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June 23, 2008

Symbian news and BONUS: Senior phone

ESPOO, Finland – Picked up on a few items today. I’m supposed to be on mid-sumer holiday, but came across a few particularly interesting bits that I thought I should share.

The overriding theme seems to be smartphones – who makes them, what they are, and connecting to them. Oh and read on if you want to find out a little more about one of my pet topics….

Symbian is 10

Intomobile picked up on Symbian’s 10-year anniversary site. Symbian, as most of you know, produce the base operating software for Nokia’s smartphone devices. Nokia then adds bells and whistles on top of that and puts it into all its S60 devices. I’d like to point out that Nokia is a major stakeholder in Symbian, as well as being the largest producer of Symbian devices. In the past 10 years, the manufacturers who came in and out for the Symbian club reflected the history and fights of the smartphone market. Happy Birthday, Symbian.


PhoneBoy picked up on an article from Carolyn Shuck about how phones are pushed towards women (condecendingly!). Furthermore, PhoneBoy points out how outside of the phone industry, most folks don’t know what a ‘smartphone’ is. Yeah, we take our stuff too seriously sometimes and forget that most of the world is filled with real people with real needs. PhoneBoy adds appropriately and gets our big vote:

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. Normal people buy phones they can afford with the functionality they desire. If it happens to be a smartphone, they won’t even know it. Or care. It’s a phone. Women have them too. Get over it.

Macs and Nokia

A long time discussion in the Nokia Conversations team is about Mac support from Nokia. Three of us use Macs and Nseries (and now Eseries too) devices and have many different ways to connect the two (three). Alas, there was never a satisfactory way (at least to me) to synchronize various elements of my mobile with my Mac with a single interface. So, I’m excited to see The Missing Sync coming to Symbian. Rafe, over at All About Symbian, talks briefly about this and other sync tools for Nokia devices that work on the Mac. I am looking forward to the Missing Sync review. What other things do you wish Nokia did for Macs?

BONUS: Big buttons for oldies

As the baby boomers age, the numbers of 60+ who will use mobile phones will increase dramatically. What are manufacturers doing about it? The topic comes up often here, since ‘seniors’, or Golden Grays, as some call them, have the smarts and money to define the way we grow old. Yet, mobile phones are getting smaller and more complicated. Doro HandleEasy is one attempt at making senior-frienldy phones. I will withold judgment here, but it’s important that we not be patronizing to the older user. They also have a desire to have easy to use fashionable and useful phones, not big clunky dumbed-down ugly handsets. What I don’t understand is why manufacturers don’t do more in this space.

Image from iwona kellie