The API is ‘frozen’ and the feature set shouldn’t change now that the Maemo 5 Beta is out so it means developers can start to work on applications and widgets without having the rug pulled from underneath them.
It also means we are getting closer to the next Nokia Tablet which is something I’m personally very excited about. Nokia teased me about it earlier this month at the Mobile Dev Camp in Amsterdam but gave nothing away in terms of timescales, prices or even feature set. My feeling is that it will be the first consumer quality, developer-friendly operating system for MIDs. Moblin V1 seems to have stalled and Moblin V2 for MIDs won’t happen until 2010. Android is a possibility too of course. (See this related story that I’ve bookmarked for later.)
Maemo 5 includes significant changes in hardware support over the version used on the N800 and N810. In fact, the N810 and N800 won’t be supported under ‘Freemantle’ because devices will need a new hardware layer. Here are some of the new features.
- OMAP3 support (Cortex A8 core for higher processing power)
- HSPA/3G support
- High definition camera support
- Media Application Framework (Documentation, Ars Technica review)
- Clutter user interface layer
- Meta Tracker (FOSDEM 2009 presentation, About the 0.6.90 release)
- A2DP & AVRCP support
- Improved power management for OMAP3.
It’s an exciting line-up of software capabilities. Lets hope that Nokia and others (I assume there’s no reason why other manufacturers could pick up Maemo and put it on their own devices) push the hardware design to the limits and stimulate another round of interest in consumer-focused Internet-based communicators.
More info about Freeemantle, including the planned release date of ‘when ready’ is available here. If you’re developing for Maemo, let us know what you’re doing and if we get enough feedback we’ll put together a showcase of apps. My favorite Maemo project right now: Mauku, the microblogging client.