Nokia Previews The New ex-OVI Store Client

Today, Nokia has announced a new version of its Ovi Store Client via its Beta Labs blog. The new client is currently under beta testing, and can be downloaded from the Beta Labs website.

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The new OVI Store client is based on QT, which means it’s much faster and smoother compared to the current OVI store client. Frankly, the current OVI store client, which is based on Web Runtime, is nothing but a piece of junk. It’s slow, buggy and literally unusable.

The new key features brought about by this client include Easier Navigation, Improved product details view, and an overall quicker and smoother navigation. I tried the new client on an Anna powered N8, and found the overall performance to be vastly improved compared to its predecessor. The new client did remind me of the old Android Market, though.

The new QT based client only supports the latest bunch of Symbian^3 handsets from the Finnish giant, including the C6-01, C7, E7, N8 and the X7.

Interested Nokia Symbian^3 users can download the new QT based Ovi Store client from here.

Nokia To Rebrand Ovi To Nokia Services

Nokia has announced via a blog post on their Conversations blog, that they will be killing the Ovi brand. All the Ovi related services will be renamed to ‘Nokia Services’.

The Finnish giant will start transitioning to Nokia Services beginning from July this year. Nokia expects the transition to complete by the end of 2012.

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The reason cited behind Nokia killing the Ovi brand is the popularity of Nokia as a brand name, and aiming to tightly integrate their various services with their handsets.

Here is Nokia’s official statement on re branding Ovi to Nokia services -:

The reasons for this decision includes the fact that Nokia is a well-known and highly-loved brand the world over. Our mobile experiences are tightly integrated with our devices there is no longer a differentiation. For example, if consumers want the best mobile navigation experience, they know it’s a Nokia that they can rely on. These last few years, and moving forward, our mission remains unchanged: we will continue our work to deliver compelling, unified mobile service offerings and next-generation, disruptive technologies.

Nokia also states that they are only changing the name of their services, and the existence of these services will not be affected by it. In all probability, Nokia has taken this step due to its partnership with Microsoft, and its upcoming WP8 based phones.

Right now, looking at how things are going, I doubt the existence of the Finnish giant – Nokia – itself!

Nokia’s Ovi Pushmail Banned In India

The Department of Telecom (DoT) in India has pulled the plug on Nokia’s Push e-mail service and has asked various telecom service providers to deny or disable user access to Nokia’s pushmail or the powermail Ovi service until Nokia comes up with a legal monitoring system for various defence and security agencies.

This decision comes amidst the Government’s decision to ban all Blackberry services in India. According to the Ministry of Home affairs’ communication to the Department of Telecom, the deptt. is requested to advice the Telecom Service Providers not to launch Nokia’s proposed pushmail/powermail service without putting in place monitoring facilities to the satisfaction of the LEAs.

This news definitely comes as a shock to Nokia as it may lose major user base given the fact that nearly 50 per cent of Nokia’s E Series business phones which are sold in India get activated primarily for e-mails. Nokia’s ovi Pushmail service allows mobile users to manage multiple email accounts on Yahoo!, Gmail, Rediff to Sify at once.

Nokia Ovi Stats: 200K New Users Daily, 140 Million Users Worldwide

Nokia just released some statistics about the Ovi App Store, and they are looking very good. When the Ovi Store was first launched, many experts speculated that it would be a huge failure, especially compared to the iPhone App Store and the Android Market.

Going by the number of apps available in the app stores, this may be partially true. But what those experts didn’t take into account was that Nokia has a much larger presence worldwide, much bigger than both the iPhone and Android. It dominates the budget smartphone market and is trying to regain its high end smartphone market share with the launch of new phones like the Nokia N8 and the Nokia E7.

Anyways, here are the complete stats:

200,000 new users are signing up to Ovi daily and the total number of users are now approaching 140 million. The number of Ovi Store downloads are now over 2.3 million/day. More than 4.7 million users are subscribed to Ovi Life Tools.

At Nokia, we believe that connecting people with great mobile experiences is at the heart of what Ovi is all about. Today people discover Ovi through Maps, Music, Messaging, Ovi Store and Ovi Lifetools. With a new generation of amazing devices, like the Nokia N8, developers are looking at Ovi as a good business decision and a chance to innovate and create next-generation mobile experiences for our family of new Symbian devices.said Tero Ojanpera, Executive Vice President, Nokia services.

For more details, check out the official blog by Nokia.

Nokia C6 Unveiled At The Nokia World

Nokia just announced the Nokia C6 at the on-going Nokia World 2010. The C6-01 has a metal body and glass design. The phone will also feature a 3.2-inch AMOLED screen with ClearBlack Display (CBD). According to Anssi, the C6 display is Blacker than black. Anssi also touted that the new display has better sunlight legibility and consumes less power. The C6 features a 3.2-inch capacitive screen with nHD (360×640) resolution. The handset is also eco-friendly and its body is made up of recycled metals.  Nokia C6-01

The back of the device also features an 8MP camera along with dual-LED flash. The C6 will run on the updated version of Symbian dubbed as the Symbian^3. The handset will also feature Ovi Maps along with free walk and drive navigation. The C6 will also provide users access to all the Ovi services from Nokia like the Ovi Music, Ovi Store etcetera.

The C6 (C6-01) is expected to cost around EUR 260 before taxes and subsidies. The device will hit the retail market before this year ends.

Readers should keep in mind that this is the Nokia C6-01 which was announced today. The original C6 was announced by Nokia quite a few months ago.The original C6 featured a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and ran the Symbian S60v5 edition. Nokia really needs to stop confusing people with their weird naming schemes.

Purchase Nokia C6 Unlocked Phones From Amazon for ~$250: White Unlocked Nokia C6 | Black Unlocked Nokia C6

Nokia E75 Firmware Updated To v211.12

Nokia has released a new firmware update for the highly popular E75. The Nokia E75 has a 2.4-inch screen and features a side slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The firmware update is numbered v211.12. This firmware update is a pretty minor one, and mainly fixes theNokia E75 various bugs present in the phone.

According to AAS, the official change log is-:

* Corrections done concerning e-mail client: contacts and calendar sync starts failing specifically with exchange 2003 SP2 server

* Corrections done concerning OMA DM remote configuration problem

* Corrections done concerning FOTA server profile, wherein PC-suite has been set as the default profile instead of Nokia, this has been corrected.
Improvements to the device lock functionality

The Nokia E75 features UDP (User Data Preservation) so users don’t need to worry about their personal data on the phone. Their personal data will be kept intact after the firmware update. Users can either use Nokia Software Updater or Nokia Ovi Suite to update the firmware of their phone.

Nokia E71 Firmware Updated To v500.21.009

It was just yesterday that Nokia had rolled out a new firmware update for the Nokia X6 8 GB. Today, the company has rolled out another firmware update for the highly successful Nokia E71. The firmware update is numbered vNokia E71 500.21.009. This firmware update is a minor one, and mainly fixes bugs and stability issues.

It is quite surprising to see Nokia release a firmware update for such an old handset. Here is the official change log:

NEW FUNTIONALITIES :
Following baselines/functionalities have been upgraded.
•       Maps 3.03 Lite which has Free Navigation support
•       Music Player upgrade
•       Quick Office v6.2 which has Office 2007 support
•       Ovi Store upgraded to 1.6.0.18 and Download! Removed
•       Lotus Notes traveler v8.5.1 -> Localization support is present only for 10 languages.

CHANGES AND IMPROVEMENTS :

•       Windows Live removed from the memory card
•       Ovi Suite included in Memory card
•       CS Helps baseline upgraded to fix localization issues
•       Start Up settings baseline upgraded
•       Ovi Store Link provided in Set Up Internet Telephony
•       Download! removed
GENERAL :
•       Portuguese Localization issues fixed
•       Functionality improvements in E-mail configuration
•       Qwerty keypad improvements

CALL HANDLING :
•       Emergency call termination with RSK key corrected
•       Corrected Bluetooth link drop when an outgoing call is made in a carkit

CALENDAR/CLOCK :
•       Fix for Israel written instead of Jerusalem in World Clock
•       Corrected Argentina names issue in World Clock
•       Corrected localization issues in world clock

BROWSER :
•       CMCC Java application download corrected
•       Fix provided for accessing a link that has appended space characters

EMAIL :
•       Fix provided for selecting desired mailbox when multiple mailboxes are configured

QWERTY KEYBOARD :
•       Key mapping issues fixed

MESSAGING :
•       Nokia IM chat: Localization support provided for Malay and Indonesian languages

Keep in mind that the Nokia E71 does not support UDP, so users should make a back up of their data before proceeding with the firmware update.

New Version Of Nokia Ovi Maps Released

Nokia has released a new version of their popular Sat-Nav software the Ovi Maps. The new version is numbered 3.04 and is said to improve performance. Nokia had made Ovi Maps Walk and Drive Navigation free for selected phones back in January, 2010. The response that Nokia got was overwhelming, with more than 10,000,000 downloads in 3 months.

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The new version also features Wi-Fi positioning. This will allow Ovi Maps to detect the location of its users in a very short time. Nevertheless, Wi-Fi positioning is still a work in progress, according to the Ovi Blog. Another major change in this new version of Ovi Maps is the improvement in Zooming in and out of the maps. It is now much more smooth and fast. Nokia has also worked with Qype in Europe, local yellow pages, NAVTEQ, and Lonely Planet to add more places of interest in the Ovi Maps.

In a bid to promote the Ovi Maps, Nokia has started shipping car holder and a car charger with the Nokia N97, N97 Mini, 6710 Navigator and the Nokia X6. The Nokia 5800XM, 5230, E52, and the E72 ship with a car holder.

New Ovi Maps for Nokia N97 Coming Next Week With Firmware Update

Nokia today released a new version of Ovi Maps with improved UI and various new features at their bigOvi event.They have also started offering free turn-by-turn navigation, and voice based guidance for Ovi Maps, across 74 countries and in more than 40 languages. As we reported earlier, right now the free turn-by-turn navigation is available for 10 of the most popular Nokia devices with GPS including the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, N97 Mini, Nokia E72 and the recently launched Nokia X6. As you can see the Nokia N97 is not included in the list.

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This news certainly made the owners of Nokia N97 angry. Many press reporters present at the Ovi event today, even asked Nokia about the lack of support for Nokia N97 by the new version of Ovi Maps. Nokia said that installing the new version of Ovi Maps required atleast 20Mb of free space in the C: drive, which the N97 lacks. So Nokia will soon release a new firmware for N97, with the new version of Ovi Maps integrated. The firmware update is supposed to come out on 28th of January.

The new version of Ovi Maps has an improved and more polished UI, and even allows sharing your current location with your friends on Facebook. The new version will also support offline browsing, so users can load the map data on their phone, and use the GPS of their phone without any data connection. This feature makes Nokia Ovi Maps more cost efficient than Google Maps.

Nokia Ovi Maps Now Offers Free Turn By Turn Navigation

Nokia has until date sold more than 70 million handsets equipped with GPS chipset. Nokia bundles Ovi Maps with all their latest devices for GPS navigation. Until today Nokia used to offer turn by turn navigation in Ovi Maps for a small charge, which today Nokia has made free for selected devices. The devices included in that list are Nokia N97 Mini, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia 5800 Navigation Edition, Nokia E52, Nokia E55, Nokia E72, Nokia 5230, Nokia 6710 Navigator, Nokia 6730   classic and Nokia X6.

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Many of you must have gone through that list again, since you don’t see the current top of the line Nokia N97 in the above list. Yes, Nokia has not made navigation free for N97, which is currently their top of the line handset. All those people who paid 500$-700$ for Nokia N97 have definitely not been treated like a royalowners of a royaldevice by Nokia here. Nokia will be offering free turn-by-turn navigation in 74 countries and in more than 40 languages. Compared to this, Google Maps only offers free turn-by-turn navigation in US.

It will be interesting to see whether Nokia offers free turn-by-turn navigation for Nokia N97 soon or not. There is also an event scheduled by Nokia today, where they will be announcing something bigregarding Ovi. My guess is that Nokia will be releasing a version of Ovi Suite which run on Mac Operating System.

Edit: So it seems that Nokia N97 will be getting the new version of Ovi Maps and free turn-by-turn navigation with a new firmware upgrade. Since the new version of Ovi Maps requires atleast 20MB of free space on the internal memory – which the N97 lacks, Nokia decided to integrate it into the upcoming firmware update.