Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Sep 2010 23:20 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Well, this certainly isn't particularly surprising. The rising popularity of Android leaves more victims in its wake than just Windows Mobile. Sony Ericsson, one of the major manufacturers of Symbian phones (other than Nokia) has just announced it will pretty much abandon the platform to focus entirely on Android - leaving Nokia as the sole person cheering for team Symbian.
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Could be wrong here....
by leech on Sat 25th Sep 2010 01:49 UTC
leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

But from what I can see, Nokia really has no intentions of dropping Symbian support.

They've stated (and they don't state much) that they are supporting Symbian for the Low-end phones, and for all the future N series smart phones they are using MeeGo.

Sounds simple enough.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Could be wrong here....
by wirespot on Mon 27th Sep 2010 08:19 UTC in reply to "Could be wrong here...."
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

But from what I can see, Nokia really has no intentions of dropping Symbian support.


And I don't see why they should. Some people seem to forget that not everybody wants smartphones. I know, gasp. ;) But let's think about it.

A whole lot of people like what feature-phones have to offer:
* People like numeric keypad (esp. with Nokia's arrangement of 4 buttons and click wheel). Not everybody needs or even wants touchscreens.
* People like the lower price. You can get an excellent Nokia phone for 75-100 euros. (Think that's not important? India and China have more than a third of the world's population and most of them are poorer than the Western people. And there are plenty of 2nd and 3rd world countries out there.)
* People like the durability of simpler phones. The more complex the device, the faster it breaks.
* The built-in feature set is enough for them. You can make and receive calls and SMS, have an agenda, a simple calendar (including alarm and notifications), audio player, FM radio, games, take pics and browse with Opera Mini. The more advanced models have WiFi and/or GPS. And that's it.
* Business phones are a subset of feature phones, not of smartphones! The business features may be richer than on regular-user phones, but they are still limited to a built-in set. And business users are also fine with that.
* Finally, if one should hanker for another kind of "smart" device, it doesn't necessarily have to be a phone. It can be a generic device (handheld, tablet or netbook) or a specific one (mini-gaming console, MP3/video player, ebook reader).

Symbian S40 and S60 are perfectly suited for feature-phones and feature phones are still in demand. Sony Ericsson basically decided they want to focus on the smartphone market only and by doing that they practically gave away the featurephone market to Nokia. This is good for Nokia, not bad.

They've stated (and they don't state much) that they are supporting Symbian for the Low-end phones, and for all the future N series smart phones they are using MeeGo. Sounds simple enough.


It is, and they are one of the very few companies who can afford to experiment with a new smartphone platform, because they have a solid grounding in the feature phone market.

If this works for them, they will come out with their own in-house developed platform, of which there are precious few around. Currently Blackberry OS, iOS and Android are the only viable alternatives. The likes of Windows Mobile 7, Bada and webOS still have to prove their viability in the wild.

Reply Score: 4

Nokia's Big Mistake - Lack Of Innovations
by OSGuy on Sat 25th Sep 2010 04:36 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

Nokia's Big Mistake - Lack Of Innovations / Overconfidence

These are my thoughts about Nokia's biggest mistakes. Nothing presented below is factual so please correct me if I am wrong or you disagree with me.

Nokia's lack of innovation of the Symbian platform has brought Symbian to this degree. When Apple first introduced the iPhone, Nokia was ahead of competition.

Symbian was already a very mature OS when the iPhone was released and Nokia had the users and the OS so they had a VERY good chance to do something about it but they did NOTHING! Why? Because of overconfidence and underestimating the power of competition. This mistake is irreversible.

Then we saw the rise of Android and Nokia STILL did NOTHING so Apple and Google took advantage of Nokia's stupidity. As we all know, Android started as a BlackBerry like OS but Google realised the iPhone threat was a lot greater than the BlackBerry and Symbian one. So Google took the right steps.

Just think about the mistakes Nokia did. They had this very mature OS called Symbian, they had the audience/users so they had *so* much power but they just ignored the competition. They must have laughed off at the iPhone due to overconfidence. You *never* ignore competitors.

Nokia has lost twice. They ignored the iPhone OS and then when Android came to the market, they ignored Android and now all of a sudden they try to catch up with the latest Symbian and MeeGo innovations.

Nokia is now playing a very dangerous game. It is as if you were lost in a jungle and can't make up your mind which way you want to go and guess what happens when that happens when time runs out and your supplies run out? Well, I think this is exactly what Nokia is doing. You have to keep moving even if it is the wrong direction, perhaps you'll get lucky - it is better than running around in a circle which is what Nokia is doing. Nokia is now running around and cannot make up their mind which way they want to go. I guess they haven't seen Man vs Wild ;) You never seat still. You have to keep moving.

Edited 2010-09-25 04:45 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

they did NOTHING!

Your statements sadly show that you have no clue about Nokia.
While it's true that Nokia did mistakes and and did not move fast enough, it is completely wrong that Nokia "did NOTHING!"

Nokia is in a difficult position. When you are the underdog, you can throw the latest and greatest on the market and either succeed and be admired by everyone or fail miserably and not be noticed by anyone.
Nokia is still the world wide leader in cell phone sales.
Nokia can't reshuffle their whole platform and lineup in one go without annoying many of its existing customers.

That's why Nokia is walking on a second path since years. Nokia founded the Maemo Linux project in 2005. Nokia bought Trolltech in 2008.
Now you can argue that Nokia should better have spend more resources on both projects but you can't argue that Nokia did nothing. Nokia's mindset is to move carefully. Even two years after the Trolltech buyout, Symbian^3 is still just an immediate step.
Maemo 6 (now called MeeGo but that doesn't change anything about Nokia's roadmap) and Symbian^4 are the final steps in the "Qt-fication" of their lineup, resulting in a modern technological foundation.

When Nokia bought Trolltech, plans about Windows Phone 7 weren't available. Qt still runs on Windows CE/Mobile. With Qt Nokia even had the option to release Win Mobile phones and still have the same stack across all phones. That option was never articulated by Nokia but the continued development of Qt for WinCE/Mobile spoke for itself.

Reply Score: 9

Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

MeeGo is a failure? That might explain why the WeTab is already sold out [/snark]

Reply Score: 3

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Basically everything based on a "typical Linux/XFree86/XOrg" will fail.


Why do you think this is the case? Give us something concrete please, like "this stack can't reach 60fps on average application" - because that stuff can be proven to be false.

I have used MeeGo on my PC, I do not find it amusing at all.


I'm sorry it failed to amuse you.

Google Android on the other hand is a different story - a true example that Linux can be successful among general consumers if done correctly.


Android is proof point for Java. It doesn't say much about Linux since it's hardly Linux at all. Mac OS X is more Linux than Android is.

Creating yet another typical Linux distro to me is NOTHING. Creating something different such as Android IS something.


Companies are here to make business, in whatever collaborative setting is appropriate. They are not here to amuse you.

Reply Score: 4

tryfan Member since:
2006-12-16

"It doesn't say much about Linux since it's hardly Linux at all. Mac OS X is more Linux than Android is."

Repeating a wrong doesn't make it right. Linux is the kernel - even if Google has made changes to the kernel, it's basically linux.
OSX doesn't have anything near a linux kernel.
The argument that usually comes next, that "people mean the whole thing when they're talking about linux" is totally pointless.

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


The argument that usually comes next, that "people mean the whole thing when they're talking about linux" is totally pointless.

So what people mean by a word is not important? Doesn't that go against what we usually use the words for, i.e. communication?

Reply Score: 3

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

You're correct, people do mean the entire OS when they typically say "Linux". But I don't think that's correct here either.

You probably meant Unix. Mac OSX is more of a Unix than Android. People sometimes mean "Unix" when they say "Linux", but that's really not as well accepted and people with grey beards will throw stuff at you for saying it.

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

You probably meant Unix.


"Linux" means a bit more than Unix in terms of functionality. When you say Unix, you don't necessarily expect stuff like X11, dbus, gconf, Gtk or Qt to be available.

Reply Score: 3

tbcpp Member since:
2006-02-06

Wow...just wow....Linux is a kernel, not a OS. OS X shares nothing kernel wise with Linux. I know you were trying to make some sort of point, but Android is Linux with Java and some other stuff strapped on. OS X is Linux? That's just wrong....

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I'm usually the one jumping in with the "Linux is a kernel" suggestion to focus on a the distribution level of a product. However, I read it like this:

Android is a java platform that happens to have a *nix back end which does a great deal to hid itself from the device owner. Unless your doing or vendor/sku/androidversion specific jailbreak dance, your only going to see applets running in a java sandbox. There is no central distribution image that can be flashed to any "Android" branded hardware; you have a distribution fragmented by vendor customizations and, in some cases, outright user hostile logic bombs (Thanks Motorola).

By contrast, osX reveals far more of the *nix stack than Android does. It shows what a *nix based workstation can do with Apple sized marketing budgets. It may not be a Linux kernel but many of the components on top of the BSD userland go directly into Linux based distributions; CUPS being an example. Hence, osX is more "Linux" (based distro like) than Android.

Granted, Apple also provides the other extreme of the spectrum in Ios where the device goes far beyond most Android devices to keep the device owner at the most superficial layer. I'm actually a little surprised Apple wasn't first to introduce the logic bomb; Apple has patents submitted, Motorola has it implemented in devices.

Then we have Symbian and Maemo/Meego which are both *nix based. I've not had hands on a Symbian device but in terms of Maemo; it's very clearly a Linux based distribution. There is no "we use 'Linux'" marketing spin for a distro fragmented by vendors and hostile towards the user. Want to root your device then just download rootsh from the repository; one distribution, one rooting method - from a vendor who encourages hacking about under the hood unlike Android and (more so) Iphone devices.

Let's look at apps.

Apple has the biggest library and I believe apps run on any Ios device. Your still only getting the most superficial layer for those running apps so we can disregard the the *nix back end and whatever kernel it happens to sit on.

Android tries to present only the most superficial layer. Average user boots a java interface and applets also forgoing any *nix back end below that. The app market is not as big as Apples but it's also not as compatible with a hodgepodge of apps that only install on certain devices. If I want to download Android Maps onto a device without a GPS receiver then I should be able to do that and just not have the GPS specific functions not function (for lack of input data). I should be able to download a rootsh app and gain full access to my device regardless of what vendor/hardware/androidversion. I should be able to connect to the App market and see "new version of Android available, do you want to upgrade now?" rather than waiting for a vendor corrupted ("customized") splinter claiming to be the core distribution.

By comparison, maemo presents the full distribution in app choices also. Ovi apps are QT so your looking at the same as Iphone and Android apps; snippets run in a very superficial sandbox interpreter. I can also install more native apps that wire directly into the userland and desktop environment. Going below the GUI makeup, I have a long list of cli apps added directly from the repository. "Terminal" is not a dirty word the device owner needs to be protected from. Third party app; Nokia simply presents a message saying that they are not responsible for the app. The repositories themselves are managed more like a Debian repository than either Android or Iphone. I have vendor premoted access to the entire software stack; I can replace the bleeding kernel if I so choose.

So, while I'd normally be right there replying "it's the distro not the kernel", the post above did have a solid point in it. Android and Ios are based on *nix back ends but they're are other platforms far closer to a proper *nix distribution. osX is closer to a Linux distro than Android is because it voluntarily presents much more of the *nix stack to the device owner. Maemo Linux is a full blown distribution that so far has had well maintained repositories; it only lags behind Android os Ios in repository package counts (possibly).

I was going to say something about comparing a phone software platform to a desktop since the desktop favors user access but Maemo kind of negates that by providing a mobile device distro which favors user access.

In the end, if all you want to do is live off the app store/market provided packages then either device platform will work for you. If your going to talk about going beyond that; there are far better platforms to consider.

Reply Score: 4

Sodki Member since:
2005-11-10

the new MeeGo will also fail.

Meego was already chosen to be the standard (with a grain of salt) operating system for cars. It's hardly a failure.

http://www.osnews.com/story/23597/MeeGo_Chosen_by_Automotive_Techno...

Reply Score: 5

werterr Member since:
2006-10-03

I hardly think Maemo was a failure. Technology wise it was actually pretty darn good.

Compared to Android phones it wins hands down. (I have no experience with iPhones but from what I see and hear I'm not impressed)

Mind-share wise yeah, Nokia and thus Maemo has lost there. But technology wise Maemo is not bad and the N900 as a phone proofs that.

After being forced to spend two weeks on a Android (Cupcake) phone it was clear that this platform is technically inferior to the N900 on many levels. (As well as not being very user friendly IMHO)

Now you can argue that cupcake is old, but then again the phone is locked to this version and there is no means to upgrade without voiding all warranty. Also several of the major bugs I found there still open on 2.x so no gain there.

Sure I've got my share of gripes with Nokia; about Maemo's stale userland, slow development of Maemo, more or less letting it bleed to die, the idiotic reasonings of Maemo community about security (they do not want to implement shadow file and strong crypto on passwords because the a phone device is inheritly insecure ? sorry but that's just stupid), and how things went with the hole Meego move.

But Maemo as an OS and Phone is hardly a failure.

Considering the small amount of N900 phones that where made in the beginning and it being targeted to developers/geeks it could actually be called a success.

Reply Score: 5

OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

I hardly think Maemo was a failure. Technology wise it was actually pretty darn good.


It is not? Why don't I see it as widespread as iOS and the droid? To me that indicates a failure. Sure the technology might be good but that doesn't necessarily indicate success.

Edited 2010-09-25 22:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Because Nokia dropped it for developing MeeGo with Intel and they haven't released any such phones yet so the N900 is the only Maemo-phone around. Wait until MeeGo is out ..

Reply Score: 3

Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

Because Nokia dropped it for developing MeeGo with Intel and they haven't released any such phones yet so the N900 is the only Maemo-phone around. Wait until MeeGo is out ..

Nokia didn't drop anything except a brand. MeeGo's Handset variant is Maemo 6.

Reply Score: 4

aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

So it got nothing from Moblin at all?

Doesn't matter as far as users go. Maemo would had kicked off much better with more phones running it, and if I bought a Maemo phone I would be quite angry on Nokia for not letting the product be what it could had been.

And the MeeGo handset 1.00 version for it don't look that fun to use as is.

But you're free to turn it around any way you want.

Doesn't Nexenta use GNU userland instead of Suns? Sorta like saying Nexanta isn't a new OS but just a new version of Solaris. Which is half-true ..

Point being a a Maemo user (if nothing else by brand) you're fucked.

Reply Score: 1

Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

Why don't I see it as widespread as iOS and the droid?

Because Maemo 1-5 were never meant to be used widespread. Two or so years ago a Nokia manager said in an interview or a presentation or so that Maemo is a years long path and that it'll take until Maemo 6 (now called MeeGo) to finish that path and all devices released before that would be marketed towards enthusiasts and not the mainstream.

To me that indicates a failure.

No, it just proves that you have no clue.
The N900 was more successful than Nokia expected. Nokia meant to sell it only in very small quantities -- the scope was basically to be a developer-only device to allow them to test Qt applications on a real handset device in preparation for Maemo 6 / MeeGo.
The N900 isn't even marketed as a phone. It's a "mobile computer" according the the official description but that "mobile computer" turned out to be a quite good phone with -- at time of release -- the best mobile Skype client.

Reply Score: 5

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I'm still a little up in the air over the Meego merger though. I have a lot of .deb that have been carried across two previous devices which may get cut off unless Meego manages to support deb and rpm (I hear it'll at least be rpm with apt-get/aptitude managers).

After playing with two Iphones in the house and looking seriously at three Android devices (to the point of looking up howto for planned uses), N900 hardware is fantastic and Maemo on it blows the other's away for my needs. I really hope they don't stuff the Maemo community any more than they already have.

(Why they agreed to have Meego based on Moblin's RPM rather than a direct fork of Debian; I'll never figure out.)

Reply Score: 2

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

I have a lot of .deb that have been carried across two previous devices which may get cut off unless Meego manages to support deb and rpm (I hear it'll at least be rpm with apt-get/aptitude managers).

alien converts deb to rpm and vise-versa anyway.

Reply Score: 3

Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

(Why they agreed to have Meego based on Moblin's RPM rather than a direct fork of Debian; I'll never figure out.)

They went for the LSB. Also:
-they use tools primarily developped for RPM distributions, such as OBS (OpenSUSE Build System -compatible with .deb, but developped for SUSE);
-they may have been convinced by delta-RPMs (sure you can download updates via wifi, but Nokia's always though of the whole world, not only the US, so they may already think about minimizing bandwidth usage in countries where 3G will always be more available than wifi - many African courntries, for example, have never got widespead landlines (because of the fragility and theft of copper wires) so they jumped straight to cellular for all their communication needs);
-they also went for zypper, the fast, light on RAM, and intelligent (more than others) package manager;
-and openSUSE's one-click installs.

Source: dev lists and my own dot-connecting.
You're right to feel offensed, though, as they didn't explained themselves properly.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14


Nokia is in a difficult position. When you are the underdog, you can throw the latest and greatest on the market and either succeed and be admired by everyone or fail miserably and not be noticed by anyone.


I agree. No one would have written an article about a failed apple project to release a phone. Who would read a story Apple? That's a company you can't love or hate. Everyone just seems to accurately gauge their products on their merits.

Reply Score: 2

Radio
Member since:
2009-06-20

Remember when everybody was saying Android would never catch up with iOS? Or that Apple would utterly dominate the market by 2012?

Nokia is still the dominant force, after three years (yeah, the iPhone was launched only three years ago) of not fighting back. The latest reports even show they are getting some market share back ( http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/F/07/GLB_SMPHN0710.gif ). Every wannabee John Gruber out there point out that Apple makes more money than everybody else, but market share is far more important for leverage (especially for app developpers). Even some sh*tty ringtone like "crazy frog" makes more money than Angry Birds ever did with the AppStore. Now that consumers think that a mobile app must cost 0.99$, only the market share makes a platform attractive.

Now add the Qt SDK. Writing software for Symbian has never been easy; now it is easier than any competing platform.

Now add carrier billing with Ovi Store.

Also, as we have here many open-source fans, add Google not even knowing what open source is ( http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/24/googles-schmidt-says-requiring-s... ); compare that to Nokia's experience and attitude with FOSS.

Nokia's the only one on board with Symbian? No surprise. Sony Ericsson is hardly earning any money, so they need to ride the Android hype. They'll come back to Symbian one day - if they still exist. But the future of Nokia and Symbian isn't as bleak as US-centered analysts and bloggers make it.

Edited 2010-09-25 09:31 UTC

Reply Score: 9

Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

Not sure whether SE will come back to Symbian. Adopting MeeGo seems a more likely way -- at least for smart phones. SE uses its own proprietary OS for lower and phones (the Walkman lineup for example).

Reply Score: 2

Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

We all also forgot that Sony Ericsson is working on a playstation-branded android phone; that requires a lot of work on software and hardware! So they cut off their symbian effort and they try to have a return on all the investment that made on Android (custom skin, game SDK).

Reply Score: 1

Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

That's just a rumor and if true, Sony needs more than just the "PSP" brand to sell that thing.

Reply Score: 2

No it isnt
Member since:
2005-11-14

Their phones are still stuck at 1.6, with the much awaited but certainly disappointing 2.1 upgrade being postponed until October, and they all lack support for multi-touch. Granted, multi-touch is unnecessary 90% of the time (pinch-to-zoom is terrible UI design as you can't operate the phone with one hand without putting it down), but for those other 10%, the time you want to play console games in one of the many emulators, you really want to be able to press more than one "button" at a time: Mario bros isn't all that fun when you only can move, but not jump.

Not to mention the locked-down bootloader that makes it hard to install third-party firmware.

Reply Score: 4

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Oh, and not only that. Sony Ericsson will release the low-end Experia X8 is a couple of weeks time -- featuring Android 1.6. They're a whole year behind the competition, just because they feel they must "differentiate" themselves from the competition by pushing colorful bullshit like Timescape.

Reply Score: 4

dagw
Member since:
2005-07-06

Google seems to have made it clear that Android 3 is for higher end phones only. If your phone doesn't have a large screen, powerful CPU and lots or RAM, Google won't certify it as an Android 3 phone. However SE have lots of smaller cheaper phones in their lineup. I wonder if this means they are completely getting out of the low end market or if they have some other OS up their sleeve.

Reply Score: 2

Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

[...]or if they have some other OS up their sleeve.

They have.
It's Android 1.6 :-P

Edited 2010-09-25 14:37 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Bit sad
by Dr-ROX on Sun 26th Sep 2010 00:56 UTC
Dr-ROX
Member since:
2006-01-03

It's sad news for me, as long time Symbian user. Nokia will use it's new versions for cheaper phones thouh. Well, one day I understood, that there is no good platform for me. Android is limited - even the music player doesn't have an equalizer, apps are running in virtual space, like java. Iphone isn't for me. Maemo was quite interesting, waiting for meego.

Reply Score: 1

Was to be expected
by moondevil on Sun 26th Sep 2010 06:12 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

Regardless of the improvements Symbian has done in the last months to their operating system, if you want to directly target the platform, you still need to use the C++ dialect they have.

With all its quirks.

http://developer.symbian.org/wiki/index.php/Apps:Fundamentals_of_Sy...

Now compare this with the ease of the development of iOS, Linux or Bada. No wonder developers are leaving the platform.

Sure Open C/C++ and Qt do help minimize the pain, but you cannot target all handsets with them, and for some stuff you still need to go down to Symbian C++ anyway.

The funny thing is that the developer community was expecting that Symbiam would provide proper C++ support when the S60 3rd edition was introduced. The main reason being that they were breaking the operating system ABI, so the hope was there.

But no, the ABI was broken to introduce the DRM management features of having to sign API calls depending on the application capabilities in use.

Symbian^3 is going to be out real soon, and Symbian^5 is around the corner, and guess what Symbian C++ is still there.

So no wonder the companies move to operating systems that are more easy to develop for.

Reply Score: 2

SE abandoned Symbian years aog
by Augury on Sun 26th Sep 2010 08:00 UTC
Augury
Member since:
2010-08-16

In my opinion, SE has abandoned Symbian years ago, after releasing P990i and M600i. Both smartphones have great hardware, but poor software.

After several buggy firmware update, SE just quickly discontinued this two phones.

Nokia didn't do as bad, even with the N97, but last Nokia could really be compared to actual smartphone.

Edited 2010-09-26 08:01 UTC

Reply Score: 1

good riddance
by lucifer on Mon 27th Sep 2010 08:47 UTC
lucifer
Member since:
2006-08-20

smart move from se. glad to see them dropping the mediocre-and-overbloated-poor-excuse-for-a-mobile-phone-os.

now let's see what se will come up with with their superior hardware design and a better os platform.

Reply Score: 1

RE: good riddance
by _txf_ on Mon 27th Sep 2010 20:11 UTC in reply to "good riddance"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

overbloated...

Why let inaccuracy stand in the way of a nice and bombastic statement?

Reply Score: 2

axilmar
Member since:
2006-03-20

It's a good thing, I'd do the same. Android is the future of mobile operating systems, let's concentrate on that and provide an open standard platform, instead of custom solutions. It's the home computer/PC battle all over again...

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Android is the future of mobile operating systems, let's concentrate on that and provide an open standard platform, instead of custom solutions.

So why is Android an "open standard platform" instead of "custom solution"?

Edited 2010-09-27 12:16 UTC

Reply Score: 3

axilmar Member since:
2006-03-20

Android is open source, as it's Linux.

Reply Score: 2

thavid Member since:
2009-06-23

Android is a custom solution build on top of Linux ;) Most users won't even be aware that Linux in running under the hood, plus, with all the custom "skins" pre-installed by manufacturers, we'll get to a point where the only thing in common between android devices will be the market and the kernel (not that this is bad, as long as it works).

Reply Score: 1

axilmar Member since:
2006-03-20

Android is a custom solution build on top of Linux ;)


Indeed it is, but being open source software is what counts.

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Android is open source, as it's Linux.


Symbian OS is open source as well.

Try again.

Reply Score: 2

I used to love Symbian...
by thavid on Mon 27th Sep 2010 16:24 UTC
thavid
Member since:
2009-06-23

It started with the N-Gage, then 3650, then E5-something and now with an E63. Back in the day, symbian was slick, fast, usable, non-bloated and with lots of cool software and games available. Then the 3rd generation of the OS came in, and with it, a slow, unstable OS. The build in browser is, well, no comments as I don't want to be rude (some say "yeah, it runs flash" but what's the point when it takes 1 minute to open a page, reloading it 2 or 3 times on the way, even with flash disabled?). OVI store is the joke that we see (besides slow, with a very non-intuitive interface, you don't get geo separation, so you look at the reviews and see comments in chinese, portuguese, polish, spanish, etc etc etc). Then we come to the e-mail, oh the e-mail... I mean, I have an E series, a business phone, and it can't handle HTML!? WTF!?

And now, the bugs:

1) Open a contact and edit it (suppose that you were editing it to copy the phone number or some other info into an sms or a note). Do an accidental change (say, erase the last char on the name or phone number). Now try to undo that... Right...

2) Call someone. Tell that someone to cancel the call (busy tone). See how long your phone takes to get to the home screen.... Right...

3) Connect to a WiFi network. Try to get the IP you were assigned to.... Right...

4) Open the browser, enter an address. Now open a new tab. Wait, what, where?!

5) Open the browser. Open a non-mobile optimised page. Count how long does it take to load, how slow the phone gets, and how many times the page is reloaded during the process... Right...

6) After the last firmware update, the special chars of my keyboard have gone crazy. So, I'm using the portuguese layout, and some accents aren't working anymore (regardless of the label on the key itsel). I have to run into weird Shift+Ctrl combinations when with the old versions, everything would work.

7) And the brightside, call audio quality is the best (puts SonyEricsson in a corner) both for me and the person on the other side of the line, and battery life is not bad.

I mean, C'MON!!!! I've bought a business oriented phone and this is what I get? No wonder people are disappointed. Then I get to my PC and I have to deal with that crappy OVI suite, or (the old and good) pcSuite trying to convince me to download and install that piece of crap!

There, and this is why I am a very unhappy nokia customer about to jump to Android.

Nokia E63
FW 500.21.009 (most recent to date)
02-06-2010
RM-437

PS: Thank God for Opera Mobile to fill some of these gaps!!!!

Edited 2010-09-27 16:35 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: I used to love Symbian...
by Neolander on Mon 27th Sep 2010 17:57 UTC in reply to "I used to love Symbian..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

As another E63 owner, I'd like to discuss some of these points

The build in browser is, well, no comments as I don't want to be rude (some say "yeah, it runs flash" but what's the point when it takes 1 minute to open a page, reloading it 2 or 3 times on the way, even with flash disabled?).

Yeah, it sucks for every page that's a bit crowded. Sounds like they fixed it in later releases of Symbian, though. For us, well, Opera Mobile just does the job well, and can be put on the home screen...

Then we come to the e-mail, oh the e-mail... I mean, I have an E series, a business phone, and it can't handle HTML!? WTF!?

Of course it can. Just open that Attachment.html file you see in just all HTML e-mails. I'm glad that the HTML version is not opened by default myself...
-It'd probably slow the phone down a lot (the E63 is made to last a little week on battery when used carefully, not to suck it up in one day with a 1GHz processor. Moreover, as you mentioned, the built-in browser is not that great).
-It requires an Internet connection for some reason (I don't have a data plan, and being able to download my mails when on wi-fi and then read them later is a much welcome feature)
-HTML is often (ab)used for the sake of making shiny graphics. Including with text. Readability of such picture-only mails with non-resized text on a phone screen is poor at best.

Most of the information of a mail are contained in the text anyway. HTML is just for cosmetics and vulnerabilities, so it's better as an option IMO.

And now, the bugs:

1) Open a contact and edit it (suppose that you were editing it to copy the phone number or some other info into an sms or a note). Do an accidental change (say, erase the last char on the name or phone number). Now try to undo that... Right...

I agree with that, it's annoying that you can't cancel your modifications in some places. Calendar is another one.

2) Call someone. Tell that someone to cancel the call (busy tone). See how long your phone takes to get to the home screen.... Right...

Less than a second in most cases, though it can be longer occasionally. I close applications which I do not use, though, by using the red button, or menus and the task manager for those apps which do not follow symbian's HIG (like, say, Opera Mobile and Funambol...)

3) Connect to a WiFi network. Try to get the IP you were assigned to.... Right...

How is that useful on a phone ?

4) Open the browser, enter an address. Now open a new tab. Wait, what, where?!

5) Open the browser. Open a non-mobile optimised page. Count how long does it take to load, how slow the phone gets, and how many times the page is reloaded during the process... Right...

Fixed by opera mobile, as you acknowledge yourself.

6) After the last firmware update, the special chars of my keyboard have gone crazy. So, I'm using the portuguese layout, and some accents aren't working anymore (regardless of the label on the key itsel). I have to run into weird Shift+Ctrl combinations when with the old versions, everything would work.

Wow, that sucks indeed. I'm glad I didn't try to update my own firmware (USB cables are too expensive ^^).

7) And the brightside, call audio quality is the best (puts SonyEricsson in a corner) both for me and the person on the other side of the line, and battery life is not bad.

Not bad ? ;) Try to find a phone with similar capabilities that does only half of that. It's one of the reasons why I bought my E63. Pricing was a good motivation too. And after using it for sometimes, I'd buy it again for one thing that's not about hardware : the OS gives you fast access to everything you often need, unlike things like iOS or Android where simply making a call can take ages compared to the symbian approach.

I mean, C'MON!!!! I've bought a business oriented phone and this is what I get? No wonder people are disappointed. Then I get to my PC and I have to deal with that crappy OVI suite, or (the old and good) pcSuite trying to convince me to download and install that piece of crap!

Really ? In my case, it told me about that OVI suite once, I said no, and I never, ever heard about it again ;)

There, and this is why I am a very unhappy nokia customer about to jump to Android.

Good luck with your next phone ;) Maybe you too will come back to nokia after trying what the competition has to offer and being disappointed. At least, looking at my girlfriend's N86 and especially the much welcome improvements of its version of Symbian, Nokia know how to admit when they make a mistake.

Edited 2010-09-27 17:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I used to love Symbian...
by thavid on Mon 27th Sep 2010 18:40 UTC in reply to "RE: I used to love Symbian..."
thavid Member since:
2009-06-23

NeoLander, good points you raised, lets see if I can cover all of them:

The Browser
Yep, Opera Mobile give Nokia a hand here (I have both mobile and mini installed, and only use this last one while on UMTS/GRPS to save some euros), but still, you kind of feel like a browser is an important part of a smartphone and such behavior from Nokia doesn't quite feel right.

The E-Mail
I am aware indeed of the attached HTML file (kind of like some OpenSource groupware suites in the webmail interface). But when I click it, lol, my all times favorite browser is fired up :p I know the E63 is not the beefiest phone around, but nowadays, specially in this segment of devices, I would say that the phone could at least have an option to automatically show the messages in HTML (not open them in the browser tho). That way, users could choose if they want clear text or HTML to suite everyone's needs.

1) I wasn't aware that the calendar was suffering from this blow as well :| The way I see it: if such basic things were left untouched, I wonder how's the rest... Can't avoid feeling pessimistic on this one.

2) In my case (very often), if I call someone and that someone gives me a busy tone, I press the Red button to go back to the home screen and so whatever I need to do. The thing is, while the busy tone is playing (and it doesn't stop for about 3 or 4 seconds), the phone application kind of freezes.

3) It is useful if you are a techie in certain scenarios. For me it is useful, plus, if I can see security information of the network, why can't I possibly see my IP?

4) & 5) Yep, Opera covered the gap here, more or less.

6) I did the update hoping that most of the issues I described here were gone.... yeah.... ;)

7) Hum, indeed, but for an E series and full qwerty keyboard, I would expect more as well. Forgot to mention the price as well: €150 unlocked in store, not a bad deal at all!


New phone
Either Android or iPhone OS (on an iPod Touch, as I don't want data plans and paying more than €500 for a phone is not in my plans). I need a smartphone to take with me everywhere, that's the truth. The main reasons that lead me to buy this phone were wifi, built in VoIP client, e-mail and SSH (via PuTTY, installed separately). I will not go back to symbian until Nokia ditches the OVI store, which lacks content and organization. Besides that, I've seen symbian in the early days and I don't like the evolution it took since the release of 3rd edition phones (and trust me, IO was symbian ALL THE WAY!)

PS: pcSuite is constantly nagging me with updates, when all there is is a new software to install (OVI Suite), nothing to update.

Nokia, hope you guys are reading this!

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: I used to love Symbian...
by Neolander on Mon 27th Sep 2010 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I used to love Symbian..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

NeoLander, good points you raised, lets see if I can cover all of them:

Well, you know, I wrote that post in a hurry, and when I rode it again I discovered that it was lacking in many areas... Will complete it here, hope you like the new version even more ;)

The Browser
Yep, Opera Mobile give Nokia a hand here (I have both mobile and mini installed, and only use this last one while on UMTS/GRPS to save some euros), but still, you kind of feel like a browser is an important part of a smartphone and such behavior from Nokia doesn't quite feel right.

Well, Symbian 9.3 dates back from 2007, where if I remember well the web browser wasn't seen as such an important part of smartphones, except by Apple who just released the iPhone thing (which still ran on EDGE and couldn't receive MMSs). I've heard that Symbian^3 behaves much more nicely on the web.

The main problem with this imo is not that Nokia made an incapable browser at that time, but that they don't backports new releases of symbian to other phones.

On the other hand, doing that on low-performance hardware like the E63's could be quite difficult... After all, with no application open, my E63 has 23MB of free ram according to PC suite, and symbian is not very good at swapping...

(PS : Did you know that you can use mini-like data compression on opera mobile ? Just use opera turbo, that you can enable on the settings panel. It makes access times quite worse, though.)

The E-Mail
I am aware indeed of the attached HTML file (kind of like some OpenSource groupware suites in the webmail interface). But when I click it, lol, my all times favorite browser is fired up :p I know the E63 is not the beefiest phone around, but nowadays, specially in this segment of devices, I would say that the phone could at least have an option to automatically show the messages in HTML (not open them in the browser tho). That way, users could choose if they want clear text or HTML to suite everyone's needs.

Sounds like a good idea indeed, maybe you should report it to the symbian foundation (like your other gripes with the OS). I often think of doing that myself, but when looking at those shiny newer releases of symbian I have the feeling that they'll tell me most of it is already fixed.

1) I wasn't aware that the calendar was suffering from this blow as well :| The way I see it: if such basic things were left untouched, I wonder how's the rest... Can't avoid feeling pessimistic on this one.

On a more positive note, one of the highest ranked feature requests on symbian foundation's website is a trash, so part of the cancel issue might be subject to change...

2) In my case (very often), if I call someone and that someone gives me a busy tone, I press the Red button to go back to the home screen and so whatever I need to do. The thing is, while the busy tone is playing (and it doesn't stop for about 3 or 4 seconds), the phone application kind of freezes.

Hmmm... Annoying indeed. What effect has pressing the home button in the hope that the application closes itself in the background while you can do whatever you want ? Is the phone completely frozen ?

3) It is useful if you are a techie in certain scenarios. For me it is useful, plus, if I can see security information of the network, why can't I possibly see my IP?

Good point. After all, that network information screen will only be watched by techies anyway.

7) Hum, indeed, but for an E series and full qwerty keyboard, I would expect more as well. Forgot to mention the price as well: €150 unlocked in store, not a bad deal at all!

Indeed, I bought it at around €260 myself ;) Not twice as much but nearly. Was yours brand new ?

In my case, I tend to be more kind towards my E63 because I've tried lower-end full keyboard phones before. The LG KS 360 especially was memorable. If you think that symbian 9.3 is buggy and unpolished, never try this one. In fact, don't try it even if you don't think so. Before it, I had never seen in my life a phone which doesn't even manage to reliably delete all SMSs in the inbox ><. My E63 was an attempt to go mid-end in order to get some polish and nice features without spending too much in a high-end phone I have no use for, and it did work...

New phone
Either Android or iPhone OS (on an iPod Touch, as I don't want data plans and paying more than €500 for a phone is not in my plans). I need a smartphone to take with me everywhere, that's the truth.

Well, hope that you won't find the Android equivalent of my LG360... AFAIK, polished touchscreen phones are still for rich people, but if you don't need to make calls the iTouch might indeed be a good option.

The main reasons that lead me to buy this phone were wifi, built in VoIP client, e-mail and SSH (via PuTTY, installed separately). I will not go back to symbian until Nokia ditches the OVI store, which lacks content and organization.

Well, some days ago I tried to download a specific app (Skype), and for such a use case it works quite well. My own issues with OVI store is...
-Infamous loading times
-Often forces you to update, which can make your phone dreadfully slow for minutes before you can actually get your app.
-It took them a lot of time before user account and app downloading and installing was done right (though now it finally works properly)

Besides that, I've seen symbian in the early days and I don't like the evolution it took since the release of 3rd edition phones (and trust me, IO was symbian ALL THE WAY!)

Didn't have this chance, I discovered symbian with 9.3 and only noticed that many nice apps from the past can't be used anymore (nethack, EEmame... I'll miss you).

Well, it's surely far from perfect, but there's several things which makes it good enough for me to give it a second chance with my next phones...
-E-Mail and texts, my #1 means of communication by far, work very well
-The homescreen is just perfect, once you've set it up properly. Never seen something like that on my previous phones, nor on phones and mobile devices I see around. WiPho7 plans to bring something like this, but I'm not sure their implementation will be as good. For a combination of instant access to applications AND instant knowledge about what's going on, the symbian homescreen is a pure wonder.
-The main menu is properly organized (except in the settings region), instead of being a stupid and unsearchable heap of applications.
-Aside from doing what I want, this phone and the OVI ecosystem bring a lot of well-polished extras on the table when you look for them. Youtube, Opera Mobile, Skype, Funambol, the calculator and the translator, the file browser...

Then, the thing requires some developer love and lots of polish before adding any new feature to the mix, in my opinion. Specifically, the following should be fixed :
-The aforementioned cancel issue
-The out of memory issue. There should be more free memory for apps, and background apps should just be swapped out instead of wasting precious memory.
-The occasional slowdowns and lockups of the interface. They should not exist. On a sidenote, killing apps should be a near-instant process.
-Opera mobile should be better integrated in the system and made the default browser. Except if they manage to get their webkit-based monster fixed, which would be the best option of course.
-Management of multiple Wi-Fi networks is ridiculously bad. I can't set several networks as preferred networks, so since I equally use two wi-fi networks (home and work), I have to put the default network setting on "always ask" mode. It's highly annoying.
-On the same wi-fi topic... Currently, if your wi-fi network's signal strength is too low, symbian won't detect it as a preferred AP and hence not show it in the network list. And you can't reload that list either. You're more or less stuck with canceling your current task and starting over.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I used to love Symbian...
by Neolander on Mon 27th Sep 2010 20:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I used to love Symbian..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Note that nokia actually already took care of part of this. Network management has been greatly (and I really mean it) improved on newer releases of symbian like the one on the N86, though that comes at the expense of silly sluggish animations that just make the device feel horrendously slow.

If Nokia have taken care of most of these issues by the time my E63 dies, I'll go back because of the other benefits mentioned.

Windows Phone 7 looked as another interesting platform in its early builds, but in my opinion it has just gotten worse and worse as time passed and is currently prone to be a big failure unless a miracle occurs or the apps for it are *really* good. I don't buy the iOS/Android philosophy at all, as you should have guessed by now. Meego will probably only run on €400+ phones, so it's not for me either. Well, if I was desperate about Nokia at that time, I could still go RIM... But their platform doesn't feel as friendly and efficient as symbian, looking from a distance.

PS: pcSuite is constantly nagging me with updates, when all there is is a new software to install (OVI Suite), nothing to update.

Yeah, indeed, it just spit such a warning on me. Guess I'm too good at ignoring them ;) Maybe the windows 7 popup management options can do the trick of making these warnings disappear ?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I used to love Symbian...
by thavid on Mon 27th Sep 2010 22:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I used to love Symbian..."
thavid Member since:
2009-06-23

Right, three things first:

- I have a problem trusting manufacturers other than Apple about the quality and functionality of touch screens (you can blame it on a previous bad and too long experience with Windows Mobile 2003). I would prefer to avoid touch screens, but I know that if I am using a trusty one, I'll be OK (last nokia I tried with touch screen was one of those xpress music ones, and I hated it!!!)

- I truly hate this social networking trend, and therefore, I avoid phones that use their social integration features as a flagship feature. According to some reviews I've been reading, these new phones have facebook integration, and I am afraid that by not using this, I'll be crippling the device or locking other basic features (just like what happened on the Vodafone 360 if you didn't had facebook/bebo/whatever).

- According to my carrier's website (vodafone.ie), I see a hell lot of bad reviews for these new Nokias, regarding slowdowns, freezes, and phones going back to service over and over again. So, regardless of how nice they look on the video, I ain't buying it until this new platform is well established and all the sharp edges are gone.

Now, about your post:

- (again) The browser
Mainstream usage of the mobile phone browser started with the iPhone, yes. But depending on where you live (and most EU countries had been ahead of the US on this matter, in pre-iPhone ages), it is something being done for years. I've been using that (and video calls as well) in an almost daily basis because on the country I was previously living, you could get a plan with €20 per month with unlimited data, text, voice and video communications (with conditions). I must admit that, back then, there was a whole less of stuff for the browser to process, but still, even when it was born, it was already showing its age.
You mention that the weak hardware might be a bottleneck... Well, I don't accept that when I see basic phones using the native browser in a proper manner (I'm talking, for example, SE K530i) while I have to find workarounds.

PS: I am aware of such option, but I don't thing that goes all the way. I can tell a difference on the pages, just can't tell if it is because they're being rendered on a java or native application. Still, I must check that better.

- The calendar
A recycle bin?! LOL, all I want is an undo or cancel button!!!

- The freezing
The phone is usable, just the home screen is inaccessible. I can get into the menus, but if I return to the home screen, I see a static image of the last screen.

- The price
Yep, brand new in store around 1 and 1/2 years ago.
I gave up on trying other manufacturers. Basically now, I'm comfortable with Symbian, iOS and Android, don't need (nor want) to get to know and use other phone OS's, thank you!

- The touch
I need to make calls indeed, but if I get the touch, I won't mind having a dump phone as my mobile. I wanted to avoid carrying two devices almost all the time, but if that suits me better, then I'll have to be.

- OVI store
You can get apps from OVI and they work, no question there, but they aren't always up to date. For example, a couple of months ago, the version of YouTUBE available on OVI was way older than the one available at google. Same goes for Opera Mini the last time it was updated. So, I cannot trust the store, I have to go and get my apps somewhere else.

- The old days
Ah, EEmame, good times I spend with that app (specially on the N-Gage)




Ah, one funny thing... You know that, when I had ver2 of the firmware, there was an option to create access point groups? Pretty handy, 'cas I could create a group containing all my trusty wifi networks and have the phone automatically connecting to voip or e-mail. Then firmware update came, and that option went away... Thank you Nokia!

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: I used to love Symbian...
by Neolander on Tue 28th Sep 2010 06:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I used to love Symbian..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

- I have a problem trusting manufacturers other than Apple about the quality and functionality of touch screens (you can blame it on a previous bad and too long experience with Windows Mobile 2003). I would prefer to avoid touch screens, but I know that if I am using a trusty one, I'll be OK (last nokia I tried with touch screen was one of those xpress music ones, and I hated it!!!)

According to my own experience of touch devices, you're right to do so unless you've tried the device yourself and seen if you manage to get around it, even with Apple touchscreens ;) Touchscreen is the hype currently, and hype sells crappy devices as long as they don't cost too much...

- I truly hate this social networking trend, and therefore, I avoid phones that use their social integration features as a flagship feature. According to some reviews I've been reading, these new phones have facebook integration, and I am afraid that by not using this, I'll be crippling the device or locking other basic features (just like what happened on the Vodafone 360 if you didn't had facebook/bebo/whatever).

I hate it too, but I think that we don't have to worry about it on symbian. All facebook integration I've seen on it yet seemed to be based on dedicated home screen widgets, that you probably can remove and replace at will like every single other home screen widget (though confirmation of this would be nice).

- According to my carrier's website (vodafone.ie), I see a hell lot of bad reviews for these new Nokias, regarding slowdowns, freezes, and phones going back to service over and over again. So, regardless of how nice they look on the video, I ain't buying it until this new platform is well established and all the sharp edges are gone.

About which nokias exactly ? The symbian^3 ones ? (N8, E7, C6-01, C7)

- The calendar
A recycle bin?! LOL, all I want is an undo or cancel button!!!

Well, at least that covers cancellation of accidentally deleted entries, and shows some interest at undoing things.
Like these entries, too :
http://ideas.symbian.org/Idea/View?ideaid=6516
http://ideas.symbian.org/Idea/View?ideaid=4785

Ah, one funny thing... You know that, when I had ver2 of the firmware, there was an option to create access point groups? Pretty handy, 'cas I could create a group containing all my trusty wifi networks and have the phone automatically connecting to voip or e-mail. Then firmware update came, and that option went away... Thank you Nokia!

Well, on the N86, they somewhat put that back, but imo in an improved fashion : for various web use cases (email, browsing...), you can set up multiple APs as preferred networks, in priority order.

Edited 2010-09-28 06:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: I used to love Symbian...
by vivainio on Mon 27th Sep 2010 19:31 UTC in reply to "I used to love Symbian..."
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Back in the day, symbian was slick, fast, usable, non-bloated and with lots of cool software and games available. Then the 3rd generation of the OS came in, and with it, a slow, unstable OS.


Symbian^3 is slick, fast, and usable, e.g. if you take a look at C6-01, C7, N8, E7. A starting point could be the video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFNeJVaruPM

(random video from youtube, you can probably find better ones)

I don't have a Symbian^3 device myself, but I've played with N8 a little bit and have to say the animations really make the difference in feeling of snappiness and responsiveness. Compared to N97 (I have N97 mini but only use it for the maps, I use N900 as my primary device), it feels like a totally different class of device.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I used to love Symbian...
by Neolander on Mon 27th Sep 2010 20:42 UTC in reply to "RE: I used to love Symbian..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Symbian^3 is slick, fast, and usable, e.g. if you take a look at C6-01, C7, N8, E7. A starting point could be the video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFNeJVaruPM

(random video from youtube, you can probably find better ones)

I don't have a Symbian^3 device myself, but I've played with N8 a little bit and have to say the animations really make the difference in feeling of snappiness and responsiveness. Compared to N97 (I have N97 mini but only use it for the maps, I use N900 as my primary device), it feels like a totally different class of device.

You're right, Symbian^3 indeed looks nice on those videos. They seem to have mostly fixed the "unresponsive" aspect of it, noticeably.

Then, I must be masochist, but I would really like to see how this OS performs on an E63-like device : cheap, sturdy, button-based interface, extreme battery life, hardware feature set kept simple.

If I remember well, the E7 is scheduled to cost around ~€700. I hope that Nokia plans to release lower-end Symbian^3 Eseries too. They're not good enough on the app front to compete with the higher-end of Android/iOS yet, IMO. On the other hand, mid-end is an area where symbian traditionally shines...

Plus, technically-speaking, seeing how symbian^3 performs on low-powered hardware would be interesting. Their shiny animations and feature have probably a cost, question is : will nokia wisely disable some eye candy on lower-end models when it's needed for speed purpose, like it does on s40 ?

Edited 2010-09-27 20:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2