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BOSTON, USA – Just yesterday I wrote about how you sometimes never know what folks will develop, or not develop, for a device. True, one commentor split hairs over what might be core or not core. But, the point is, when a device goes out, it might never end up in the hands of the user in the same way the product manager imagined a pristine device would.

Read on as I show examples of this and elaborate a bit further on this thread.

Doing flips and swipes
On a tip from Stefan at Into Mobile, I found a video by Vaibhav Sharmawarning, from The Symbian Blog, showing some hacks he added to his Nokia N97.

Please note that I can’t vouch for the stability of these hacks, and, of course I have to say that in no way do I endorse these hacks and that these hacks can invalidate your warranty, yada yada.

But, hey, it’s a great example of folks adding to the platform and filling in the gaps. It was just too cool to pass on.

A leap back in time
Here’s another unexpected one. Haven’t you always wanted to walk around with a retro phone? Now you can. Mark Guim from the Nokia Blog received a cover for his Nokia N97 – a whopping huge cover that looks like an ancient Mobira CityMan, the first handheld mobile for NMT networks, back in 1987. The package even has a wee app that turns the face of the N97 into a touch pad in the Mobira style.

That’s insane. And for sure, the WOMWorld folks have too much time on their hands.

Falling off the truck
And speaking of mods, I was shocked here in the US by how much the operators dominate the final form of the phones they sell. For example, ATT is now selling the Nokia 6760 Slide, but not only have they called it the Nokia Surge, the box has a bare minimum of stuff. Ricky, from Symbian-Guru, expressed his surprise in his first look at the device.

I am not sure what’s in the box for the European version of the Nokia 6760 Slide, but Nokia usually throws a ton of other things into the box. What I do know is that the phones I have recently purchased in the US are chock-full of operator stuff (some of it very good, actually) but that the UI has been clearly redone and is not much Nokia-like anymore.

I’m not sure what to think of this. How do the operator and manufacturer balance the experience and market understanding they have about what the device should have and look like? It’s really an ever-evolving issue.

Dropping out
Recently, I mentioned an article about someone who was exploring a reduced digital diet in his life. Living the disconnected life can mean different things in different countries and is modulated by the different cultural expectations (as I found out in my Nokia 1209 experiment).

It’s summer and Rita is back in Lebanon. She’s among the most gadgeted and connected person I know. Yet the service levels in Lebanon are not only different from Paris, where she currently lives, but do not support her lifestyle of being forever connected.

So, she’s written a nice post on how she’s learned to use her device offline much more and connected a bit more with the world around her (through her mobiles, of course).

Go, Rita.

Springing back into action
I leave you all with a great video by James Whatley. A bundle of energy on the calmest days, the whatleydude himself bungee-jumps off a platform over the Victoria Falls in Zambia, the largest falls in the world.

And he’s filmed it all with his Nokia N86.


Have a nice weekend.

Image from Jimee, Jackie, Tom & Asha