HP’s Second Attempt at Mobile Headed by Alberto Torres

With every major IT giant out there going into the mobile business, HP could not stand back and enjoy the show. Although, HP has had a horrid experience with the mobile over the last few years, perhaps it has learnt from its mistakes and wants to get back into the mobile sector with a fresh start. It has already re-branded the Palm business (or whatever was remaining of it) to Gram attempting to give it a new focus. Palm could boast of software that was ahead of its time and some groundbreaking products (the Treo) too, but it never had strong foundation stones. With Gram, HP is starting over with Palm.


That sounds good, isn’t it? But wait. Confusion started a few days ago, when HP circulated an internal memo talking about another mobile division inside its company, the only difference being that this one will deal with hardware instead. The group is being called the “Mobility Global Business Unit” and it will be headed by Alberto Torres, who was the head of MeeGo at Nokia. At this new unit, Torres will be the Senior Vice-President. According to HP, this group will focus on:

Additional segments and categories where we believe we can offer differentiated value to our customers.

Was it a wise decision to kill the existing Palm business and instead, bring out separate hardware and software product lines and teams? It is too early to speculate on the future prospects of this strategy. Surely, HP has something in mind when it is going through such a massive change, or is it just a shot in the dark?

(Via: The Verge)

Ex-Nokia Employees To Make MeeGo Phones

Ex-Nokia Employees To Make MeeGo Phones

If you’re in love with your Nokia N9 but want an upgrade in the MeeGo world, you’re going to love this news. Jolla, a new smartphone startup founded by a few ex-Nokia employees, have announced that they will be producing and selling phones which run on the MeeGo operating system. As of now, there are only two phones which run MeeGo: the Nokia N9 and N950 development device.

Jolla is currently being run by Marc Dillion, Jolla’s Cheif Operating Officer. Dillion was with Nokia from January 2006 to May 2012 as their Principle Engineer for MeeGo, so he knows the operating system inside-out.

Jolla has announced that they will be building these devices on both their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles. On Twitter Jolla released the following statement:

New #MeeGo smartphones will be created together with our industrial and investor partners and with support of the MeeGo community.

Just for clarification, Jolla isn’t at all affiliated with Nokia or the Nokia n9 line of smartphones. According to The Verge, Jolla will not be providing updates to either the Nokia N9 or N950 development device.

If you’re a current Nokia N9 user, will you be upgrading to one of these new MeeGo devices? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Source: Jolla Ltd (LinkedIn) via The Verge
Image Source: WhatleyDude

Nokia N9 To Get PR1.3 Update At The End Of May?

A couple of months ago, Nokia rolled out a pretty big update for its first-ever MeeGo powered handset, the N9. The PR 1.2 update added a bunch of new features and enhancements including the ability to make video calls via the in-built Google Talk IM client, continuous auto-focus while recording videos and much more. Readers can find the full change-log of the update here.

Now, it looks like Nokia is again going to roll out a new software update for the N9 once again. Unlike the PR 1.2 software update, the PR 1.3 update will only include some performance and stability improvements along with bug-fixes. N9 users should not really get their hopes up of Nokia bringing in more features with the PR 1.3 update, as it will just be a minor update. Rumors suggest that Nokia will start rolling out the PR 1.3 update sometime at the end of May.

Meego/Harmattan developers can check out the PR 1.3 commit from Nokia over here to get an idea of what all changes the update will include.

Nokia N9 PR 1.2 Software Update Now Live!

Back in January, Nokia started rolling out the PR 1.2 software update for the developer only Meego handset, the Nokia N950. Considering that the N9 is the consumer version of the N950, it was only a matter of time before Nokia released the update for the former.

Now, more than a month after the N950 got the update, Nokia has started rolling out the PR 1.2 software update for the N9. The PR 1.2 software update adds a bunch of new features to the last Meego handset from the company including video calling, improved photography, an updated version of Nokia Drive and folders support for the app drawer among other things.

For all the camera enthusiasts, the N9 now supports continuous auto-focus while recording videos. The software update also reduces the shutter lag on the N9 to nearly zero, like on the Galaxy Nexus, thus snapping moments instantly!

Post the software update, users will also be able to tag their friends in a photo they will be uploading using the new face recognition technology. Using the Google Talk video call app, users can also make video calls to their loved ones. Other changes in the software update include improved web browsing history, improved copy and paste, support for five new languages – Thai, Hebrew, Persian, Vietnamese and Kazak, the ability to create playlists in the stock music player, and enhancements to Mail for Exchange.

The software update contains many other changes, which N9 owners can find in details over here. The update is already live so simply connect your handset to a Wi-Fi network, and you will be automatically notified that a new software update is available for your handset.

Nokia N9 Gets An Ice Cream Sandwich Port

The Nokia N9 was one of its kind phone – It was the first and the last phone from Nokia to run on the MeeGo OS. The handset got some ravishing reviews, but barely managed to sell because of its bleak future. However, the N9 is a favorite among developers and modders.

The open-hardware on the N9, and the talented developers of NITDroid have managed to get Ice Cream Sandwich to boot on the handset. The developers have only released a picture of the handset running Ice Cream Sandwich, which does not really says much about what works and what does not. There is no public build available as well, so N9 owners need to wait for some more time before they can taste some ICS on their handset.

The developers are definitely having a tough time porting Android’s kernel to the N9, and to get some basic features like GPU acceleration and the radios to work. Interested N9 developers can head over to Maemo.org for more information about this project, and the progress being made by the developers.


Nokia N950 Gets PR1.2 Harmattan Update; Adds Tons Of New Features

Nokia has started rolling out the PR1.2 Harmattan update for the developer only – Nokia N950. The new update brings in quite a lot of welcome changes, including folder support, lock screen music controls, tons of bug fixes and much more.


For the less informed, the N950 is the developer variant of the N9 and comes with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard as well.

Below is the full change-log of the update –:

• Software update notifications for content in Nokia Store

• Face recognition for gallery and face tags for Facebook

• Support for folders in the application view

• Mail thread support in the Email client

• Extended copy-paste support

• Media sharing with DLNA compatible devices

• Compass support in Maps

• New font taken into use

• Front camera support

• Video editing support in the Gallery application

• Separate switch for controlling mobile background connections while roaming

• Camera: self timer, grid on/off control

• Clock alarm becomes silent by flipping the device face down instead of snoozing

• People view added to the grid toolbar in the gallery

• Audiobook and podcast support in the music player

• Ability to create playlists in the music player

• Ability to delete music files from music player library views via object menu

As you can see from the huge change-log above, the PR1.2 update packs in quite a lot of new features including some basic ones like front-camera support, new font, extended copy and paste etcetera. The PR1.2 update will also be rolled out to the Nokia N9 after the Finnish giant gives the build some final touches.


Nokia Still Showing Love to the N9 – PR1.2 Right Around the Corner

Even though Nokia has gone full tilt to Windows Phone 7, and in the process, taken the design of the recently announced Lumia 800/900 from the N9, they are adamant in providing updates to the dead-on-arrival handset.

Just shy of 2 months from the PR1.1 update, Nokia Developer has announced that PR1.2 will become available for registered developers and participants in the N950 Developer Program. It will be in a beta stage for testing and provided to ensure application compatibility before full public launch on the N9.

Among the 3,500 expected changes, the ability to create folders on the homescreen, copy and paste in the browser, and face recognition within the camera, are the top additions. Although no official changelog has been released, likely due to the fact that the OneClickFlashers for the N950 have not been released, screenshots from an N9 already running PR1.2 have been shared online.

While Nokia does have a fairly strong track record of providing updates and fixing serious bugs on released devices, some have indicated that PR1.2 will be the last update for the N9, as the company moves forward headstrong with Windows Phone 7. Hopefully the update also brings with it, the much requested (and promised) ‘open-mode’, giving developers more low level system access — which will also allow the community to continue updating their devices when Nokia stamps it as EOL.

If you’re a lucky (or unlucky) user of an N9, you’ll likely be waiting anywhere from a few week or a few months until PR1.2 is officially released for your N9. Hang in there, this might be the last hurrah for you and your coveted MeeGo device.

Nokia N9 PR1.1 Update Is Now Live!

Nokia has started rolling out a new software update – PR 1.1 – for the recently released N9, as it promised a couple of weeks ago.

The new PR1.1 update brings with it a  noticeable  improvement in the performance of the phone, along with improved memory/RAM management. It also includes the popular swiping  keyboard  – Swype. There are also some visual changes including music controls for lock screen, shadows for toolbar and much more.

There are a lot of system level changes including low power mode enhancements, NFC and connectivity improvements, and an improved color profile for the AMOLED screen. The PR 1.1 update also brings with it lots of bug fixes including the popular notification LED bug.  The camera app has also been updated and now includes  color filters.

The update is available via OTA, and N9 users will be notified when the update hits their phone. Alternatively, they can manually check for the update by going to Settings->Applications->Manage Applications.

Nokia is also working on a PR 1.2 update for the N9, which will bring some much needed features like system-wide copy and paste functionality, more visual changes, and deeper integration of Nokia Maps with the core system apps like contacts etc. Nokia has not specified anything as to when the PR1.2 update will be rolled out to N9 owners.

The whole change-log for the PR1.1 update can be found here.

Nokia N9 To Get a Software Update and a New Color Soon!

Today, Nokia has announced that the Nokia N9 – probably the last MeeGo handset produced by the company – will soon be available in a new color, white. Considering how complex the manufacturing process of white products is, the company decided to take time and release the best possible quality for its consumers.

The white N9 will sport a glossy finish (Hello fingerprints!), instead of the matte finish its other color variants have. The white colored N9 will hit the retail stores sometime in Q4 of 2011, with 64GB of on-board memory.

The company also announced that it will be soon rolling out a new software update for the handset. The new software update will bring new usability enhancements like music controls on the lock screen, and the ability to close apps by swiping them down. The software update will also add NFC tag reading ability to the handset.

The Nokia N9 recently hit the retail stores in selected regions of the world, and has been getting positive reviews by everyone on the Internet. This has made many people to doubt Nokia’s decision of killing MeeGo and adopting WP7 instead.

Nokia Slashing 3,500 Jobs by 2012

Rough waters are still ahead for Nokia. After recently cutting 4,000 jobs and off-shoring software development, and undergoing a massive internal re-tooling for Windows Phone 7, Nokia has announced they will continue with planned personnel reduction and will be losing a total of 3,500 jobs by the end of 2012.

Many Nokia employees have been shuffled around, from country to country and department to department. MeeGo and Symbian developers have been let go from R&D facilities. Nokia has said the entire Cluj factory in Western Romania will be losing 1,200 employees when the planned shut down begins in the tail of 2011. Back in 2008, the factory was hiring up to 100 people a week, now one in fell swoop, they will be looking for a livelihood elsewhere.

One of the many services that Nokia touts and actually does well, is mapping. In an attempt to ‘consolidate workforce’, Nokia will also be reducing Location and Commerce positions to the number of 1,200 persons — which is the department that feeds into their map service and location-aware social projects.

As with the previous long laundry list of layoffs, Nokia has promised to provide support to affected employees in any way they can. With Nokia’s Windows Phone 7 device coming off the line soon, hopefully the Finnish giant can kick into high gear in order to stop losing the employees that make the company so unique.

Source: BusinessInsider