cut down version on to us N800 users anymore!

Amen!

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Nokia screws up on bandwidth
by memson on Wed 19th Dec 2007 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Nokia screws up on bandwidth"
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

Currently, with the new firmware, you do get the full site. You can log in etcetera. In fact, that is how I'm posting this message. It renders fine and quickly too. There is absolutely no reason to serve the crippled version.

Reply Score: 1

Boldie Member since:
2007-03-26

Great! Than it's time to upgrade the firmware! Even though OSnews should get their act together and fix this!!

Reply Score: 1

Torn between this and iPod touch
by pxa270 on Wed 19th Dec 2007 10:23 UTC
pxa270
Member since:
2006-01-08

I want to get either the N800 or the iPod Touch as a small webbrowser/media player. It seems the N800 is a lot more featureful, and the browser works on more sites (Flash!). OTOH, the iTouch has a better media player (thouch you have to encode everything in compliant h.264), is far smaller, and the UI makes the browser more pleasant to use despite the lower resolution. I wished they could combine the best of these two devices. Oh, well, maybe in another year or two.

Reply Score: 1

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Given the fact that the Touch will get a lot more apps from developers when the Apple SDK comes out, I would go for the Touch. Flash will get there eventually too and media experience is very good on it, while the browser works (the N800 has higher resolution so it's better in some cases). Still, the Touch is a better investment, has better battery life with media and it comes with 8/16 GB storage.

Edited 2007-12-19 10:29

Reply Score: 1

pxa270 Member since:
2006-01-08

I'll probably wait at least till the SDK arrives. I have the suspicion that all 3rd party software is going to be paid downloads from the iTunes store. The other thing that the Nokia has going for it is that it can be thetered to my phone via Bluetooth, which the Touch will never get. That makes it more attractive than an iPhone to me, as I have a much cheaper voice/data plan than what you get with the iPhone.

And I wouldn't count on Flash ever arriving on the iTouch/iPhone. Apple's probably still gauging the market, and so far there haven't been too many complaints. I think they will try to get away with staying completely Flash-less, and so far it seems they will, as there haven't been too many vocal complaints about it. Not a really bad thing IMO. A great part of Flash on the web today could be done with DHTML and Javascript, and anything that reduces the dependency of the web on technology from a single company is good. In fact, I hope the iPhone/Touch get a lot more popular for web use and still remain Flash-less. That will hopefully make web developers think twice before just dumping the entire site in Flash and call it a day.

Reply Score: 3

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

A great part of Flash on the web today could be done with DHTML and Javascript, and anything that reduces the dependency of the web on technology from a single company is good.


It's certainly true that there are a great many (the majority?) of instances where Flash is used frivolously - often by "designers" who know how to use Flash, but have no experience in actual web development. But that doesn't make Flash an inherently "bad" technology, anymore than the existence of blink/marquee tags makes HTML useless.

In particular, I think that the increasing use of Flash for displaying inline videos is positive. At this point, I know of no other technology that you can use to display video on a webpage AND be guaranteed that the vast majority of visitors can use it. In that regard, there are more people who can view video in Flash than can view WMV, MOV, or Real (for that matter, more people have Flash installed than even IE).

As a BeOS user, I would love nothing more than to see widespread standarization on open formats (for the same reasons I exclusively use XviD for my own stuff, because I know it's viewable on nearly every OS). But I don't think there's much point railing against the proprietary/single-vendor-controlled nature of Flash - at least when it comes to video. In many cases, if people weren't using Flash, they'd be using something worse like WMV or MOV. And at least with Flash video, the underlying video stream is usually just an FLV file using one of the H.26x codecs.

Reply Score: 2

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

that inline video thing was where ogg would come into play, but it looks like its taken a big dollar sign below the waterline...

Reply Score: 2

JCooper Member since:
2005-07-06

Ah but will the SDK really allow people to write any app they like, or will it be limited to specific partners?

I don't see Apple providing an SDK that gives developers too much freedom. On this front, the n8xxx wins hands down, as it is a fully open developer platform. Look at what the likes of UKMP et al have been able to achieve; I'm not so sure that sort of development will ever happen on an Apple consumer product.

Yes the Touch is smaller, has a sexier screen, has better battery life and has more built in storage... but it also has a painfully low resolution and no support for external (SD etc) media.

I personally don't think either makes a great tablet. I've seen vague info floating around for the next nokia device and, if it slims down and speeds up a bit, perhaps even gains a greater resolution, then I mayu finally part with my cash ;)

Back on topic, OS2008 does seem to offer many improvements. The improved theming adds a fresh look. It's a waiting game now for app writers to port to the latest framework, but it has been happening quite quickly from what I've seen at the maemo site.

Reply Score: 2

pxa270 Member since:
2006-01-08

Higher resolution is not what's needed. The screen size is limited by the device size if they want to stay pocketable, so increasing resolution just means increasing dpi. The iPhone/Touch already have quite high dpi, and the N800 even more so. If you leave the text at the same size it will be sharper with higher dpi, but they are already very sharp on the current devices, so that doesn't buy you much. If you zoom out, you can fit more real text on higher dpi screens, but the text will be too small to read for most people.

The most sensible display solution for pocket devices like these is a good zooming/panning implementations, which Apple seems to do best at the moment (but I bet others are quick to follow). Maybe something radically different, like foldable screens, projectors or sunglass style displays, but those are still in the science fiction or lab prototype stage.

Reply Score: 1

DevL Member since:
2005-07-06

Given the fact that the Itouch lacks Bluetooth, the IPod Touch is quite useless as anything but a media player whenever you're out of range of a WLAN. Which for some, happens to occurr quite a lot.

So, I wouldn't hastily recommend the iPod Touch over a N800/N810 on such a general basis. YMMV as always.

Reply Score: 2

memson Member since:
2006-01-01

N800 will pair to a mobile phone pretty easily, so I would tend to agree. There's also no way Apple will want to let people go as far as is possible with the N8xx platform.

The N800 does all that I need. It pummels my Zaurus SL5500 in to the ground and other than the snazzy interface, does more than the ipod touch and almost as much as the iphone (i.e. everything, less the phone part.) Then again I bought the N800 already owning an ipod video, so I wasn't looking for an all out media player, so YMMV also.

Reply Score: 2

DrStrangelove Member since:
2007-12-19

I want to get either the N800 or the iPod Touch as a small webbrowser/media player. It seems the N800 is a lot more featureful, and the browser works on more sites (Flash!). OTOH, the iTouch has a better media player (thouch you have to encode everything in compliant h.264), is far smaller, and the UI makes the browser more pleasant to use despite the lower resolution. I wished they could combine the best of these two devices. Oh, well, maybe in another year or two.


The do it all device is not here now, unfortunately. None of this two is it. To choose you need to know exactly what you are looking for:

An internet device with some media capabilities: the n8x0
A Media player with some internet capabilities: the touch.
A serious PDA for contacts, meetings, reading office documents, real work, etc, with some internet and some media capabilities: Get a PDA with WinMobile.

The n8x0 is never going to run as smooth as the touch for media. And the Touch will never have the capabilities of the n8x0 for internet usage. Just because it lacks Bluetooth you canít use your phone when you donít have wifi, and also it lacks a microphone to use for skype/voip.

The screen is nicer better in the Nokia. Bigger, better resolution. But the Touschscreen in the Touch is better. More elegant. More powerful. If you want to flip images, album art, etc, and impress people, go for the touch, but that wears out quickly. If you want to read web pages, and PDFs, go for the Nokia. Also I find the browser for the Touch better for quick browsing. Looking for an address, read news headlines,etc. The Nokia is better for not only reading the headline, but the full article. So if you plan on doing serious browsing the Nokia is a lot better just because of its resolution. The zoom is more intelligent in the Touch, but the nokiaīs zoom is perfectly capable too. Both browsers have ajax, but only the nokia has support for flash.

About the SDK, wasnít it butchered here when it was announced by Apple? Now we are going to have lots of applications? Right now the N8x0 is a lot better by far in 3d party apps and the SDK is here now. Any comparison can be made only when the Apple SDK appears, and we can see what it actually delivers, but right now any SDK is better than no SDK. The same about flash support, I think thereís a lot of wishful thinking there, but until there is support for it in the touch, please donít consider it.

About media, you have to consider both devices as flash based devices. You will always have to reencode for these players. You donít want to waste that precious space. Both devices have excellent support for reencoding your media. So as a format war I donít name a winner cause thereís no sense. Of course as a media player the Touch wins. It should, thatís it main purpose. But the Nokia is not that bad. Also you have some good 3rd party apps that are very nice.

The N8x00 still feels a bit like a hackerís gadget. The touch looks more polished and cool. For the default capabilities of the N8x0 you donít need to be a linux hacker, but to get the full potential you need to a bit (Iím no linux hacker. I use Windows XP and played a bit with linux, but only as a desktop user).

I have a N800 and have played with a coworkers Touch, but not as much as my Nokia, so if there are any mistakes on my post about the Touch, please tell me. Also any typos. English is not my first language.

Dr. Strangelove.

Reply Score: 2

I'm happy!
by caulktel on Wed 19th Dec 2007 17:26 UTC
caulktel
Member since:
2005-09-21

I really don't care too much about the h.264 support either. It does everything I want, and I'm sure the few minor faults will be addressed fast by Nokia and the open source community as opposed to waiting on Apple to maybe add more functionality to new releases of the iPod Touch. It was a struggle for me also between the N800 and the Touch, but I'm very happy with my decision to buy the N800, now if only I could download some software for it. BTW, the camera sucks on the N800, but at least it's got one.

Edited 2007-12-19 17:27

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'm happy!
by DrStrangelove on Wed 19th Dec 2007 17:32 UTC in reply to "I'm happy!"
DrStrangelove Member since:
2007-12-19

Yes, camera is really bad. And there's not much support in the applications for it. I cant use video with skype for instance, that would have been cool, even with that camera. I just act as if its not there. That's why I don't even mention it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I'm happy!
by caulktel on Wed 19th Dec 2007 17:43 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm happy!"
caulktel Member since:
2005-09-21

Hey Dr, Someone in the Nokia forums told me yesterday that video for Skype is only weeks away, and BTW, Skype works great on the 800 with the new firmware update, I'm loving it. Skype alone is worth buying the N8XX.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: I'm happy!
by randy7376 on Wed 19th Dec 2007 19:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'm happy!"
randy7376 Member since:
2005-08-08

I'm happy that it finally has a standard SIP client that works with our Asterisk VoIP server.

The last time I checked out Skype, it wouldn't let me do what Gizmo will - let me use Asterisk as a secondary account. So, I've used Gizmo when I've needed to make calls via Asterisk.

Overall, I like the improvements that have been made to this release. Looks like there's going to be some good software in the new year, too.

Reply Score: 2

The more I hear about it..
by WereCatf on Wed 19th Dec 2007 18:25 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

The more I hear about N800 the more I like it. I couldn't care less about Flash and h264 but a screen with good res, a good browser, Bluetooth and an open development environment are things that I do value a lot. Just wish Santa will bring me one ;)

Reply Score: 2

Why not Java
by pure on Wed 19th Dec 2007 19:01 UTC
pure
Member since:
2007-12-19

I really miss Java.. the opensource Java comunity is really growing rapidly (it feels like that anyway). And with sun opensourcing java it will probably grow faster. Someone willl probably port some form of java to it but it would be nice with oficcial support.

Reply Score: 1