Nokia Biggest Contributor to Android Codebase After Google, Individuals

Earlier this year, Nokia, the biggest phone manufacturer in the world decided to join forces with Microsoft to create their next lineup of smartphones. The decision surprised many as people thought that Nokia would play it safe and develop phones using both Windows Phone 7 and .

Android Contributors

In the process, Nokia made their flagship OS a secondary in the company and Android as a competitor. However, this news might come as a big surprise to many people.

According to research done by Libre Software Research (via Carlodaffara), Nokia is the biggest contributor to Android source code after Google and some other independent committers. In fact Nokia has more commits in the codebase than Motorola, and Intel.

Having a look at the name of the domains, it is very surprising that Nokia is one of the most active contributors. This is a real paradox, the company that states that Android is its main competition helps it!. One of the effects of using libre software licenses for your work is that even your competition can use your code, currently there are Nokia commits in the following repositories:

  • git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/external/dbus
  • git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/external/bluetooth/bluez

The research shows that 90% of the commits to Android codebase was done by Google employees using email addresses ending with google.com or android.com, while users with a nokia.com email address had more than 762 commits.

Apparently Nokia was the one who funded the dbus; a message bus system for applications to talk to each other and bluez; the official Bluetooth protocol stack for Linux which were later on taken up by Google for Android.

This is definitely an irony that Nokia contributes so much to a system it calls it’s competition. However, that is how the Open Source community works, no bias, just code.

Note: The research conducted by Libre Software took 171 GIT repositories into consideration and did not include the Linux Kernel in it’s analysis.

HTC Working on a 16 MP Windows Phone 7 Device?

Just when we thought that the megapixel wars were finally over, and that the manufacturers would now focus less on the megapixel count and more on the overall picture quality, HTC seems to be getting back to bumping up the megapixel counts on its phones.

A new leaked ad suggests that HTC is working on a 16 MP camera phone powered by Windows Phone 7. The current camera megapixel standard seems to be be 8 MP, with most new high end smartphones featuring 8 MP cameras. Nokia’s N8, which currently offers the best camera in smartphones, has a megapixel count of 12. The Altek Leo, a relatively unknown phone, has a 14 MP camera. A 16 MP camera would beat all the existing devices, at least in terms of image capture resolution.

The HTC device in the ad, which looks very similar to the HTC Desire S, will have a dual LED flash, and likely autofocus. No other details about the new device have been revealed yet. I hope that the HTC device doesn’t just top the current generation of phones in terms of megapixels, but also in terms of overall image capture quality.

For more details about the 16 MP HTC WP7 smartphone, head over to Pocketnow.

Here’s the leaked ad.

HTC Mazaa Images Leaked

While the iPhone’s growth seems to have peaked in percentage terms, Android and Windows Phone 7 are expected to grow a lot, with them taking the top two positions in the worldwide mobile market by 2015, according to a recent report by Gartner.

Nokia is working hard to release Windows Phone 7 devices, and it seems that it’s not the only one. Today, images of yet another Windows Phone 7 device by HTC was leaked. The guys at XDA have leaked some pictures of the HTC Mazaa, a new Windows Phone 7 device by HTC, which is supposed to be launched soon. It will be available on Sprint in the next 6 months.

It seems to have a 3.7 inch capacitive touchscreen display and will likely have a 5 MP camera with a single LED flash. It might sport DDR2 RAM. The device sports an IMEI number, so it is a GSM phone, most likely the first Windows Phone 7 “world phone”.

No other details about the device are out yet, but here are some high resolution images for you to feast your eyes on.

HTC Mazaa

Nokia CEO Spotted Using Nokia Windows Phone 7 Device

Nokia Windows Phone 7 ConceptAccording to a tweet by Timo Ronkainen, Stephen Elop, ┬áNokia’s CEO, was spotted at an ice hockey match today, using a Nokia concept device running Windows Phone 7.

@TimoRonkainen: At the ice hockey match today, I saw CEO Stephen Elop using #WP7 running #Nokia mobile phone. I must say, it looked really nice.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any pics of the device, but it looked quite the same as the images of the concept Windows Phone 7 device in Nokia’s launch event.

@TimoRonkainen: @weemundo Unfortunately the moment came too quickly, and it wouldn’t have been appropriate to shoot [any pictures].

@TimoRonkainen: @weemundo The device looked quite the same as in the photos they used in the launch event http://ht.ly/4BKQg

@TimoRonkainen: @weemundo Thanks a lot. I didn’t realise these devices exist yet. Look and feel was WP7 yet Nokia. Really smooth looking.

Now, the concept devices were quite stylish and sleek, and it seems that they were “really smooth looking”. Eldar Murtazin from Mobile-Review recently confirmed that many new Windows Phone 7 devices were in the pipeline. Some details of the Nokia W7 and the Nokia W8, modelled after the Nokia X7 and N8 have already leaked out.

We don’t have any more details about Nokia’s devices, but it does seem like Nokia is working hard to get Windows Phone 7 devices in the market as soon as it can.

via WPSauce

Nokia W7 and W8 Leaked; The First Windows Phone 7 Smartphones by Nokia

Nokia announced that it will be adopting Windows Phone 7 as its primary smartphone OS months back, but we still don’t have details about any of the new Windows Phone 7 smartphones which Nokia is supposedly working on.

Today, Eldar Murtazin let out some details about the upcoming Nokia models. Nokia is reportedly working on the Nokia W7 and the Nokia W8.

The Nokia W7 will be similar to the HTC Mozart and will be modeled after the Nokia X7. It has the same design and chassis but comes with a better WVGA display. It is powered by the Qualcomm QSD8250 chipset and will come with an 8 MP camera. It will likely be the first Nokia smartphone with Windows Phone 7 and will be launched by the end of 2011.

Nokia W7

The Nokia W8 is the second rumored Windows Phone 7 device. It will be the most powerful Windows Phone 7 device when it launches and will be modeled after the Nokia N8. It will have the same camera as the N8 and will come with a dual core Qualcomm processor and Adreno 320 GPU.

Besides these two phones, Nokia may also be working on two more WP7 devices. One of them will be a candybar QWERTY smartphone like the very popular E71. The other one will be a budget touchscreen phone with lower hardware specs and a low resolution camera. Apparently, Nokia plans to launch 16 Windows Phone 7 devices in 2012.

via Unwiredview

Microsoft Apologizes for Windows Phone 7 Update Delays, Teases Us with Mango

On the second day of the MIX11 conference, Joe Belfiore, corporate VP of Microsoft, outlined what lies ahead for Windows Phone 7. One of the biggest hurdles for Microsoft has been to push out updates regularly and reliably. It infamously bricked Samsung phones through its February (NoDo) update. To make matters worse, although Microsoft had promised to deliver cut-paste feature in January, many WP7 users are yet to receive it due to careers and manufacturers taking their own sweet time.

Windows-Phone-7Going forward, Microsoft hopes to get these problems sorted out. To that effect, it has added both staff and infrastructure to the unit responsible for testing updates. If you are amongst the unfortunate WP7 owners who haven’t yet received the update, head over to the Where’s my phone update? page to check the status of the update for your handset. Microsoft has also launched a portal called Update Central, which includes a step by step guide for installing WP7 updates, and acts as a central repository for all update related information.
Microsoft expects every manufacturer to finish testing the current update by the end of April. Soon after, in May, it will release a beta version of new developer tools. The new developer tools will enable developers to create more powerful and versatile apps for Windows Phone 7.

The first major update for Windows Phone 7, codenamed Mango, is expected to be released this fall. It will rectify some of the most glaring shortcomings of Windows Phone 7. Mango will enable multitasking for third-party applications, introduce fast application switching, update the browser to Internet Explorer 9, and integrate Twitter. Mango will also introduce support for 16 additional languages, and expand the Marketplace to 35 countries (up from 16).

Microsoft has added as many as 1500 APIs to Windows Phone 7. Perhaps the most significant addition is the inclusion of APIs for raw access to camera and motion sensor libraries, which a lot of devs had been demanding. This will finally allow augmented reality apps like Layar, which was also demoed today, to arrive on WP7. Developers will also get access to Live Agents for creating Live Tiles, and accessing Push notifications. WPSauce has a fairly comprehensive summary of the new developer features.

All in all, Mango is looking to be a fantastic update. It will take care of some of the biggest shortcomings of Windows Phone 7; and hopefully, propel Windows Phone 7 into being a true challenger of Android and iOS.

Android to Capture 50% of Worldwide Smartphone Market by 2012?

Android has been seeing exponential growth in the past few months. It accounted for close to 22% of the worldwide smartphone market share in 2010. Thanks to the continued support of manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG and Sony Ericsson, it is expected to be the number one smartphone platform by the end of 2011.

Today, Gartner released a research report which states that Android is expected to have a 38.5% market share by the end of 2011, and by the end of 2012, it will power almost 50% of all smartphones. It predicts that Symbian will be the biggest loser in the whole ordeal, and Android and Windows Phone 7 will be the biggest gainers. iOS marketshare will remain pretty stable through the years, and it might even see some gains.

Microsoft is expected to be the second largest mobile platform by 2015, with a 19.5% market share, thanks to Nokia’s support. Symbian will be almost extinct by then and RIM’s share will have dwindled down to 11%. iOS would apparently be at 17% while Android would rule the roost with a 49% share.

The predictions seem realistic, if we factor in what we know now, but it doesn’t account for anything unexpected. A lot has changed in the last 4 years with the launch of the iPhone and Android. There’s is no reason something similar couldn’t happen again.

Windows Phone 7 Marketplace Now has 12,000 Apps

The growth in the number of apps in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace seems to have accelerated quite a bit in March. Almost 3000 new apps were added in March, bumping up the total app count to 12,000.

Compared to iOS and Android, the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace is still way behind, but the increased developer interest in the platform is quite encouraging. With Nokia now backing Windows Phone 7 too, it is very likely that Windows Phone 7 will be the third major player in the smartphone market very soon.

Microsoft has tried to incorporate the best aspects of both iOS and Android in Windows Phone 7. Like Android, it can be used by any manufacturer, and like iOS, it is a closed platform with a curated application store. Though the sales of Windows Phone 7 devices haven’t been particularly encouraging, they are likely to improve as the number of apps and games available for the platform increase.

Windows Phone 7 App Stats

Here are some other interesting stats:

There are now about 4500 approved developers for WP7. Windows Phone 7 has 36% free apps, 37% paid apps and 27% trial apps.

Games comprise about 21% of the apps – about 2555 of 12,000. Entertainment and Tools are the other two major categories with a 13% and 12% share in the total apps.

Check out the complete Windows Phone 7 Marketplace stats at WP7Applist.

Microsoft Shares NoDo & Pre-NoDo Update Status For US & International Phones

Microsoft has so far released two updates for Windows Phone 7, one being pre-NoDo that updates the updating mechanism for the phones (or something like that) and the second that brings copy/paste along with performance tweaks. Unfortunately, not all customers have these updates. Most consumers with unlocked phones seem to have the update while those with carrier contracts don’t. I have a Samsung Focus with AT&T and no NoDo. Microsoft has now posted a status report on the updates. For the US, both NoDo and pre-NoDo are under testing for Samsung Focus, HTC Surround and LG Quantum whereas Dell Venue Pro and HTC HD7 are being pushed the update. The schedule table:

nodo-schedule

For international users, here’s the page.

As disappointed I am about the not getting the updates, at least Microsoft made it official that they are not ready with the update for me. Based on the page, it looks like AT&T is not ready for the update. Damn you carriers, damn you.

Windows Phone 7 ‘NoDo’ Update Is Ready

The long awaited update for Windows Phone 7 is finally ready and will slowly be trickling out to handsets during the week. NoDo’ is the internal name (supposedly in jest of Google’s Donutmoniker) for the update and it brings along the much anticipated copy and paste feature, improved Marketplace searching and better Facebook contact integration. Although this update was first estimated to be available early February, Microsoft delayed to ensure compatibility and functionality for all handsets. Recent updates for Windows Phone 7 handsets were met with some troubles for Samsung devices and again were subsequently held off from public accessibility.

Microsoft has updated their Windows Phone 7 update history page to include the updates slated for March. The version numbering is bumped from 7.0.7008.0 to 7.0.7390.0 and a consumer-friendly changelog is present. In addition to core usability updates many other changes have been made, such as

    • Faster apps and games. Nobody likes to wait. That’s why we’ve whittled down the time it takes for apps and games to start up and resume. It’s all part of our focus on getting you to the things you love, easier and faster.

    • Other Marketplace improvements. We’ve improved the stability of Marketplace while you download apps.

    • Wi-Fi improvements. We now display your phone’s Media Access Control (MAC) address in Settings. (You might need this info if you try to connect to a Wi-Fi network that uses MAC address filtering.

    • Outlook improvements. We’ve improved the experience of viewing iPhone photo attachments you receive from a non-Exchange-based email account (such as a Google Mail, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail account), using the Global Address List (GAL) when connecting to Exchange Server 2003 using Exchange ActiveSync, and working with email display names that contain brackets (for example, "David Alexander [Contoso]").

    • Messaging improvements. We’ve improved the experience of receiving Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages if your phone uses a PIN-locked SIM.

    • Camera improvements. We’ve improved the stability of switching between camera and video modes.

    • Audio improvements. We’ve improved the experience of using a Bluetooth headset to make calls when you’re playing music or videos.

    • Other performance improvements. This month’s update also includes software from several phone manufacturers that improves the performance of specific models. Naturally, if you don’t have one of the affected models, we won’t install this portion of the update on your phone.

Since Windows Phone 7 lacks the integrated carrier customizations that many other platforms allow, Microsoft should have an easy time rolling out updates to all handsets in a timely fashion. Hopefully the days of market and localization-based update pushing are over and this can usher in a fast, seamless and user-friendly method of updating smartphones. Unfortunately, it does appear that you will need to connect your device to a computer in order to update through the Zune suite no OTA at this time.