In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • Where are those mobile Qt apps? How to move forward
  2. Applications
    • Tour of App Search Widget for quick app launching
    • Using Monorail and Maemo's open nature to share via IM networks
    • Update for Advanced Geocaching Tool brings bug fixes
    • ...and 3 more
  3. Development
    • Mailing list for following Package interface comments
  4. Community
    • Voting closes as Maemo coding competition wraps up
  5. Devices
    • N900s still losing their USB ports
  6. Maemo in the Wild
    • Angry Birds voted "Best Game in Ovi Store"
  7. Announcements
    • Star Trek-inspired "Okuda" theme now in Extras Testing
    • Documents To Go Premium now available for Maemo 5

Front Page

Where are those mobile Qt apps? How to move forward

Attila Csipa, a member of the current Maemo Community Council, concludes his series of blog posts looking at Qt by musing on the future, and what steps should be taken now to leverage Nokia's worldwide platform and get a critical mass of developers (and so applications, and so users, and so developers) on to their strategic platform: As seen from the infamous PR1.2 delay, a coupled-with-the-firmware release cycle is detrimental to the platform. If multiple devices are on the market, it would mean instant-fragmentation as developers would have to code for the Qt released with the last firmware. This is eating Android alive, too, as various handsets have different upgrade cycles. A separate distribution mechanism HAS to be employed. An interesting article and one which many may dismiss, and others - more worryingly - will think they're already following.


Tour of App Search Widget for quick app launching

Nicolai Hess has released App Search Wdiget, which is a desktop widget for Maemo5 that shares many similarities with application launches like QuickSilver, Launchy, and GNOME Go. In most areas the N900 supports the ability to start typing to automatically search for the relevant content. [...] The one place that the N900 does not do this is the menu, and if you have a lot of applications installed searching for the one that you are looking for quickly becomes a pain. Enter App Search Widget by Nicolai Hess that lets you search for the relevant app right from the desktop. App Search Widget is currently available from Extras-testing.

Using Monorail and Maemo's open nature to share via IM networks

Alban Crequy has put together a set of improvements to the libsharing API to allow Monorail to send files over IM using the standard Maemo 5 "Sharing" dialogue. Jonny Lamb wrote Monorail, a file transfer application for the N900. Monorail is a standalone application using the Telepathy frameworkbut so far it does not integrate with libsharing-dialog. Libsharing-dialog is supposed to be extensible by plugins (see the Sharing Plug-in documentation). Unfortunately the API is more suitable for web services than for file transfers through instant messenging so it makes the work more difficult. So I implemented that fourth button with some hacks to workaround the limitations of the libsharing-dialog API. Monorail is currently available from Extras-devel (standard warnings and disclaimers apply).

Update for Advanced Geocaching Tool brings bug fixes

Daniel Fett has released a new update of Advanced Geocaching Tool which brings with it a series of bug fixes, including working fieldnote uploading, improvements in position indication, and last state-saving of "follow position". The update is currently available in Extras-testing.

headphoned update and gPodder roadmap

Thomas Perl has released a new headphoned update which brings with it support for MediaBox and other improvements. The beloved Headphone Daemon, who usually sleeps in the darker corners of your N900 and makes sure that you do not embarrass yourself in front of other passengers or pedestrians with whatever kind of experimental music you happen to listen to when the headphones are accidentally unplugged (also known as public transport situations) got a small facelift (also known as code change). The update is available from Extras-testing.

Mappero gets numerous routing improvements

Mappero, (formerly "Maemo Mapper"), has received another round of updates thanks to continued efforts from Alberto Mardegan. The new release, version 3.0 beta 11 contains a series of improvements and bug fixes: Google routing works: direct and faster, a new widget for inputing addresses, with history-based auto-completion, Bugfixes: POI edit/view screen doesn't destroy your data, fix some crashes introduced with 3.0+beta9, fix Yandex router, screen unblanking works again, and some other minor corrections. The latest release is currently available from Extras-testing. Interested contributors should download and test it (although the usual warnings and disclaimers, as always, apply).

fMMS hits 500,000 downloads

Nick Leppänen Larsson's MMS client, fMMS, has recently passed the 500,000 download mark on, making it one of the most downloaded applications from Extras. I recently pushed 1.2.2 to extras-testing which has the option to “Save attachments” from the application menu when viewing an MMS, which should help everyone do whatever they want with the media they receive. [...] In closing I’d like to thank everyone for downloading and using this application! Just another 500,000 downloads to the first million! fMMS repressents a runaway success story for community-provided feature support, and serves as an example to us all of how to go about stepping up where Nokia either can't or wont. Of course these download numbers are likely inflated by Nick's rather active development cycle. ;)


Mailing list for following Package interface comments

Attila Csipa, a current Maemo Community Council member, has created a new mailing list to make it easier to track comments made to applications in Packages. In order to make the testing process a bit more transparent, be able to spot recurring problems and deal with tester-developer relation issues in time, I took the liberty to create a list called 'testingsquad-comments', which to the package interface will automatically submit all comments made on the package testing pages (interface code courtesy of Niels/X-Fade). Hopefully this way it will be also easier to show new testers just how the whole thing looks like. Note that this is a one-way thing - do NOT reply to messages directly as they will NOT make it back to the package pages (instead, click on the page link and comment there if you have something to add). Anyone interested in joining the Testing Squad should check it out.


Voting closes as Maemo coding competition wraps up

Voting for the community-organized Maemo Coding Competition has now been completed. The best applications from 6 categories (Desktop, System & Utilities, Games, Graphics & Multimedia, Location & Navigation, Other, and Beginners) were selected by users on the Talk forums. Nokia will be providing the six winners with travel and accommodation costs to the 2010 MeeGo Conference in Dublin, a community-collected cash prize will also be awarded.


N900s still losing their USB ports

Randall Arnold, a current Maemo Community Council member, has had a second USB port failure with his replacement N900. A while back I reported on my original N900 losing its microUSB connector, then followed up by expressing disappointment in Nokia’s poor handling of the matter once many more people began experiencing the same failure. I have intended to turn it into a trilogy for some time, waiting until the reports of Nokia claim denials dried up. But even though unresolved complaints did dwindle down, they didn’t disappear entirely... and tonight I got to experience why complaints keep coming: yep, my replacement N900 lost its connector, too. Despite extreme care. These continued failures are due to a design flaw, according to Randall, who's been a professional PCB designer and quality engineer - including at Nokia.

Maemo in the Wild

Angry Birds voted "Best Game in Ovi Store"

Angry Birds was voted the "Best Game in Ovi Store" last week in a poll on Nokia Conversations. What’s the best game in the Ovi Store? Nokia asked last week with ten games to choose from, and the result are available. But in a lovely nod to their ability to spot a top game, the write-in "others" category provided the runaway winner with 36% of the vote. The winning garland has been placed on Angry Birds, available for the N900. Which isn’t that surprising given that (a) it’s a runaway hit on the iPhone and (b) the N900 version sold six times as fast as the iPhone version! Given the limited selection of titles available on the Ovi Store to N900 owners, extra sales on our platform are not that surprising.


Star Trek-inspired "Okuda" theme now in Extras Testing

Ian Ryge, creator of the original LCARS theme for Maemo 4, brings us a new version of the LCARS "Okuda" variant for Maemo 5. The Okuda theme and an accompanying sound effects package are now available in the extras-testing repository. Please download, test, and vote for the theme and sounds so that they will be promoted to the main repository!

Documents To Go Premium now available for Maemo 5

DataViz has now made Documents to Go Premium available through the store on their website. Back in May DataViz told us that Documents To Go Premium would be coming to the Nokia N900 after the 1.2 update. On May 26th, the 1.2 update was released, but all I heard from DataViz was the sound of crickets and I worried that they dropped this project since Maemo 5 was a dead end for the Nokia N900. I am very pleased to now inform you that Documents To Go Premium Edition for Nokia Maemo 5 is now available for the N900. The software costs $29.99 and if you want to know all about it, then stay tuned here for a full review tomorrow. As with many applications, a trial is available in Ovi which can be activated.