Monday, 20 September 2010

Short comings of the N900

Overall, I am pleased with the Nokia N900. I think it is a great phone, and is a good example of what GNU/Linux can do in the hand-held space. It also demonstrates how open source / free software can improve over time. When I first purchased the N900, the phone did not have any MMS capability or FM radio functionality. Now the phone can make and receive MMS, as well as acting as a FM receiver and transmitter. The phone is also very stable - and will perform admirably under heavy loads.

It also is a demonstration of how a corporate entity (in this case Nokia) have adopted an open source platform, and then declined to develop it any further. Stating that, they have released the source code for their other platform - being the Symbian Platform. I would have thought that Nokia would have stood behind their product for much longer than the initial release period. Fortunately, due to the open nature of the device, development will continue. It will continue to be improved. It will continue to get better.

There are some other minor factors I am not pleased with, when it comes to the N900. I would have preferred if it had some internal video conferencing, as opposed to relying on an auxiliary company like Google or Skype to provide the video conferencing. It has also come to my recent attention that either Google or Nokia have withdrawn the video conferencing functionality, leaving N900 users to have to choose another provider for video conferencing. Skype video conferencing also does not work between N900 and the Apple Mac client.

Lastly, searching using Ovi Maps is broken. Whether you search for an address in Melbourne, it will always show the suburb being Moonee Valley. It is the same whether you use the N900 or the Ovi Maps website. In the image below, I searched for 216 Smith Street in Collingwood. As you can see, the map is right, the post code is correct, but the suburb says Moonee Valley.

Broken Ovi Maps search of MelbourneHopefully all these problems will be addressed soon...

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