Saturday, January 13, 2007

The new mobile devices

Recently Apple announced the brand new iPhone. It sounds good: music device, phone and internet in same package. But wait a minute, isn't it just another phone? It has only a nice user interface and there's a new way to control the phone. And one thing I miss: iPhone is just an ordinary GSM phone. I'd like to browse the internet with high speed 3G connection, but no. And why to integrate big music player on it? I have already iPod, and my current phone has 1 GB memory card, audio player and internet access, and it supports 3G. Listening music with phone is not anything new. So the iPhone is just about a new UI design and controls? The worst part is that Apple don't want 3rd party applications for it. Yes, I can't develop any applications on it, and no way to get my favourite applications on it. It just is not open.

But lets take a look for a open phone. There's an option called OpenMoko. It's quite open, it has finger controllable touch screen, it also includes stylus for more accurate control, and the user interface looks also nice. It's based on Linux and open source software. It includes the basic operations (call, send & receive message) and allows installation of 3rd party applications. The first model, Neo1973, has quite nice touch screen (2.8"), built-in GPS and USB. However it's still GSM phone, no 3G. But sounds very nice. Unfortunately there's very little information about the platform. Is it based on Qt or GTK+ or is there some other widget set in use? Sounds like it's Debian-based, the provided presentation used apt-get. The phone is about to be on sale soon. Then we'll know better. But at least I'm excited.

Also Nokia published new internet tablet, N800, which is follower for the 770 tablet. It has improvements such like more memory, better CPU and camera. Sounds nice. It has active developer community and provides maemo platform and SDK for developing applications for the tablets. It has intenet (video) calls via VOIP (Google Talk). However it has no GSM phone at all. You still have to carry around a ordinary phone, preferably with bluetooh and fast 3G. It's kind of benefit also. You can update your phone from GSM to 3G and the internet tablet has also the speed benefit. However, the N800 is a good improvement - and it's open, at least on some level.

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