I have had my N95 for over a year, but until yesterday I had left it as a crumby T-mobile N95 with the appropriately out-dated branded firmware. I had tried to change it once, but the required software refused to recognise my phone. It was annoying but I put up with it, until yesterday’s announcement on All About Symbian that the BBC iPlayer was available for the S60.
I have been waiting for an S60 version of the iPlayer since it was made available for the over-hyped iPhone back in March. Unfortunately the iPlayer application (which can be downloaded here) takes the form of a Nokia Web Runtime (a Nokia Widget) rather than an S60 application, the difference being that the Nokia Web Runtime framework comes with the Nokia update software that wasn’t yet built into the T-mobile firmware. Whilst I have put up with missing out on lots of exciting developments because of the T-mobile firmware, the BBC iPlayer is not just any old new software, its a new way to access the greatest television on Earth! (I may have mentioned previously that I am possibly the BBC’s biggest fan). This time when I tried to de-brand my phone it all went smoothly.
If you have yet to de-brand, and want access to the iPlayer on your N95, then there is a detailed post on how to de-brand over at Simply Symbian.
As for the S60 iPlayer, my only criticism is the “Sorry, television programmes can only be watched over a wifi connection”. My 3G connection is often faster than my wifi connection, I pay for an ‘unlimited’ data plan and it’s about time there was a program that could make use of it.
Firmware offered for T-mobile phone yesterday: 14.0.001
Firmware offered for de-branded phone yesterday: 30.0.015
I don’t usually get my S60 news from GigaOm, but they have highlighted a potentially useful application that can turn the N95 (or other phone with the S60 operating system) into a wireless hotspot: Joiku. It is VERY important to take into consideration the data package that your phone comes with before adding it, and unfortunately it doesn’t come with any security, so once your phone’s a hotspot, anyone can connect to it!
As the Eee PC doesn’t come with bluetooth, there may be occassions when you want to access the web and don’t have the required wire, and therefore Joiku seems a useful solution. You will, however, need to change the wireless connection settings so the mode is ‘ad-hoc’ rather than ‘auto’ for the connection to be enabled, and even then I found trouble getting the computer to connect. It automatically loads the joikuspot.com homepage first, and I found this took AGES!
Whether the problems I encountered are due to something I am doing wrong, or a problem at Joiku’s end I don’t know, but if it gets sorted it will definately find a permanent place on my phone.
All About Symbian notes a number of YouTube tutorials for beginners with the Nokia’s S60 platform.. Whilst these are without a doubt useful to the Nokia novice, a lot more needs to be done. Smartphones can be a useful addition to both people’s professional and personal lives, but only if they know how to use them.
Unfortunately, every time a new generation of mobile phones emerges they seem to be quickly followed by user surveys telling us that few people use more than 10 or 20 percent of the facilities available. These surveys are taken as an indicator of a lack of need rather than a lack of knowledge. Whilst all phones have some superfluous facilities, the current generation of phones really are offering useful applications if people know how to use them.
The obvious problem with mobile literacy is the numerous models available, and the individual restrictions placed by the different mobile operators. Nonetheless I find it hard to believe that on the web, where we hear so much about the potential of the long tail, that there aren’t decent portals offering all the skills and advice that people of every level would require for a specific model. Whilst there are decent blogs available, these often appeal to the users who are already making good use of their phones (although the blogs are extremely valuable nonetheless).
Maybe if we could start increasing level of mobile literacy, as well as more general computer literacy, organisations wouldn’t under value computer skills so much. If we continue to think of mobile literacy as the ability to make a call and send a text, and computer literacy the ability to send an email and surf the web and maybe use Microsoft office, then businesses and users will continue to fail to use the products to their full potential. Surely mobile illiteracy is costing the economy billions of pounds every year?