GLOBAL – Nokia Beta Labs this week, have released an update to Nokia Bots, now offering support for Symbian^3 devices and the Nokia C6-00, in addition to the Nokia N97 and Nokia N97 mini. If you want your phone to make your everyday tasks easier, then it might be worth letting these Bots loose inside your phone. Read on to find out how your Nokia smartphone is getting even smarter.
Nokia Bots is an experimental app that’s been available for about nine months and we covered it when it was first released. Being an experimental app, it’s something created by researchers and developers at Nokia to trial and see if something like this works in a real-life environment. So you may see these kind of apps graduate from beta to gold, but not always.
Nokia Bots sits in the background of your phone and analyses your usage habits and learns from them. So, if you switch your profile from General to Silent at the same time every night, Nokia Bots will notice this and eventually do it for you. Switching profiles isn’t all it does, as it also observes the apps you use the most and the people you phone more often than others, places them into their own shortcuts widget on your homescreen, for easy access. These most used items will change and adapt as your own habits do, so it’s continually learning and trying to fit in to your life patterns.
For those who’ve used Nokia Bots before, you’ll notice the update fixes some minor issues; The Alarm bot now wakes up the phone if it’s powered down and the Alarm icon now appears in the status pane when the alarm is active. You can now change back to other profiles after you’ve finished with meeting or night profiles. Other image handling problems have been resolved too in the Shortcut bot and Contact bot. Let’s not forget the main update, the support for Symbian^3 devices. So anyone with a Nokia N8, Nokia C7, Nokia C6-01 can start downloading today to give it a go.
Here’s a short video on how Nokia Bots works, thanks to Ari Tourunen from Nokia.
So why could all this be useful? Apps are handy and often fun, but why not have apps actually make your life easier. If your phone could do things without you needing to tell it to, that could leave you with one or more fewer chores to do at the end of a long day. So the concept of a smartphone being truly smart is – maybe – taking shape.
Nokia’s Marko Ahtisaari, SVP Design and User Experience, spoke at LeWeb last week about the future and how we will see mobile phones doing more, with us doing less. That idea sounds great, but how will it actually work? Will these apps be intrusive, or subtle?
Nokia Bots is similar to Nokia Situations that we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, but Nokia Situations requires manual configuration from the user to do certain tasks at certain locations or times. Meaning it doesn’t learn, as such. Rather does what it’s told, when it’s told to do so.
Do you like the idea of our phones taking over some tasks, or learning from our habits? Or will allowing our phones to learn such things about us lead to something akin to Skynet? Maybe one day, our phones will text themselves to let us know we’ve been in the pub for too long, or let us know when it’s bedtime.
What do you think?