Tag Archive | "meego"

Nokia MeeGo Jobs Hint at New Devices

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With 18 Meego Job positions posted in the last month it’s difficult to imagine Nokia making a move away from it and when they are also looking to build new types of Meego devices alongside the main business it hints at even longer term commitment.

The full story is over at Meegonews.

http://meegonews.com/2011/02/01/nokia-jobs-signal-meego-commitment-new-devices/#respond

Nokia / Intel / Meego Phone at MWC – Highly Unlikely

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I’ve been seeing a lot of talk and getting a lot of questions about a possible Nokia / Intel / MeeGo phone that could be launched at MWC. Rumors center around the Nokia N9 which is a slider phone said to be running MeeGo and to be launched at MWC. While it might be launching, I doubt very much it’s got Intel inside.

Intel MeeGo Phone

I’ve already predicted 2012 for Intel/MeeGo smartphones because Moorestown’s 2-chip solution isn’t quite perfect for a high-end smartphone. Especially one with limited space for battery as in the slider design you see. I’ve also had private hands-on with MeeGo on Moorestown and seen the work that needs to be done on the MeeGo core before it’s ready. I doubt Nokia want to release another developer-focused ‘demonstrator’ phone in the way they did with the N900

Report: Timeline for MeeGo Devices

With Moorestown not quite right and MeeGo not quite ready, can you imagine the risk of Nokia would have to take showing a beta product or prototype based on MeeGo? No. Nokia and Intel will have agreed to make a splash with the first smartphone and I expect them to wait until later in the year.

Could the N9 be a MeeGo phone on a Ti platform? Yes. Ti were a Gold sponsor of the MeeGo conference in November.

Could we see it launched soon? I’m guessing May based on the fast that Nokia could be working with MeeGo 1.2 beta releases.

Will Nokia pre-announced the N9 at MWC? Assuming it’s a MeeGo product, I doubt it. Nokia have stated that they don’t want to ‘leak’ or preview devices any more.

And here’s another data point:

I spoke to Intel at the end of November about Moorestown and Medfield progress. Here’s what they said:

  • Is Moorestown in full production now?
    Yes, Moorestown has been in production since we rolled it out in May 2010. Our tablet and smartphone customers are using the platform to build their own devices and this is the current focus on Moorestown.
  • Target was 2010 for products, Why the delay?
    You can expect Moorestown based tablets in 1H’11 and smartphones later in the year.
  • What operating systems options are you planning to offer for Moorestown?
    Moorestown supports both Android and MeeGo.
  • Are you accelerating Medfield?
    Medfield is on track and scheduled to launch in 2011

There’s a hint of of a Moorestown smartphone in the answer to the first question but look at the timescales in question 2. ‘Later’ than 1H 11 sounds like 2H 2011 to me. If a Moorestown smartphone is going to happen, it’s not happening until the second half of the year. Medfield isn’t being accelerated as far as I can see based on the answer to the last question.

Finally, my native Finnish-speaking co-podcaster JKK of JKKMobile doesn’t read any solid fact in the Finnish article that started this rumor.

MWC is going to be big for Nokia and big for Intel. Look at the floor space that Intel have this year. Two booths, a Meego hospitality suite, the Wind-River subsidiary and a keynote with Paul Otellini. Rene James , head of the Software and Services Division says this:

There are things we’ll announce at Mobile World Congress that will shed a lot more light on why the value proposition [of MeeGo] makes a lot of sense for consumers and device manufacturers. [ref]

MWC will be all about software for Intel. AppUp on MeeGo. Tablet UI. Major ISV partners. MeeGo V1.2 beta announcement. Major brand joining the MeeGo partnership. All these things are more likely than the Nokia/Intel phone.

As for Intel hardware, expect to see tablets based on Moorestown running MeeGo 1.2 beta and Android. If that’s done right, it could be big enough news to keep the momentum going until later in the year.

WebOS Tablets in Sept = Time for Partnership on ‘Cute’ Devices

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hp topazFalling leaves, an Indian Summer and a brand new HP WebOS tablet. That’s the scene we could be seeing if the information coming via Engadget is correct. HP will have two WebOS tablets available in 7 and 9-inch variants called Opal and Topaz.

While we expected the HP WebOS Tablet project to hit in 2011, September seems a long way away and falls behind the early Honeycomb Android, further iOS and possible MeeGo tablets. The timing will give HP a chance to ramp up the developer community so we’re expecting SDKs to be out before summer. In order to attract those developers though, something special needs to be announced. WebOS and product renders just won’t be enough.

On that topic, I have a theory that I first mentioned in Dec 2010. [For the record – You know if it happens I’m going to be Mr Told-You-So! ] It’s based purely on the need to battle against Android and iOS that HP, Intel and Nokia could get together on this.

Qt has already been ported to WebOS, it made it to the WebOS 2.0 build and it makes the perfect layer for Symbian, MeeGo and WebOS to join forces in attracting critical development interested. Without that developer interest, what chance do these products have? Partnerships could be taken one step further too with Intel providing early Medfield samples and with Nokia providing Qt skills for the WebOS SDKs. Take it one step further and WebOS could actually be built on top of MeeGo. There’s nothing stopping HP doing this, even outside a partnership.

How about Intel and Nokia helping to combine Ares, the WebOS SDK, and QT as a multi-product SDK? I think developers would be very happy indeed. It will be just another SDK like the .net, AIR and JAVA environments that already exist. Intels AppUp back-end could be unified with the other applications stores too and combined (especially with tricks like Intel Insider that I hope make the jump to Atom) there’s a better chance of negotiating major video, tv, book, game and music deals. Wi-Di technology could also be a USP.

I’m not a professional software developer and I know that a lot of these thoughts are idealistic and totally ignore the difficult tasks of cutting deals but I can see that Qt could be one very important pivot-point and with three major brands behind a single core OS, MebOS?, there’s a better chance that the dev community could be ramped up quickly. I also love the idea of a Cute-Devices brand. Without a partnership of some sort, will Symbian, MeeGo and WebOS survive?

Intel Announces Atom Design Wins. Android and MeeGo Tablets Feature

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I’m surprised that Intel have been allowed to announce partner names but in a presentation at the Barclays Capital 2010 Global Technology Conference, Paul Otellini has done just that and highlighted that Windows, MeeGo and Android will be on Atom next year.

intel-atom-partners-2011

The report comes via CNet who tracked the live audio from the conference and picked up that the Android builds will be both Froyo and Gingerbread. He also highlighted that Oaktrail is the Windows-compatible version of the new platform and Moorestown optimised even further and supporting only MeeGo and Android. That much we knew already. We also know from previous information that smartphones on Moorestown are taking longer than planned. Behind the scenes, I’m getting the feeling that Moorestown won’t be used for phones and that the focus is now on Medfield, due in late 2011. Note also that the Android build is behind MeeGo. That’s information that we were given at IDF in Sept 2010 and it means that those devices could be planned for the second half.

Slightly disappointing is that the slide shows only Tablets and that the bulk of these are Windows. Some of those won’t even be on the mobile platform because the netbook platform is going to feature. Focus should really be on unique designs such as smart-books, social netbooks and how about a bit of keyboard love? Continuing use of Windows with its lack of ‘always-on’ and business focus is just going to end up with devices that get bad reviews.

Highlight for me is Dell using Android. This will be on Moorestown and could be their 10 inch offering. If so, that’s a great win for Intel.

The good news here is that Moorestown is ready. I heard only last week that it’s been in production for months now. It only needs the OS to be completed and we’re away with a new always-on option and the first X86 platform that doesn’t support a Microsoft OS! I just hope that those MeeGo devices are going to be ground-breaking otherwise Nokia will NOT be happy!

Via Netbook News

MeeGo Handset User Experience Progresses

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IMG_5944We were lucky enough to get a few days with the Aava / Intel / Meego phone earlier this year and our tests with the handset UX showed that there was a lot of work to do. In a presentation at the MeeGo onference in Dublin today, we saw progress, a good working demo and future planning but still, there’s so much missing. Granted, these user-experiences are just baseline builds to show how the core features can be used but still, it seems to us there are some hooks that need to be added.

With no active icons support (showing number of unread emails for example) and a single homescreen with no widget support it means that product developers will have a lot of work to do to implement these features. On the other hand, the notifications subsystem looks good with support for multiple notification types triggering multiple different notification methods including notification lights, haptics and of course, dialog boxes. We didn’t see any dialog box handling mechanism though so we’re hoping this will be well controlled when it gets implemented.

The demo was done on a Moorestown based Aava Smartphone platform.

MeeGoNews.com Launches

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meegonewslogo Exactly one-year ago today I was in Amsterdam for the Maemo Summit. There was excitement all round as hundreds of developers talked about the future. The N900 was handed out and one of the biggest group unboxings ever took place. This year it’s different, and yet the same. Maemo is now MeeGo and not only are Nokia driving it but Intel and the Linux Foundation are also part of the push. On November 14th I’ll be traveling to the MeeGo Conference in Dublin where I expect even more of a buzz. 600 people from all parts of the ecosystem will be there to learn and code and we hope, we really hope that we’ll see hardware too. MeeGo continues to gain weight and I feel positive that it will be a major player in the future.

When MeeGo kicked-off in Feb I had already predicted that Moblin and Maemo were keywords to watch and strangely enough I even predicted the link-up two weeks before it happened. People still don’t believe that I had no inside information on that one! As MeeGo announced I picked up MeeGoNews.com and within days I started using it as my scratchbook for MeeGo information. Unfortunately, like many side-blogs I’ve started, my time was too restricted and it went stale.

MeeGoNews is Reborn!

meegonewssite

Thanks to Dhruv Bhutani [Twitter], a professional tech blogger, MeeGoNews has now re-launched with the aim of bringing news, opinion, reviews and inside information to you about the MeeGo ecosystem. Dhruv is taking the editorial lead and running and writing for the site on a day to day basis. I’ll be doing background work with my contacts to try and source exclusive information, hands-on and reviews. Dhruv has a history of Nokia work behind him and through my work with Intel and other MeeGo ecosystem members we should be able to cover it very well indeed. I’m excited!

We’ve got a bunch of new content on the site already and there’s a Twitter account you can follow too. Our first major job through will be to cover the MeeGo Conference and I’m happy to say that Intel are sponsoring my coverage of the event out in Dublin. I’ll be there from start to finish and hope to bring you a non-stop flow of news and analysis. Question number 1 – Show me the products! Second question – Show me the App store!

One thing I want to do as soon as possible is pull together a resource list of other MeeGo websites. There’s no point trying to sit on your own in the blogging world so we’ll be reaching out soon. At the very latest I hope to drink a Guinness with other MeeGo bloggers at the MeeGo conference in Dublin. Sláinte!

MeeGoNews.com

Linpus to release MeeGo Slate Edition in Q4

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LinpusLits1 We’ve had talks with Linpus about MeeGo before but in a discussion at IDF last week we got down to some more details about the MeeGo Slate Edition and it sounds like we’ve got potential here. Remember, Linpus have supplied Acer with Linux builds in the past.

linpus apps What we know right now is that Linpus already have a MeeGo build and it’s highly likely that they will be supplying that to one of the major netbook manufacturers however their plans for Slate Edition are firm for a Q4 release and will build on MeeGo 1.1 that is due in October. Respect to Linpus for their intention to make this a publicly-available distribution. Apparently, Linpus Lite Tablet Edition will come with 7 applications too. (See right.)

What does it mean for us? Well, for N-series tablet owners (ExoPC and similar) it means you’ll get an option. Remember, the Windows 7 + overlay solution offered on some of these products will be fairly heavyweight and switching to the Atom-optimised MeeGo is likely to bring speed and battery life improvements. For Z-series owners (X70, S10 and others) this should be an option too because Linpus are developing with Oaktrail and Moorestown platforms in mind. The GMA600 on those should (no guarantees at the moment though) be backward compatible with the awkward GMA500 on these products.

The best news is that there’s a real likelihood that this will get picked up in an Oaktrail or Moorestown product and that should mean one very significant difference – always-on. Oaktrail and Moorestown are built with ‘power island’ capability which can be controlled by core software in MeeGo to bring extremely low-power idle states.

Linpus won’t be the only conmpany working on a touch-enabled MeeGo core but It looks like Linpus are in a good position to be able to step ahead of the rest if they can get this running on an Oaktrail or Moorestown product.

P.S. Don’t forget that AppUp will be compatible with this too so if that takes off, Linpus could be on to a winner.

We’ll be getting updates from Linpus when they happen so stay tuned.

Aava Smartphone / MeeGo 1.1 Hands-On

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I hope you’ve already read the ‘warning’ article I posted last week because unfortunately, the Aava phone isn’t something we can review or draw any conclusions from. It’s a developer platform, a demonstrator and a showcase item. It’s using beta hardware and pre-Alpha software too so if you’re expecting something shiny at this stage, I’m sorry that this article will probably disappoint you. If you see others drawing conclusions based on their (or this) hands-on, you should also treat them as inconclusive. It’s just too early to tell.

At best, I can highlight the platform for potential ISVs, OEMs, competitors, integrators, carriers and Linux distributors and maybe mention something about the direction of the handheld UX (user experience) for MeeGo but both hardware and software are likely to change drastically before launch in Q4. It would be great for our traffic and links if we were to trumpet a breakthrough in processing power and UI but I’m sorry, you’re going have to wait until we see real products before that happens. I know, I’ll never be a real journalist ;-)

I want to thank Intel Europe before going any further though. (You can follow their Atom-related work on Twitter) They’ve been open about their work with the platform and respect to them for giving early-stage prototypes out to a blogger. There’s always a big risk in doing that. We remain in good contact with the Intel teams and will do further testing in due course.

So on to the ‘product’ then. Using the Intel Moorestown platform, the Aava phone at least highlights how small a ‘PC’ can be. It’s a truly pocketable size and comes with all that you would expect from a smartphone; Capacitive screen, camera, stereo speakers, Micro-SD and Micro USB and a 5.5Wh battery. We would have liked to have got into the command-line to check out some more hardware and battery usage information but in the limited time we had, it wasn’t possible. What we did do though was check out the pre-Alpha (developers) build of MeeGo 1.1 It’s the first time we’ve been able to touch the UI and to get an idea of the look and feel and although it doesn’t bring anything dramatically new in terms of layout, it builds on intuitive swipes and taps to make a UI that was simple to understand. A home-screen where presumably you’ll find widgets, presents a small launcher bar for some favorite apps and the application list itself. This second-layer application pane is similar to Android and forces the user, in many cases, to have to unlock, open the application pane, find the application and then launch it which is one layer of UI deeper than you’ll find on the iPhone. It makes way for an active homescreen though. We weren’t able to experience notifications on this version of MeeGo.

Aava Moorestown Phone _2_.JPG Aava Moorestown Phone _7_.JPG Aava Moorestown Phone _15_.JPG

Aava Phone with MeeGo 1.1
Full Aava / MeeGo gallery available here.

Not much is working on this build and most applications are placeholders but we got to check out the dialer application (phone stack didn’t appear to be functional), some settings (WiFi was working) and the Firefox Mobile browser which has potential to be a very high quality browser if startup and page view times can be improved. The recent build for Maemo includes some really advanced features which weren’t working on this MeeGo build.

There was one test we were able to do and that was the popular Javascript processing test Sunspider. With careful consideration of browser software, it’s possible to get a feel for the CPU processing power available and the results were quite amazing. In comparison with an Android 1.6 phone running a 1Ghz Snapdragon platform we were seeing results 5x as fast and indicative of a netbook processor rather than a current ARM-core smartphone processor. It makes sense of course as the phone is, in theory, running Atom at up to 1.5Ghz. There’s clearly potential for some good multitasking. There’s also potential to drain that battery faster than on any ARM-based smartphone. It’s a case of being able to get things done quickly if the OS and user is well controlled and this is something that the MeeGo developers will have to think carefully about. Should they turn off the ‘Turbo’ features if the battery reaches a certain level? Should applications be throttled or scheduled when the device is locked perhaps?

You’ll see all the details in the video below and this additional article about the Javascript test but there’s one more thing we can gleen from our time with the device and that’s timescales for products. MeeGo is in very early stage development and it wouldn’t be wildly wrong to estimate that it won’t be ready for another year or more especially considering the amount of catch-up that the platform is having to do. The App-store will need to be loaded too and that will take money, and time. MeeGo 1.1 will be released in October but that doesn’t mean that products will be ready. In October, the core and UI will be ready for 3rd parties to finalise into their own products which means internal testing, field testing, approval and certification can only be started once the final builds are incorporated into whatever variants OEMs are working on. The first smartphone products won’t be out of the door in 2010 although we might see some non-3G tablets and MIDs reach the some markets for Christmas if they don’t have to go through GSM/UMTS approval. For a mature and complete MeeGo-based phone product, we need to look to Q2 2011 in my opinion. Nokia, given their existing Maemo application base and developer-focused N900 community, are in a good position to be one of the first.

Managing Expectations (Aava / Intel Moorestown Phone)

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I was a bit surprised by the reaction to my post and tweets about the Aava Intel/Moorestown/MeeGo phone this afternoon. Engadget and Wired picked it up and did a sensible job of reporting that it’s a prototype but there are a lot of people out there that might not understand what this hardware and software really is.

The issue is that the Aava phone is actually a reference design and development platform and it is unlikely to be a phone you’ll ever be able to buy. It’s likely to have had some financial and engineering input from Intel and will have already been distributed to some major customers in order for them to asses the platform.

As far as I understand it, the Aava phone was made to stimulate mobile phone hardware manufacturers and to help developers get on with the top-priority job of building  class-leading mobile operating systems, applications and user interfaces, namely MeeGo, Android and the related user interface ‘experiences’  and overlays.

So on to the ‘experience’ I have in my hands here. At the most, i’ll be able to show you the look and feel of the user interface, give you an idea of how Fennec, the built-in browser, performs on the Moorestown platform, show you around the Aava hardware (good for those thinking of paying the probable $1K – $2K for the development kit) I don’t expect the software stack to include any closed-source video codecs and for that matter, no commercial software that’s not part of the core MeeGo build and there’s no-way i’ll be able to get a feel for battery life as we don’t know how well the current software couples with the dedicated power control chip.

The Aava phone represents a true moment in computing history and i’m honored to be able to report on it but let’s not forget, this isn’t anything like retail-quality hardware or software yet.  MeeGo 1.1 is due for release in October so you can imagine the timescales for products and it’s already known that Intel expects tablets to be released with MeeGo before phones are.

Hardware and software build kindly loaned by Intel Germany and largely enabled through my participation in the ‘Intel Insider’ program.

MeeGo Phone (Aava / Moorestown) Arrived

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Just a quick post because I need to get away for an appointment this afternoon. For the next 48 hours i’ll have the Intel Moorestown-based Aava prototype phone. It’s a development platform running MeeGo core and an alpha-quality UI so don’t expect miracles here but I can see that at least Wifi and the browser are working so there’s at least something to demo. Stay tuned for a video look at the user interface, a few apps and maybe a look at the device from the command line. All coming up over the next 48 hours.

MeeGo 1.1 on Aava/Intel Smartphone. Live Pics

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P1000891

As the epicenter of Intel’s work on a mobile operating systems shift slightly towards Europe, being here as an Intel Insider becomes a major advantage. On Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending a tweet-up with Josh Bancroft in Munich and today, we’re the recipients of some live images of MeeGo 1.1 and the handset UX running on an Intel-based (Moorestown) phone from Aava. The team responsible for some of the technical aspects of MeeGo and mobile platforms in Europe is obviously working hard and we look forward to meeting them at the MeeGo Summit in November but in the meantime, they’ve been kind enough to send over some images of one of the phones they are testing.

It’s images only at the moment but if everything we might goes to plan, we’ll be able to give you something special next week. Stay tuned!

MeeGo 1.1 Home Screen MeeGo 1.1 applications

MeeGo 1.1 Dialer MeeGo 1.1 Handset UX Aava Phone with MeeGo 1.1

Click through for full size images of the home screen, dialer and applications switching. There’s a signature style here and I like the little MeeGo people! Once again, stay tuned for more next week.

MeeGo Handset UI. Work Begins

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Version 1.1 of MeeGo with the Handset User Experience (UX) has been been opened for developers to review and contribute. A full release of Moblin 1.1 is expected in October.

image

Some images of the handset UI have been revealed too. For more information, see an update I made to my MeeGoNews log.

Hope to see some of you at the MeeGo Developers Conference in November.

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