Posts tagged ‘Symbian^3’


Public Transportation comes to Bucharest

First of all, let me acknowledge that Public Transport from the Nokia Maps Suite has been available for some time now.

Also, since about 5 years it was possible for me to already look like a native when walking in new cities, using Nokia Maps’ ‘walk’ mode. That thing worked pretty well by putting my N85 in my pocket after inspecting the overall route, and then turning left and right at each new vibration. (As a rant, today’s phone don’t have that kind of powerful vibrator to actually use buzz-guided walk navigation from your pocket, you would still have to hold your hand on the phone in your jacket..)

Adding public transportation to beeps-and-buzzes guided walk means that you look even more like a native when you’re not staring at maps when at subway or in stations for surface transport.

Now this is the new support for Bucharest I was talking about:


If you’ve already been to Bucharest – or you’re living there, for that matter – probably there is no surprise for you that the support is not quite one of the top: there is estimated journey time (with data from Metrorex and RATB – no ‘Cora’ or ‘Real’ supermarket buses:P) but no actual schedules.

This is not a flaw with the application however. There are no real schedules in reality either. Or if they are, they are not respected, partly due to the kind of traffic we get but mostly for unknown reasons.

Now for planning a journey: I set the starting location as … ‘My location’ and the destination the workplace, so I could get the commute time.

It gives me two options: either take the subway, or mix the subway with terrestrial (tramway) transport.  Both of the options are correctly accompanied by some walk needed to get to it and then to get to the final destination.

What’s interesting is that there’s no walk in the alternative route between the subway and the tramway, which actually corresponds to the reality (the stations are in the same place as much as the subway vs. surface allows).

It says ~50 minutes for the first option, which roughly corresponds to what I have witnessed.

Now on to selecting the first options, we have the three segments detailed in a vertical fashion: 12 mins walk, 26 mins subway, 12 mins walk (left picture).

Unfortunately this does not take into account the time for the actual train to get into station, as stated above, because no one really knows.

Now, if you click each of the segments, you get even more usefulness: starting with the subway trip, you get the list of stations you are reaching in your way from Nicolae Grigorescu to Lujerului (taking the train in Preciziei direction).

(see right image)

If however you click one of the ‘walk’ segments, you get the beeps-and-buzzes walk mode navigation mentioned above from your current position to the next station in your trip.

And of course, if you haven’t been living under a rock for the last 5 or so years, you get the option of voice-guided navigation on every Nokia phone since 2007 (for free since 2009) if you would ever choose to commute by using a car.

In this case, using a car gives you a ~40 minutes estimation if you take traffic into account (Traffic however is the next thing I wish Nokia should make available for Bucharest).

Not pictured in the below image, but these are 13 kms.

So yeah, can’t wait to see how this goes when you’re actually in a foreign country and an unknown city! (Altough I can now still test it in Bucharest since it has become available, because for other destinations I could’ve aready tested if I were visiting, y’know).

What can I say? Keep the updates coming, Nokia!


Ditching the n85 for a touch-only C7?

There, I did it. Or at least I try to.

I went to my network provider and exercised my “right” to have two more years of overpriced SMS-es, calls and kilobytes at the cost of choosing a phone with a lower price. And I went for C7.

Now, the reason I chose the C7 was to try to start the transition from non-touch to touch-only, and I reckon’d that I would still need the Answer and Reject buttons. I chose Symbian^3 over not having an OS at all, because all the Androids out there thought that having a Search or a Back button at the bottom of their screen was more important for a phone..

Now, what does C7 holds above the n85? Other than being touch-enabled (and D-pad disabled)? It has a GPU indeed and a digital Compass – both being missed on the n85 alright. It has Gorilla glass. (n86 later had a toughened screen and digital compass, but that was less than two years ago so I missed it). Can you imagine? C7 is like a n85 without a keyboard!

What follows is a rant of a n85 user that didn’t go for the E7 because: it missed the answer/reject keys, didn’t had the microSD slot, nor the FM transmitter, neither for the E6 that didn’t have an FM transmitter either, nor did it have a dedicated camera button. So I am stuck with C7, which is also the most cost effective.

The transition from n85 to C7 would look like the transition from MS-DOS to Windows, only without a keyboard.

I myself am a keyboard guy, when using computers. I prefer Alt-Space + E + P instead of reaching the mouse for right-clicking – when pasting in the Windows cmd.exe. I guess other people use the mouse heavily, but also the keyboard.

Now imagine Windows without a keyboard, – that is, with a mouse-enabled (touch-enabled) keyboard. And you want to get shit done!

That is how I feel about touch only. Even on n85, I was able to pair a bluetooth mouse to play Quake – just like in the good old MS-DOS days, when you had to add it to Config.sys or Autoexec.bat etc.

Proof of concept: for running a known installed application (let’s say Shazam), on n85 I typed 742-down-down-enter from the vHome screen, because it has smart-“dialing” for apps too. On C7, I need to either have a shortcut on my screen (not scalable wrt no. of apps) or manually flip through the Applications folder (menu, applications, flip-flip-click).

Other complaints: Zooming in Opera Mini/Mobile is just ‘5’ on n85, while on C7 is double-tap (or pinch zooming) – unless you don’t hit a link – , while scrolling is: D-pad on n85 (2/8 for PgUp/PgDn), and kinetic scrolling – sideways activated – on C7. I don’t know if you get this but: on n85 you move around faster and you don’t hide site content behind your finger, while on C7 you may accidentally click something, you may not read good enough when scrolling the text because your finger is there, you may scroll sideways while at it…!

Oh, and speaking of Google: neither the digital compass nor the multitouch is useful in Google Maps, or Street View. They have their platform to care about now… what’s next, disabling POP3..?


In summary, here’s what’s lost when upgrading:

– keyboard

– autofocus

– hot-swappable microSD