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November 10, 2009

Nokia N900 and Maemo

N900-maemoESPOO, FinlandMaemo might seem like a new branch for Nokia, but it’s easy to forget it’s actually a project the company has been involved in for the last four years. Peter Schneider, head of technology marketing for Maemo devices at Nokia, underlined the point (several times) when he talked us through the latest happenings on Maemo this morning. Much of Peter’s talk was on the open source nature at the core of project and how the community of developers offers rapid and powerful solutions to common problems.

Hermes is a little app which, though still in development, takes all your Friends’ avatars from Facebook and Twitter and uses them to populate your address book. I use something similar on my Mac (AddressbookSync) and it works a treat, though only covers off Facebook. Getting both right onto your device is a neat touch. It didn’t take a software powerhouse to come up with it either. It’s just one guy (props to Andrew Flegg), working alone, but as part of a bigger community.

Peter also showed us Friends Status, which pulls your friends’ status updates from Facebook and Twitter and stores and organises them so you can easily flick back to something someone said earlier. And then there’s the €500 flashlight, as Peter calls it. A simple app that uses the Nokia N900‘s camera flash as a flashlight. Simple, but quite brilliant. I’ll be getting my hands on that as soon as I get my hands on an N900. Which, won’t be long at all now! It doesn’t actually cost €500. That’s the device cost, the app is free.