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June 17, 2010

Beta Candidates

ESPOO, Finland – The Nokia Beta Labs site is the place to go to see what’s just round the corner in terms of software for your mobile. It’s the place where Nokia developers put up new apps for wider testing by the community before they ‘graduate’ into mainstream offerings. At any given point, there are likely to be a slew of apps for free download and testing – at present, there are 24 waiting for your comments. Read on for the latest entrants and exits from the beta bunch.

The most recent graduate from the Beta Labs is Gig Finder, now available for free from the Ovi Store. It should be pretty obvious from the name what the main function of this software is, but it adds extra cleverness by using your location and the tunes in your music library to understand which gigs are likely to appeal to you. It also lets you buy tickets directly and share information about the occasion to Facebook, SMS and email. Gig Finder currently works on S60 5th edition devices in the US and Canada, and in the UK and Ireland.


But with every graduation comes a new recruit. Fresh into the ranks of the beta candidates is Nokia Notifications for the Nokia N97 and Nokia N97 mini. Notifications makes it easier to deal with the messages you get about missed calls, voice messages, text messages and calendar alarms by gathering them all together in one list. You can put Notifications into a widget on your homescreen to avoid the individual pop-ups that can become annoying if you regularly end-up coming out of meetings to a dozen notification messages.


You should note that beta software is, by its very nature, unfinished. It’s good enough for the developers to release it for testing, but it might not work the way you imagined, might crash and is not officially supported in any way. If you do decide to install it, then it’s at your own risk. Lastly, you risk being disappointed if you own an older device – because this is future software, it’s the latest devices that are the most likely to be catered for.

If all that’s OK with you, then grab yourself a Nokia Account, if you haven’t got one already, and get testing. But before you go, are there any other beta apps that you’d specially recommend us to try?