Category: Nokia

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A Tree Grows

When looking through Nokia N95 photos to illustrate the previous post, I happened upon a palm portrait that my wife, Anne Wilcox, made using the cameraphone on Sept. 14, 2008. I startled seeing how much shorter was the tree then than I remember seeing recently. So, today, I ambled over to the corner of Adams and North, in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, for a fresh pic.

The Featured Image shows how the palm has risen since she shot it (left). Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 6mm; 4:10 p.m. PDT. I used iPhone XS for the taller tree (right). Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/1992 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 1:25 p.m.

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The Other N95

As the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 pandemic winds down (hopefully), most people hearing “N95” will think respirator mask. But I remember a time, before Apple had a meaningful App Store or iPhone with capable camera, when N95 referred to Nokia’s smartphone, which competently captured photos as well as, or better than, some digital compact point-and-shooters. I owned two, or was it three, different variants—as well as successors N96 and N97.

My wife, Anne Wilcox, used the Nokia N95 to capture the Featured Image on Oct. 10, 2008, at Oma’s Pumpkin Patch. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 125, 1/125 sec, 5.6mm; 1:17 p.m. PDT. Wow. These kids, whoever they were, are teenagers now. How many already finished high school, I wonder.

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Tim Cook’s Last Stand

Washington Post reporter Hayley Tsukayama asks, following up on a commentary by software developer Marco Arment: “Is Apple really at the risk of becoming BlackBerry?“. The answer is absolutely “No”. But the concept is right. The fruit-logo company’s dire straight is much more profoundly catastrophic. The risk is becoming Nokia, and the path to that destination is already well-trodden.

Marco calls BlackBerry “king of smartphones”, referring to its market position before Apple released iPhone nine years ago in June. The description is apt enough. “BlackBerry’s success came to an end not because RIM started releasing worse smartphones, but because the new job of the smartphone shifted almost entirely outside of their capabilities, and it was too late to catch up”, he asserts. But smartphones were a niche category in 2007, so insignificant that analyst firms lumped the devices together with PDAs. iPhone’s disruption was far, far greater—Nokia lost its perennial global handset lead; for many of the reasons Marco identifies. Nokia, and not BlackBerry, is the metaphor, and it is frighteningly foreshadowing. 

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Microsoft’s Hollywood-style Redemption Story

Satya Nadella is a man with a formidable challenge. Microsoft CEO’s predecessor, Steve Ballmer, squandered the company’s mobile fortunes. From smartphone platform leader a decade ago, the software-and-services giant is a category also-ran in 2015. Microsoft has no independent mobile platform future. The war is over. There remains this: Making alliances with old enemies to preserve existing territory, while using the foothold to reach into new frontiers.

Made available August 5th, Outlook for Apple Watch is a very smart move and metaphor for what went wrong on Microsoft mobile platforms and what has to go right to preserve and extend the legacy applications stack. While Windows 10 makes its way to Lumia devices, the future is Android and iOS and how the company supports them with contextually meaningful cloud-connected apps and services. 

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Nokia Lumia Icon takes a Trip

I cursed Microsoft’s find Windows Phone feature yesterday, after my mom misplaced—okay, lost—her Nokia Lumia Icon. I knew GPS might be a bit inaccurate, but repeated attempts to locate the device put it inside a building, then in the parking lot, then somewhere else around the facility. Icon’s location bounced around, as every effort to lock it failed and the device frequently couldn’t be found.

But I wrongly faulted the tech. Turns out, Microsoft’s service accurately provided the locations. Mom’s Icon was on the move, something that wouldn’t be known for several hours later. 

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Photo Credit: Julia Folsom

What 2014 Life-Changing Tech Means to 2015

Three weeks ago, at BetaNews, I asked “What tech changed your life in 2014?” Readers answered there and on Google+. As the new year starts, I wonder what will make all our lives better. Apple Watch? I doubt it. Shake me awake from the nightmare if the wearable isn’t the most successful flop of 2015. Windows 10? Skipping nine is a good sign, but is giving users more of what they don’t want to let go life changing? Eh, no.

At the precipice of looking ahead, this is a last look behind. Once Consumer Electronics Show leaks and early announcements rush the InterWebs, all eyes will turn forward—blind to what many people have, focusing on what they want instead. That’s because “aspiration” is the defining word of the technology era, and the promise if you buy newfangled This or That your life will be better for it. Sometimes the promise is true, but too often not, which is why I asked the important question three weeks ago. 

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Five Tech Products Changed My Digital Lifestyle in 2014

Looking back on this last day of the year, I wonder how my daily tech changed so much since the first. On Jan. 1, 2014, my core computing comprised Chromebook, Nexus tablet, and Nexus smartphone. Midyear, I switched out to all Microsoft—buying Surface Pro 3 and Nokia Lumia Icon. While commendable the effort, Windows poorly fit my lifestyle. Today, I’m all Apple—13-inch MacBook Pro Retina Display with 512GB SSD, iPhone 6 128GB, and iPad Air 128GB. I can’t imagine using anything else.

I abandoned my Google lifestyle for numerous reasons, with my desire to create more content rather than consume it being primary. Google gives great contextual computing, with respect to information that is relevant to where you are and even what you want. But Android and Chrome OS, and their supporting apps, aren’t mature enough platforms for consistent content creation. 

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Apple is the New Nokia

Over at BGR, Tero Kuittinen writes: “Apple suddenly looks a lot like Nokia“. There’s no looks like at all. As I explain in my book, The Principles of Disruptive Design, Apple, like Nokia in 2007, is unable to transcend design concepts that lock it into an older UX paradigm; from top of the mountain can’t see the crumbling below; and is unwilling to jeopardize the success it has to risk something new. 

Nokia N97: The Truth is False

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJpEuMidcSU]

 

While checking RSS feeds yesterday, I came across one of John Gruber’s many cuss posts. By cuss post I don’t mean bad language but his cussing out something or someone, often with one word and link to source. John used “What a turd” to describe a video comparing Nokia’s N97 promo video against supposedly real world experience (Post title: “Nokia N97 Promotional Video vs Real Life”).

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Google’s Superphone is Super Surprising

Last week, I ordered the Nexus One during Google’s event, before the invited attendees got their free review units. Google shipped the phone by free FedEx overnight, so I began using the so-called “superphone” on Wednesday (January 6). Google impressed with the simple ordering process and prompt delivery.

I would recommend the Nexus One over iPhone to most anyone. While I’m no fan of Nexus One’s industrial design, the phone satisfies in most of the important ways: Call quality, user interface responsiveness, overall speed of the device, 3G telephony and data reception, ease of typing on touchscreen, and applications availability. Google and HTC have put together a simply satisfying smartphone.